U.N. tries to decide: Gadhafi? Qaddafi? Khaddaffee? Kadhafhi?

March 23, 2011

Amid all the turmoil going on in Libya, the United Nations held an emergency meeting regarding the status of Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gadhafi.

Officials are working on a resolution, but it has nothing to do with asking the colonel to step down from power. Instead, they are trying to decide one critical issue.

How the heck should his surname be spelled?

In Arabic, the colonel’s surname is rendered this way:

القذافي

The above is pronounced “Al-Gadhafi”.

Or Al-Qaddaffee, or El-Khadhafhi, or Al-Kadddafffeee.

“Because Arabic has so many dialects and so many ways of pronouncing the same letter, we are working hard around the clock to properly determine how to spell Colonel Gadhafi’s surname,” said U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan in an exclusive interview with Ponderings From Pluto. “We are trying to agree on a single, romanized universal spelling to help out the newspapers, websites and bloggers out there. Some say Gadhafi, others Qaddafi, some say Khaddaffee.”

Some say tomayto, others say tomahto.

Annan instead referred non-Arab-speakers to this chart:

PFP tried to reach Gadhafi for comment but encountered two problems: PFP correspondent C.F. Twob does not speak Arabic and has no idea whether Gadhafi is still alive or if what is seen on the news is mummified version of him.

The U.N. hopes to reach an agreement on the colonel’s name by the end of the week.

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