Friday, March 27, 2015

It is some kind of storm

The name of the Saudi military operation in Yemen does not translate very well. It's being presented variously as Determined Storm, Decisive Storm, Firm Storm, etc. Among the underlying issues revealed by attempted investigation of this issue by a non-Arabic speaker is that Google Translate still has its limitations. Here's an Al Arabiya article with associated video which explains the origin of the name in an expression of King Abdulaziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. However the key phrase translates as babble, which is replicated in all other links to that story or indeed to the phrase itself. With a little more digging, it seems that the name is trying to capture the essence of a historical remark by Abdulaziz, in which he waited patiently for a dangerous situation to be resolved, and when it didn't, he stormed into action to resolve it himself. So it's Intense Action After Biding One's Time (IAABOT), which is a tad long for a stand-alone name.

Still, it's probably a better name that the glory days of Operation Together Forward.

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