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US: Stamp with Arabic inscription - Eid

Regarding the US stamp with an Arabic inscription and the word Eid, Don Emmerson says "Martin Storey is, to my limited knowledge, correct. As one might expect, oral references to religious holidays are hardly uniform across the vast and very diverse Muslim world. In Indonesia, for example, Idul Fitri (as it is spelled and pronounced in Indonesian), which ends the fasting month, was for many years referred to as Lebaran, although more recently this earlier and less Arabized usage seems to have lost frequency to "Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri." Details aside, the fact that the US would issue such a stamp is encouraging. It is perhaps not churlish to note, however, that the Arabic calligraphy pictured, while attractive and appropriate from a religious standpoint, overrides this linguistic diversity and makes it easier to believe that Arabic is Qur'anic and quotidian from Morocco to Mindanao--whereas, of course, Arabic is a language most Muslims do not speak".

Ronald Hilton - 2/24/03