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Karim Traboulsi

Bernie Sanders speaks Arabic!

Unlike many US politicians, Sanders (R) has a reasonable attitude towards Arabs and Muslims [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 20 February, 2016

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The campaign of the self-proclaimed socialist presidential nominee has launched a multilingual message of inclusiveness addressing various groups in the US including Arab-Americans, who were treated to an Arabic-language tweet.
US presidential candidate and aspiring nominee for the Democratic Party Bernie Sanders has tweeted an Arabic message calling for more inclusiveness in America.

The Jewish Vermont senator's bold but unusual tweet, in a country where wearing a t-shirt with Arabic writing is enough to get one into trouble with the authorities, is part of a larger initiative the Sanders campaign rolled out this week under the hashtag #AmericaTogether.

"America becomes a greater nation when we stand together and say no to racism, hatred, and bigotry," the translated message reads. The graphic in the tweet declares in Arabic, "Not me, us."

The stated goal of the campaign is "to give Bernie a huge surge of online support, and to show as many on-the-fence voters that taking part in the democratic process is a powerful way to break through the hate-filled barriers that often divide so many of us."

Versions of the tweet are available for download on the Sanders campaign website in various languages, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. 

Arabs on social media praised the gesture, a rare occurence indeed in the US where Arab and Muslim are seen as synonymous to terrorist among certain segments, including supporters of Islamophobic Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

While Sanders was making sure Arabs and Muslims are included in his campaign messages like all other Americans of various backgrounds, Trump was advocating getting tough with Muslims including by shooting them with bullets dipped in pig's blood.

On a pedantic note, Sander's well-intentioned Arabic message contained some mistakes and was a tad bit unidiomatic, suggesting a bit of the Google Translate.

For example, the verb that follows "America" in Arabic should have had a feminine declension.

Arabs are often annoyed by the little effort some in the US put in getting a proper translation rather than relying on a quick-and-dirty rendering in Arabic. 

Nevertheless, the Sanders' camp's gesture is much appreciated!

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