Arabic Names, Revisited, plus Star Wars Nerdery

There’s the man’s name ‘Abdallah, meaning “servant of God.” The “servant of…” part can be combined with any of the 99 names of God, such as ‘Abd-al-Rahman = servant of the Beneficent, ‘Abd-al-Hakam = servant of the Arbitrator, ‘Abd-al-Kabir = servant of the Great, and so on.
There’s also the woman’s version, Amatallah. From what I’ve heard this isn’t very common in most parts of the Arab world, but common in Yemen, at least. It can also be combined with any of the names of God, such as Amat-al-Karim = servant of the Bountiful.
Amatallah, you might notice, sounds very similar to Amidala. I think I may be the first nerd on the Internet to expose the Amatallah-Amidala connection. George Lucas sure did use a lot of desert imagery and such in Star Wars.
Speaking of which, the set he constructed in Tunisia to represent dwellings on the planet Tatooine is still standing, and now people live there for real. Here’s an article:

As I peered inside one of the impeccably built constructions, I noticed a mattress and a small teapot on the sand floor. In a mere moment, the “owner” of the house was there: an elder Arab man dressed in a typical desert fashion.

Surprisingly, his French was perfect and he explained to me that since he had neither family nor money, he came to live in the movie set. He looks after the place, the real roof of the fake house protects him from the sandstorms, and if a tourist throws him a small coin every once in a while, he can buy some more tea and some food. And he is hardly the only one living in the Lucas-built wonderland in the middle of the Sahara.

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Filed under arab, arabic, arabist, movies and shows, names

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