Exhibition blending fashion and sport a winner with Saudi women

Illustration advertising the SELF Show at the Inaya Medical College in Riyadh. (Twitter)
Updated 08 February 2018

Exhibition blending fashion and sport a winner with Saudi women

RIYADH: Saudi women who want to match fitness with fashion will see the latest in sports and gym wear at a special exhibition — and then take part in free exercise classes.
The Sports Exhibition for Ladies Fashion (SELF) at Inaya Medical College will display workout clothing for activities ranging from yoga to kickboxing.
“Every exercise needs a different kind of clothing,” said Reham, the event organizer. “For example, aerobics is different from light weightlifting. We will provide appropriate clothing for women and give them accurate information regarding all aspects of exercise.”
Ibrahim Bahathaq, general manager of the exhibition, wants to expand women’s choice of fitness attire and sports activities in the Kingdom.
“My daughter and wife are extremely fit — they love to exercise — but for a long time we had difficulties in finding appropriate clothing. The selections available at the stores were limited, as well as their choices. We either bought their gym clothes from abroad or online,” he said.
Bahathaq said SELF will raise awareness of the importance of exercise and open new doors for women.
The exhibition will offer family entertainment, including paintball and other children’s activities, leaving women free to take part in classes and workshops. At least 35 instructors will offer free classes, ranging from Zumba to yoga, throughout the day.
Exhibition organizers have urged schools to take part in the event. Field trips will allow students to receive the latest in sports and exercise advice.
Zia, a sports fashion line, is one of the main sponsors. Raneem Al-Zainy, a salesperson, said: “Zia is a local Saudi brand designed by Saudi fitness instructors who wanted both high-quality fitness wear and something fashionable.”
Entry to the exhibition and all classes is free. The exhibition will run until Feb. 9.

Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

Updated 1 min 11 sec ago

Saudi Hajj ministry investigating how gift to pilgrims was wrongly labelled ‘anthrax’ 

  • The Arabic word “jamarat" was inaccurately translated to “anthrax",  a dangerous infectious disease
  • Citing possible repercussions of the mistranslation, scholars want a probe to pinpoint responsibility

RIYADH: The Hajj and Umrah Ministry is investigating the inaccurate translation of the word “jamarat” into “anthrax,” which led to Sheikh Yusuf Estes making a video warning pilgrims of the mistake and its possible repercussions.

The translation concerned a bag that was a gift to pilgrims, containing small pebbles to use for the “stoning of the devil” upon their return from Muzdalifah. The bag had the correct original Arabic description, which roughly translates as “jamarat pebble bag,” whereas the English version of “jamarat” was translated into “anthrax,” a dangerous infectious disease.

According to SPA, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah was notified and opened an investigation with the contractor and translator on August 10, before handing them to authorities to take the necessary disciplinary action.

“Anthrax, where did they get that? They get it from Google, it’s not Google’s fault. Google allows people to tell the meaning of the different languages of words,” Sheikh Yusuf said in the video.

Google Translate, the free multilingual machine translator, relies on comparing large quantities of content between pairs of languages to establish patterns and, in most cases, determine the probability that certain words in one language will correspond with a set of words in another. 


The contractor and translator are being investigated for the inaccurate translation of the word ‘jamarat’ into ‘anthrax.’

Putting Google Translate to the test, Arab News used the platform to translate a name of a type of fish known in the region as “sha’oor” from Arabic to English. The scientific term for the fish is Lethrinus nebulosus, a type of emperor fish most commonly known as the green snapper or sand snapper.  

Google Translate’s translation was “thickness of feeling.”

Though it yields imperfect results, the service can be used at a pinch, though real human translators rather than artificial intelligence are far more likely to lead to more accurate translations.  

Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Gisele Riachy, director of the Center for Languages and Translation at the Lebanese University in Beirut, explained how the mistranslation of “jamarat” could have happened.

“We have two possibilities, it was either translated by Google Translate or the translator was provided with a single sentence and therefore didn’t understand the meaning of “jamarat,” she said.

“The translator may have not taken into consideration the general context of the word, which has certain religious connotations, therefore it should have been borrowed, translated by the “Stoning of the Devil” or even left as it is.”

Dr. Riachy said that the word anthrax cannot be translated without an accompanying adjective for a better explanation of the term.

“What surprised me is that when translating the word “jamarat” from Arabic to English, the word should have been accompanied with the adjective “khabitha,” or malignant in Arabic, for it to be translated to “anthrax” in English. That is why I am confused and I do not think Google Translate would have translated it into “anthrax” if the Arabic version didn’t include the word “khabitha.”

Sheikh Yusuf Estes’ video was intended for those who would like to take the small bags home as a souvenir or gift, sending a message that the mistranslation could cause the traveler trouble with customs in their own countries.