Human Rights Watch: Lebanese becoming xenophobic (ack!)

When they can’t squawk about racism, xenophobia is the next best thing!

One-millionth Syrian registered in Lebanon (that fact is the source of innumerable news accounts in the past week or so).

Whether it’s South African blacks not wanting an invasion of their country by members of their own race from elsewhere in Africa, or now Lebanese Arabs not wanting to be completely overrun by Syrian Arabs, to Leftists it is always about some deep dark evil lurking in the human character (unless one is a do-gooder Leftist of course).

Frankly it may be deep—a deep human desire to save one’s own group from complete annihilation—that comes to the fore when the invaders are too many in number.   The fear is a legitimate wish to preserve one’s own ethnic group and one’s own family and its livelihood.

It’s so humorous (annoying really!) to me to see that wish (for self-preservation) honored as immigrants come to America and are encouraged to maintain their own cultures/preserve their history, while the rest of us are encouraged to give up ours (see al-Hijra)!

I’m digressing……back to the Lebanese xenophobes!

From Time magazine:

With the conflict in Syria now in its fourth year, some Lebanese are growing increasingly hostile to the million Syrians taking refuge in their country.


“The increase in numbers has increased xenophobia,” says Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Read it all yourselves (if you feel like it).

What is the solution of course for groups like Human Rights Watch—save Lebanon from xenophobia by packing up tens of thousands of Syrians and sending them to Western countries?

Reader’s comment: Woeful week for interpretation

Regular reader and researcher par excellence, ‘pungentpeppers,’ has put together some samples of the growing problems with interpretation services increasingly needed as immigrants from around the world require court interpreters (something we have been noting a lot lately).

Woeful week for interpretation

INTERPRETER WOES aplenty this past week: wrongful interpretation suit; mistrial called because a foreign-language-speaking juror was on a case; no interpreters available to work for a terrorist; and an interpreter goes berserk.

The City of Portland (Oregon) is named as a defendant in a $3 million wrongful death-by-misinterpretation lawsuit. The Spanish-speaking husband of Elidiana Valdez-Lemus called 9-1-1 for help after his wife could not breath. His call was referred to a professional interpreter who may have mixed up the address “2601 111th Avenue” with “2600 101st Avenue”. Also named in the suit are Language Line Translation Solutions, Lingo Systems, Language Line Service, AT&T Corp. and the unknown name of the company that provided the Spanish-language interpreter. ….. Sue and put them all out of business! (

Mistrial declared in first degree murder case against Kevyphonh Sounyaphong

In Fort Smith, Arkansas, a judge declared a mistrial in a murder case because a juror understood Vietnamese, a language spoken by one of the witnesses. Kevyphonh Sounyaphong was on trial for the strangulation death of Sakounsouk Vilayhong. An Vietnamese interpreter was brought to translate the testimony of a witness for the defense. One of the jurors disagreed with the interpretation and may have said something that was tantamount to introducing new evidence to the case. ….. Moral: never put anyone on the jury who understands any of the foreign languages that may be heard in the courtroom. Interpretation is just one person’s “interpretation” of what another person said, and there are often disagreements. (

Maybe nobody wants to work for a terrorist? Bernard Kleinman, the attorney for Libyan Al-Qaeda suspect, Anas al-Libi (real name Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Raghie), is complaining that he cannot find an Arabic interpreter in North Carolina. …. You can’t force people to work for a terrorist if they don’t want to. (

And finally from Ireland the story of the Interpreter Gone Berserk. Damaris Dickenson, a Kenyan interpreter, assaulted a 20-month-old boy by spitting on him after she flew into a rage because the toddler was kicking the back of her seat while traveling on a bus. Damaris also spit on the boy’s father, who is from China. Judge Ann Watkin stated that Damaris had “lied through her teeth” when she falsely accused the bus passengers of ganging up on her and abusing her racially. She was given a suspended sentence. ….. Since she made up the racial abuse story, maybe she makes up stories when she interprets, too? (

Note to “welcoming” communities:  It is federal law in America that your local jurisdiction provide “qualified” court interpreters (at public expense) for immigrants in court for whatever reason.