A pair of Beirut-area sunbathers pose to appear as though they are boning-up on their Arabic vocabulary with an early Oxford dictionary, left, and Hans Wehr, right. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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"Basically I've only used the Wehr," intones the large journalist, eyes roving the lines of Arabic print before him.Leon's is the English translation of the Arabic-German "Arabisches W?rterbuch" (1952), generally known as "Hans Wehr," after the Arabist who compiled it.It's worth noting that, like Wehr, the OAB organizes its Arabic lexicography by jidhr – the three- or four-consonant root beneath most Arabic words.A Wehr-thumbing Oxford alumnus, he nowadays teaches history at the University of Toronto."Basically," Hanssen says, "Shidyaq realizes ... that Arabic is doomed to be made translatable.All three of these Arabists favor Wehr over the Oxford.Weinrich, for one, sniffs that she doesn't feel at all indoctrinated to Wehr's culture. Establishing that the end of the "Wehr era" can be imagined (at least in Holland) implies that there is a market for a new Arabic-English dictionary.A reader in International Relations and Middle East Studies at King's College, London, Leenders' 2012 study "Spoils of Truce: Corruption and State-Building in Postwar Lebanon," belongs on every Lebanese bookshelf.Though he studied in Holland, Leenders was weaned on Wehr.
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