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Jan-24-2010 14:24printcomments

FLASHBACK - Saudis Reject Pakistani Diplomat Whose Name Translates to 'Biggest Dick'

In Saudi Arabia, size does count.

Pakistan High Commissioner Akbar Zeb
Embassy Photo: Lee Berthiaume
Pakistan High Commissioner Akbar Zeb

(SALEM, Ore.) - (I see these articles in various searches throughout my work day and it seems fitting to sometimes bring them back to the top... the comedic overtones of this one are inescapable.)

A high level Pakistani diplomat has been rejected as Ambassador of Saudi Arabia because his name, Akbar Zeb, equates to "Biggest Dick" in Arabic. Saudi officials, apparently overwhelmed by the idea of the name, put their foot down and gave the idea of his being posted there, the kibosh.

Akbar Zeb is no newcomer to politics, in fact you could say he's a pretty big deal. This long-ranging high level diplomat has worked with some of the largest members of world governments, players charged with negotiating the outcome of the world's current events.

He most recently served as High Commissioner Designate of Pakistan to Canada, and prior to that he was the ambassador of Pakistan to South Africa,. He also served in that capacity in Washington from 1983-87, and New Delhi from 1994-2000.

He earlier worked at the Pakistan headquarters as section officer from 1982- 83, director from 1987-94 and director-general from 2000-2003.

Miangul Akbar Zeb, also whose name news agencies sometimes refer to as Zib, was born on 15 February, 1954. He holds a Masters degree.

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Riseshog June 30, 2014 5:11 am (Pacific time)


Siraj Davis December 6, 2012 1:13 pm (Pacific time)

This comment is for shock and awe.

I speak Arabic fluently and have lived in the Middle East continuously for three years. I showed my Jordanian friends this article, they loved it!

Akhbar Zib is the correct transliteration and translation.

Salem-News got it ON POINT! This is a terrific article :)

Great job Salem, you have the haters looking pathetic ;)


Editor: Thank you so Brother!

Daniel Johnson January 21, 2012 11:45 pm (Pacific time)

There is a village of 104 in Austria, 21 miles north of Saltzberg and 2.5 miles from the German border named Fucking. Check Wikipedia for more info and photographs.

johhnny January 21, 2012 9:00 pm (Pacific time)

I have a Vietnamese coworker named Phuc Chu.

Hamard Hamad November 21, 2011 9:55 pm (Pacific time)

I support and respect the saudi position, long live saudi arabia

Indian February 19, 2011 9:23 am (Pacific time)

This is ridiculous. Insulting somebody just bcoz u don't like his/her name? Shame on these arabs. their oil will run out and then they'll have their lesson.

Nonads September 10, 2010 3:38 am (Pacific time)

the comment "Size does matter" had me rolling in fits. but yeah, this did happen. the same gentlemen was also rejected by the United Arab Emirates for the same reason (needs to be verified since I can't find any links). For those interested, it is pronounced "Zaib" whereas the spelling is misleadingly leaning towards the "Zib" (which means Dick in Arabic dirty slang).

Asgar Zeb August 2, 2010 9:14 pm (Pacific time)

And Iam Asgar Zeb

Nacirema Roop July 5, 2010 1:56 pm (Pacific time)

Another carried away American writing vulgar in the name of freedom of expression. This news was simply vain. Tim King is acting like a Dick King. Such new aren't enjoyed in countries where honor comes through good speech and actions. Perhaps America is a good place for this article where people seek immorality in almost everything.

Marie June 7, 2010 11:35 am (Pacific time)

I seem to recall the country just north of the US having a Prime Minister named 'Cretin' for several years, and we managed to say his name with a straight face. What's the big deal? Jean Chretien, Pronounced Cray'-tee-en This. And it means literally "christian", not "cretin".

pakistan stories May 31, 2010 12:08 am (Pacific time)

i have visited to this site which is very interested news about the name changing, which is not need there.

Auranzeb May 26, 2010 12:57 pm (Pacific time)

I'm Pakistani, and many Pakistanis have "Zeb" as their name, or part of it. It means "beauty" in Farsi. I am now happy to know that my name means "ornamental-dick". It's sad but true.. it's only used once a year, haha.

J C Malta February 19, 2010 7:15 am (Pacific time)

While I agree I do not consider this as 'news' Let me tell you that in Maltese , the same things is spelled almost the same. Our language is semitic in origin. You better believe it. I do not envy this guy !

Washington Girl February 9, 2010 12:11 pm (Pacific time)

This is what passes for journalism in Salem? Maybe you guys should take a trip to Portland and refresh your journalistic education. I get community invovlement and human interest story, but whatever happened to journalistic integrity? Was there any kind of fact checking done on this? Or was it all just a big joke on the muslims?

Tim King: You must have had your head buried in the sand, If you really hail from the community of journalism then you should know that I left KATU in Portland to operate, and I have spent time in several Muslim countries in an international correspondent role for this media group.  We are the ONLY group in America that constantly advocates for the rights of Muslim people, and we are so dialed in that this was handed to me before it was published in anything but Arabic.  Now Harpers Magazine has written with interest in running this exact story, so I tracked down the Arabic language story from Saudi Arabia and sent it to them this weekend.  I mean you seriously could not be any farther off the mark than you are.  We take a hit in advertising revenue because we tell the truth about Israel and the Palestinians every day.  I am reminded again possibly why we have so many writers from Oregon and California, even two from South Carolina and one in Da Nang, Vietnam, we have a writer in Mexico City, Calgary, Alberta, they're all over the world,  but zero from the state known for its fleets of unmarked black police cars and really, really crappy weather, Washington.   

Pakiko February 9, 2010 10:56 am (Pacific time)

He even holds a Masters degree, making him "Masters tremendous Zeb"...LOL

Joe February 9, 2010 5:42 am (Pacific time)

i don't believe this piece of news because there is no way his name would mean something else in Pakistani , no way!

Mord-Big February 8, 2010 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

You journalists need to edit the headline: "Saudi's" should be "Saudis" ... It's not a possessive.  You're welcome.

Editor: Thanks, and the story was also amended 8 Feb. 2010 with the name spelling 'Zeb'.

Un Connu February 7, 2010 7:33 am (Pacific time)

And you actually call this news?

To Mr shamim arafat rocky February 7, 2010 6:29 am (Pacific time)

Answering the question of Mr. shamim arafat rocky: No sir it is not rolling on the floor, it is just hanging a little bit above the knee. Still, oh dear, too large for the Middle East rulers who prefer standard size, specially when the bearer is an ambassador.

To Mr shamim arafat rocky February 7, 2010 2:32 am (Pacific time)

Answering the question of Mr. shamim arafat rocky: No sir it is not rolling on the floor, it is just hanging a little bit above the knee. Still, oh dear, too large for the Middle East rulers who prefer standard size, specially when the bearer is an ambassador.

To Mr shamim arafat rocky February 6, 2010 9:36 pm (Pacific time)

Answering the question of Mr. shamim arafat rocky: No it is not running on the floor, it is just hanging a little bit above the knee. Still large for the Middle East, where people rulers standard size, specially when the bearer is an ambassador.

Saif February 6, 2010 7:38 pm (Pacific time)

The people who are saying "akbar" only means great are wrong. Akbar means BOTH biggest and great. Same word used for both meanings. Akbar Zib (or Zeb) definitely translates to "biggest dick," and any real Arab would know that we have different dialects in the region (Saudis have their own unique dialect). Besides, I think whoever is arguing against this is just indulging in bashing the Saudis. Hey, I'm not a big Saudi fan either, but you can't blame them for their reaction. And its not Akbar's fault that his name sounds so vulgar in another country!

Iraqi February 6, 2010 10:07 am (Pacific time)

I wonder how many big dicks does Pakistan have to send to Arab Countries !!

shamim arafat rocky February 6, 2010 1:51 am (Pacific time)

OH ALLAH! what!! a hhahahah ha hhha! Rolling on the floor!

Anon February 5, 2010 1:29 pm (Pacific time)

Crichton, you are wrong. It doesn't have to be Akbar al-_[w/e noun you want, for example] to be gramattically correct in Arabic. Akbar Sayyarah = Biggest Car, Ajmal Sura = prettiest picture, etc. This is a very common and correct formulation. As for Arabs being capable of being petty - first: all humans are capable of pettiness. Saying Arabs are capable of being this petty is like saying Blacks can be this vicious, when referring to a violent black criminal or whites can be this evil, when referring to white supremacists. It doesn't prove ANYTHING about Blacks or Whites (I should say European-Americans), and, by the same token your statement is also meaningless. It is a truism about humans in general. It doesn't tell us very much. It is, however, apt to be interpreted as implying something about you - though I will give you the benefit of the doubt and attribute your statement to lack or rigor in your writing style / not really putting much effort into your post. Two: If Germany or any country for that matter, but especially one that shares a somewhat common language (as Urdu is derived in part from Arabic and, thus, has many Arabic words in it), we would be flabbergasted, as a public, if they sent us someone named, literally, "Biggest Dick," even if it meant something else in their language. We would expect that their diplomatic corps and foreign service equivalent would have enough knowledge of our language, culture, and, yes, common slang, to realize what a faux pas and awkard thing this would be. This isn't just a secretary in the office. It would be THE Ambassador, the face of their country here. It's not petty. It is unfortunate. I think it is more unfortunate that Pakistan didn't think it through. Reasonable peopel can disagre, but, in this case, I don't see how denying the logic behind the Saudi position, especially given the vulgar meaning of the would be Ambassador's name in the native language of the country in which he woudl be serving. Peace Akbar 'Abqari.

Pontius February 5, 2010 12:01 pm (Pacific time)

I have a vewy gweat fwend in Wiyadh named Akbar Zeb.

Mike Crichton February 5, 2010 10:26 am (Pacific time)

To be grammatically correct, a name translating to "the Biggest Dick " would have to be "Akbar al-Azbab". But Akbar Zeb would still make Arabs giggle.

For the translation of "Akbar", it's the superlative of "Kabir", which darn well _can_ translate to "big" as well as "great". As for spelling, well, when news organizations start transliterating non-Latin scripted languages consistently, then people can start complaining about misspelling.

IIRC, zub/zib/zeb (I've heard it pronounced each way) is a loan word from Farsi anyway. In Farsi, it _does_ mean "ornament", but became Arabic slang for "dick". Isn't linguistics fun?

And yes, Arabs are easily capable of being this petty. Plenty of Arabic newspapers deliberately mispelled Netenyahu's name to translate as "Jewish stinker", after all.

Mohammad again February 5, 2010 10:27 am (Pacific time)

I wonder if he's friends with Russian and Chinese ambassadors Jack Kinov and Yung Phuk hahaha

Mohammad February 5, 2010 10:14 am (Pacific time)

man this is hilarious if it is pronounced "akbarzaib" its written "ZEB", I would wait for news on Pakistan just to see the look on reporter's faces "and now for the Pakistani ambassador.. ehm .. um akbar zeb? :) hahaha wonder what his wife's name is? akbar koss-koss?

pdxtoni February 5, 2010 9:13 am (Pacific time)

Saudi's is NOT the plural of Saudi.

Rosignol February 5, 2010 3:22 am (Pacific time)

I know its not fair. But let me get the idea closer: how would you like an ambassador to your country be called... Phuk Yuu. I seem to recall the country just north of the US having a Prime Minister named 'Cretin' for several years, and we managed to say his name with a straight face. What's the big deal?

Jean Chretien, Pronounced Cray'-tee-en

Bal February 4, 2010 3:06 pm (Pacific time)

Thick Arabs ...what would you expect...but the whole story is bloody phooking funny""

A disgusted Pakistani February 4, 2010 6:45 am (Pacific time)

The ambassador of a corrupt country with no self respect such as Pakistan fully deserved such a treatment from the hands of Saudi government,which is now fed up of giving charity to the ungrateful beggars who are now now ruling the nation.

mustafa laff February 4, 2010 12:17 pm (Pacific time)

Having lived in sad saudi for many yeras, I'm surprised they noticed one more dick coming into the country!

Redbelt February 4, 2010 8:47 am (Pacific time)

I know its not fair. But let me get the idea closer: how would you like an ambassador to your country be called... Phuk Yuu. I mean, Akbar Zeb to us in Bahrain is THAT shocking. Nothing wrong with the man but these things happen. Just look at how hard marketing agencies research product product names in different countries. (ipad is an exception)

dick February 4, 2010 8:39 am (Pacific time)

Saudi Arabia must send his new ambassador to pakistan. His name : WE-SCREW-EVERYBODY ENJOY-IT.

Moderate Saudi February 4, 2010 5:22 am (Pacific time)

this is not a true story .. i do not know who the hell is Salem-News, but i suggest to refer to an official reference for such news .. Saudi and Pakistani governments are smarter than harming their strong and rooted relationship by such stupid reason ... for your information, Mr. Shahid Karimullah, is the current Pakistan Ambassador who took over as ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2005 ... Thanks "Moderate American " for adding your viewpoint, we know that our many friends in America who know Saudi well are smarter than believing these ballshi#s !

Tim King: Isn't Saudi that Arab country with trillions of dollars that leaves so many of its Muslim brothers and sisters in Palestine in despair and ground under the heel of Israel, is that who you mean?  

:) February 4, 2010 2:09 am (Pacific time)

For starters, I'm surprised this article's gotten such a response! I thought it was funny. However, seeing all the comments made me think of journalists... I really don't know how you guys can do it, knowing that people will miss the point entirely =/ Thanks for the article though, Mr. King, it made me laugh out loud =)

JahanZEB February 3, 2010 9:54 pm (Pacific time)

considering how my name too has a ZEB in it...i think this story is fascinating...however...if the name is pronounced correctly (as Zaib) kind of like babe..its not the same as Zib which is penis...Zeb (zaib) in persian means ornament....idiots base it off of spelling and not on pronunciation...perhaps the saudis should learn how to Bronounce the name and they wont have such a big problem...

PakArab February 3, 2010 9:19 pm (Pacific time)

Well, this is all ignorance and the name is not Akbar Zib it is Akbar Zeb (to be pronuounced as Akbar Zaib). It is persian word and meaning is like by someone. Such as Jama Zeb (Wearing nice and good lookin clothes). Jahan Zeb (The person liked by the whole world). Gul Akbar Zeb (Gul=Flowe Akbar=Great Zeb=like i.e. Great Flower Like). But It is not Zib but Zeb or Zaib)

Amir Bashir the Amused February 3, 2010 9:00 pm (Pacific time)

First off, nice meeting you Tim King thru this story - keep up the good work! :)  Second, "..we are one of the only U.S. news agencies.." in your response to shock-and-awe comment response is bad english. I expect better from journalists. ;) Third, from now on, ask arab objectors to the news article if they'd be glad to introduce Mr. Zib to their wife or mother. Finally, this is really a hilarious story to arab speakers and nice change from the constant gloom of the news. AKBAR can mean "older" (e.g. ana akbar min~nak -- i m older than you) or "bigger" (e.g. akbar min raso ma fish -- bigger than his head there is not (i.e. he has a big head - vain), or great (Allah u akbar). Also, Palestinians say ZIB not Zoub and we laugh at those who say zoub...

Tim King: Good to meet you too Amir! 

shock-n-awe February 3, 2010 6:57 pm (Pacific time)

reading the comments on this article leaves me saddened to think that they are as equally stupid as the Saudi reaction to Mr. Akbar-ZEB's name.  "Akbar" does mean great in Arabic, and the false misuse of Zeb - pronounced ZEHB.....for ZIB pronounced "ZOUB" which is how DICK is said in arabic (and I know because I am arab) is really distortion of information. Clearly the journalist is as guilty of the slandering the Mr. Akbar-Zeb's name as much and equally as the Saudi's. As for the dumb ass comment by "Moderate American" about where we get our and American Reaction to such a name...Well....YOU most likely voted for DICK cheney and didn't even think about it. Moderate American's comments were most idiotic and vacuous. As for the rest of your comments, people of the world,  most of you sound like 20 something year old's with an education level of an 5th grader.

Tim King: OK, you can make your point but you clearly are Arab, I am an American and I can publish anything that is true, and this brief article has nothing to do with slander.  By general definition, slander is the act of speaking something untrue that casts a person in a negative light and cause them some type of harm, and libel is the charge when the words are printed.  Maybe the lesson is that we all have something to learn.  People who visit know that we are one of the only U.S. news agencies that consider the plight of Muslim people constantly, especially the Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis.  This was only meant to be a humorous take on a very unusual subject that in my opinion doesn't make anyone appear particularly bad.  Thanks for your comment.

shocked by your elementry statements February 3, 2010 7:02 pm (Pacific time)

wow! people of the world, where are you're minds? you all sound like 5th graders on a school playground. especially "Moderate American" what kind of comment is that? America did have its own "Akbar-Zib" in fact two of them name was DICK cheney and George BUSH....  and we voted for them twice! we even believed them when they said Saddam had WMD's......Screw the Saudi's people - they are cave men and so is this "moderate american" idiot

Editor: I'm shocked that you violate our rules and use profanity, but that's OK, I took care of it.  

shaila February 3, 2010 4:59 pm (Pacific time)

I think it is a positive .

Ateef Chowdry February 3, 2010 12:28 pm (Pacific time)

what a lallu

Mo February 3, 2010 10:17 am (Pacific time)

A Concordia professors wife was named Ivana Cock. :D

Faris February 3, 2010 6:58 am (Pacific time)

Imagine the US accepting an embassador with a name Ginormous Penis? They probably will, but it will be very embarrasing

Natalie February 3, 2010 12:05 am (Pacific time)

Oh well, that's just silly. We shouldn't then send Camerons to beauty pageants, since the name means 'crooked nose', not to mention Julia(down-bearded youth), and Kennedy(deformed head). Morgans should never get a decision-making position due to the same reason(means uncertain), and ladies, watch out for those Henrys. The name means 'home ruler'. I should not be allowed in China, since my name means Christ's birth, etc. Usually, the rule is: don't translate the name, unless the languages are very alike and have similar-sounding names. If it's not the translation but rather pronunciation, then he should've used a lovely French accent. LOL

king February 2, 2010 7:26 pm (Pacific time)

I am not sure why are you defending this. Sure its a clash in cultures and languages, but its impossible to have him as an ambassador . Can you imagine this on the news: "Today, the Largest Penis met president Obama" "Largest Penis: We will aid the US on the war of terrorism " "Largest Penis today presented a gift to elementary students" He can work in Canada, what is so bad about that? its easy to call some one a cat or a monkey, but its hard to name them pussy and penis

DUMBASSES February 2, 2010 11:17 am (Pacific time)

FIRST OFF AKBAR means GREAT here not BIG!!! and his family name is ZEB not ZIB. so his name has nothing to do with size or dicks or the size of a dick!!!
Saudis , even to OUR ARAB standards are cave men!!!

Tim King: Well, I don't speak the language and I am the first to admit it, but I have friends who do and they helped me zero in on this.  Having said that, of course I am familiar with the use of Akbar meaning great as in "God is Great"  I found numerous references to his name as but "Zeb" and "Zib" and was not perfectly sure, though I am getting the idea.  At any rate, I think it still essentially comes down to the same thing.  Thanks for your comment!   

william February 2, 2010 4:31 am (Pacific time)

well i m a srilankan... and in india and pakistan.. people... call monkeys as bander.. and in saudia.. its a name....a respected one.. so wat about prince we make fun of him.. prince monkey :D...loooooool

Dannawally February 2, 2010 3:45 am (Pacific time)

No, that'd be Obama, Zeb.

C February 2, 2010 12:09 am (Pacific time)

Actually, "akbar zeb" doesn't just mean "biggest dick", it's probably closer to "biggest cock". "Zeb" is a very vulgar term in Arabic. Imagine someone called "Largest Cock" gets appointed ambassador to the UK or US or something. Don't you think that would cause some sort of reaction? I still find this story hilarious though.

Moderate American February 1, 2010 11:47 pm (Pacific time)

For the people mocking Saudi Arabians: when you start running your cars on electricity, swear at them as much as you like.
But as long as you're filling your V8 Chevy's with Saudi oil, shut up.

Besides, I'm very astonished that a large country like Pakistan doesn't have enough intelligence or due diligence efforts to know BEFOREHAND the Arabic language and Arab values before proposing an ambassador with such a name. No wonder who's the biggest dick.

frankie February 1, 2010 4:51 pm (Pacific time)

Understandable that the Saudis couldn't face him. He would've always had the upper hand.

frankie February 1, 2010 4:51 pm (Pacific time)

Understandable that the Saudis couldn't face him. He would've always had the upper hand.

Saif February 1, 2010 3:40 pm (Pacific time)

Imagine the U.S. accepting an ambassador with that kind of name, first name Big and last name Dick, literally. I think we'd also react the same way.

Akbar February 1, 2010 12:14 pm (Pacific time)

I still don't understand that why Saudis don't like big dicks

Habib January 30, 2010 2:54 pm (Pacific time)

it is so funny.. take it as a jock guys.

This is B***S**t January 31, 2010 8:01 am (Pacific time)

He is an accomplished diplomat and it is the Saudi's who have shown their backwardness and dickheadness.... BTW.. his name is Akbar-Zeb and not Zib as suggested by the article.

a January 27, 2010 1:42 am (Pacific time)

Ha1 So Pakistan stands ahead in DICKS also.......

Smfil January 26, 2010 7:30 pm (Pacific time)

i think it's for his own sake!

wat January 26, 2010 7:01 am (Pacific time)

I would say this is Nonsense.

Natalie January 24, 2010 3:15 pm (Pacific time)

Well, it's not THAT bad. If you look at the word 'mocha', in couple languages it would mean 'urine'. So the phrase 'Have you had your mocha today?' with a smiling girl holding a steaming cup on the board looks just adorable.

Jeff Kaye~ January 24, 2010 2:43 pm (Pacific time)

I thought WE had the biggest Dick...Cheney.

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