Raja Mattar


Beirut - Lebanon


Thursday, 7 November 2002

A Message To The People Of Mars

   NASA entered into an agreement with Israel to use the Negev desert for training Israeli astronauts..

One day, an old Arab Bedouin and his son came across the space crew. The old man, who spoke only Arabic, asked a question which his son translated: “What are those guys in the funny suits doing?”

A crew member replied that they were practicing for the first trip to Mars. The old Bedouin got excited and asked if he could send a message to the people of Mars with the astronauts. Recognizing a great promotional opportunity the Israeli commander found a tape recorder and the old man recorded his message.

When the Israeli commander asked the son to translate the message of the old man to the people of Mars, he refused. So the Israeli commander found a local Arab hire and asked him to translate the message. The Arab clerk broke out laughing but refused.

The Israeli commander had to enlist the help of an official government translator who listened to the tape and reported its contents: “Dear people on Mars, watch out for these bastards. They are coming to steal your land.”


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