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How To Spell Libyan Leader Muammar el Qaddafi/Ghaddafi/Kaddafi/Qadhafi's Name?

There Is No Single Way To Spell the Libyan Leader's Name

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How To Spell Libyan Leader Muammar el Qaddafi/Ghaddafi/Kaddafi/Qadhafi's Name?

A man of many spellings

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi's name is as like trying to figure out what Qaddafi really believes. It's a moving target--even among Libyans.

Here, for example, are the different ways different organizations, several of them Libyan, spell the name. In some instances the very same organization, especially the Bush administration, seems keen on exploring as many different spellings as possible:

Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope in 1986 documented the creative ways news organizations went about spelling the name of The Leader of the Revolution (as he's invariably and safely referred to in Libya, saving the writer the trouble of possibly misspelling the name). Here are some of Adams' findings and more, as I'm sure the list can grow infinitely with time:
  • The New York Review of Books: Qaddhafi
  • The New Republic: Qaddafi
  • Time: Gaddafi
  • Newsweek: Kaddafi
  • McLean's: Khadafy
  • U.S. News & World Report: Qadhafi
  • Business Week: Qadaffi
  • World Press Review: Gadaffi

Feel free to email me your discoveries at middleeast@aboutguide.com

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