Can a sign in a bus bridge a cultural gap? We’ll see.
Signs in Arabic have started sprouting up in the city of Richmond, Virgina. They’re part of a campaign by the Virginia Interfaith Center to fight fear.
The rough translation of the above sign is supposed to be something like “rock, paper, scissors.” Other signs have the phrase “paper or plastic” or the Arabic equivalent of the children’s song “I’m a little teapot.”
“As soon as people see Arabic, they immediately make an association with terrorism,” said the Rev. C. Douglas Smith, executive director of the interfaith center. “That’s probably because since 9/11, not only is fear overwhelming us, but that’s how we’re being trained to think.”
The campaign has sparked a public dialogue, but not all of the reaction has been positive. For example, this is one fear-based T-shirt you will NOT see offered here. I’m not even going to post the link to this one.
But I will post a link to the Virginia Interfaith Center. You can read some comments from the public about their signs and for ten dollars you can sponsor a sign on a Richmond bus.