Cultural intelligence

DUBAI: Logical structure to an Arab woman’s name

There is a logical structure to an Arab woman’s name. Take the name of H.E. Minister (a) Lubna (b) bint Khalid (c) Al Qasimi. Her first name (Ism  اسم) (a) Lubna is followed by bint, meaning daughter of and (b) the Nasab نسب‎ the names of one or more ancestors, her father’s name, Khalid and (c) Al Qasimi, the Nisbah نسبة  a family name.  An additional fourth name, the Kunya, كنية‎ is recognized as a nickname, used in specific contexts.


Traditionally, Arab Muslim women do not change their name upon marriage, although there are exceptions. The titles Hurma or  Hurmat in front of a name mean ‘wife of’: e.g. Hurma Mustafa Muhammad - ‘wife of Mustafa Muhammad’. Ms. Al-Fulani would colloquially be referred to as Umm Saleh, the mother of Saleh. Note that “al” means “the” while “Al” means “family of.”


> Can you add more to this important subject of addressing Arabic names in the correct way? 


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