Take the case of the recent FIFA World Cup held in Qatar, the first in Middle East and the entire Arab world.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup was the shortest in FIFA history, lasting just 29 days with matches being held only in eight venues each of which could be connected easily.
People in Arab world are known to communicate using the KISS — keep it simple and short — approach, especially when they deal with expatriates, who are mostly non-Arab speakers.
In day-to-day communication, non-Arabic speakers, who mostly communicate in English, are sometimes at the receiving end and even Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was not spared either.
Evers since the 38-year-old, switched to Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League in a mega-bucks deal last season, he has become a household name among the residents of the tiny Middle East nation.
The name Ronaldo is synonymous with the no.7 jersey and people fondly call him CR7. On the soccer field, he is either called Cristiano or Ronaldo, depending on which side of the continent you are from.
Keep it short
But in the Al Nassr training session, he earned a new name, which is typical of Arab culture, the shortest as they can call him “Cris”!!!
Al Nassr, who could finish only as runners-up in the last season, despite Ronaldo’s towering presence are currently on a pre-season training camp in Ronaldo’s home country of Portugal.
A video shared on a Twitter handle by a reported fan of Ronaldo bearing the handle @CristianoXtra_shows the Portugal star training with his team-mates. And his Saudi team-mates are asking him to pass the ball with loud shouts of “Cris, Cris” reverberating all over the picturesque training ground.
Arab’s are well known for their warmth and hospitality, but at the same time they come up with such short-nicknames which could even embarrass the stars.
The general tendency among Arab people when they find it difficult to pronounce difficult names (especially since most of the coaches in Middle East are either from Europe or Latin America) is by addressing them as “captain.”
Even in press conferences, Arab journalists never call the coaches by name, instead they prefer to address the coach as captain and the translator makes their job easy.
B for P
Arabs generally have difficulty in pronouncing P as they substitute it with B and so a certain Miralem Pjanic, who currently plays for Sharjah FC in the UAE Pro League is ‘Bjanic’ in the Arabic world and ex-Barcelona player Juan Antonio Pizzi, who coaches the Bahrain national team is ‘Bizzi’ for them!
That way Ronaldo is lucky that his name does not start with P! Though Cristiano has become ‘Cris’ to Al Nassr clan, it is much smooth for the ears than the Bizzi/Bjanic variety!
But Ronaldo seems to be enjoying his unusual new nickname as he had no qualms in passing over the ball even when he was addressed as Chris! Afterall what’s in a name!