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SPEAKING OF NAMES…
Two of the names from the 90210 (divided by) 31 ( (+ or -) 5 million = 33 (to the power of) 137 arson conviction article were of special interest to us — and it’s worth mentioning.
Ashak Ashaq and Mazen Mazraani
There is no transliteration tool in use that serves to translate an Arabic (or other Middle Eastern) alphabet character/sound to an English alphabet character/sound.. The duplicative names above would be recorded on documents from the native country using letters that we do NOT have in English. In the case of Ashak Ashaq, it is entirely possible — and in our own humble opinion probable — that the initial sh sound and the ending k or q sound were submitted in multiple variations until an eventual visa was granted. The second sound is a “chhhhh” — like clearing your throat — when pronounced “back home.” English does not have a “chhhhh” and so it gets submitted on the paperwork by the applicant as a k, kh, g, gh, c, ch, q, qh or even a qu and nobody questions it. Also, the initial A can have an h put after it, or even become an e, eh, u or uh … and again, there will be no question. On the second name, the z, the aa and the ending i could be manipulated.
Also note that Mohammad, the single most common first name in the world, can be spelled (in English) more ways than you can count. Also, Al or Ali can be added to almost anything and not questioned. This means that Ashak Ashaq could be morphed to Echaq Aleshakh and not one eyebrow would ever raise.
Our JCFR Editor knows, first hand, that this was a “hole” in our immigration system a dozen years ago. She spent nearly three weeks in Damascus, living in a house that has since been bombed and leveled by the Syrian government. The hole may have been fixed since then, or it may still be wide open. Either way, many people originally got into this country by tricking the system. Desperation may have fueled such manipulation. The point in writing this, however, is to suggest that readers take the time to study such names because they can be used to obtain dozens of separate sets of identification papers in the US. On multiple applications/IDs, we still do not question them.
The johncooke.com web site has 18 “It’s All In a Name” articles in the archives. We authorize any local/state/federal government entity, any insurer, any banking institution, any “white hat” at all, to use them for training purposes. These articles exist outside of our ID/password archives, so they are easily accessible even if you do not have a subscription. (Which you should, but that’s besides the point.) Copy them, circulate them, use them for training. That’s why we wrote them.