I struggled to target any errors to report for Operation Correct the Error, but this week — I found one.
An article by Ben Hubbard in the New York Times entitled “ISIS Beheads Syrian Antiquities Scholar in Palmyra” addresses the late Khalid al-Asaad as Mr. Asaad throughout the piece. While there has been confusion over the proper spelling of al-Asaad’s name, it is still important to note that with Arabic surnames — the “Al” portion is typically always included and is still very much considered a part of the last name.
For example, “Al-Masri” or “Al-Majid” would still include the beginning portion because it is considered part of the name. Basically, you would not refer to “Al-Masri” as “Masri” because that is not the same thing.
I promptly emailed Mr. Hubbard via the New York Times website and am in high hopes that I will hear back soon.