Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crunching the Jihad numbers.

For my blog on Majid, You’ll notice the two names are spelled differently, however in Arabic they would be spelled the same. Arabic uses only strong vowels, A, E, and W. Softer vowels can be shown with accents, which are usually left out. Furthermore, many Arabic names, when translated into English, can have the (El) taken out. El is a linking word, like (the), and many Arab names have it.

Both Majid Enazi and Majid el-Enezi, would likely be MJD, El-ENZI when written in Arabic. Furthermore, newspapers might alter names for various reasons, foremost because they are being translated from Arabic, but also because that’s how they hear them and therefore spell them differently.

The next question was, how many Majid el-Enezi’s or el-Enazi’s are there in Saudi Arabia? Is it a name like John Smith? Was it just a coincidence that I came upon two people who happened to have the same name?

So I did some research.

The article describes Majid as a younger brother who had been training to be a computer technician. Therefore, the age seemed right. The boy I met was a teenager between the ages of 17 and 19 in 2002. In 2004, it would make sense that he was studying for a degree.

An easy way to check how common a name is would be to use Google or Facebook. I did, and here are the results.

The only concrete reference to Majid El-Enezi is a link to the same New York Times article. I found no solid links to the name Majid Enazi.

Same goes for Facebook, I found no Majid Enezi’s or Enazi’s.

There are however 283 Enezis and 171 Enazis on facebook, most of which are preceded by ‘al’

Of the Enazi’s on Facebook, just over half show they are from Saudi Arabia (of the people who use the network location option).

For the Enezi’s, it’s about 20%.

Extrapolating, that narrows it down to about 100 Enazi’s from Saudi Arabia, and 50 Enezi’s. I’ll take a guess and say that the majority of Saudi Arabian males between the ages of 20 and 30 are using Facebook. For the sake of argument, say it’s 50%.

So, that means there are 300 Enezi's and Enazi’s of interest. Approximately 25% are women, so the number narrows further to 225 potential ENZ’s.

The majority of Facebook users in Saudi Arabia are young males, of which Majid would fall into the category of. Say 80% are males under 35. So we’re down to 170 people.

But out of the 170 young male Enezi’s in Saudi Arabia, how many would be in the three-year age range that fits with Majid in the article?

If the approximate 170 young Enazi males are evenly distributed from 15-35, then there are about 25 young Enezi’s who fit the age profile.

In conclusion, there is a very good chance that the Majid Enazi I met, is the Majid al-Enezi from the New York Times article.

Here’s a photo of Majid giving me the gifts.

If you enjoy this, or happen to know Majid, please leave a comment.

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