On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the
Cunard Line’s White Star Line’s Titanic, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV, in a three-part story, calls to our attention the fact that among those who perished in the disaster were Arabs. They came mostly from Lebanon, but one also from Egypt.
One hundred years have passed since the sinking of the Titanic, considered the worst disaster the seas have ever witnessed in the twentieth century. In the middle of the extensive coverage this shocking event has received, hardly anything has been mentioned about the Arab passengers that perished on the ship.
In addition to the list of victims which reveals all the Arabs who died in the tragedy were Lebanese except one Egyptian, the proof of Arab presence on the ship was evident in the 1997 blockbuster movie directed by James Cameron.
In the film “Titanic,” an Arabic speaking mother is heard urging her daughter to hurry when she ship starts to sink. The Lebanese accent with which she says “Come! Come!” in Arabic shows her roots.
Her husband replies, also with a Lebanese accent, “Wait! Let me see what we can do,” while panicking in one of the third class corridors. Behind the Lebanese family appears the film’s protagonist Leonardo Di Caprio, also an inmate of the third class, running with Kate Winslet in tow.
Part Two of the series tells us that there were over 80 Arabs aboard. While most died, not all did.