Mailman! Mailman! Mailman! Woohoo! – Dave
Hello, beloved BoFN fans! It’s true – at long last, your trusty postal person has returned for some good times. Today, I bring to you my longtime favorite-named international diplomat: former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Mr. Boutros-Ghali has been my fave UN SecGen since the moment I heard his name in high school social studies class – not for any real globally impactful reasons, but just because it was the most amusing anthroponym I had encountered in my then-short life.
Despite the humo(u)r of this delightfully reduplicated name, I’m sure you’ll be as disappointed as I was to learn that his life and career weren’t nearly as funny. To add insult to injury, the odd collections of O’s and U’s means it doesn’t even result in a wealth of great anagrams (unless “Boil a ghost, sour turbo!” does it for you, that is). Nonetheless, the great series of tubes we know and love has pulled through again to find us some facts, as it always does.
Young Boutros was born in Egypt in 1922. His name translates into English roughly (and amazingly) as “Peter Peter-Precious,” and was passed down from his grandfather Boutros Ghali, who was Egypt’s Prime Minister from 1908-1910. Upon learning how to walk, Precious Pete quickly set his sights on higher things, like inspiring a satirical British sketch comedy news sign-off, being interviewed on Da Ali G Show, and becoming the first UN Secretary General to not be elected to a second term. All those accolades aside, he also did some more normal international diplomat-worthy stuff, like being a Fulbright Scholar and serving as Egypt’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. His actual time at the helm of las Naciones Unidas, served from 1992 to 1996, was marked largely by events like the violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia, and possibly furnishing some $26M in weapons to the wrong team in the Rwandan Genocide… so Da Ali G show doesn’t seem like a such a bad laurel to rest on now, does it? Oh! And his wife’s name is Leia (though she’s not a princess), and he was also once referenced on Friends, in case none of those other things were American enough for you. You’re welcome.
As the lads on Chanel 9 Neus would say, Boutros Boutros-Ghali!