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April Fool's Day in the Middle East
A Turkish Fish Tale. (1924)
The Turkish newspaper Yeni Gun reported that a giant fish weighing 1400 lbs had been caught in a stream near Angora. The story was reprinted by the Tanin newspaper, along with a full description of the creature, and hundreds of people reportedly drove out to see the giant fish. However, they found nothing to see, and the next day Yeni Gun admitted it had been an April fool fish. Tanin, which alone had reported the fish as real news, didn't take kindly to being fooled and criticized Yeni Gun, saying that such levity was unseemly in a serious publication and that although the custom of April Foolery was tolerated in the West, it was unsuitable for Turkey. More…
Saudi Mufti Condemns April Fool’s Day. (2001)
Saudi Arabia's chief cleric, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheikh, issued a fatwa decreeing that April Fool's Day was a form of organized lying practiced by unbelievers, and that Muslims therefore should not participate in the tradition. Al-Sheik acknowledged that many younger Muslims were beginning to adopt the custom, but said, "It is prohibited because lying is prohibited at all times and under all conditions." He noted only three exceptions to this rule: when lying brings reconciliation between people, when it occurs during times of war, or when a husband or wife must protect the honor of the spouse. More…
Alien Invasion of Jafr. (2010)
Jordan's Al-Ghad newspaper ran a front-page article describing the landing of three extraterrestrial spaceships the previous night in the desert outside the town of Jafr, in eastern Jordan. Many of the residents of Jafr, unaccustomed to April 1st hoaxes, believed the article to be true. Frightened students didn't go to school, and the Mayor of Jafr considered evacuating all of the town's 13,000 residents (but ultimately decided not to). Security personnel searched for the aliens in the desert, but found nothing. Al Ghad's managing editor later apologized for the article, saying "We meant to entertain, not scare people." More…
More April Fool Categories
Media Organizations and Corporations with April Fool Traditions
The April Fool Archive:
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.