Tag Archives: richmond

Badge of the day: Ahlan

Ahlan badgeQuite how I came into possession of this badge I’m not sure, but I think it must have been one that my gran gave me. My gran was a widow and lived alone in a council bedsit a few miles from us in Richmond, southwest London, and for a while she had a job as a cleaner at the halls of residence of what she called the “American college“. Sometimes when I saw her she would give me things she’d perhaps been given by the students or, more likely, they’d left behind and would otherwise have gone into the rubbish. One gift I remember was the “pyramids” poster from inside the original Dark Side of the Moon album, which I thus saw many years before I actually heard the record. I may be wrong about the way “Ahlan” fits into this picture; I didn’t know then what it meant or represented, and Google now turns up a mass of results, evidently because “ahlan” translates as a common welcome/greeting in Arabic and hence it’s popular as a business or service name. Given the plane motif however I’m going to assume the Ahlan of the badge is this personal concierge service at Dubai International Airport. The student connection therefore seems unlikely on the face of it, but the students at the “American college”, housed in a magnificent building which I don’t recall ever seeing in years of living in the area, were probably not hard up for a few bob, and some would have come from the UAE and other exotic international destinations.