Photograph — Odyssey

Yesterday, Thursday 16 March 2017, President Donald Trump welcomed Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the White House. It was another addition to Trumps growing list of foreign visitors after Shinzo Abbe, Justin Trudeau, Theresa May, and Benjamin Netanyahu, but that’s not the point of this piece. German chancellor Angela Merkel will be the latest addition with a visit to the White House billed for today, but also, that’s not the point of this story.

What’s the point? Well, in a bid to impress, President Trump, in welcoming Kenny yesterday, quoted what he said was one of his favourite Irish proverbs. But the point is … what he quoted was neither Irish nor even a proverb, to begin with.

“As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb … And this is a good one. This is one I like, I’ve heard it for many many years, and I love it,” Trump said. He quoted, “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those who have stuck by you.”

The replies came swiftly:

But thank goodness for Google and the likes, and for people who actually take out time to carry out actual research, it was discovered by Twitter users that President Trumps ‘favourite proverb’ is part of a poem. A poem written by a Nigerian poet, Albashir Adam Alhassan.

As a few people pointed out once the source of Trump’s inspiration was discovered, it would be quite ironic if the poet Albashir A. Alhassan might be Muslim. But whether or not he is, this Nigerian is certainly due some royalty payments. Just kidding.


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