[We'd love a decent translation of this note-- if there are any Arabic speakers out there, hit us up at with a translation! -- Eds]
FOUND by Emma in St. Fergus, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
I found this on the beach while I was walking my dogs. I have no idea as to what it says as I cannot read Arabic. When I found the letter it was wrapped up in a tiny blue material pounch held together by one safety pin. My guess is that it is a love letter from a woman as the paper is covered in a very strong smelling perfume.
[Updates! ... Reader Matt C. talked to a few Arabic-speaking friends in the UK and offers two perspectives:
“My arabic isn’t that great to translate but this is verses from the Qor’an. People believe that writing verses from the Qor’an and carrying them around keeps them safe. The reason it smelled of perfume is that people also douse these in various perfumes. The text of the Qor’an itself is considered holy and not taking care of it (the text itself) is a form of blasphemy. So whoever wrote this and lost it, according to their own beliefs, has sinned. The very end of the letter though, contains a bunch of symbols written in a way I have never seen before, so that part is very interesting.”
“It’s definitely from the Qor’an, though. It’s from a verse called “Sorat Yaseen”. The verse (or surah) is mainly talking about the oneness of God. Anyway, it’s plausible that losing this would be considered a blasphemy, but that’s mainly an assumption well– Islam is so diverse that different people see it differently. Anyway it doesn’t matter if the person thought that they sinned or whatever. In my books they haven’t. Judging from the handwriting I don’t think this person has been writing Arabic for very long. Someone young probably. yay :)”