Diacritical marks are not used in the transliteration of words from Arabic. This was done on the reasoning that readers unfamiliar with Arabic would find them cumbersome whereas those with a knowledge of Arabic would not require them to recognize the words in question. The symbol is used to represent the Arabic letter ʿayn. The symbol ʾ is used for the letter hamza.
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Publication information: Book title: The Black Death in Egypt and England: A Comparative Study. Contributors: Stuart J. Borsch - Author. Publisher: University of Texas Press. Place of publication: Austin, TX. Publication year: 2005. Page number: ix.
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