What is the origin of the name #al-Qaida? | Books | The Guardian
In October last year, an item appeared on an authoritative Russian studies website that soon had the science-fiction community buzzing with speculative excitement. It asserted that #Isaac_Asimov's 1951 classic Foundation was translated into Arabic under the title “al-Qaida”. And it seemed to have the evidence to back up its claims.
The Arabic word qaida - ordinarily meaning “base” or “foundation” - is also used for “groundwork” and “basis”. It is employed in the sense of a military or naval base, and for chemical formulae and geometry: the base of a pyramid, for example. Lane, the best Arab-English lexicon, gives these senses: foundation, basis of a house; the supporting columns or poles of a structure; the lower parts of clouds extending across a horizon; a universal or general rule or canon. With the coming of the computer age, it has gained the further meaning of “database”: qaida ma’lumat (information base).