I noticed in a recent article, Wednesday Journal incorrectly spelled my name, calling me “Ali Al Safar.” I know my name is a little difficult to spell and pronounce, but notwithstanding the difficulties, for the last several years the Journal has done an excellent job spelling my name correctly. Fortunately, your spelling of my name was close enough to the actual spelling of my name that I doubt your readers will think Oak Park has a new township assessor.

Your spelling of my name reminded me of a funny story about my father. His name is Zuhair Mehdi ElSaffar, but when he came to the United States and became a landlord, he thought his name was too difficult for tenants and vendors to deal with, and he grew tired of spelling it all the time. So, when doing business he took on the name “Al Safer,” and went so far as to name his property management company “Safer Management.” Dad liked using this name because he found that it was simple for people to spell and pronounce. But I always found it strange hearing people refer to my Iraqi-born father as “Al.”

Anyway, the spelling of my name in the article is akin to Al Safer, and reminded me of my Dad’s old business name. Although I appreciate the trip down memory lane, for future reference, my name should be spelled “Ali ElSaffar.”

Other than the spelling issue, I thought the article was very good!
Ali ElSaffar
Oak Park Township assessor

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