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What’s in a name?

Strolling along Tower Road, Sliema, I noticed a blue plaque on the front wall of an office, bearing the letters “AUM”. No description, just the initials “AUM”. Cleaners were at work, so I peeked in through the door and saw rows of desks and chairs, just like a classroom.

Out of curiosity, I googled “AUM”, the way one does, and found “AUM Shinrikyo”, a Japanese doomsday cult, which seemed unlikely. Then “AUM Mantra meditating music,” equally unlikely. The next Google revelation was “AUM – Assets Under Management in Panama,” and I gulped, but then I saw the “AUM - Auburn University at Montgomery,” so yes, it was a classroom, but surely not Auburn. Then a bell rang clear: “AUM” – of course! I had stumbled on an embryo campus of the long-awaited AUM, the American University of Malta.

Sliema – the perfect place to open a language school: start small, one of a multitude of such schools, keep a low profile, gradually accumulate government accreditation and property. Then, once you have taken over the rest of Malta, ODZs and all, and are big, bold and accepted, then you put all your Assets Under Management in Panama.

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