The traditional way of reading Chinese is from the right to the left. It gets a bit complicated when there are more characters, and we have to read from the right downwards until the last character, then up again to the next character of the top line and read downwards. To the uninitiated, the order is as follows (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) :
Even till today, since the change from 'right to left' to 'left to right' many years ago, there are signboards which show the old-fashioned way. Anyway, I didn't know Arabic is read like the old Chinese way...
A disappointed sales manager of Coca-Cola returned from his assignment to Saudi Arabia.
A friend asked, "Why weren't you successful with the Saudis?"
The sales manager explained, "When I got posted, I was very confident that I would make a good sales pitch. But I had a problem. I didn't know how to speak Arabic. So I planned to convey the message through three posters."
First poster : A man lying in the hot desert sand totally exhausted and fainted.
Second poster : The man is drinking Coca-Cola.
Third poster : Our man is now totally refreshed.
And then these posters were pasted all over the place.
"Terrific! That should have worked!" said the friend.
"The hell it should have!" said the sales manager.
"No one told me they read from right to left!"
The following poster shows a reversal of meaning when changing from top to bottom, to bottom to top, meaningfully...