December 6, 2007

“States of the Arabian Gulf” or “Arabian States of the Gulf”... That’s the question!

The cultural heritage of Persia, both before Islam (as an Empire) and after it (as an important actor in the Golden Age of Islam), means a lot to Iranians. Indeed, that is a part of their (i.e. our) ego... and a source of conflict, as well.

In the context of philosophy of language, professors usually emphasize on the semantic value of the names. In that way, ‘name’ is just a sign used to refer to an object. But psychologists’ rule of thumb is this: The more important the (role of the) object (in the life of the person), the stronger the (psychological) effect of its name.

A person (usually) inherits his father’s family name. Sometimes it happens that Mr. X is eager to change his family name to Mr. Y. If Y is not taken yet, Mr. X may freely take it here in Iran. But if there is another family using Y as their family name, Mr. X should get their permission (from the oldest person of that family) to be able to legally change his family name to Y. This example might show how we (as Iranians) are bonded over names which belong to us.

‘Persian Gulf’ might be just a name which locates a place on the map, but it means part of the heritage of Persian Empire to Iranians. Therefore it is a very sensitive issue, here in Iran... and a source of conflict, as well. It was not a long time ago when National Geographic used ‘Arabian Gulf’ for this piece of water, and Iranians got united, at least in the cyber world, to change the mind of that magazine’s directors. This name, Persian Gulf, has turned into a national symbol of Iranians. Many Iranians believe that there are some hands which try to change this name... and whoever tries to change this name or supports any other name, is supposed to be betraying Iranians’ culture and history.

Few days ago, President Ahmadinejad participated in a meeting with some Arab leaders. What made this event a very important one for Iranians was a board in the meeting’s room, on which an Arabic sentence was written: “مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربيه”. At the early moments of the event, many people were misinformed that this sentence meant “Cooperation council of the states of Arabian Gulf”, and a very strong wave of criticism surrounded Ahmadinejad and his administration. Many people said that he shouldn’t participate in the meeting, and even some of his enemies accused him of neglecting Iranians national symbols and pride. But, after a while, the true translation of that sentence was published, which calmed people: “Cooperation council of Arab states of the Gulf”. ‘Persian Gulf’ is still untouched or at least less-touched, many believe.

Ahmadinejad was lucky, very lucky. Participating in a meeting bearing ‘Arabian Gulf’ name was more than enough for many Iranians to run several rounds of demonstrations against him. But, if the true name of the meeting was ‘Arabian Gulf’, could he avoid participating in it? I don’t think so. I even doubt if he could feel the danger.


Esfandiar Khodaee said...

8Thank you for your link
Ok I will correct my profile
I am 33 years old in Dorood Lorestan

مسیح said...

بسم الله
آقا ایمیلتون نرسید همینجا درج نمودیم:
بسم الله؛
چند تا وبلاگ از مسلمونای خارج از ایرانه، فعلا ببینید تا بعدن در موردش صحبت کنیم.
از فلسطین(هر روز دوتا پست می زنه):

وبلاگ های فلسطینی:

از عمان:

از اخوان المسلمین (به عربی):

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