Sophia's Peace Work

Saturday, November 06, 2010

There was a recent story on the Mesopotamian marshlands done on PBS (The Public Broadcast System of the U.S.) ... I noticed a comment on the story from an Iranian gentlemen named Parviz, that I just had to respond to. I've repeated these two exchanges below:

parviz said:
November 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm
this is wonderful to save and vivid that lands i am a Persian from south of Iran

can you Please tell me where is Arabian Gulf is? and when it existed? why do you change the name of Persian Gulf in your Articles. there was not ,is not ,and will not be such a fake name for our Persian Gulf please correct yourself ( see the maps ) or we might thought you got some money from rich Arab Shaikhs to use a FAKE Name Persian Gulf is where that all those water finally end in thanks
and hope one day see that Place become as it was for thousands of year

My response:
This issue of whether to call it the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf always gets people riled up. Remember what Juliet said:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

I suggest you do a little search on wikipedia if you want to hear the whole tired story on what this area is called ... essentially Arabs, particularly Iraqis, perfer to call the area the Arabian Gulf and people working in Arab countries get a similar lecture to Parviz's if they use the term "Persian Gulf." I guess you just can't win. I myself, who work in the Middle East have sometimes written it the "Persian/Arabian Gulf" ... this is done in a similar vein to what may be the more politically correct term "Isreal/Palestine."

Personally, I find these debates all rather silly ... far more pressing are the many problems of the Gulf including the environmental devastations of wars, oil and industrial development, municipal pollution, and overfishing that this body of water (call it what you will) has faced. This rose doesn't smell so sweet. I suggest we focus more on that.


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