If there’s one thing all Iranians (er, I mean Persians) hate, it is being lumped together with Arabs. Why? For one, we aren’t Arab. And for another, our country and civilization was taken over by the Arab (Muslim) hordes and our culture decimated in an attempt to totally erase it.
For more than a thousand years we fought to remain a distinct society while being controlled by a much larger Arab civilization. Persians are very crafty. We use every conceivable tool. For example, we rejected an imposed language by turning the words to mean the opposite. Mozakhraf in Arabic means, beautiful, guilded, ornate. In Persian it means garbage, trivial, of no value.
Our heroes to this day are people who fought against the invading Arab army. My namesake was one such hero. It says a lot about our collective character that to this day, Babak is the most common Persian name for boys - and not Mohammad.
So for the love of all that is holy, please don’t call a Persian an Arab.
Oh, and happy Canada day !!
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