Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Not for my Persian readers..

Okay, I know most of Iranian readers would get really tiered reading these lines, since it is a very old story, but what can you do when people-non Iranians- see you in class and ask you "what is the difference between Iran and Iraq?" she is a political science major as well and I didn't have time to explain at the spot so I told her to read my Blog:
Iran is a country which was established 2500 years ago, 600 B.C to be exact. The first famous dynasty was established by Cyrus the great and he and his successors expanded the Iranian empire from India in east to today's Israel/Palestine territory. People in Iran mainly spoke Persian and they still do, for that reason Iran in English was called Persia till 1920, then Iran's Government changed it to "Iran" in UN names to be more inclusive, since more than 30%-40% of Iranians do speak other languages on top of Persian, Like the Kurdish in the west, or Turkish in the north west and some Arabic which is spoken people in the south. The rest of middle east including %80 of Iraq, people speak Arabic and they would be Arabs. Yes more than 90% of the population of both Iran and Arab countries are Muslim, But Iranian Muslims are from a fundamentally different fraction or school of thought called Shia-which you hear these days on news about, Shias in south Iraq- and the rest of them are Sunnis which are about 90% of the population of the Muslim World. The 10% Shias are concentrated in Iran(60 million), south of Iraq and some in Pakistan. Therefore Iranians have their language-Persian-, their religion is nothing like the Sunnis-although it is Islam- and their calendar and ceremonies-religious and national- are different. Let alone the political culture and history that is certainly very distinguished. More questions? Let me know...