B-Roll: Arab

B-Roll: Arab
: I’ve added new weblogs, mostly by Iranians, under B-Roll: Arab (on the right). I’m not sure what the proper description is: Arab, Persian… In any case, there are lots of interesting English-language blogs from that part of the world. Expect more.

: Bless the world of weblogs. Moments after putting up this post, I got advice to change to B-Roll: Persian. Done.

: Now I’m already in a MidEast PC problem. Some say Persian is too limiting. I would like to be able to include weblogs from anywhere in that neighborhood. Should it be B-Roll: Mideast?

  • They call themselves Iranians.
    They are NOT Arabs, nor are all of them of ancient Persian descent. There are some tribal distinctions in the outlying areas, but not really the governing factor.
    Hope this helps!

  • button

    There are several major tribal groups in the region. But the important thing is: don’t call Turks or Iranians Arabs. If you do, it’s considered a major faux pas. The Moroccans are mainly Berber. They are a fiercely independent people who don’t appreciate Arab efforts to bully them. It would not be tactful to describe them as Arabs either. There really is no “Mideast.” There used to be two terms for it: The Levant and the Maghreb. Arabia is sort of separate or you could say it’s to the east of the Levant, but is often referenced by the Persian Gulf. There are two main groups of Arabs: the southerners and the northerners, as in the southern caravan trail. This is somewhat like the informal grouping of European Jews into Litvaks and Galitzianos. Got that all? Now you’re all caught up and up to speed.

  • Since we are stuck with a system of description of geographical areas being delineated by governmental boundaries, the simplest way out is to stick with those country names. The political battles occur mostly within them; the military battles tend to migrate beyond the borders. Either way, using those lines drawn on maps is still the best starting point we have.

  • dazed

    Another possibility – in a more indefinite fashion – how about “B-Roll: Gulf”? The short-name geography is obvious to most of us, and ducks the issue of whether it’s the Persian Gulf (from Iran) or the Arabian Gulf (the other neighbors).

  • Nima Arian

    It’s very funny Jeff. It’s now one complete week that you are persuing Motallebi’s story and link to Iranians, but you still don’t even know what language they speak (or if they speak ANY language at all!). Anyway, you’re not to be blamed, I know it’s damn confusing for you in the West to distinguish Persians, Arabs, and Turks (because they’re are all muslims and they live in the same region). I remember I thought the only foreign country in the world is Britain and the only foreign language is English when I was 6-8 years old!
    To Dazed…
    I’m really dazed how you’re still wondering what the name of the sea located in the middle east is. Go take a look at an authentic atlas and you’re question will be answered immediately. There’s no Arab Gulf on earth, people. It’s PERSIAN Gulf. It has been called Persian Gulf for more than 2000 years and it will remain Persian Gulf forever; and for Iranians, “The Gulf” is as infuriating as “The Arab Gulf”. The biggest share of the Persian Gulf belongs to Iran, so this is OUR OWN gulf.
    To MommaBear and Button…
    Just thank you.

  • Nima Arian

    And let me add this: It’s very embarassing that a government cannot (or does not want to) make at least the name of its official language to other people in the world. It’s all our own fault to let a theocratic government loot our everything, but we won’t let it keep rulling our country. We will change everything and we are not shy to say, we DO need your help.

  • Nima:
    Thanks for the guidance. I’m not trying to figure out the language, just a description of the region (but then, even that is a subject of disagreement!). I want to be able to include not just Iranian blogs but blogs from other countries in the region as they start and I find them.

  • amir

    It’s like me having a section “Western weblogs”. American, Irish, Italian, French, what’s the difference anyway? well, I’m generalizing here obviously.
    But seriously, MiddleEast is to general, I mean besides geography there is nothing else that is common in all middle easterns, right? I mean it’s not like midwest that you can say “well, they’re all hicks after all”. Do I make a point?:)

  • button

    But Amir, we have nothing else to call the area between Europe and Asia (sometimes callled the ‘Far East’). Middle East is all we have, so that’s what it is.

  • Arya

    I guess the best blogs to add side by side with Persian blogs are Kurdish and Tajik blogs. Both Kurds and Tajiks are very very close to Iranians in terms of race, language and culture.