To: International Media
February 19, 2008
Dear Administrators of Google Earth,
We, the undersigned, through this letter, protest your irresponsible, unscientific actions, and demand an immediate and unconditional deletion of “Arabian Gulf” from Google Earth.
Arbitrarily designating the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf is an irresponsible violation of all historical and International standards and would undermine the integrity of Google Earth.
For the records, the name Persia has always been used to describe the nation of Iran, its people, and its ancient empires since 600 BC. It is derived from the ancient Greek name for Iran's maritime province, called Fars or Pars in modern Persian, Pars in Middle Persian and Pârsa in Old Persian, a word meaning "above reproach.” Persis is the Hellenized form of Pars, and through the Latinized word Persia, the other European nations came to use this word for the region. This area was the core of the original Persian Empire.
Since ancient times almost all foreigners referred to the entire country as Persia until March 21, 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asked the international community to call the country Iran — a name that the people of Persia, themselves, used to refer to their country since the Sassanian period. "Iran" means "Land of Aryans". In 1959 some Persian scholars protested to the government that the name change had separated the country from its ancient civilization. Therefore, the late King Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi announced that both Persia and Iran can be used in Western languages.
Without disparaging the Arabs, Iranians are proud of their non-Arab heritage and strongly resent any attempt at denigrating or changing any aspect of their Iranian heritage. And the Persian Gulf occupies a pivotal place in the Iranian history and culture. Furthermore, Iran abuts the Persian Gulf for 2,000 Km, while about a dozen recently-created Arab Sheikhdoms and emirates border the Gulf on the other side.
The historical and geographical name of the Persian Gulf has been endorsed and clarified by the United Nations on many occasions and is in use by the UN, its member states, and all other international agencies worldwide. The last UN Directive confirming the name of the Persian Gulf was (reference ST/CS/SER.A/29/Add.2) on August, 18th 1994.
The worldwide Iranian people are deeply affronted by this arrogant designation of “The Arabian Gulf.” We demand, in the strongest possible terms, that you take immediate steps to restore the rightful name of the Persian Gulf to the waterway on Google Earth and delete any other arbitrary name. We hope that this notice would suffice and obviates the need for litigation.
I'm thinking some people have too much time on their hands.
Personally, I think the energies expended to create an online petition that will (in most likelihood) be completely ignored by Google would be better spent addressing Iran's more important issues. Personally (agan), I find it hard to believe that the "worldwide Iranian people are deeply affronted by this arrogant designation" because I have a feeling they've much more important issues on their plates. I could be wrong...
As an aside, online petitions are looked upon as a means for people to feel good about themselves by signing such petitions but have little, if any, effect on the issues they address. At most, such as Amnesty International's Irrepressible Pledge, they will bring about a bit more public awareness. Because Amnesty International is a global organization, awareness will be raised but the signatures (again, in most likelihood) will not be accepted. (Sorry Mim!) The online/e-mail petition participant's "signatures", e-mail addresses and other information can not be verified as belonging to real people. One good hacker (or even a 10 year old) can create bogus names, reroute IPs, steal e-mail addresses and basically create a whole population that doesn't exist yet all have signed an online petition.
If someone really wants to make a statement about an injustice, pick up a real pen, a real piece of paper, write a real letter, sign it with a real signature and include a real return address. Paper still wields a much greater sword than any online diatribe prone to tampering.
I never knew that Persian Gulf has been designated as Arabian Gulf in Google Earth.
I think some people need to develop a thicker skin and not think that everything that they disagree with is a personal affront to them.
How about asking nicely for something instead of arrogantly demanding all the time? But apparently the peace loving Persians making these demands can't play well with others and insist on throwing their toys out the pram. Grow up, and learn how to live and negotiate in a civilized manner rather than thumping your chests like apes.
Learn how to be polite, and more people might agree with your own assessment of yourselves. Or you could just declare a jihad and kill everyone that looks at you wrong. Or is that what the new enrichment centrifuges are for?
It's also very odd how certain groups of people think the entire world is going to understand/care about/get up in arms over what's happening to them.
Any of you going to join the outrage that the English letters in a store sign were the same size as the French letters? It makes front-page news here. Sincerely.
The International media's going to have a great, big yawn, frankly.
That is an interesting point Kombizz.
It is actually listed as the Persian Gulf on the map in my Lonely Planet book of Iran.
Since it is equally close to Iran and Saudi Arabia morally speaking who should claim the right to name it? I dont have an opinion about who should name it but I certainly think for the sake of peace it should be given a neutal name. Calling it the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf just causes a conflict that cant be resolved.
It is an interesting topic but I think I will discuss it futher someplace else.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 10, 2008, at 1:25 AM by Mel. ]
We should call it Mongolian Gulf
Or Non-Denominational, Gender-Neutral, Politically Correct, Non-Offensive Body of Water.