Sunday, January 04, 2004

I read in Emrooz’s Website that Pahlavi Street in Cairo is being changed to Mossadeq Street. I don’t know exactly where the former Shah is buried, but I am assuming it isn’t on Pahlavi Street proper. It would be cool if he were, however, because there would be lots to say if the last Pahlavi Shah’s final resting place was on a street named Mossadeq.

You’ll notice soon enough that I have a near obsession with issues of names and naming. Last year in a town nearby members of a Hindu Temple on Persian Street decided to take a case to the City to have the Street’s name changed. I don’t know exactly how they made their case, but I think it was initiated by some Hindutva types who didn’t want to be associated with anything Persian, which in Indian history is in turn associated with the Islamic rule of the Mughal Empire in the subcontinent. It was great to see the Iranian community—many of whom had opted for the label “Persian” as opposed to “Iranian” precisely because they wanted to associate themselves with some kind of pre-Islamic Persian glory—have to scramble in this case. To their credit, they managed to raise a ruckus and defeat the proposal. One of these days I’ll have to look into getting the transcripts of the City Council hearings on this case.