Name of “Persian Gulf” Shining at the Heart of Dubai

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Interview with Ja'far Moradi Shahdadi
Persian Gulf Writer & Researcher

Ja'far Moradi Shahdadi is a researcher from Hormuzgan Province who came up with the idea of designating a day in the Iranian calendar as the national day of Persian Gulf. He says during his stay in the Emirate of Dubai he has seen and collected a remarkable corpus of documents attesting to the fact that “Persian Gulf” is the rightful name of this waterway, which is a noteworthy effort. Most nations in the world, especially their historians and researchers, have already recognized Persian Gulf as the rightful name of this geographical expanse of water and many of them use that name in their written works. Halford Mackinder, the British geographer, described Persian Gulf and other geographical regions surrounding it as the “heartland” of the world. That powerful expression put renewed emphasis on the value and importance of the Persian Gulf in the world, which has been unfortunately a regular target of the covetous efforts of the United States and the UK. Nonetheless, it is quite impossible to eliminate an ancient name which belongs to a country whose civilizational backdrop and historical presence in the region is 62 times longer than certain regional countries, including the United Arab Emirates, and which has had clear boundaries at all times. Unfortunately, the distortion of the name of Persian Gulf is currently underway at a higher pace compared to the past by foreign media, especially the mass media operating in 22 Arab countries of the region. Let’s hope that some countries that endeavor to distort the name of Persian Gulf would come to their senses and realize that documents and other international instruments still exist in their museums, libraries and governmental departments which carry the radiant name of Persian Gulf and there is no doubt that the fate of Makran Sea will never befall Persian Gulf again.

The above paragraph is among the most important remarks of Ja'far Moradi Shahdadi, a researcher from Hormuzgan Province, which has been regularly repeated in his articles, notes, and interviews during past years. Ja'far Moradi Shahdadi, Persian Gulf writer and researcher, has carried out extensive studies and research work in the museums and libraries of the United Arab Emirates, as a result of which he has found new documents to prove the rightfulness of Persian Gulf. The value and credit of his work is by no means deniable. In the following interview with this Iranian historian, Iran's Fars News Agency has asked him about how he succeeded to get his hands on such important documents.

Q: They say you have got your hands on new documents in an Arab country which are related to the name of Persian Gulf. Is that true?

A: Yes, this is absolutely true. There are new documents and papers with regard to the rightfulness of the name of Persian Gulf in a country with claims [to Persian Gulf islands] that uses a fake name for it. Using these documents will help us to not only document the name of Persian Gulf, but also enlighten other nations about the historical background of the name of Persian Gulf. Of course, we do not need to prove this in Iran, but it is the littoral Arab countries of Persian Gulf, as well as certain Western institutes and organizations such as Google, Wikipedia, and the National Geographic Society which should be provided with these documents.

Q: What documents are there that you think can be used as a means of increasing awareness about the name of Persian Gulf among those with claims or those trying to distort this name, including the Arab and Western institutes and encyclopedias?

A: The documents I am talking about include a totally historical map from a European surveyor along with five written works from a famous Arab writer called Mohammad Morsy Abdullah. All of these instances are documented and, most probably, they will be soon made available to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well.

Q: Tell us more about that historical map.

A: Well, the map I am talking about is installed at the Dubai Museum of Anthropology. It is a totally historical map which has been drawn by a Finnish globetrotter and geographer called Abraham Ortelius in 1570. In this map, Persian Gulf has been designated as Sinus Persicus, which on this map, it has been written as Sinvs Persicvs.

Q: Has this European geographer and surveyor shown specific areas on his map?

A: In general, this map shows the land of Persia (the present-day Iran) as well as the Arabian Peninsula. In this map, even the southern hinterland of Persian Gulf has been shown as part of the territory of Iran and this can be clearly seen in pictures which have been taken of this map. However, the main issue which can be used as a trump card by us, Iranians, is that there is a map [showing the name of Persian Gulf] which has been drawn about 443 years ago by a cartographer and geographer who is known by many people as the innovator of modern geographical atlases. More importantly, this old map is currently being held at a museum in a country which has been trying a thousand times per day to distort the name of Persian Gulf in its websites, as well as in written sources and international correspondence.

Q: Is the map that you talked about open to the public? Under what conditions it is being kept?

A: Yes. The historical map drawn by Ortelius exists in that museum like other historical objects and is open to public viewing. Of course, it is being protected from various angles by a camera surveillance system.

The regretful point, however, is inattention of the Iranian tourists to such historical relics and map. On the contrary, tourists coming from other parts of the world, including the European and African tourists, attach great importance to such valuable objects and all of them pay a visit to such maps. Unfortunately, I saw Iranians at the museum, who were unaware of the valuable historical names that have been inscribed on this precious map which attest to the rightfulness of the names of Persian Gulf and Central Asia. They carelessly just passed by these maps without paying any attention to them.

Q: Please tell us about other documents.

A: As I said before, there are five written works about the history of the United Arab Emirates and the country’s relations with its neighbors, which are being kept at the public library of Dubai. They have been written by the famous Arab writer Mohammad Morsy Abdullah, on the basis of documents that exist at the British Foreign Office. Of course, the name of Persian Gulf has been mentioned in many places in those books.

Q: What is the content of those books and what effect they can have on efforts made to prove the rightfulness of the name of Persian Gulf?

A: Before I forget about it, I must say that between 1981 and 1997, a number of these books have been published by the Center for Arab Studies in London and one of them has been also published by Dar al-Qalam Press in Kuwait.

The contents of these books, some of which are currently being kept at the public library of Dubai, are mostly about the history of the United Arab Emirates and its relations with the neighboring countries. The important point, however, is that in addition to the name of Persian Gulf, the names of most Iranian ports and islands have been also mentioned there. It is remarkable that such books are among few written sources on the history of the United Arab Emirates where Arab researchers and scholars can find the name of Persian Gulf and become aware of the illogical and unprofessional steps taken by their governments to distort and fake geographical names which have their roots deep in history.

Q: Given the existing laws in the United Arab Emirates, can researchers from other nationalities have direct access to such books?

A: It may be somehow difficult for people who are not members of this library to have direct access to its books, especially if they happen to be Iranians. As for how I managed to get access to few sources on the Persian Gulf out of thousands of written works which are being kept at this library, I must say that if it were not for honest cooperation from a few citizens of the United Arab Emirates, who were of Iranian origin, perhaps it would have been also difficult for me to get access to them.

Q: Since you have played a role in designating a day in the Persian calendar as the national day of Persian Gulf, to what extent that background encouraged you to get your hands on such important documents?

A: Of course, that background was not ineffective, but for anybody who has studied the history of Iran, has written articles and notes on the issue of Persian Gulf, and has even dedicated his academic thesis to this issue, any kind of research on Persian Gulf will be not only a field of interest, but also an indispensable part of his/her life. By the way, I have to note that the role played by certain academics at the history departments of the Islamic Azad University branch of Darab and the Persian Gulf University of Bushehr in promoting this research should be also recognized.

Q: What steps do you propose to be taken to safeguard the name of Persian Gulf?

A: I have many things in mind to propose in this regard. However, perhaps the most important of them is consolidated and accurate planning to present relevant maps, documents and historical texts on Persian Gulf during creditable international conferences, festivals, and exhibitions because this is an essential step to be taken in this regard. There is no person or ethnic group in Iran that has a problem with the name of Persian Gulf. Therefore, we must focus our attention on such activities which can be carried out beyond the Iranian borders.

Another proposal I have in mind is to publish a transregional newspaper called “Persian Gulf” by the private sector. This newspaper should be published simultaneously in all important countries of the world, including the Middle Eastern states.

My third proposal, which I have frequently put forth in my articles and perhaps there are other people who agree with me, is to introduce an international Persian Gulf award. If such an award succeeded to gain public support, perhaps one day it could stand on an equal footing with the Nobel and Oscar awards.

Key Words: Persian Gulf, Dubai, Iran, United Arab Emirates, New Documents, Historical Map, Moradi Shahdadi

Source: Fars News Agency
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم