The Difference Between Persians and Arabs

Mormon Heretic inter-faith, international, race, religion 74 Comments

This is a post from my blog I did previously, with some updates.   I will confess that I love learning about the Middle East.  I love learning more about Jews, Muslims, Arabs, etc.  I have so much to learn.

I’m a grad student working on some genetic studies (one of my many jobs).  As part of the genetic study we are doing, we have our study participants tell us their race.  In medical studies, different treatments can affect different races quite dramatically.

I’m designing a database to capture the information for the study.  Many people don’t identify as just one race.  Some are multi-racial, and even put percentages on their forms, such as 50% white, 25% hispanic, 25% black.  So, I was asking questions about how to properly capture the data.

I learned that there are 5 basic races:  White (Caucausian), Black, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander.  As I have discussed on this blog before, genetic studies show that Native Americans are related to Asian peoples.  Simon Southerton seems to have shown that peoples migrated across the Bering Strait, and settled the americas.  But according to one of the genetic specialists (I’ll call her Ann) in my office, there is still a big enough difference between Native Americans to separate them from Asians.  Same goes for Pacific Islanders.

It seems that many people often refer to the Jewish race, or the Arab race.  Some of you may be familiar with the “Cohen” gene, which is a distinguishing gene among people of Jewish descent.  So I asked Ann what race Jews were, and she said “Caucasian.”  She said there is some interesting distinguishing characteristics of Jews, but not so much to call them a separate race.  I asked about Arabs?  “Caucasian.”  Ok, what about people from India?  “Caucasian.”  This one really surprised me (as if the others ones didn’t.)  I would have suspected India Indians to be Asian, but that is wrong.

Hispanic is the truly confusing one, because there are black hispanics, and white hispanics.  If a person is a black hispanic, genetically they are black.  Otherwise, they are Caucasian.

I was truly intrigued to learn all of this.  Then to top it off, I discovered Ann was from Iran.  (She told me it is pronounced ear-ron, not eye-ran, so I will endeavor to pronounce it properly from this point forward.)  Now, I just couldn’t resist asking more questions.

I told her that I had heard that Iranians are not Arabs, and that I never really understood that.  To me, it always seemed like anyone from the Middle East was an Arab.  If Iranians are not Arabs, what are they, and what distinguishes an Arab?

She told me that they refer to themselves as Persians.  I had a college professor who had told me he was Persian, and when I asked him where that was, he said “Iraq.”  So, I asked her if Iraqi’s were also Persians.  She was surprised to hear me tell her than an Iraqi claimed to be Persian, but then decided that it was possible, and then gave me a history lesson.

Persia was once much larger than it is now, and was centered in Iran.  Around 600 AD, the Arabs from Saudi Arabia expanded their kingdom and conquered Persia, converting everyone to Islam.  (Prior to that, the Persian religion was Zoroastrianism.)  Even though the Persians converted to Islam, they never liked the Arab rulers, and a few hundred years later, overthrew them and installed their own kings.

I asked about the differences between Sunni and Shiite (or Shia) Muslims.  Shia Muslims follow a direct lineage through to the prophet Muhammad.  Sunni’s believe that clerics do not have to be genetically related to Muhammad.  The Sunni line is larger than Shia.  Iran is really the only nation primarily Shia.  Iraq and Sadaam Hussein were ruled by the minority Sunni, but it appears that the Shiite majority is taking control of the government, so there could be a 2nd Shiite nation.  Most other Middle Eastern countries are Sunni.  Perhaps Persia is coming back into existence!

Anyway, Ann told me that Iranians hate to be referred to as Arabs, and identify much more with Europeans.  She told me that Afghanis feel the same way.  She said she knew Americans had a hard time telling the difference, but that people in that part of the world can easily tell the difference between a Persian and an Arab.

Ann has been in America for about a year.  Prior to that, she lived in France.  She said she really liked Utah, and culturally, felt that Utah was quite similar to Iran.  She said families are very important in Iran, and very important in Utah.  She said France was much more secular, and the people weren’t as nice.  (I’ve vacationed in France, and didn’t think they were very nice either.)

Anyway, it was a truly fascinating conversation!  I actually knew a little about Zoroastrianism.  For example,  the star at Jesus birth was discovered by the Wise Men from the East.  Some scholars believe that the Wise Men believed in Zoroastrianism.  (I did a post on this at Christmas.)  Ann was surprised to hear this.  I also know that there is a mountain in Saudi Arabia called Jebel-Musa which means Mount of Moses.  Some Muslim and Christian scholars believe that this may be the true location of Mount Sinai, and I think there is some pretty intriguing evidence to support that claim.  (Ann didn’t know that either.)

Some of my commenters gave me the following information.

On 21 March 1935, the ruler of Persia, Reza Shah Pahlavi, issued a decree asking foreign delegates to use the term Iran in formal correspondence. Some believe he made this decision in order to be closer to Germany, by trying to emphasize the Aryan connection between Hitler’s idealistic German Aryan race and the Persian Aryan race, given that “Iran” means “land of Aryans”, at a time where the German empire was slowly becoming an unstoppable superpower. Some others believed he changed “Persia” to “Iran” to present a new and modern face of the country in the world.

It should be noted that the first Aryans originated from India. This was a warlike society that called their best and courageous “Aryan” or nobleman. Therefore it was not so much a race, as class of people. Afterwards, wave and wave of these “Aryans” immigrated to Mesopotamia (Currently Iran) and to IndoEurope. After centuries the name Aryan or Nobleman was exchanged for race. The reason why Iranians don’t look like Germans is (1) because of weather and (2) because Aryans in Iran were integrated to the Arab kingdom in the time of Mohammad and so Aryans and Semites mixed.

Currently, anyone who is a native Arab speaker is considered Arab. Anyone who doesn’t is not.
The Iraon- Persian dialects include Tajik (Tajkistan), Farsi (Iran and parts of Afghanistan), Dari (Afghanistan), and Azerbaijani. The Tajik, Afghan, and Azerbaijani people I know would not identify as Persian–only Iranians would.  It really is that simple.

So, did anyone know the difference between a Persian and an Arab?  Do you have any other interesting things to add?

Comments

comments

Comments 74

  1. As a supplement, I would recommend reading Persepolis and watching the film. It is a truly excellent story, and gives a feel for the history and culture, especially regarding how the Persians fit in with the rest of the Middle East (and with Europe).

    p.s. regarding who’s “nice” and who isn’t “nice” — I don’t think it’s particularly friendly or “nice” to toss in a gratuitous swipe at the French…

    1. The book Perspolis by Marjane Satrapi suggests the Anglo-American backed Coop D’etat against democratically government of Dr Mosaddegh turned the Shah of Iran into a puppet as background for what we have seen. It is true and admitted by British to take the initiative and even “manipulating” the Americans in such a scenario. I do not agree Satrapi because this is an easy “put” to explain what happened. First of all the root of the mess we are dealing with these days, let say radicalism or islamic radicalism goes back to division of India. and Hindu-Muslim war. a vast number of muslim immigrants from India entered Pakistan and these are still called ( Muhajer = migrants ) and majority of Pakistani population. What it has to do with Islamic movements? .. The demography and topography catastrophe it created in the regions and its impact on “middle east and muslims in general”… some thing between 10s of million migration from Indian sub continent to little pakistan which was a quiet and thinly populated with landlords has changed the natural balance including human control of the situation.  A while ago Hajjarian the Iranian reform movement mastermind have said our problem is the thin population. we need more population in Iran. What he means is the overpopulated neighbors and specially Pakistan that creates imbalances politically, sociologically and so on. Musharraf the general president of Pakistan also quoted this matter. the mis-mass-placements of hindus, muslims, jains, buddhists in the region as a background of religious fundamentalism to spread through out the region. I do believe this is prior to picking “coop D’etat” in Iran. The Iranian COOP had many reasons Marjane forgets that Musaddegh him self was circled by technocrat elite one can call “pro American”, these technocrats believed The USA is a republic and their own dream was to transfer Iran from Monarchy to a republic such they welcomed Americans presence in the international politics that they felt naturally reduces the British hegemony.  Musaddegh and his staff actively did not want to pay enough attention to that theirs democracy is a constitutional monarchy and not a republic! despite Shah had been in the golden cage and no interference in politics hence the officials of Musaddegh him self turned him into a puppet by not even using the legal ceremonies which should take place in a constitutional democracy! .. Shah had fled to Baghdad when Musaddegh was prime minister. has any one asked why would a democratically elected prime minister of a constitutional monarchy allow such a thing? isn’t this against its own principles? The leftist groups with their sosial-islamo co partners never give room to investigate and ask such a questions. Americans made a mistake not because they wanted to, because they weren’t as experienced as British regarding the information requiring to be the leader of free world at that time with soviets on the other side. The capital of the free world moved from London to Washington. Americans were told if they did not help the return of Shah the soviets will win in Iran and the border of the communist world will be the Persian Gulf. The soviets are gone and if we mesmerize the time back ,,, once again it would be very difficult to leave Iran full of crises for the soviet expansion. On the other hand, transforming Iran into a very large middle class society before political freedom is not necessarily “ILL-INTENTION” but it all failed and this failure is not only Irans but her best friend that is The united States as well! … There is a question for me why would Jimmie Carter just cut the whole connection between Iran and USA the way he did? President Nixon warned Carter about this and materials are available and how could a president just cut a whole relations with a country that use to be “The best friend” of the United States? .. I think this question should be asked by Americans them selves! Because I do know before Ayatullah Khomeini becomes a pri-madonna of Irans freedom (???) as he chanted under the apple tree in France it was Jimmie Carter who ended the relation with so called “IRAN OF SHAH”. So Clintons administration asked for appology for the COOP that was backed by Americans. this is not good enough! because she asked moron mullas tyrany for apology or Irans people who are bleeding under their sickly terror regime? clinton administration should ask the American people for apology because stupid carter made a stupid choice! Sorry the term “stupid” because I did not find a better definition for Jimmie Carters decision. and exactly this is the reason many Iranians are despaired with Americans! not the COOP!! and the islamic tyrans are earning power on this despair! What is wrong with you Americans? why did you allow your president do what he did to your best friend? … oh, yesss ,, they called IRANs relation with The USA a dream many nations are yearning for! Marjane Satrapi’s book is good but fairly all sides and researches should be om board to discuss what went wrong and why are the “may I say” best friends are so distanced now? what went wrong? and why? should it be a question only for My mind? or also Americans? if the answer is yes? be brave Americans! lets talk about the truth rather than bulling people with political-craps!! AMEN

      1. Well said Kaspian.
        To answer the question you asked, “What is wrong with you Americans? why did you allow your president do what he did to your best friend?”
        Americans do not get to make the daily decisions that responsibility is in the hands of our politicians but then we get to approve or disapprove of their actions on election day.  When Jimmy Carter ran for reelection he lost in a landslide.  Americans view Carter as one of the worst Presidents ever and many still don’t forgive him for his lack of action in Persia and Panama.   
        You also wrote: “be brave Americans! lets talk about the truth rather than bulling people”
        I can tell you with certainty Americans have NO problem with the Persian people.  1.5 million Iranian-Americans live in the U.S. and they are amongst the most highly successful groups in our country.  We wish no harm towards the Iranian people and many of us still hope for a day where your people, your Green Revolution overthrows the government and we can be allies again!  But the leaders currently running your country and taking your country and your people on a collision course with the West.  We do not trust Ahmadinejad nor do we trust the parts of your government that supplies Hezbollah, and Hamas, terrorist organization. with weapons.  We do not want to have to engage in a military conflict but if Ahmadinejad continues to break the non-proliferation treaty, if he continues to ignore the U.N. and he continues to develop nuclear weapons then the U.S. will be left with no choice.  We are doing everything we can to avoid war, but if Ahmadinejad does not stop he is going to drag your country into a military conflict.  I hope this can be avoided and I wish you well my friend!

        1. Thanks for your reply Nick – The USA is a very large term and in detail her role is complicated, vast and important nationally as well as internationally.
          Such, the beauty and good of this outcome, a foundation that started its existence from apposing all kinds of slavery. Such a historical movement which is the main pillar  of The united States certainly meets tons of expectedunexpected dangers
          and consequences. 

          You mentioned the current situation in Iran and its regimes attitude and ambition – this should be discussed in its context.

          Hence, I go back to My sort of question above. Questioning what did really happened with a famous putting media used “Jimmie Carter’s decision”

          I think I need to zoom in this, so the nature of question is more clear.

          1- Iran during her friendship* ( not alliance! ) with The USA was one of the largest middle class society.

          2- The extend of its economy was larger than Spain, Portugal and Greece all 3 together. 

          3- Remember the EXOTIC WOW-SHOW Islamic revolution in the media? Well, it all, it absolutely all happened after Jimmie Carters decision! Even the mullas whom gained power such as Rafsanjani have expressed their “SHOCK”! They still do.
          I say it all goes back to that decision by Jimmie Carter, the rest was media’s thirst of “fear factor buy consumerism” wow so exotic! lol

          4- BBC-Quote: Nixon was the only one whom was aware of the danger regarding the drop of Iran by Americans and even desperately made several phone call to talk directly with Jimmie Carter to warn him not to do what the news told Nixon president Carter was doing.

          – Here My question gets a meaning in the context of that time, how could such a vast country, with so many politicians, with so many search and research institutes, and media and so on, was there only a wise some one whom wanted to warn Jimmie Carter?

          – That is why I stated that Clinton Administration should ask American people for apology not the moron mullas.

          – I do not blame Americans or America just because in 1979 a generation in Iran could not understand modernism but I do have deep deep respect and appreciate the “humane” part of president Nixon.

          Well all of this was during the cold war and regarding current Iran I wasn’t there since the Islamic revolution, this means 30 years and do not know much in depth as one does whom live there and experiences matters.

          that was it

          *The reason I said Friendship and not alliance between Iran and USA has to do with certain cultural or language problems “Iranians” could face during modern times. Alliance translated into Persian probably does not produce a set of meaning as it does for your mind Nick. 

          Amazingly, american media have reflected how warm Americans were received by Iraqi Kurdish folk, they would go around and sleep in their houses, hold their children, talk with ladies and so on. this was a question mark for media analyses. I think it follows the same pattern. Kurds are culturally Iranic and often think of “associations” as friendship rather than : certain terms such as alliance etc.

        2. I gave deeper thoughts to your answer Nick. We are in a spiritual-website. I am not religious but do understand that the benefit of being in a spiritual atmosphere is the language of heart. Though I have commented some thing below but would like to approach your comment from My heart! ( distinct it from conventions conditions, political, cultural, name it! ). I don’t find word to tell you how I feel when I think every one says USA is enemy to Iran, Iran is enemy to USA and, hisss between us, some even seem to enjoy it rather than getting deeper in such matters. I can’t find word to tell you how it feels to see “American-Iranians” are the most successful. I am touched and can’t find any word to explain during these dark years Officially white house sent “new year” salute to Iran’s people. I did think and have my heart with American mothers having their dear ones serving in so many different countries. I do understand how difficult it all is. I am aware of the tears unseenunfelt……
          I understand and agree every single word you said and got My answer too
          Now, this was My person and heart, lets get to pullitics han? hehehe 
          Lets learn from past and understand that those morons are not to be trusted and hope humanity is “SANE” enough not to turn the world into a “HORROR-HAREM” of Mullas. their world and fantasy can not be better than the example one already sees in Iran itself!
          So, as a non religious man I have a golden AMEN to what you have said above!
          ooofff, I said it and it felt good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        3. Your comments are true and need to be discussed. A few things- America liked doing business with the Shah of Iran because this was a political business relationship and not a religious one. When the Shah fled and the Ayatollah came in, he brought very hardline religion with him…Muslim. Jimmy Carter is a very hardline Christian. But the severing of ties had to do with the American hostages held by Achmedinijad and his group for 444 days. Carter was very embarrassed, and powerless to get the hostages home, He would never come to terms with Iran because they had embarrassed him so badly. I know that Americans want to be in relationship with Iran, which is Persia, the cradle of civilization, and also the Holy Land. Thank you for reaching out. Our two countries have much in common, more history than most people think. May we be rejoined as Friend Nations…the Israelis are causing a huge disturbance right now…
          as Always I Am Your Friend, WP

          1. Jimmy Carter was not a “hardline” Christian. He was a moderate Christian. He supports gay marriage, abortion, and prison reform.

      2. I know this is an old post but my OCD is killing me….it’s Coup not coop, so coup d’état. I feel so much better getting that off my chest haha

  2. I knew that Persians were not Arabs. I learned this from Iranian graduate students.

    The French were very kind to me. They did not complain about my Cajan-laced French. In fact, when I explained that my French had been ruined because I had worked with a Cajan, they were fascinated.

    The Germans thought it was funny that I had a Bavaian accent.

    The Italians on the other hand… If you can’t say anything nice…

  3. Hispanic was never a defining racial term. It was coined by the Nixon Administration to lump people from Spanish-speaking nations and Spanish-speaking backgrounds together in a nice bureaucratic pigeonhole.

  4. I think the idea of race as a scientific category rather than a sociological one was a highly debated one. I personally decided to put multiracial on everything, because I feel pretty sure everyone is multiracial.

  5. Thanks once again, Faithful Dissident. Nice post. Chanson beat me to the punch on recommending Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis graphic novels. I think that the Iraq wars have colored Americans’ perceptions of Middle Eastern cultures that have much more variety than the Islamist extremist factions that get all the air time on T.V. Every Iranian person I’ve ever met has been really nice, generally urbane and well-educated (the OB GYN that delivered me into this world was Iranian!).

  6. Yes, my friend from Iran is exceptionally nice. She always says that Americans have a strange view of Iranians. In many ways, Iran is a much more secular country than say Saudi Arabia. Even Tehran is close to the foothills, just as Salt Lake City is, and they have inversion problems too.

  7. It is a scary fact that there are still genetics labs working to identify and categorize “races”. In a couple decades we will look back at our racialized biology pursuits, shake our heads, and wonder what were we thinking?

  8. “Prior to that, she lived in France.”

    That’s probably why she said “ear-ron” since that’s how the French pronounce it. Such is my suspicion, anyway.

    Persian is actually related to English, as they both belong to the Indo-European superfamily of languages.

  9. thisisthe,

    It is a known fact that blacks have a higher death rate in heart attacks, have more problems with SIDS, and women are more likely to suffer fatal heart attacks than males. This is not disputed–it is scientific. Chinese have a high rate of psoriasis.

    The 3 biggest mistakes a statistician can make, is when they do not control for race, age, and gender. False conclusions will result, when one doesn’t take these issues into account. Categorizing by race is not based on some sort of discriminatory bias. We need to know why blacks have a higher rate of SIDS, so that whatever the problem is, it can be solved. For this reason, race is explanatory. Please do not try to insinuate that medical scientists are racist–that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your comment shows a significant lack of understanding of medical science.

    Ben,

    Ann was born, and grew up in Tehran and practiced medicine there. Then she moved to France for 1 year, and has been in America for 2 years. “Ear-ron” is the Farsi way to pronounce the country’s name–it has nothing to do with France. If the French pronounce it correctly, that’s great. Most Americans butcher the name, and I was merely trying to point that out.

  10. So funny this post came out just now. Sunday we had a Noruz (Persian New Year) party at my house. We had about 30 people, consisting of some of my Iranian English as a Second Language students, as well as Iranian converts/investigators to the Church. Let me just say that anyone who hasn’t discovered Persian cooking yet is missing out big time. In my experience Persians are warm, kind, generous, appreciative, very intelligent and educated, and well-mannered. It’s a shame they don’t have the type of government in Iran that their wonderful people deserve.

  11. Yes, Andrew, I didn’t realize that it was the Persian New Year until today when I saw it on the news. I guess luck is on my side! (I’ll have to talk to Ann about it–she didn’t mention a word about it to me today either.)

    1. Its really great! It has a long long story so it’s better for you to ask your Persian friend about it! I mean it’s not easy to describe everything by writing it down!
      .
      And by the way, this article was wonderful!! I really enjoyed reading it! There are a lot of people out there on social media who they black talk about my country and it’s kind of hard for me to explain how different everything is from what they’ve heard, so this was really nice and heartwarming. I appreciate your hard work and help!

  12. My first memories of Iran come from those Mickey Mouse posters people stuck in the rear-windows of their pick-up trucks during the hostage crisis. Not a good way to start off a relationship with an entire people and culture, who deserve the benefit of the doubt, eh?

  13. This is a great post. Am I the only one who LOL’d when I read that Ann said the culture in Iran is similar to the culture in Utah

  14. My landlord (and his wife and child) are from Iran. Those are probably the only Iranian (or Persian) people I’ve met, but if they are any indication, I have to agree fully with Andrew that they are very kind and intelligent.

    In adition to being an engineer at a very large company, my landlord also owns a number of properties. If anything goes wrong, or if I have any request at all about the house, he will drop everything and bend over backwards to make it right. On more than one occasion, such as when I asked if it was OK to change the paint color in the living room, or to cut down a large tree that kept scraping against the house and making eerie noises at night, his reply was “Sure, I just want you and your family to be happy.” At New Years, I found a greeting card in my mailbox from him with a $50 prepaid visa card in it.

  15. The whole concept of race is a sham. People invented to make themselves feel better about themslevs by taking credit for other people’s achievements; “My people built the pyriamids”.
    As for Arabs and Persians. Being Arab is like being Hispanic. If you speak Arabic then you are an Arab.

  16. Pedro,

    If race is a sham, can you explain why blacks are more likely to die of a heart attack than whites? Why are whites more likely to develop skin cancer than blacks?

    1. A black person more likely dying from heart attack than a white person is no different from my family being more likely to inherit red hair or arthritis than other families. It is all in the lineage, baby. People with European looks can carry the sickle cell trait when it is passed on to them from African ancestors because of genetics. European people can have sickle cell. Race is not a scientific term, it is a political one. We are all the same sub species (homo sapien sapien), there is nothing below that to divide us by except family lineages.

  17. I don’t have much to add, but let’s just explain that the term Persian is used for two purposes. The first one is the language, and the second one is the race (or nationality). Persian language (which is locally called “Farsi” or “Parsi” in older texts) in the official language in Iran and some areas of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. However, Persian as a race or nationality is equivalent to Iranian nowadays. So people from Afghanistan are called Afghan, or people from Tajikistan are called Tajik, although they may speak Persian (Farsi).

    Both the language and the race are influenced by Arabs after Islam. The Persian alphabet changed after Arabs invaded Iran 1400 years ago and lots of Arabic words entered the language. Today the relation between Arabic and Persian languages is like the relation between English and French. Almost the same alphabet, and a lot of words in common. But the grammar, verbs and pronunciation are totally different, so they do not understand each other at all! The race also influenced by Arabs as a result of war and also proximity of Iran and Arab countries around Persian Gulf. Even some people in southern part of Iran speak Arabic and dress like Arabs.

    There is another point here too. Though Persian and Iranian are considered having the same meaning, it’s not always the case! There are people who speak different language as their local race/tribe/language in Iran (like Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Luri, etc) These people have no doubt that they are Iranian, but if you call them Persian, they may say “Hey, I’m not Persian, I’m Armenian!” . I had this conversation with a guy at college, which I think is the result of equivocal meaning of term Persian as a language and a race/nationality.

    The final advise is that never call a Persian/Iranian “Arab”! Otherwise you will here such a long story as I said!!

  18. Azerbaijanis are not iranian people they are Turkic. And they speak turkic languages.One’s gotta be really ignorant not to know thye difference between persian poeople and arabs.
    1) They speak diffrent languages
    2) they look different ( arabs are genetically semites, while persians are iranian people)
    3) They have absolutly different cultures
    and much much more.

    1. Saying Azerbaijanis are “Turkics” will be the same as saying Hungarians are Mayans! … Notice also in linguistic we know American Indians, Eskimos, Fins and Hungarians root takes us all to Mongolia! the terms and words which is purely theirs follows “VOCAL HARMONY” this means the sound letters in word is the same, such as Mississippi” or “Alabama”…. and if there are two different sound in a word, it is loanword. Now, the point is though Azerbaijanis speak a language they call Azeri with plenty of loanwords from “Turkic” languages its gramatology and structure follows that of “indoeuropean” model. What makes the indoeuropean languages differ from non IE is the syntax of the structure. this means a term or word that makes a sense and indicates impulsive can enter IE languages and become part of. Such, IE languages are open to all ideas, impulses or name it what ever useful. Azeri Language follows same patern and is not a syntax-blocked language. The same even applies Turkish and many ethnically Turkics. because these are aculturized by a mongolic language. In Spanish there are tons and tons of Arabic words! Even Madrid is Arabic. Now are Spaniards Arabs? nope! because Arabic words entered through the syntax and became part of Spanish. “COFFEE” in English is no longer an ARABIC word! it has become English and that’s it. Lets not forget IE languages can not be “IDENTITY” this has failed in Europe. Specially between WW1 – WW2 Europeans were trying to define their identity with languages. In Modern time it is not the Language that becomes Identity, neither race nor history… there are 7 pilars every nation has to modernize to become a modern nation: language – heritage ( not race! )- Government (most be democratic!) – State – Literature – Art – religion (which is modern society becomes SPIRITUAL rather than religion)………….The republic of Azerbaijan has all these 7 pilars even more functional than that of current IRAN’S model of governing system. so there is no need to search for identity or similar to succeed. more to this, I do not agree putting Persians vs Arab! …. what you guys blend is the “Persianism” that is literature and art which is indeed the most “objectively” expressed on earth! I would claim even prior to English Literature that is modernly impulsed and full of “SELF” and EGOMANIA”….one needs to get beyond the SELF or MONO what ever to as objectively verfiy “The where are we”? … Persian literature and art has allot of wealth stored and still not verified. Let me give you an example: In Azerbaijan republic, there was a man who wrote poems. one of his works is known as : Makhzan Ol Asrar, the title is Arabic but poems in Persian, the man named “Nezami” , in this book there are 5 models of governing system that is already applied in western societies! … this work was forbidden in Europe, whilst Italians secretly translated it, some thing which lead to influence Machiavelli and so on….So, you see a Persian work done by an Azeri man has blossomed in Europe rather than Persia or else where. This is the interactivity of IE languages and their universal-ism. it all is relatively interactive and interconnected.
      Why would medieval Europeans look into a Persian poetry book to search for solution? which gave birth to Modernism? … yepp – IRAN with Persian language is synonymous to “Governing system”. Through timeline it challenges the 4 corners of the globe in a direction where governing systems and experiences become better and better. some times she shoots an idea but it is harvested else where. I am not religious, but do know well plenty of happenings in old testament was indeed in IRAN its self and never ISRAEL! ( Daniel chapter for example) or Esther and Xerxes ( new testament ). Now, reading these teach us allot about : justice, governing system, the law, the and so on… often people discuss ridiculous matters regarding old and new testament whilst in depth its all about improvement of human life towards greater and more complexed societies. Persianism just like Aryanism ( culturally Iran and Indias ex change of universal-ism in the past+vast numbers of migration from Europe towards Persia and upper India! ) is not vs a folk or similar. it is simply governing system with “justice” as core value (quote: search Shahnameh in wikipedia). I read above that Arab conquest of Persia! its so widely used and even by Iranians. hence so wrong!!! There has never been such a thing as Arab conquest! .. neither there has been JEWISH conquest of ROMA! … same way as Romans messed their vast empire and could no longer control ideas from middle east entered which we know as christianity. the same way with Islam. there has been a Mohammed and his little revolution in a rural village and his conquest was a little city near by called “Yathrib” now , Madinah. after 60 years the whole empire was fully controlled by “MUTEWALIS” and this means ex-eastern Romans and Persians officers and soldairs. One of reason that Islamic capital had to be moved to Baghdad and in confilct with Damascus ( part of byzantium or east romans) .  Who was Kalifate then? a pupet! in whos harem they were so paranoid that they had nothing to do but killing their own brothers sisters and wives and oh, isn’t it the same with Roman court? … because they were not really in charge! but those officers and merchants….. Playing with peoples minds on Arab conquest, Alexander conquest and so on is just bullies! …. and, why would this be a matter of pride? … an illusive picturial picking of history for own self satisfactories than having to do with its reality!…. The Arabism or Islamism has caused allot of harm in Iran I must admit! it still does! …. can you imagine bunch of criminals grab the power in united states? what will happen? …. that illusive conquest also caused a horror where human being despite so mich achievemnts suffer more and is very unhappy! it is simply what Neitszche have said: Why do we have to be? …. its connected with birth of Islam. Islam causes us all “HAVE TO BE” rather than leaving us alone! now, imagine Iranians are bleeding and still do,,,, + the damn horror of “have to be” ?! .. the same horror also caused humans to think of security, immunity ( how much is it debated in USA? its an old and long debate from Europe!) ,, and again ,, please do not misunderstand ,,, when I say it caused… does not mean “ISLAM” is some thing good or similar” ,,, it is sickness to bring a snake to bite your kid just because you want the kid learn and be aware of snake harm! ,,, Now, we know the harm so shu shu any one who try to interpret my writing here as if I am saying ISLAM is any thing useful! no it might be good for insanity! that I happen to experience in My own country which I really love! and know will never even forgive your GODS what what he did if he is slightly involved with the crime happened and still happening with peace-fullest people called “PERSIANS?” ,, yes call them persians, the MEN OF PEN! pen was the only weapon they had.  (agreed and bring the quote from Nietzsche again who says Persians fully abandoned the POWER and grabbed the PEN under rain of terror and horror they managed so much…. that even American presidents put their hand on a book that is telling their history – namely chapter of Esther and Xerxes, including Cyrus the great charter that is in-baked in your holy book of bible!)  This book is the manifesto of American values and its time to reveal the truth about it! …… So thanks PERSIANS that we are here! other than that, pulleaseeee bring me a slightest value or …… I give up the good Persians and stick to you!I am Azeri and Iran born and I do know while during 1000 years of global bloodbath, the dark ages,,, where even Europeans were cannibalistic, Persians were the only folk grab the pen, bleed under worse attack and write down what ever that might have been useful for me and you today! make a search ,, and see during those times… what all nations were doing and what Persians were doing, then judge for your self! HOW TRUE!

    2. Azris are not one percent turkic. Read encyclopedia or even wiki… it says… Azeris are one of the oldest Iranians and they only adobted Turkic language when their land in eastern orumia lake was conquered by turkic tribes. There are also many genetic studies about azeris of Iran that all concludes they are much more common with Iranians than any turkic nation

  19. Race is an anthropological, geographical and cultural animal. It all depended, before transportation became available outside a 50 mile radius, on whom we married. Eventually we will all be one beautiful people. There will be no need for the “race” blank on job applications. G.

  20. I’m not Arab or Persian and I tend to think of them as the same when speaking generally. They live in the same region of the world, they have the same religion, and they have a relatively strong cultural understanding of each other. The same could be said of Americans and Mexicans. Whereas Americans and Mexicans are collectively called westerners/infidels/meddlers/whatever by many folks in the middle east, it’s convenient to refer to everyone in the middle east as Arabs. That works when you’re talking in generalities, but may provoke a correction by an Arab or Persion if uttered in their presence … to which you should politely make the distinction. So, yeah, I’m boiling this down to a matter of nomenclature, convenience, and etiquette for those that are neither Arab nor Persian with the suggestion that more specific language be used for those that might take exception. Or if you happen to be able to tell the difference, then do that. My guess is that it’s not an insult to be called one when you’re the other, just incorrect.

    Just another point of view. Thanks for the article.

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  24. You are incorrect in thinking Arabs & Iranians look the same. I am Iranian born and know an Arab when I see one. It is as you say Chinese & Japanese look the same which they dont or Mexicans & White Americans look the same and they dont, you are born here so you know what the featurs are. Having said that, many Iranian women were taken as slaves to Arabia and mixed with Arabs, Arabia has been mixed by many over thousands of years. Iranians in the north are lighter skin & we do have blonds, redheads that would make the Irish blush. In my family many have green eyes, hazel and blue, not just brown.

    We have many people in Iran that are olive skin, not brown or dark and becuase the south is very hot, the people in that region have darker skin usually. Iranians are Caucasian, the Caucus mountains run from Russia south to Iran. Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan were all part of Persia, so if you call yourself white which is incorrect, it is Caucasian you are part of the Indo-german which is Indo-Iranian of people, over 600 words in English is Parsi the language or Iranians.

    Arabic language & religion was not accepted but forced on Iranians, humiliation tactics, extreem taxes & many other ways used to first covnert the aristocrats & merchants, it took hundreds of years & not until the Turks forced Islam that Iran became majority Muslim, however we won the language, heritage & culture war with Arabs.

    If you can tell the difference between, a Canadian, American & Mexican you will be able to tell the difference between Arab & Iranian easily as I can tell the difference between Korean, Thai, Chinese & Japanese easily.

    Iranians have been invaded by Arabs 13th century & again 20th century, as we have had issues with Arabs always using our people and taking credit for our people and what they have accomplished before the invasion & after under the umbrella of Islam, we have had issues and after 1980 invasion this probelm was started again and Iranians not being Semitic truly do not like being called Arab, it is a great insult to us. As Americans that have called me this and in return I called them Mexican they were greatly insulted.

    Jews are Semitic people, however the Jews living in Europe & Middle East including Russia have been mixed so long that the language Yidish is an Indo-germanic language & they have changed their looks by living in a cold area.

    if you look at most Italians, Greek or Spanish, you would have difficulty to tell if they are Iranain or European. The difference is not in skin tone or color, color of eyes, it is the difference in our bone structure. Mongols, Chinese are similar but not with Caucasians of Iran, Europe, India and if you look at Africans they are in many ways far closer to many Arabs than Caucasians.

    1. You are right. Most Iranian women and men has strikingly beautiful and handsome feature. Iranian can almost be called “Eurasian”

  25. Persians (Zoroastrians) also colored eggs and celebrated spring with them. Some think that Easter Eggs were a tradition from Europe. Likelihood is that they are related to the Persian New Year Celebrations.

    1. Eiron, an “E” with a long sound, as in m-E-ditation. ending towards a sort of shortening “EE”…….EAYR-ON. …this term was a kind of INVOICING during when IRAN was distancing from upper India. The invoicing attached two content at the same time. “NOBEL”,  and “HEIR” of the land. There has been long wars and brutal conflicts then naturally such invoicing that simply meant, a) I am not a killer beast! or let say I am tired of wars also , this is MY LAND! ….There had been layers of movements and revolutions or evolution within a geographical territory that is modern Iran. It seems to me that they were tired of being attacked from all corners to old world’s “HEART” as Zarathustra puts, also Hegel (Iran is a cycle that is the heart of all cycles which would mean other cultures). There had been a strong long lasting battle between the Mehri (Mehrion) and Magi. both clergy elite but Mehris stood for only praying for peoples lives without any interference in their social affairs whilst Magis would control the entirety of life set including the society. (who said secularism is new and European seeding? hehehe).  the mehris lost and moved towards upper India, Magis remained. Today the Shia clergy are devided into two groups. “roohani” and “Akhond” Akhond is a degrading term whilst Roohani impacts a sort of respect. this is very similar to that conflict of Mehris and Magis. Roohanis are against interfering in politics and direct power on peoples lives. whilst Akhondism” is thirsty for power, wealth and oh, can’t you see? ….. The Sonni people bash the Shia clergy system because they claim it has nothing to do with Islam. it is from Irans infidel-times…. this example was to understand the soul invoicing beneath what we know or hear as Islam. I agree the Sonni or Arabism that extreme complicated “Iran-Islam” whether good or bad… most often has to do with its own rich past or cultural complications than feeding from a book which is Quran and sonnis mean more than enough for every thing and whole human life and achievements! …
      The self designation Eeir or ARYA ( as I insist has nothing to do with RACE, not even the RACE in today modern Iran but Its culture! ) is showing again and again in varies times and similar to each of these times is the “Invasion” of the territory by aliens. much later during Parthians semi-federative revolution the Sasanian dynesty took over and held power in the region they called ERAN or ERANSHAHR. here Eran simply refers to domain property and Eranshahr means ERAN-CITY. the strong communication that Parthians created with Anahita (First Goddess of civilization) temples and her son Mithra (The sun God), a process against the Greek saleucides who saw them selves as owner of the land. All these belong to a chapter that I call “the revolution of privet property”, its echo is still heard today every where on earth. From Israel to upper India the whole region is witnessing waves of changes that would bring folks towards owning their own lives and properties. very interesting when genealogy is clearified only then we get a deeper understanding why “EIR” this is My land and I am a nobel as mean as : do not attack My land and force me fight with you!….
      So, an Eir would also mean not fighting. not killing for living. this is more enlightening in Buddhism movement. not to forget there is a relevant connection to christianity and Jesus phenomena in Israel. We do know there had been brutal wars and harassing onto Israel constantly. Reading old testament and new tells us Israelis had their hearts to their throut fearing constant attack by strange beasts and demonic war lusting creatures!.. So seeing Jesus protesting, I won’t kill, I won’t take a life for living mine is a very interesting story, history and etc…..
      …….
      Iran has been defined variesly through timeline, historians believe Elam was a term the birth of Iran began. Elam is a semitic (probably Sumerian??) word for Highlanders vs lowlanders which means Mesopothamia and below. Irans topography connects the Caucasus moutains towards Iran and divides into two main branch or chainy moutains. Alborz and Zagros.  Most population in Iran are consentrated around and within these moutainous regions. not to forget the great Damavand on top of Alborz moutains which is biggest “LAVA” hill on earth.

      These moutains with its beauty of nature and fertilities also have had great impact as defence. so for most Iranians the Lava Damavand sounds a mighty soul of the country.

      Having said this, now we might understand better why Elam ( Highlanders ) is connected to a feeling of security against alien attacks specially from non fertile areas.

      Elam according to most historians was the birth of Nationhood. moving beyond tribalism and a greater complexed society. This even before Akhenaton or even “house of Israel” comes down the trees! hehehehehe… LUV the teasing. sorry My egyption and Jewish fellas!

      Happy readings 

      Kaspian – The truth is always truth!

       

      1. I forgot, the “ON” in EIR-ON is plural. this means EIRON means = Our land and the WE NOBELS (Who willing not to fight on land or greography). Masculinity was defined as LAND DEFENDER.  One can say a universal antimilitarism that gave fruit in Buddha’s concept of “Anatta” = I am not regarding the property or ownership of – WOMAN and LAND. 

  26. to web-ranger:
    Azerbaijanis are Iranian by race and very very close to Persians (which are another Iranian group). Their original language was very close to Persian, but it has changed slowly after settlement of Turk tribes who were passing the area during decades and finally went to Turkey. You still can find Persian words in anything related to agriculture because Turk tribes were pastors and not farmers.
    That is the reason that you can find almost the same culture and events although they have different languages.

  27. First of all i am sorry for my bad english:) The word “tajik” is the synonym of “persian”, & really not all iranians are persians. There are only 51% of iranians are persians, & there are also exist other persians with one blood, history, culture & language with iranian persians: Tajik of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China & Pakistan. But azeri turks, arabs, armenians & turkmens of Iran – are not persians, wether they speak persian or not. Because persian – is nationality, but not the group of people speaking in persian, or living in one country(Iran).

  28. Asian is absolutely not a race, any more than lumping black and white people together and calling it a race would be. South Asians and East Asians are genetically and culturally totally different (with Southeast Asian being sort of a blend of the two). Putting Pacific Islander and East Asian together would be more accurate. Anyway, Indian and Chinese people are not at all related, therefore they are in two different “basic races.” If you had to pick 5 basic races (which is not possible anyway, since there are always groups defying category) it would be Caucasian, Black, South Asian, East Asian/Pacific, and Native American. Or, (crudely, and offensively, but easier to remember) White, Black, Brown, Yellow, and Red.

    1. To clarify, Indians are not Caucasian either. Okay, if you go very far north in India, the people will be almost wholly Aryan, which is part of the Caucasian race. But if you go south, the people will have very little Aryan blood, and will be of the Dravidian race. This is not a Caucasian race, but nor is it a Black or an East Asian race. It is a separate race. Since pretty much all South Asians are a blend of Aryan and Dravidian stock (with some East Asian thrown in if you go to the far east of India, Bangladesh, etc) it makes more sense to classify them as their own “race”.

  29. In any case, races are simply foolish social constructs. Differences in skin color are caused by environmental factors. All in all, good post. 

    Some notable differences you can point out to support your point that Persians are not Arabs include the fact that they are completely different ethnic groups. Persians are Indo-European. They are distantly genetically related to Indians and white Europeans, and speak Farsi (Persian), a language distantly related to Sanskrit, Latin, English, etc. There are many cognates between these languages. For example the Farsi word “madar” is related to and has the same meaning as the English word “mother”. Kurds, Pashtuns, and Tajiks are other closely related ethnic groups. By contrast, Arabs are completely unrelated. An Arab is anyone who speaks Arabic has his or her first language, embraces Arab culture, and considers himself or herself Arab. Persians speak Farsi and not Arabic, have their own culture, and do not consider themselves Arab, so they are not Arab. Another important thing to note is that while Farsi is an Indo-European language, Arabic is a Semitic language, so it is related to Hebrew and Aramaic (the language that Jesus عليه السلام‎ spoke, due to its being widespread throughout the Middle East). There are cognates between Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic. Hebrew “Eloh” corresponds to Arabic “Ilah”/”Allah” and Aramaic “Alah”, all of which mean “God”. 

    Iran is almost 50% Persian. Afghans and Tajiks speak Farsi and have deep cultural ties with Iranians/Persians. Kurds, who live in Southern Turkey, Northern Iraq, and Iran (a region they call “Kurdistan” meaning “Land of the Kurds”), are a related ethnic group who have cultural ties with Persians and speak a related language, Kurdish. Arabs live in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and Iraq, and make up the overwhelming majorities of these countries. Consequently Iraqis, if Arab, cannot be considered Persian.  
    Also, Persians weren’t forced to convert to Islam. According to the Iran Chamber Society, an Iranian cultural organization, after Sassanid Persia was conquered by Arabs, people in the cities converted to Islam out of their own will. People living in rural areas didn’t convert for hundreds of years. It took about 200 years for the majority of Persians to convert to Islam, so it wasn’t some kind of forced conversion. Hoped this helps, Salaam. 

  30. “I asked about the differences between Sunni and Shiite (or Shia)
    Muslims.  Shia Muslims follow a direct lineage through to the prophet
    Muhammad.  Sunni’s believe that clerics do not have to be genetically
    related to Muhammad.” <– IT'S THE OTHER WAY AROUND, BRO. I know because I am a  Muslim myself.

  31. People of Persia did not have same religion with Arabs, people of Persia became Muslim when Arab attacked them and now they have been trained by Arabs and each single person that you see in Iranian Government is Arab.

  32. Hello…I am NIMA and I am an Iranian (persian).
    Well I think you will find the best infos. on the subject by studying the history of Great Iran and knowing what happend when Arabs attacked our country…(about 600 AD).This way you can find out the real reason(s) why Iranian hate being reffered to as an Arab…

  33. I am persian and I have read much about race. I have aryan race. but I am near 40% russian . slav aryan race. in Iran there are many arabian . in south. and even many people who are very black but not nigger… they do not have a skull like monkeys… and many people are mixed.. but in north like cities like gilan mazandaran tonekabon gorgan tabriz mashhad people are more aryan. I live in mashhad. when I go to metro station I see many people who have blue eyes or green eyes and colourful hair , brown blond even red. and some people in mashhad look like afkanian people… in slums of mashhad.

  34. and about arabians, they are different their skin is not white like aryans . when they are white they look like milk . very different from us. in here its always sunny. and we are tanned. one day I saw a gut in metro with red hair and blue eyes , and he was so dark! in Iran we have many clever people cause of aryan race… but arabians…. well… they just eat ..they sell oil and consume…

  35. The only true Arabs are the Arabs of the Arab peninsula. The others are mostly Berbers, Copts and non-Arab Semites who were first conquered by the Arabs under the Islamic banner and centuries later brainwashed by pan-Arabists into thinking that they were Arabs so that they could unite together against Western involvement in the Middle East and North Africa.

  36. It is cultural not racial. An Arab growing up in Tehran would be Iranian and hate to be called anything else. We do not identify with Europeans, Europe has inherited much of classic civilization and our values through Greek and Roman sources. We were the first of history from Elam and Summer, we are heir to the those civilizations and what followed. We are not racist, we have accepted various people and value beauty and intelligence, if you have it, we want you (something like modern America which attracts the best and the brightest) We just have done it for a very long time and it is now encoded in our population. It is a source of our greatness and what has enabled us to rise over and over again to the top of the world. Racism is the best way to deprive oneself of the best and the brightest.

  37. I’m pretty sure your college professor said IRAN and you have heard it IRAQ by mistake, because you used to miss pronounced IRAN as EYE-RAN and when the professor said EAR-RON you thought it’s IRAQ.
    Resource? I’m Persian and this conversation happens quite a lot for me:
    -I’m from IRAN. (EAR-RON)
    -IRAQ?
    -No IRAN. (EAR-RON)
    -Oh EYE-RAN!!!!

  38. Hi,

    I just came across this blog, it seems this article has been posted 6 years ago!
    I’m an Iranian girl and I speak Farsi. I think the most distinguishing factors between Iranians and Arabs are the different languages they speak and their cultures.

    generally speaking in today’s world you can divide people into groups by their country of birth and the language they speak not by race. because all races have been mixed to some extent
    I hope there comes a day that none of these (race, nationality, language, color) matters

  39. There is a mountain mount arrarat I believed it is spelled. It is believed to be the real place moses received the ten commandments. Has all the biblical markers a huge rock that had a stream running out of it that moses maid happen. Many aincent altars at the bottom from pagan worship. The mountain is scorched from the presents of God. There is a documentary in YouTube about it called mountain on fire. Pretty undeniable to me.

  40. I’m also a Persian,about Iran’s name ,we always used to called this land Iran(land of Aryans) but Persia is the Greek term for this land as its mean worshippers .
    Our ansistors came from Russia to India and some to Iran and part of them to Europe,so we are the most oldest race (Indo-European) and because of that we are not middle eastern race.

  41. “It should be noted that the first Aryans originated from India. ”

    Totally wrong – the first ARIANS are BulgARIANS, there land were called Thrace by Greeks, but they called it ARIA, they are the ones who move to Irak, Iran, Pakistan, and INDIA and educated people everywhere. The begining of the civilization word began in Todays Lands of BULGARIA, not mesomopotamia. NEW DNA world study’s and test already proven that. And a lot of other things..

    GO GO and learn history and dont just use google or oficcial books that are from old ages or comunistic times etc…

  42. Hi,
    I didn’t read it completely but I’d like to say one thing. If you consider persian people as terrorists i suggest you to come to my country and iI’m pretty sure that it will change your mind or ask other people that have gone to iran and ask them what’s their opinions about my country.

  43. “Hispanic is the truly confusing one, because there are black hispanics, and white hispanics. If a person is a black hispanic, genetically they are black. Otherwise, they are Caucasian.”

    OTHERWISE? No, no they are not.

    There are white hispanics (similar to European Immigrants, they have migrated to places like Argentina, Chile and Colombia and have lived there for years, but they do not have the same ethnic background as other hispanics do and confusing them for the typical Hispanic would be your mistake), Black hispanics (who have been in Latin America since the African Diaspora), and then there are biracial, MESTIZO AND INDIGENOUS Hispanics (which make up just as a big a chunk of Latin America as Black Hispanics do, if not bigger). And yes, Black and Mestizo hispanics have intermixed overtime, so you have Black Hispanics who have indigenous ancestry. Our identity is complex because we just haven’t been obsessed with “cataloguing” our racial background to the same extent as Americans have. In some countries, you don’t really have a lot of documentation or “census” records to refer to. And for whatever reason, Americans are obsessed with the idea of black and white and nothing else, so that’s the only thing you’re wiling to see. It’s like you guys totally project your problems onto the rest of the world and completely ignore that in other parts of the universe, there’s history of Native groups in Mexico, Guatemala and all over Latin America. Please take some time to educate yourself. You would yourself a world of good to understand our racial heritage and the complexity. It has its own history.

  44. Hispanic , or Latin American are not a race but a culture, in that “culture’ there are pure black , pure white, pure native american, pure Asian and the mix of all in it.
    Some people also refer Hispanics or Latin American as “Mexicans” or Puerto rican , that is a “country” not a race, there are also black, whites and native Americans and Asians in those countries as in any American country.

  45. The difference is extremely easy. Persians and Arabs are two completely different ethnicities with complete different languages, which are not even related to each other.
    I don’t wanna be offending but I’m wondering how bad is the basic knowledge of western people when it comes to People from Middle East. And i don’t talk about stupid Hillbillies, Racists and so on – no, I mean educated people, which were studying. I’m a German-Turkish Guy from Germany, btw.
    I’ve received questions like that several times from academic educated german people. When I told them, that Iranians, Turks and Arabs are three complete different kind of people with three complete different languages they were wondering about, many of them were even saying “I thought all these groups are the same”

    OK, nobody knows everything, but come on are you serious? It’s like to say Russians, Germans and Finnish People are the same because they are white-skinned, blonde people and all of them are Christians.

    Of course – People in Middle East mixed up with each other, this is obvious. But this happened also everywhere around the planet.

    I don’t think that the average Iranian, average Tajik and average Afghani are making differences between being iranian or Persian. Although all of these groups have own identities, they know are about their common iranian ancestry. I’m working with refugees in germany, which means I have a lot of contact with people from Afghanistan and Iran. At the end of the day all of them are iranian people.
    Kurdish People are Iranians as well btw.

    And sorry, but how could you Azerbaijani classify as an Iranian Language ?? Azerbaijani is a turkic language and the Azeris belong to the group of turkic people, their language is very, very close to our turkish.

    My two best friends are arabs from jordan, and I can tell you arabs absolutely don’t like it when western people consider them as the same like Iranians
    (Of course I also know many other arabs).

    One interesting example is Nevruz (this is how we call it in turkey turkish), which is a kind of new year celebration. It’s only celebrated by iranian and turkic people, in Arab countries it’s only celebrated by kurdish people.

    So at the end the whole topic is not that complicated – western people just have to understand that not all Muslims from Middle East region are the same people, something which is supposed to be obviously

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