More than anything else, this initiative can benefit from raising public awareness, including those of teachers and school districts, about this issue. This can be done in a variety of ways including the following:
1) Meet with your child's history teacher to discuss the nature of the problem and offer supplementary materials. See below for Talking Points and a list of suggested supplementary teaching materials.
2) Meet with or write to your local school district. See sample letter below.
3) If you find your child's ancient history textbook to be similarly outdated and lacking balance when it comes to the treatment of the Persian civilization, write a letter to the publisher voicing your concerns.
5) Sign our petition in support of California Senate Bill SB1057 here.
6) Support us in our petition to prevent an alternate designation of "Persian (Arabian) Gulf" for the Persian Gulf in the California public school system, based on the following:
According to the United Nations document on exonyms of 2006, in reference to the Persian Gulf, "any change, destruction, or alteration of the names registered in historical deeds and maps is like the destruction of ancient works and is considered as an improper action. Therefore, the names of geographical features profiting from a unique historical identity, should not be utilized as political instruments in reaching a political, tribal, and racial objective, or in any clash with national interests and other's values." The move to change the name of Persian Gulf is a politically motivated attempt by some Arab nations in the region.
Persian Gulf has consistently been documented in maps since the 6th century A.D. , including Arabic maps, as the only valid name for that body of water. Persian Gulf depicted as Persian (Arabian) Gulf in the history text books is tantamount to Gulf of Mexico being depicted as Gulf of (Texas) Mexico or the Indian Ocean as the Indian (African) Ocean.
The name Arabian Gulf has already a long tradition of being used to refer to what is more commonly known as the Red Sea.
Two bodies of water are already attributed to the Arabic speaking population of the region, i.e., the Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf (the Red Sea). The designation Persian Gulf is therefore an opportunity to acknowledge the Persian people populating its north shores, as well as acknowledging the historical significance of Persia and Persian history in the region.
The United Nations recognizes the Persian Gulf as the rightful name for that body of water as declared in resolutions in 1971, 1994, 1999 and 2006, to the exclusion of other designations. Please see http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Geography/persian.gulf/persian_gulf_historical_maps.htm
The U.S. relationship with the Middle East is at a very sensitive time in history. To introduce incorrect scholarship will strongly suggest political alignments which may be unintentionally detrimental to future relations.
The following links provide resources for those interested in supporting this initiative in their local communities.
Please contact us if you'd like to help this effort. If you'd prefer to contact us via email please send an email message to [email protected]