Persian WHAT?

5 Apr, '07

Is it just me or did you guys also notice that Radio Bahrain has started using that “P” word to describe the ARABIAN Gulf? Especially in reports (I last heard it read by Gillian Wood) on the 8am news when reading about the British hostages in Iran?

What’s the deal? Has that been officially sanctioned and the ARABIAN Gulf no longer exists?

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  1. doncox says:

    It has always been the Persian Gulf. For example, I have an atlas here dated 1936, which shows (from West to East) the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Arabian Sea.

    The Arabian Sea is by far the biggest, covering all the ocean between the Arabian Peninsula, Baluchistan and India. That should be enough to satisfy the Arabs. 😉

    I notice it also marks “Bahrain Island (Brit.)”, and all the land west of the Jordan is “Palestine”. Some things have changed, but not the Persian Gulf.

  2. Mahmood,

    what deference does it really make, the fish would still be poluted, atlest the persians made Mahywa out of it!!!

    ok that was lame.

  3. Munther says:

    Very shocking ! :shocked: I’d understand westerners using the P word but not our local radio stations ! What a disgrace ! :getlost:

  4. M says:

    Well, maybe they are just stating the inevitable in their minds. :devil:

  5. Barry says:

    At least they didn’t call it “The Great and Grand Sea of Ahmedinejad”, or the “Iranian Gulf” :biggrin:

    Anyway, I’ve always known it as the Persian Gulf. I’ve read that the “Arabian Gulf” was an old name for the Red Sea. But this whole Arabian/Persian Gulf naming issue is aapparently a bone of contention in your region of the world.

  6. Sandrine Phellps says:

    Unfortunately that is the what is officially called by the UN and thus is the only recognized term for the body of water…lets just have it changed to the GULF…no prename…

  7. Bahraini and proud says:

    well if you have a look at old maps you’ll find it written as the persian gulf, which i think is some how true because the biggest coast facing the gulf belongs to Iran. and plus What is so wrong with calling it the persian gulf ?????? :ermm:

  8. M says:

    Ok, where’s my flag?

    I bet Ahmedinejad is holding it hostage, and now I’m going to have to call Tony to get it back. :silly:

  9. Ash says:

    Reminds me of a sketch by the great “executive transvestite” Eddie Izzard:

    “We stole countries with the cunning use of flags. Just sail around the world and stick a flag in. “I claim India for Britain!”

    And they’re going, “You can’t claim us, we live here! Five hundred million of us!”

    “Do you have a flag? … No flag, no country! Those are the rules, that … I just made up.” “

  10. can we talk says:

    yes, and that is not the first time they make political “faux pas”s. i get the impression they get their news from foreign news agencies and edit without really editing. hence their news is often reported from a perspective different, sometimes opposite, to our own. shouldn’t news reports be vetted before they are put on?

    while we are at it, i also hate that the newsreaders they use can’t even pronounce local names properly. surely there must be locals who can do a better job. (that goes for TV as well). I still remember listening to the announcements of the 40 MPs and Shura council members, and not making head not tail of the jibberish that was supposed to be their names.

    time for a major overhaul.

  11. jasra jedi says:

    Ash ..

  12. mahmood says:

    that’s okay, getting things verbatimly copied without a thought put into what is being copied from the newswires is de rigeur (it’s from Roytaar ya khwaiyek!) in our beloved countries, what I can’t stand is that bloody woman who reads the news with her butt clenched so hard that you can hear her teeth chatter… what the hell is her name? Swami, shwami or something like that.. fire her for goodness sake, and clone Nadia Swan while you’re at it, at least she’s got a sense of humour!

  13. can we talk says:

    and the mad “kids DJ”? uugghh! even a lot of the kids don’t like him anymore!

  14. can we talk says:

    that bloody woman who reads the news with her butt clenched

    what qualifications do they look for in a newsreader anyway? that they are a Brit and they are reasonably literate in English?

  15. mahmood says:

    Well, in that case the butt clenching woman certainly does not qualify. Even if her teeth didn’t chatter as a result!

  16. SoulSearch says:

    Mahmood, did you mean Sarva Valamouri, the Indian Newsreader at Radio Bahrain?

  17. mahmood says:

    urgh, yeah, that’s the one! there is another one as well that is just as annoying if not more so. Sarva massacres the Enrish language with her monotonous delivery, but the other one actually believes that the English should take the pronunciation lead from her and that the limey bastards are wrong, not her! That’s the one with the chattering teeth I mean.

    I think Maria Ramos, Nadia Swan and Gillian Wood should be cloned, or imprisoned at the station to do 8-hour consecutive shifts and enjoy being paid late (by up to 3 weeks most times) for their professionalism and radio voices. The rest can get the can.

  18. Thogba says:

    Anyone studying geography in Europe, USA or Japan knows that it is called the Persian Gulf not the Arabian gulf.

    If you watch BBC, CNN, Euronews or DW-TV, you will never hear any thing called Arabian Gulf.

    But hearing it on Radio Bahrain is shameful. But, alas, this country is run by expatriates.

  19. mahmood says:

    Thogba, your education is astounding, even surpassing your usual feeling of hate to this country. Let me give you a shovel so you can dig yourself a bit deeper…

    But, alas, this country is run by expatriates.

    Yeah, so?

    What’s your point?

  20. Ali says:

    That reminds me of something. Go to (English, not Arabic), then type Arabian Gulf, then hit “I’m feeling lucky” button and see for yourself :biggrin:

  21. Butterfly says:

    This is what I got:

    Click the By Arabian Gulf, do you mean Persian Gulf? button, and never try again. If you typed Arabian Gulf, make sure you read some history books

    hahahha ..

  22. Butterfly says:

    أحنا مو معترف بنا لا عالميا ولا حتى على مستوى الشرق الاوسط ولا الشرط الاوسط الجديد بعد :biggrin:

  23. Butterfly says:

    الشرط = الشرق

  24. No, Mahmood, you didn’t just write a post about Persian Gulf vs. Arabian Gulf did you.

    Arabian Gulf, Persian Gulf, why is it such a big deal really? You write Arabian Gulf in caps, as if that was a given. I call it the Arabian Gulf when speaking in Arabic all the time. Yet, in English, I say the Persian Gulf. It’s a de facto standard. It’s the way it was written in history books and there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to make a big deal on what should a gulf that has half of it shore to Arabia and the other half of it to Persia be called. I don’t think it offends the pure Arab me the least when the English speaking national radio calls it the Persian Gulf.

  25. Mahmoood my comment vanished..

  26. mahmood says:

    Cradle, every single comment you have entered has been tagged as spam by the system! I have no idea why. I rescue the comments when I check the queue every few hours. You might want to raise a support ticket with Batelco to tell them about your IP being blacklisted by spam engines.

  27. mahmood says:

    To tell the truth, it doesn’t bother me either. I put this up to pull someone’s chain and to see if the government has officially now recognised history too.

    Having said that, seeing the huge exerted energy by Persians to reclaim it back to the Persian Gulf by using methods like Google bombing, it is a big deal to them!

    From our Arabian governments perspective it is a big deal to them too to have to renamed to the Arabian Gulf, and you could see that written in every documentary credit where if goods do get labeled “Persian Gulf” or if any return documentary credit documents are marked as such from a correspondent, they would refuse to release the money!

    So both sides take this rather seriously; the Persians (as people and government) much more than this side (which seems to be limited to just the governments.)

  28. Adrian says:

    In spain we say both, arabic and persian gulf.

  29. Alif says:

    There’ve been long debates regarding the name of this body of water on Arabic wikipedia with good arguments from both sides, reflecting a similar debate in teh real world, of course.

    Personally, I think its name is the “Persian Gulf”. I believe the change in name was part of the arabist Nasserist propaganda which was – rightfully – embraced by the Arab world and the Arabian people of the Persian Gulf.

    While no one can claim another name for the Arabian Sea, or Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Adan, even the great countries whose coasts lay on some of these bodies of water, why should Arabs change a name of a geographical feature? It won’t make them more influential, and won’t save the fish, as Eyad noted.

    The Libyan desert remains to be called so while third of its area is in Egypt.

    No offense meant to the Arabs of the Gulf.

  30. Jay Jerome says:

    there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to make a big deal on what should a gulf that has half of it shore to Arabia and the other half of it to Persia be called

    I agree…
    From now on I’m calling it the Per-Arabian Gulf.


  31. Good night and good luck says:

    None of them are professional broadcasters. Frankly the diction and pronunciation of most of them should tell you that. They also have to edit the news themselves (other than what’s given to them to read as official news) and hence you often get verbatim reports from other sources, as well as a delivery that is devoid of any understanding of the context of the material. They are not journalists either. You (BTV) get what you pay for.

  32. Kevin says:

    I saw a chart in the Qatar Navy HQ that labeled it Persian Gulf.

    It was a french chart, and someone had whited out Persian and (presumably) written Arabian (in arabic, original what in French)

  33. One in a Million says:

    I suppose they’re just checking if anyone is REALLY paying attention to what they’re saying 😆

  34. Mahmood,
    This might be the wrong place to put this comments but I didn’t know where else to put it. I just posted this from work, so obviously a different IP address, and Askimet is still giving me the same attitude. It’s personal, I tell you 😛

    I am not sure if Askimet is IP-dependant, and their site seems to not mention how their algorithm actually works. However it does claim that once a false positive is declared as (not spam) the system “should” learn. Apparently it isn’t.

  35. Gillian says:

    Hi to all of you on Manhood’s Den and all who have contributed the debate which I inadvertently seem to have sparked off!

    First of all, I have been working for Bahrain Radio and Television for a good few years now, amounting to thousands of shifts during which I have diligently referred to the area as the Arabian Gulf (not for any political or personal reasons) but just because that is how it is generally referred to by the majority of people here.

    The British sailors/Iran story was a hot issue for all the local and international news wires and was constantly being updated; on a busy shift (the breakfast shift is always a bit manic) that often means you have no sooner written your news then you have to scrap it and start all over again with only a couple of short minutes before the news. Under these time constraints it is possible to make the odd mistake – we are of course, all of us, only human!

    This is how it was on that particular morning, nothing more, nothing less. I was not making a political statement, nor was I representing mine or anyone else’s personal views. It was a one-off ‘slip of the tongue’ on a busy morning out of more than 10 years of broadcasting.

    Consider me thoroughly chastened however!

    Mind you, now I know that so many people are getting equally hot under the collar at the thought of calling it the ‘Arabian Gulf’ I am beginning to feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Peace and God’s blessings to you all.

    Gillian Wood,
    *#$&** Gulf

  36. mahmood says:

    Thank you Gillian. I understand the pressures you work under and appreciate hearing you read the news. It’s a very welcoming voice you have.

    But if I may, I heard you refer to the Gulf as Persian on two consecutive mornings, not one! That is why the question arose in my mind. Once, I can attribute to pressures, twice and I thought there must have been a political decision to allow you to use that nomenclature again. Now that you tell us that it is just a slip of the tongue, let’s leave it at that, not that it really matters to me what you call it, however being in a state broadcaster you must be under certain norms and restrictions.

    Having said that, what are those restrictions? Do you not have a newsroom editor who approves any stories that you read on-air? Can you describe your workflow for us neophytes to understand?

    In other radio and television stations, there is also “the book” which all on-air talent must refer to; it contains the diction, pronunciation, geographic names, approved grammar and “norms” adopted by the station, do you (BRTC) have such a thing? Do you have a linguist at least whom you can refer to in order to ensure your on-air time is as correct as could be?

  37. mahmood says:

    Cradle, I am stumped. Maybe if you just use “Cradle” as a handle or something because your comments are still tagged as spam. I’ve removed BadBehavior just to make sure that it isn’t that which is contributing to the problem, and I don’t want to use SpamKarma2 as it is not as aggressively developed as Akismet. I have resurrected all your comments to force a “good flag” to be sent to Akismet, let’s hope that you will be untagged soon!

  38. Ansgar says:

    Well, its Persian Gulf here… :unsure:

  39. nadia swan says:

    Found your website due to my mum’s diligence on the net. Interesting debate.. I have always referred to it as the Arabian Gulf since I was at school in Kuwait, and Persian Gulf was blacked out of our atlases!
    We do work under considerable time pressures as Gillian pointed out, particularly on the breakfast show..without an editor in sight! The odd mistakes happen, but glad to know that despite all that, you appreciate a sense of humour…where would we all be without one?!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t help but laugh, in “Bahrain Overview” the picture Mahmood chose, says PERSIAN Gulf.

    Ha. 😕

  41. mahmood says:

    Thanks for stopping by Nadia, I enjoy your daily banter with Kevin a lot!

  42. mahmood says:

    Oops, anon, sorry I deleted your comment on that topic by mistake. Sorry!

  43. Bu hussain says:

    I am greatly disappointed with Radio Bahrain for their faux pas. The bottom line is that in Bahrain it is refered to as the Arabian Gulf regardless of whether everyone else calls it the persian gulf. Whenever I discuss the region with my colleagues here in America I use the term Arabian Gulf and they understand!! Isn’t it time for us to pull our heads out of the sand and retain some of the character, the human density, the individuality which distniguishes us as Bahrainis??

  44. can we talk says:

    I am greatly disappointed with Radio Bahrain for their faux pas.

    me too. however, it is more than a faux pas, it’s bigger than that. israeli and US official news do not refer to themselves as occupiers, it is very important that media reflects the stance of the country.

    i have to add that personally, i am finally enjoying my mornings again thanks to the departure of one resident cackler who would never get a job like this in his own country and who is more interesting to people below a mental age above five. (please take your time coming back to the radio, or better still find another job, maybe as a children’s party entertainer, that would suit your skills much more)

    i am so happy that radio bahrain has finally hired a bunch of bahraini DJs who dont talk too much nonsense and put on music that is different, varied and great to listen to. i fervently wish that they become permanent fixtures… i am very proud of them!!

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