For my second blog post I have chosen the writing assignment, what’s in a name? Wherein I talk about my name and what it means to me, why I have it, etc.
My full name, Cyrus Rafael Mirsajedin, is unique. So unique in fact, no one else in history has ever had such a name. The origins of my name come from opposite sides of the world, Iran and El Salvador. Cyrus is a very common name in Iran, obviously after the great king, known for abolishing slavery of all kinds and creating the Cyrus Cylinder, the first known recording of an empire-wide declaration of human rights in 539 B.C. The pronunciation as most of the western world knows it to be is not the way it is actually pronounced in Iran. The original, ancient Persian name is actually کوروش, Kourosh. Through various translations and transliterations, the name became the Latin name, Cyrus. Cyrus, in Latin and all over the Middle East is pronounced as “seeroos” but has become anglicized over the years as the Cyrus your probably more familiar with (syris).
Rafael is a more commonly heard name especially thanks to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which I became obsessed with as a child. Rafael is name that has been running on my mother’s side of the family for as long as we have known and many other men in my family are also named Rafael including 3 cousins, an uncle, and my deceased grandfather, which makes for a lot of fun at weddings and other family gatherings.
Mirsajedin is a decidedly uncommon name here in the United States, but it’s not heard all over Iran either. The only people name Mirsajedin currently living on earth can be directly linked to me, no third cousin twice removed or any of that. My father, as the first of my family to move to the western world had the privilege of transliterating the name Mirsajedin into English. I think he did as good of a job as he could, simply sounding out the name into English, but the length of the name alone is apparently enough to intimidate most Americans. To counter this, some of my cousins in other parts of the country have changed their last name to simply “Sajedin” which somehow makes the difference for most people when it comes to pronunciation. For many Persians, changing your name isn’t such a big deal and you can see it in many Persians, as Farrokh Bulsara becomes Freddie Mercury and Maziar Manesh becomes Marshall Manesh