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Let’s play together – not

Let’s play together – not

The Islamic Solidarity Games has been called off because of a row over whether the Gulf is ‘Arabian’ or ‘Persian’.

January 19, 2010 2:01 by

The Islamic Solidarity Games, as its names clearly suggests, was created five years ago to strengthen ties between the 57 countries that are part of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. But thanks to a lack of solidarity among the countries organizing it, the sporting event has been cancelled.

The event was scheduled to be held in Tehran this year, but the Riyadh-based Islamic Solidarity Games Federation called it off because Iran reportedly used the phrase “Persian Gulf” on the logo, while the Arab states call the waterway the “Arabian Gulf”. Iran had taken “unilateral measures concerning logos used on printed material and medals,” the federation said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“Regrettably and without presenting any logical reasons, the [Islamic Solidarity Games Federation] committee decided not to hold the games with Iran as the host,” the Iranian committee responded on its site.

The Islamic Solidarity Games was initially scheduled for October 2009, but it got postponed because of swine flu concerns.

It is unfortunate that an event designed to promote unity has been cancelled because of a lack of it. While there are bound to be differences between countries, one would assume that they are put aside at least to portray solidarity at such events. At the end of the day, how is any game affected by what a waterway is called?

1 Comment

  1. Peter M on January 25, 2010 2:22 pm

    Sorry guys but it is called Persian Gulf simply because when it was named for posterity, the Gulf was entirely Persian – this happened when the Portuguese cartographers were sailing these waters. Renaming it doesn’t make sense from a historical perspective. the term Arabian Gulf is an Anglo-American invention from the late 20th century only to suck-up to the Gulf Arabs and get more business/cash out of them. Ego selling…
    As a matter of fact “Arabian Gulf” exists as a term only in the English language; in French, Spanish, Italian, German (at least), the only official name is Persian Gulf in all written documentation. Get over it… Persia as such no longer exists anyway.


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