While number of Ahwazi activists within Al-Ahwaz region are campaigning for the return of Arabic names for their cities and villages, and they have faced barbaric arrests and prisons for their peaceful demands, in unprecedented move from Iranian ministry , they have change one of the Ahwazi village name to Persian a few days ago.
More recently, with the approval of the Iranian State Divisions Commission, the government has transformed the “Arab Hassan” village to city, a number of officials, in particular the parliamentarian, have said that the process of converting the “Arab Hassan” village of to the city will change its name to “”Avan”.
However, the change of an Ahwazi village’s name is considered in a number of ways contrary to the law as well as an anti-cultural act against Ahwazi people:
First: the Arab Hassan village name been assigned since its establishment. Indeed, Arab Hasan name has its roots in the history and culture of the mentioned geographical area.
Second: “Avan” is a fake name, ambiguous and lacks any relation to the authenticity, identity, history and language of the inhabitants of the “Arab Hassan” region.
Third: The name of every village, town, and neighbourhood derived from the history and culture of its people and it is a symbol of their identity and cannot be changed on the basis of political or racial motives without obtaining permission from the residents.
Forth: Renaming with any motive under the pretext of new divisions, in addition to the security and political implications, it is an anticultural activity, will create confrontation and, on the other hand, will damage the people’s trust.
“Arab Hassan” is one of the village of Toster (Shushtar) city with population of nearly 3000 person, and its located a few meters from Ahwazi natural resources such as oil and gas.
The residents of “Arab Hassan” village are stating that they saw the change in name only ( village to city) and nothing been changed in their village so far.
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights