More on “gawhar” and “jawhar”

…can be found over at my Persian blog.

I would add that, while Arabic’s run as the official language of government and history-writing was relatively short in Iraq and points east, it had a very long run in North Africa, Egypt, and the Levant (and Arabia as well, but after the caliphal capital was moved from Medina to Damascus in 661 by Caliph Muʿāwiyah I, Arabia was largely ruled, “protected” under the usual regal parlance, by outside powers until the end of World War I). It wasn’t until the Ottomans conquered Egypt in 1517 that the official language of Egypt and Syria became something other than Arabic (by then Turkish, as the Ottomans were moving from Persian to their native Turkish for official purposes), and Arabic made a resurgence under the 19th century Ottoman “governor” (who ruled Egypt autonomously in every practical way) Muhammad Ali Pasha, though Muhammad Ali himself, ethnically Albanian, maintained Turkish as the official language.

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