The Roots of a Name: What is Barack?

This is an article I read on a email newsgroup. The original author is Parviz Varjavand

Tonight was a very special night as Barack Obama became the president of the United States of America. May the Barack be with him and stay with him.

Barack is not an Arabic word but a Moarrab word.

What are Moarrab words?

Moarrab words are words who have their roots in Persian and from there they have entered the Arabic language In ancient times. My dear and departed mentor Dr. Sadegh Kia was the greatest authority on Moarrab words, but what I am writing here as to the Persian roots of Barack, I am taking from the book “Jostar dar bareye Mehr va Nahid” written by my other mentor Dr. Mohamad Moghadam.

Barack and Baraka and Barakat with the plural as Barak’aat means Blessings in Arabic, but also somthing more than blessings. Let us look at their Persian root to get a better grasp of the meaning. Parak was how the Sassanians used the word and when it went from Sassanian Persia to Arabic, the P changed to a B as the Arabs can not pronounce P and usualy change it to B. My name Parviz was pronounced Barwis by my Arab classmates when I went to high school in Beirut, Lebanon.

What Sassanians called Parack is related to Farr or Far’rah usually referred to as Far’rah’e Izadi or God Given Grace. Farr-a-va-Har literally means the Force that pushes us Forward. You are probably familiar with the portrait of the Achamenian Faravahar as that of a man who comes out of a winged disk and flies above the head of the king on rock carvings. The Sassanian Parack is different and it is usually depicted by a ring to which a silk ribbon is tied and many times an angel holds it above the head of the king or the hero. The Roman laurel placed on the head or carried above the head of the hero or Caesar in Rome is also a form of the Parack. The ancient root of all these words is Xwarnah. Xorah or Xowarnah is the oldest from of this Persian word which means Kingly Glory or the Divine Grace that leads the hero to glory. From Xwarnah to Farr to Parak to Barack is a very long journey, but a real and historic one, linguistically speaking.

May the Barack stay with Obama. The way his path opened up to take him to the highest office was truly something that can only be the work of the Barack force.

May the Barack be with you, dear Obama.

May the Barack stay with you on your monumental journey.

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  • Sam

    Proud to be persian !