Kashmiri Naming Question
Posted: 15 May 2017 04:54 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I turn to the wisdom of the hivemind:

How would one make a short-hand reference to the Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali? I’m guessing that it would be best to say Shahid, but I’m not sure.

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Posted: 15 May 2017 06:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Does this help? http://www.koausa.org/iils/pdf/ModesofAddress.pdf

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Posted: 15 May 2017 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ali (like any other surname).  See here.

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Posted: 15 May 2017 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The N.Y. Times agrees with lh.  From its obituary for Mr. Ali-

When Mr. Ali became a finalist for the National Book Award, the poet laureate of Maryland, Michael Collier, wrote: ‘’As a Kashmiri, Ali is aware of the historical vicissitudes that breed violence and hatred in people who once lived together peacefully.

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Posted: 15 May 2017 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There are a number of journal articles about his poetry that refer to him as Shahid. So I’m not sure there is a standard. I gather (and I may be wrong) that Agha is a familial honorific, and that Shahid was what his friends addressed him as.

I just don’t want to unthinkingly impose a Western naming convention where it isn’t appropriate. But, barring authoritative info on Kashmiri naming practices, I’ll probably go with Ali, though, as that’s how he is catalogued in bibliographies.

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Posted: 15 May 2017 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Allow me to further confuse the matter.

Agha, also Aga (from Turkish: agha meaning “chief, master, lord”) was an Honorific title for a civilian or military officer among the Qazilbaash, or often such title, was placed after the name of certain military functionaries in the Safavid & Ottoman Empire. Later the descendants of these important functionaries started using the title as a surname. Though the word Agha specifically means a chief among the Qazalbaash, but in India and pakistan the Syeds use the title as a prefix, ...

source:

https://aghafamilyofsrinagarkashmir.wordpress.com

Of course that doesn’t suggest any particular English usage.

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Posted: 15 May 2017 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I just don’t want to unthinkingly impose a Western naming convention where it isn’t appropriate.

But he was Kashmiri-American, so it is appropriate.  Whatever he went by in Kashmir, and however the name parses in Kashmiri, he clearly chose to be known as Mr. Ali over here (all those sites wouldn’t have just winged it).

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