There are in excess of a hundred million of Persians worldwide. They are a disparate group, yet they are united through their core beliefs. They are a group whose origins are found several millennia in the past, their ethnicity often inextricably linked with their heritage. Hitherto, however, there has been no way to easily unify them and their common cultural, linguistic and historical heritage. The word .همراه (.hamrah) means concomitant, compeer or comrade, bringing a sense of being together. Thus, the .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD, and the online unification it will create, is the perfect way to bring this disparate group together.
The origins of the ethnic Persian community can be traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of the greater Indo-European linguistic family. The Ancient Iranian peoples arrived in parts of Iranian plateau around 2000-1500 BCE. Important Iranian tribes such as Old Persians, Medes, Parthians, Bactrians, Scythians, and the Avesta people used the name Arya (Iranian), which was a collective definition, denoting peoples who were aware of belonging to the one ethnic stock, speaking a common language, and mainly sharing a religious tradition that centered on the worship of Ahura Mazda.
The Old Persians (one of these ethnic Iranian groups) were originally nomadic, pastoral people occupying the western Iranian plateau. By 850 BCE they were calling themselves the Parsa, and their constantly shifting territory Parsua for the most part localized around Persis (Pars), bounded on the west by Tigris River and on the south by Persian Gulf. The first known written record of the term Persian is from Assyrian inscriptions of the 9th century BCE, which mention both Parsuash and Parsua. These cognate words were taken from old Iranian Parsava and presumably meant border, borderland and were geographical designations for Iranian populations. Nonetheless, Parsua and Parsuash were two different geographical locations - the latter referring to southwestern Iran, known in Old Persian as Pârsa (Modern Fars). The Greeks (who tended earlier to use names related to ʺMedianʺ) began in the 5th century to use adjectives such as Perses, Persica or Persis for Cyrus the Greatʹs empire, which is where the word Persian in English comes from. In the later parts of the Bible, where this kingdom is frequently mentioned (Books of Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemya), it is called ʺParasʺ (Hebrew פרס ), or sometimes ʺParas ve Madaiʺ (פרס ומדי ) i.e. ʺPersia and Mediaʺ. As the Old Persians gained power, they developed the infrastructure to support their growing influence including creation of a capital named Pasargadae, and an opulent city named Persepolis.
Starting around 550 BCE, from the region of Persis in southern Iran, encompassing the present Fars province, the ancient Persians spread their language and culture to other parts of the Iranian plateau and assimilated and intermingled with local Iranic and indigenous non-Iranic groups including the Elamites over time. Persians also interacted with other ancient civilizations in Europe and Africa. The first Persian Empire extended as far as the limits of the Greek city states, where Persians and Athenians influenced each other in what is essentially a reciprocal cultural exchange.
While the .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD ties back linguistically and culturally to the Persian people, it also has the potential to tie together the tens of millions of people across the globe who read Persian-script languages.
The word همراه (hamrah) particularly brings Persian speaking people together because it provides a sense of “not being alone” because of the meaning it has (as described above, concomitant and other derivations of this concept). Equally, .همراه (.hamrah) will offer Persians worldwide the opportunity to read their desired content purely in Persian script, facilitating internet use for those who do not speak English. Thus, while the .همراه (.hamrah) TLD ties back linguistically and culturally to the Persian people, it also has the potential to tie together the tens of millions of people across the globe who read Persian-script languages.
A robust gTLD has the power to bring together people across national borders in a free-flowing exchange of information and commerce. There is not a .COM or .ORG equivalent of the .همراه (.hamrah) --a domain that has universal appeal across a common origin. ICANN is dedicated to creating more competition in the TLD space, and the introduction of Persian-speakers online through a .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD does so in one simple stroke.
Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti. (AGITSys) was founded by individuals of Persian origin who derive a great sense of honor and pride from their community, history and ancestry. AGITSys’ founders have gathered together a team with extensive experience in Persian language on the Internet, a daunting but critical task. The team behind AGITSys, including technical advisor⁄member Dr. Shahram Soboutipour, has taken a leading role in working toward Persian domain names (something it considers inevitable) for more than 8 years. No entity is better suited to manage the .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD, nor more dedicated to providing new online tools and services to facilitate the unification of the .همراه (.hamrah) community online. The .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD will increasingly open up the vast resources of the Internet and the associated global interconnectedness to this Persian community, while stimulating the introduction of more online information and resources in the Persian language – and AGITSys will be at the helm of this change.
The company is not only perfectly situated ideologically, but also physically, as is headquartered in Turkey, which ties together the global Persian population through close relations both with the citizens of Persian-speaking countries in the East, as well as the diasporas of Persian language speakers in Western nations. Turkey’s geographical and political location aids it enormously in the endeavors needed for the .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD to be a success, as it literally and figuratively sits in-between the East and West. This is important because the .همراه (.hamrah) gTLD is designed to accommodate people from all over the world, not only traditionally Persian areas. Thus, AGITSysʹ team’s work with ICANN has always looked toward not just to serving the Afghan, Tajik and Iranian people but all users of Persian-script languages.