3.02.2016

Woes of Having An Unusual Name

I have always adored my name.
Noor Unnahar (that's my name) Siddique (that's my surname). Noor is an Arabic word that means Light. It's a pretty popular name all around the world. Well, that's definitely not a problem. The actual thing is my name being a little bit longer. Nur On-Na-Haar, this is how it is pronounced. It means the brightness of dawn.
Growing up, I had always had nicknames that worked well with the family and friends. My mother loved to call me Noori and as a result, almost everyone started calling me that. Though I got to know after years that Noori itself is another name. There there, life.
Khair, back to my name, I though it was cool to have a name so unusual people would re-ask. But after a bit of experience, it turned out to be a difficult thing to handle than to enjoy.

When I enrolled in high school, my teachers' first response was a wrong pronunciation of my name. Noor Un-Niharrrrr or Noor Un-Naherr. I had no idea why my name was too hard for others to get right. Perhaps it was the unusualness of this name or something that didn't help. So one of my class rituals included telling others how to actually say my name and snapping an NO when someone decided they didn't want to call me anything but Noor.

Then, there came another issue. Why do you have two surnames in your name? My friends would ask. Turned out there was a surname that was spelled quite similarly to the second part of my name Unnahar. So it looked like as if I had TWO surnames. Tsk tsk. I really didn't like this situation. But of course, I had to keep correcting everyone as they went on. Looking back, I wonder why did it even matter to me to keep telling how I had only one surname? They would eventually figure it out on their own. I will probably blame the high school times and the habits of proving everything right back then (yikes!).

Here's a Snapchat version of me, wondering about life and issues like this.

I am positive this streak of how do I call your name? is going to stay with me like a curse spelled by a witch of old days. I can either keep fixing it or go with the flow so everyone will get that eventually. I am so used to of listening only Noor that I feel surprised when people actually call me Noor Unnahar. Or worried when my mother does that since it's the universal sign of trouble when it's coming from here: "Noor Unnahar, can we talk?" Sure, here come the trouble. I have a little story behind my name, too.

I suppose I am not alone in the woes of having an utterly unusual name that people hardly get right. Do you have an unusual name?

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