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Raouf
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« on: November 21, 2002, 12:26:21 PM »

Friends,
 
I have had this thought for some time now and am curious about what you think. Although I was born in Egypt, I came with my parents when I was 6 months old to the US. As such, I don't read/write Arabic, speak it little (although I understand it pretty well), don't really know how to cook Egyptian foods, don't listen to Egyptian music (I mean popular music - not liturgical), etc...My wife is the same (although she came at age 3)
 
I am very dedicated to my Coptic Orthodox faith, but other than that, I am really not that "Egyptian".
 
Now...my parents named me "Raouf"...and as you might imagine, it is a difficult name, and a very "Middle Eastern" name. I never in my life ever thought of changing my name (although at times when I was younger I wished I had a more "American" name and even wished I wasn't dark skinned). I am very proud of my heritage, and am completely content with how I look - my wife is gorgeous so I must be decent enough Smiley  But....especially after 9/11....it seems like the name "Raouf" may be a thorn in my future, or rather a thorn possibly for my family (who all have easier names), since I am the primary (currently) income earner.
 
So...now to my question. What is your opinion on changing ones first name? Keep in mind I was not baptized by that name - my parents baptized me in the name of George, after St. George (not that I am thinking of using this name). So, is there another spiritual, religious, moral reason to keep my birth name? Is it a sign of weakness, pride, lack of faith, to want to change it?
 
I would say that now I am only 25% serious about this, but am very curious as to what others think. Just so you know, my Starbuck's name is Ray! Smiley
 
In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2002, 12:39:23 PM »

[Keep in mind I was not baptized by that name - my parents baptized me in the name of George, after St. George (not that I am thinking of using this name). So, is there another spiritual, religious, moral reason to keep my birth name? Is it a sign of weakness, pride, lack of faith, to want to change it?]

If you were baptised George then that is the name you are known to God by.  Why not be known by that same name here on earth?

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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2002, 01:04:39 PM »

Friends,
 
I have had this thought for some time now and am curious about what you think. Although I was born in Egypt, I came with my parents when I was 6 months old to the US. As such, I don't read/write Arabic, speak it little (although I understand it pretty well), don't really know how to cook Egyptian foods, don't listen to Egyptian music (I mean popular music - not liturgical), etc...My wife is the same (although she came at age 3)
 
I am very dedicated to my Coptic Orthodox faith, but other than that, I am really not that "Egyptian".
 
Now...my parents named me "Raouf"...and as you might imagine, it is a difficult name, and a very "Middle Eastern" name. I never in my life ever thought of changing my name (although at times when I was younger I wished I had a more "American" name and even wished I wasn't dark skinned). I am very proud of my heritage, and am completely content with how I look - my wife is gorgeous so I must be decent enough Smiley  But....especially after 9/11....it seems like the name "Raouf" may be a thorn in my future, or rather a thorn possibly for my family (who all have easier names), since I am the primary (currently) income earner.
 
So...now to my question. What is your opinion on changing ones first name? Keep in mind I was not baptized by that name - my parents baptized me in the name of George, after St. George (not that I am thinking of using this name). So, is there another spiritual, religious, moral reason to keep my birth name? Is it a sign of weakness, pride, lack of faith, to want to change it?
 
I would say that now I am only 25% serious about this, but am very curious as to what others think. Just so you know, my Starbuck's name is Ray! Smiley
 
In Christ,
Raouf

What will your parents think?

Abdur Islamovic (You think you have problems!) Huh
« Last Edit: November 21, 2002, 01:06:20 PM by emmaus way » Logged
Raouf
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2002, 01:27:46 PM »

If you were baptised George then that is the name you are known to God by.  Why not be known by that same name here on earth?

Orthodoc

Dear Orthodoc,

Well...the thing is, my parents essentially used that name at my baptism because I needed  a "Christian" name. But I have never been known by that name, it has never been even mentioned except as a point of "did you know this about your baptism.." type of trivia, and in all honesty, out of the many saints I love, I don't have any real closeness to St. George.

So that name seems very "foreign" to me. But what do you think of the initial question about changing one's name from an Orthodox standpoint?

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2002, 01:30:10 PM »

What will your parents think?

Dear Abdur,

I don't think they would mind at all...my dad's name is "Wagdy" and yet throughout his whole successful career in business he went by "Willie".

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2002, 01:49:16 PM »

 [But what do you think of the initial question about changing one's name from an Orthodox standpoint?]

I'm in a reverse situation.  My secular name is Robert but my baptismal name is Gregory.  My father (who was named Gregory) wanted Robert.  The priest at the time would not baptise me Robert (he was an old Russian priest who never heard the name before).  So they comprised and baptised me Gregory.

Some people call me Robert and some Gregory.  I answer to both.

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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2002, 01:51:32 PM »

What will your parents think?

Dear Abdur,

I don't think they would mind at all...my dad's name is "Wagdy" and yet throughout his whole successful career in business he went by "Willie".

In Christ,
Raouf

Willie? That's good, Raouf.

I sympathize with you. I live in the South and legally changed--anglicized-- my name decades ago for utilitarian reasons.

Less than a year ago I reclaimed my birth name and I am glad I did...even with the predictable prejudices.

In the Lord Jesus,

Abdur

« Last Edit: November 21, 2002, 01:54:41 PM by emmaus way » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2002, 02:59:32 PM »

Dear Raouf:

Since you are in the U.S. now, and presumably already a citizen,  a more important consideration would be to have the name change legal.

Assuming that "Raouf" is your first name on your passport (or on your driver's license), which was based on your birth certificate, a lawful change of name may be approved by any competent U.S. court  based on your circumstances.

A lawyer especializing in Family Law can assist you in filing the appropriate petition. (If you were in Chicago, I could possibly help you as I work for a lawyer who does these things.)

The choice of a name replacement is entirely yours (for as long as it is "defensible").  Normally, a name with a meaning or sounding similar to your present name is preferable.  Since you are now known and called by your friends and family as "Ray," this could be your "new" legal name,  or you could choose from among the morphological origins of "Ray" such as Raymond and Ramon.

On the other hand, "Raouf" could be replaced with "Raphael" or "Rafael" and you can retain your nickname "Ray" or adopt and adapt to "Ralph" or "Raffy"  as your nickname.

There could be some religious reasons for not changing your first name but "legality" is, as you very well know, paramount here in the U.S.


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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2002, 03:29:28 PM »

This may sound cliche, but why let the terrorists win?

I have a name by which I am known by my relatives and others; it is Indian, and not my name in baptism, and I've never liked it at all.  I prefer that people call me by my baptismal name.  But all these years later, the habit just won't die, so I deal with it, and don't really mind it.  If I had my way, though, would people call me by that name?  No...I prefer my baptismal name.  But the reason for that is not because it's my baptismal name, but rather because I like that name better than the other.  

But if you like "Raouf", why not keep it?  Be proud of it.  It's a part of you.  If you didn't like it, that's one thing, but if you do like it, why give it up?  It's gonna be tough for a while, but it's not gonna get impossible.  I was interviewed by the FBI because someone thought I might be a terrorist.  It happens.  But it also passes.  Don't worry about your name...the only reason you should change it, in my opinion, is if you don't like it.
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2002, 03:34:09 PM »

Raouf,

I support whatever is best for you.

And, of course, you have discussed this issue with your wife....or... Cheesy

In the Lord Jesus,

Abdur
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2002, 03:34:23 PM »

Well...it's not only because of 9/11, but in general, my name is very difficult to pronounce correctly. Here is a typical conversation when first meeting someoene:
 
Me: "hi, my name is Raouf"
 
Other: "Rove?"
 
Me: "no, Ra-ooof"
 
Other: "oh..Ray-oof"
 
Me: "no Raouf like Raul with an 'f' at the end"
 
Other: "oh ok, Ralph"
 
Me giving up: "yea...(sigh)"
 
You cam imagine how long this adds to my Starbuck's experience...hence "Ray" Smiley
 
As I said...this is not something I am serious about, but have just begun to think about it.
 
In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2002, 03:43:05 PM »

Ok just to add some twists to this:

My firends and family have a different nickname for me....are you ready...."FOFO".... proncounced as FUFU, as in little bunny...

STOP LAUGHING!

So my brother calls me Foo, my mom Fofo, and some friends call me Foof. BUT I am not about to use this name as my secular name!

My Father of Confession calls me Clement, because in Arabic "Raouf" means "compassionate", which can be translated into the English "clemency" or the name "Clement". And since I am Coptic, Clement after St. Clement of Alexandria.

But I don't think my wife likes Clement.

In Christ,
Raouf
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2002, 04:12:06 PM »

Raouf,

You could always change the f to an l and go by Raoul.  Smiley

Being a member in a parish with a lot of converts we have some that go by their baptismal/chrismated name and some that go by their birth name.  My parents must have had the foresight that I would become Orthodox when they named me David Elias which gave me two prophets to choose from.  

To keep things simple you may just want to use Ray or Ralph.  Hope you find the answer you're looking for.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2002, 01:16:28 AM »

Friends,
 
So, is there another spiritual, religious, moral reason to keep my birth name? Is it a sign of weakness, pride, lack of faith, to want to change it?

Just so you know, my Starbuck's name is Ray! Smiley
In Christ,
Raouf

Eh ya Foo-Foo? Eh yebnee? Mosh 'agbek ismek? lol

Just kidding. I should be the last one to talk about names, since i go by a few. Wink

To be honest, I cannot think of any spiritual reason why it would be wrong for you to change your name - since you aren't changing it in denial of your Orthodoxy (Raouf works for both Christians and Muslims anyway), nor are you denying your Egyptian roots (thank God Wink i'd have a tiff with you if you did that), nor are you doing it for reasons of pride, or weakness, or 'lack of faith'...it seems like you are doing it more in resignation! lol

It's just a matter of identity I guess. Like, you have been called that name for your whole life (albeit corrupted versions of that name). Don't you feel a type of attachment to it, a sort of label that is you even when people say it wrong? I couldn't change my name from Mina here, despite the fact that I can't count how many times I've been referred to as "she" or "her"...even in our campus paper! ...because I've become that name - so I guess it depends on your attachment. Of course, we could solve all this by ordaining you as a priest (i'd say monk...but that's outta the picture now!) Just ask yourself, what would Karissa say if she could speak?

and what on earth is a starbuck? isn't that a coffee place?

Peace and grace.
Agape,
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Amen, maranatha!
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2002, 09:16:36 AM »

I can't tell you what to do but if I were in your shoes I'd think Raouf was a cool-sounding name and worth the periodic distortion into 'Ralph'.
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2002, 11:56:51 AM »

All I'll say is that if Starbucks is now in the business and habit of dishing out names, I suppose I should go by the name Chocolate Man from now on.

Iftikhir bi ismak ya raagil!

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Press your face against the monitor and kiss it in veneration.  Yalla ya foo foo.  Smiley  La tinsat sal'leb eidak 'ala wuj'jak.

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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2002, 12:17:13 PM »

Mina, Fortunatus, and Wak-Wak!

OK...I knew telling you all my nickname was a bad idea Smiley

Yes...I do feel a special attachment to my name, and it would be very hard to get used to something else. As it is now, I feel very guilty when the Starbuck's lady says "Ray your Americano is ready". I feel like I am being sneaky and untruthful. Weird huh?

Anyway for those who are caffeine challenged, the Starbucks reference was to the fact that when you go into a Starbuck's coffee house and order a drink they usually ask you for a name because of the many people in line and so that you get the right drink when its ready.

But the problem is that the person taking your order and the one calling out your name when the drink is ready are two different people. So I usually would spend a good 20 seconds pronouncing and spelling my name for the person at the cash register only to have the barista (sp?) butcher it out loud when my drink was ready. So...my Starbuck's name is Ray...it makes my life easier.

Speaking of Karissa...she woke up this morning at 5am and was singing non-stop. It was so cute that I woke up to just to play with her and enjoy her beautiful smile.

So, do you think the Church would allow Abouna Fofo?

We leave for Cabo San Lucas tomorrow morning for a week.  Keep us in your prayers!

Samer and Serge...thanks for the comments!
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2002, 01:20:26 PM »

Ray....Ray...hmnnn.

How about an Anglo-Egyptian variant: Amen-Ray?

Can you recite the Hymn to Aton by heart?

"Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky... ."

Abdur
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2002, 08:54:20 PM »

All I'll say is that if Starbucks is now in the business and habit of dishing out names, I suppose I should go by the name Chocolate Man from now on.

Iftikhir bi ismak ya raagil!

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Press your face against the monitor and kiss it in veneration.  Yalla ya foo foo.  Smiley  La tinsat sal'leb eidak 'ala wuj'jak.

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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2002, 03:23:16 PM »

I can't tell you what to do but if I were in your shoes I'd think Raouf was a cool-sounding name and worth the periodic distortion into 'Ralph'.

Haha! My grandpa's name is Ralph!!  Cheesy

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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2002, 03:07:01 PM »

Raouf:

You can always choose the name Ralph, which is not hard to pronnunciate, and it is close to your name, and in fact it means the same.

best wishes
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