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
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!