I’m sure many of you have been following along with the events unfolding in Egypt, incredibly reminiscent of Romania’s own 1989 revolution. My hat is definitely off to Al-Jazeera‘s live coverage (in English) as it has been phenomenal.
The center of Egypt’s protests is in “Tahrir Square”, also known as “Midan” (sometimes Maidan) Tahrir, which translates to Liberation (Tahrir) Square (Maidan).
I recognized this word instantly because – ironically enough – I learned the related Romanian word maidanez back in 2006 when the Japanese businessman was killed by a dog. In Romanian, maidanez is an adjective used to describe a dog (rarely another kind of animal) that is homeless, without an owner or in other words “feral”.
The root of the word – maidan – means “square” or public plaza, exactly how it’s used in Egypt. I learned this word via Ukrainian (Майдан – nearly identical pronunciation) during their 2004 revolution, which was centered around Maidan Nezalezhnosti, which means “Independence Plaza” (or “Square”).
The root of this word is actually Persian (from Iran) in origin, used in Arabic, Turkish, Ukrainian and many other languages throughout the world. Therefore in Romanian a feral dog (maidanez) means a dog “of the square” or essentially wandering around the public areas (without an owner).
AND NOW YOU KNOW!