Everyone has one, but after the Arab invasion of Persia, many of its people felt lost.

As Shahrokh Meskoob quoted,
“Identity is a reactive matter and attention to self becomes more meaningful in relation to others.”

Persians now had a choice, they could accept a new culture, including nationality, language (Arabic) and religion (Islam), or they could hold tight to the unique attributes making up their Persian identities.

Anyone who has heard of Persian pride knows they fought to remain as Persians, not Arabs.

Islam did eventually displace the native Zoroastrian religion, however, the Persians held onto their identity through their language, literature and arts which will be discussed in further detail later.

The confusion between the two ethnicities seems to arise from their shared religion of Islam. Islam is not a nation, nor is it an ethnic group.

It is solely a religion.

Much like African Americans and Japanese can be Christian, Persians and Arabs can be Muslim

Interesting Links: 

  The Language:

The major language in Iran, former Persia, is Farsi.

It is a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages which is a group of the Indo- European languages.

Aside from Iran,

Farsi is spoken in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the Pamirs Mountains.

In keeping their native tongue, Persians expanded the nature of Islam from a religion with primary Arabic origins to a more encompassing world religion.

Persian language became the major literary instrument for many poems and religious works.

Poetry:

Persian poetry is some of the most beautiful poetry in the world and the Persians cultivated four unique types of poetry; the “epic”, the “ghasideh” a purpose poem, the “masnavi” a narrative poem, and the “ghazal” a lyrical poem.

Ferdowsi, author of Shahnameh, took 35 years to write his epic poem about the heroes of Ancient Persia.

In the 13th and 14th centuries Saadi, Rumi and Hafez perfected the ghazal, lyrical poems but filled with passion. And Rumi’s Masnavi is considered one of the most beautiful Persian literary works, if not of all Islamic writings.