12 December 2009

U's mascot is benevolent winged creature

Be the first one on your block to have American University of Afghanistan paraphernalia. Pretty plain, overpriced but the profits support AUAF scholarships, and that’s good. The AUAF mascot, picked by students, is the simorgh (Persian) also spelled simurgh, simurg or simoorg: “the modern Persian name for a fabulous, benevolent, mythical flying creature. The figure can be found in all periods of Greater Iranian art and literature, and is evident also in the iconography of medieval Azerbaijan, Byzantium and other regions that were within the sphere of Persian cultural influence,” according to Wikipedia.

In Iranian art, the simorgh “is depicted as a winged creature in the shape of a bird, gigantic enough to carry off an elephant or a whale. It appears as a kind of peacock with the head of a dog and the claws of a lion; sometimes however also with a human face. The simorgh is inherently benevolent and unambiguously female.”

The AUAF mascot is less colorful that this, a blue image on a white background. Did I say profits support scholarships?

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