Kactus has a post up at Super Babymama called "Okay, it's too hot to blog, so let's chat" where she asks people about how they came up with their usernames and blog names. I decided to get in on the action and make a post about mine. So, here ya' go!
bint alshamsa="daughter of the sun" or "sun-girl"
Well, it's actually a little more complicated than that. Like many languages, other than English, Arabic words are gendered. They are either muwanath (feminine) or muthaker (masculine). The Arabic word for "sun" is normally masculine so, when you transliterate it into English, you'd usually spell it as "shams". However, you can change a word that is usually masculine into a feminine version by adding a letter called "taa' marbuta". "taa' marbuta" means a letter "t" that has been tied-up. When taa marbuta is at the end of a word, it is pronounced kind of like "ah!" By adding the "a" on the end of "shamsa", I gave it a feminine ending making its meaning more like "daughter of the feminine sun".
I was looking for a word that I felt reflected my personality. I think of myself as the sort of person who always tries to liven up the room no matter where I go. I like seeing people interacting with each other. I see it as a bit of a shame that people can be sitting right next to each other and never even say hello to each other. The German says I have a sunny personality, so I guess that's where I got the idea to use sun imagery. I also wanted to reflect womanhood which is why I changed the gender on the "sun" part of it.
I named my blog "My Private Casbah" because I wanted it to be a place where I could just be me and express my thoughts without having to worry about what my family thinks, what my (old) religion teaches, et cetera. I wanted it to be my fortress against the world. Writing helps me to keep my stress levels manageable. I can speak my mind without being interrupted. I can focus on what's important to me. It's my fortress.