– Pakistan, Jordan –
Sikander is a persianized version of the name Alexander. In South Asia, particularly around the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikstan, the name Sikander often refers to the legendary Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great left a profound and lasting mark on the region after he campaigned across Persia. Ethnicities mixed, new communities were founded, and Greek culture began to take root because of him. Alexander became deified around these parts – a phenomenon that somewhat inspired one of my favorite films The Man Who Would Be King – and, to this day, he is still treated with reverence.
Whenever I visit South Asia, I always enjoy hearing old stories about Sikander: about the offspring of his rebellious generals in the Kalash Valley; about Bucephalus drinking from Iskanderkul; all of them. To me, these tales are a small, yet powerful, string that connects Western and Eastern histories.