nina-eagles  asked:

Hi Sabaa 😄 I have a real question here. I'd like to know where you get the names of the characters because some caught my attention like Sana, and Mazen. those are Arabian names. Elias's tribal name, Ilyaas is also named by Arabians. His tribe (an saif) >> saif means sword in arabic. Also, jinns and efrits are also creatures of Arabian myth... one more>> Afya ara-nur>> afya means health and nur means light in arabic. And there are many other things but those are the ones on my mind right now.

I consider my characters personalities and destinies and give them a name based off that, but that also generally fits into the naming conventions of the world. The naming conventions are detailed below:  

Martial names are Greco-Roman inspired, or Latin inspired. Livia, Helene, Marcus, Dex, Faris, Demetrius, etc. Elias is an exception, because his given name was “Ilyaas” and his grandfather “Martialized” it, so basically tried to make it sound more Martial. Since so many Martial names end in “us” or “is”,  his grandfather thought it would be fitting. In our world, of course, Elias is a hebrew name. 

The other name that doesn’t quite fit amongst my characters is Hannah. Hannah is also a hebrew name, not a Greco-Roman or Latin name. There is a whole story in the backlogs of my computer about how she always hated that she had a “strange” name for a Martial, but it never made it into the books.  

Scholar names are usually South Asian. But there is some overlap with Arabic names (and I used a lot of Arabic names for the Tribes). It’s sort of similar to our world. My name, “Sabaa” is considered a Pakistani name, a Persian name AND an Arabic name, and there are different meanings. In the Middle East, Sabaa (or Sabah, as it’s spelled) is a boys name. In Pakistan, it’s a girls name. They even have different meanings. 

Jahan, Sana and Lis are all names I stole from South Asian people I either have met or know in passing. Laia is a Catalan (a language in Spain) name, that I found very beautiful, and that had appropriate meaning. Mazen is an Arabic name that I found fitting. 

The one name that really doesn’t fit with Scholar naming conventions is Keenan. And that was done on purpose. If you read Book 2, you’ll see why. It was never really mentioned in the book because I didn’t want to give up the game. 

Generally the thing to remember is that I wasn’t super rigid with names. For the most part, I tried to stick to the naming conventions of the world I created. But just like how in our world, people break naming conventions all the time, or cultural naming conventions overlap, so too, in the world of Ember.