Daesh – it's a new name the so-called Islamic State loathes to be called, so much so it has reportedly threatened to 'cut out the tongues' of anyone it hears using the title to describe the terrorist group. But what's in a name? For one ordinary woman living in Germany who goes by the appellation, it's a form of endearment. Meet Daesh Ventiljova, a Russian-born dance teacher based in Kassel, Germany, proud of her moniker as it "exists much longer before anyone on this planet got to know anything about ISIS". Metro spoke exclusively to the 28-year-old about her topical name.
Q: Tell us about your name.
– The origin of my name is in fact Persian, it is derived from "Daria". The term of endearment of this name is in Russian "Dasha". When I was about 15-16 years old, I started to rap and searched for a cool MC name, one that would be a perfect fit for what I define myself to be. And I had the idea of "Däsh". It is derived from Dasha, but sounds more English/American, where hip hop comes from. And "Daesh" is a variation of writing my name in German.
Q: Has it caused any problems for you?
– There were no strange situations in my life caused by this name. Earlier one friend told me about its meaning and said there can be only one "Daesh" – and that's me... So, in fact, I don't care, because my name exists much longer before anyone on this planet got to know anything about ISIS. That group has nothing to do with my name and I don't identify myself with this.
Q: Perhaps it has given you some unnecessary baggage?
– At the moment, no baggage – it doesn't hinder me in any way. I like my name.
Q: Don’t you think it is 'bad luck' to have such a name?
– Yes, because Islamic State is not an organization I would like to support. I am against terrorism, so of course it's bad luck that my name now symbolizes it.
Q: ISIS has threatened to 'cut out the tongues' of anyone who utters ‘Daesh’. Would you like to change your name?
– No, I don't want to change it and I don't want to explain anyone again why I have taken this name.
Q: How do you feel about the so-called Islamic State and its actions?
– Sad, angry and curious why people do such cruel things. But I hope we'll find the right solution and do great changes in some time.
– By Dmitry Belyaev