Little Mosque on the Prairie creator's name added to future list of street names in Regina
Comedian jokes that her name is too difficult to pronounce
The woman who created Little Mosque on the Prairie has been added to the City of Regina's list of future street names.
Zarqa Nawaz, the creator of the CBC sitcom and author of Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, said she was sent a certificate in the mail saying her name could become a future park or street sign in the city.
Little Mosque on the Prairie aired on CBC from 2002 to 2012, with the premise of a Muslim community in a fictional Saskatchewan town.
Initially, the Regina resident said she felt bad for people who might live on Nawaz street, considering people have been asking how to pronounce her last name for years.
"People have a hard time saying Nawaz," she said. "But my first name is Zarqa, which rhymes with parka, so that probably makes more sense."
She said she also thinks comedian Brent Butt should get the same honour.
"He should also be chosen because he created Corner Gas. And people should be able to live on Butt street," she said. "I feel that that's more appropriate than Nawaz."
Despite her hangups on a street having her name, Nawaz said it is a huge honour to be acknowledged in that way. As a daughter of immigrants, Nawaz said she's happy to have contributed to the country's culture in a way that people think deserves recognition.
"My husband was saying to me, 'This is a big deal.' And I remember, for me, having to absorb that. And to acknowledge that that's a really important thing the city has asked of me."
Nawaz's family originates from Pakistan. When they came to Canada, she said each of her father's brothers were given a different last name.
From what she's been told, Nawaz means respected one.
And if anyone is wondering, it's pronounced with soft a's—Nah-wahz.
Dana Turgeon, historical information and preservation supervisor with the City of Regina, said names are usually suggested by a developer or a member of the public. With Nawaz, it was a member of their committee.
"The street is a permanent reminder of the person's achievements," she said.
According to Turgeon, even when a name is added to the list, it is hard to predict when it will actually be used on a street, as developers decide when they want to use it.