Over a month ago, 200,000 Syrian Kurds — including Mahmut Beko Muslim, Sultan Muslim, and their six children — fled from their homes in Kobani, Syria.
The bloody, burning city of Kobani has been under fire for weeks as IS fighters have barreled through its streets, killing thousands of Kurds. Airstrikes by the United States-led military coalition are successfully pushing back the jihadist militants.
The Muslim family eventually ended up at a refugee camp in Suruc, Turkey.
A few weeks later they welcomed their seventh child, a baby boy. They named him Muhammed Obama Muslim, middle name in honor of the U.S. President Barack Obama “as a way to thank the United States for the airstrikes aimed at stopping the Islamic State (IS) from taking over [their] hometown of Kobani.”
During President Obama’s Fireside Hangout yesterday, one participant asked the President to help choose a baby name.
At about the 44-minute mark, author John Green introduced his wife Sarah and said, “We are expecting our second child, we have a boy name picked out, but Sarah had a question for you.”
Then Sarah said, “Yes, hello Mr. President, we are wondering if you prefer the name Eleanor or Alice.”
At first, Obama thought the second option was “Alex” (perhaps reason enough to go with Eleanor?). After being corrected, he responded:
You know, I’m gonna leave this up to you guys […] Here’s the reason: if I gave a preference, and you guys went the other way, forever this child would say “The President doesn’t like my name,” which could traumatize them.
But, the main thing is, tell either Eleanor or Alice not to forget to be awesome.
But it does contain a few interesting (if outdated) facts. For instance, I didn’t know that adding “Ann” to girl names was so popular in Jamaica:
In studying the naming patterns of Jamaicans, information from the RGD’s database reveal that more families between the period 1950’s to the mid 90’s gave their children traditional Anglo-Saxon names. It should be noted however that most of these female names included the name Ann.
For instance in the United States and the UK where Lisa, Nicole, Kimberly and Carrie are names which dominated the late 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, the Jamaican twist to these names are Nicole-Ann, Kerry Ann and Lisa Ann.
The page also mentions babies named Usain after Usain Bolt, Obama after the U.S. President, Charlie after Hurricane Charlie (1951), and Gilbert after Hurricane Gilbert (1988).
Know what today is? It’s Britney Spears’ birthday! (Come on, you didn’t already know that?)
So today is the perfect day to start playing the Pop Culture Baby Name Game.
What’s that? It’s a game in which we try to predict which pop culture-inspired baby names will appear on the SSA’s official baby name list for the first time in 2010. Danity and Daughtry made it for the first time in 2007, Obama and Palin in 2008, the infamousRenesmee in 2009…which pop culture baby names will make their debut in 2010?
Think back to notable occurrences of 2010 and late 2009. Think about movies, music, books, video games, sports, politics, products, and whatever else made headlines and/or caught your attention. What brand-new baby names might these things have inspired?
Here are some possibilities I’ve already blogged about:
Over at the New York Times photojournalism blog Lens, Patrick Witty has just finished a series of blog posts about New York-area males with presidential names. In one of his posts, he says:
Some of the presidential doppelgängers I met over the past nine months were named to honor the great men who have occupied the Oval Office; others inherited the name from their fathers. Regardless, living with such a name can be a burden.