The Egyptian authorities are considering to a place ban on parents giving their children “Western” names, with a possible jail sentence for offenders.
A draft law banning the use of ‘foreign names’ like “Mark”, “Lara” and “Sam” was introduced by one of Egypt’s 588 MPs, MP Bedier Abdel Aziz and discussed by his country’s parliament Tuesday.
According to the Egypt Independent newspaper, he claims that a spread of American and European names in new generations will divorce Egyptians from their “true identity”.
“Using such Western names and abandoning Arabic ones will lead to an undesired and radical change in our society and culture.
“Our sons will no longer be connected to their true identity,”
Aziz who also claimed that Western names can be hard to pronounce, suggested punishment of up to $250 fine or six months in prison for offenders.
If the ban finally puts in place, Egypt would not be alone in operating a ban on certain names. In 2014, Saudi Arabia banned 50 names, including Linda, Sandy, and Alice.
The draft law has however, been criticized by social media users who, citing it as a baseless matter that the Parliament should not discuss.