Egypt is debating a new bill to ban parents from giving newborns foreign names like “Mark” and “Lara”. Giving your child a “foreign” name in Egypt could land you in prison.
An Egyptian parliament committee is heading to discuss a proposed law seeking to ban parents from giving newborns western names.
As a deterrent, the draft law proposes a fine of between $55 and $270 as well as a jail term of up to six months.
As many of the parliamentarians pushing the draft law, Bedier Abdel Aziz, says it’s necessary to prevent a loss of heritage.
‘Using such Western names and abandoning Arabic ones will lead to an undesired and radical change in our society and culture,’ Abdel Aziz states.
Abdel Aziz also claims foreign names like “Lara” and “Mark” are difficult for Arabs to pronounce.
In 2014, Saudi Arabia announced a ban on 51 names for their “foreign” origins or affiliations with royalty or for being blasphemous.
The list of banned names included Linda, a feminine name of German origins.
If you know a girl her name is ‘Gamila’
— Arabeya Cairo (@arabeyacairo) April 3, 2017
No Marks anymore…
— SBS Life (@SBS_Life) June 13, 2017