Syrian-Kurdish family names newborn ‘Obama’
‘We named him Muhammed Obama Muslim,’ father Mahmut Beko said.
A Syrian-Kurdish woman, one of thousands who fled their hometown of Kobane in Syria, named her newborn after U.S. President Barack Obama, Agence-France Presse reported.
“We named him Muhammed Obama Muslim,” father Mahmut Beko said.
Obama is the seventh child in his family, and owes his name to the U.S.-led coalition that has been striking Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants who continue to battle Kurdish forces for control over Kobane.
“I gave my son this name from my heart. I will never change this name,” the shy 35-year-old told AFP in a refugee camp in the Turkish city of Suruc.
“He dispatched planes, aid for us. Because of his help maybe we will get rid of this cruelty and get back to our homes,” she said, as she held her three-day-old son.
The family fled their home almost a month ago along with almost 200,000 Kurds who escaped ISIS’ notorious reputation of mass killings and abductions.
“We were stranded at the border for days, without water or food,” said the young mother.
“We did not take any clothes to wear. We did not have any blankets ... I was pregnant and had no chance of taking a bath.”
“Nobody helped us but Obama”
“We want Obama to help us so that we can get back home. We are also human beings. We, the Kurds, attacked whom, fight against whom?” Obama’s father cried out.
Obama now lives with his family at the “Rojova Cadir Kenti” refugee camp where thousands of displaced rejoice over U.S.-led coalition air strikes have killed more than 500 ISIS militants during a month-long campaign in Syria.
U.S. planes have also dropped bundles of supplies, which include ammunitions and weapons, to help Syrian Kurdish fighters trying to defend Kobane from the ISIS, the extremist Sunni Muslim group that has seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.
Turkey, long at odds with Kurdish separatists, has criticized the air drops and officials said some of the supplies have fallen into ISIS hands.
Near Suruc, both Turkish and Syrian Kurds watch from hilltops, breaking out in cheers, whistles and chanting, “Obama, Obama” at each airstrike.
“Like the Americans, the whole world should help the Kurds in Kobane. We have no true friends other than the Americans,” said Selami Altay, a Turkish Kurd, sitting on a rock watching the battles.
Sultan Muslim, meanwhile, said despite all she had an easy birth, taken by ambulance from the tent city to a hospital in Suruc.
And despite the miserable conditions and uncertainty, she has dreams for her baby.
“The day will come when he grows up and becomes like him [President Obama] and saves people from cruelty.”
“Nobody helped us, but him,” she said.