The Parliament’s Complaints and Suggestions Committee is expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss a draft law, introduced by MP Bedier Abdel Aziz, prohibiting the usage of ‘foreign’ names for newly born babies in Egypt.
The law would impose a fine, and in some cases a prison sentence, on individuals who give their children Western names.
“The fine should be between LE1,000- LE5,000 and the sentence should be six months at the most,” MP Abdel Aziz said in a statement on Sunday.
As for what motivated him to propose this law, MP Abdel-Aziz explained that Western names such as ‘Lara’, Mark’ or ‘Sam’ are difficult to pronounce for other Arabs.
“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,” he claimed.
The draft law has caused massive outrage among social media users who have expressed their condemnation, citing it as a trivial matter that the Parliament should not discuss.
Among other draft laws to be discussed this Tuesday is one that would force Facebook users to take out a license, with the agenda of government surveillance of social media, as well as a bill that would impose a fine on couples that break off their engagement without justifiable reasons.