x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Social media stork

Walk into any classroom in the Arab world in ten years and you might meet a group of students with unusual names inspired by the times: Google Nasser, Facebook bin Ali, or maybe even Twitter al Yousef.

Walk into any classroom in the Arab world in ten years and you might meet a group of students with unusual names inspired by the times: Google Nasser, Facebook bin Ali, or maybe even Twitter al Yousef.

A grateful Egyptian father could, by then, have unleashed a trend by naming his firstborn daughter in honour of the tool of Egypt's new found political freedom.

As the Arabic-language Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported on Saturday: "A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved. The girl's family, friends and neighbours in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the newborn to express their continuing support."

The little girl's name was Facebook Jamal Ibrahim

In a few years, baby Facebook will undoubtedly join the other 5 million Facebook users in Egypt, not to mention the millions around the region. According to a recent report, the UAE made it to the top 10 countries worldwide for Facebook friends as a percentage of internet users. While US diplomatic skills are a matter of opinion, one form of American soft power has won a great deal of respect.

And perhaps our new first names will be homegrown. If we solve the energy crisis, look for an infant named Masdar.