A Saudi man's decision to name his daughter after President Donald Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka has sparked debate, especially after the government told him he could not legally choose that as her name.
Salem Amer Salem al-Ayashi al-Anzi confirmed that he has chosen to name his daughter after Ivanka Trump, the Washington Post reported.
Reports of a Saudi baby named Ivanka began circulating on popular social media app WhatsApp. A photograph of the baby's birth certificate was shared.
"I admire the leadership of her father," al-Anzi said in a WhatsApp message after the girl was born in May. He also praised Trump for bombing a Syrian airbase in response to the chemical attack on "innocent children."
Al-Anzi added that he was happy with Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia and meeting with the Saudi king.
Still, the choice of name sparked debate among social media users, who argued whether the name was appropriate.
According to Arab News, the father chose the name after his co-workers told him the name would not be allowed by the Saudi government. Journalist Moteeran al-Nams said al-Anzi saw this a challenge.
“And in our culture, we don’t step back from a challenge,” al-Nams was quoted as saying.
The Saudi government restricts the use of names of foreign origin or linked to royalty or religion, and there is some confusion as to whether the name was approved by the government.
Gulf News reported that the name was deemed unacceptable.
"The Civil Status department informed me that the name could not be approved because it was foreign," al-Anzi said, according to Gulf News. "I pleaded with them to accept the name, but they said that the law did not permit it."
Al-Anzi said his daughter will be known as "Ivanka" within the family, but her legal name will be "Luma," an Arabic name that translates as "female with beautiful lips."
“Even though my daughter will not be formally named Ivanka, I will continue to call her Ivanka within the family because I do not see any problem with the name,” he continued. “I opted for the name because I liked it. My choice has nothing to do with Donald Trump’s daughter.”
However, Arab News reported that the name "Ivanka" was approved by the Civil Status authority of Riyadh. The father's co-workers, who were impressed with the feat, then reportedly paid for the child's baby shower.
Meanwhile, the White House announced on May 4 that Trump will be visiting Saudi Arabia soon.