When Sayed Asadullah Poya, a 28-year-old teacher from Kabul, Afghanistan, decided to name his son ‘Donald Trump’, he hoped it would bring him good fortune. So far, it has only made life a lot harder for the whole family, and the future doesn’t look too bright.
Sayed’s wife, Jamila, gave birth to their son in August of 2016, when American millionaire Donald Trump was involved in a campaign for president of the United States. But it wasn’t the tumultuous political career of Trump that fascinated the young teacher; it was his business acumen and his go-getter attitude. He had just finished reading a translation of “Trump: How to Get Rich”, a 2004 book by the ex-star of The Apprentice, and after seeing his son’s unusual shock of blond hair, he just knew he wanted to name the boy ‘Donald Trump’. Time would prove that he should have given that decision a bit more thought.
“I did a lot of research about him and that motivated me to choose his name for my son,” Poya recently told AFP. “I loved his personality. I thought he is the best at economics and he is great at politics. I thought ‘This is a great man.’ I liked the way he decides he wants something and then he goes and gets it.”
Sayed’s own parents were furious with him for giving the boy a non-Muslim name, and the local Imam spent a whole sermon talking about this, calling the name an insult to their religion. They lived with Sayed’s family, in central Afghanistan, back then, but after his father got tired of hearing the boy’s American name every day, the teacher quit his job and decided to move his family to Kabul.
“Every day the situation got worse,” Poya recalled. “Every day in the house, when I was calling my son Trump, my father got angrier and angrier, until finally my father couldn’t tolerate it anymore.”
But things have been going much better in the capital either. Last week, a group of angry people asked Poya’s landlord to kick him and his family out as punishment for giving his boy an “infidel name”. Others have accused him of trying to win the US President’s favor in order to improve his chances of gaining asylum in the United States, something that Sayed vehemently denies.
The Afghan man and his wife have had to make their Facebook profiles private after being bombarded with negative comments and threats. Someone even wrote that four men were coming to kill them for their sin. Sayed admits to feeling intimidated and fearing for the safety of his family, but that doesn’t mean he’s considering changing the Donald Trump’s name.
“A name is a name,” the man said, adding that the boy can have it changed when he grows up, if he so wishes. “But now it is my decision, and I have decided it is Trump.”
“It’s likely … that he will be harassed or beaten by his classmates,” the father admitted. But he remains adamant: “I won’t reconsider [his name]. To hell with the other people.”