A Kuwaiti man, who named his son after former U.S. President George H.W. Bush - in a show of gratitude for the American leader’s efforts to liberate Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion in 1990 - has defended his decision against social media criticism.
“It would have been better for those who don’t like Bush to liberate Kuwait and not make us need [the former U.S. president’s] services at the time,” Nayef al-Mutairi told Al Arabiya News Channel on Monday.
Many Arab social media users had criticized the naming of al-Mutairi’s son after the former U.S. President. “A Kuwaiti named his son after George Bush who killed one million Iraqis and destroyed Baghdad,” one Twitter user remarked. “This is the top of mental backwardness,” another reacted.
In 1991 Bush led an international coalition to liberate Kuwait after Iraqi forces under Saddam Hussein invaded the small Gulf nation.
Asked whether his son is facing social problems over the “George Bush” name, Mutairi said: "My son lives a normal life and has no problems because of his name.”
“At home we call him Bush, but his friends call him George,” he explained.
When his wife was pregnant, the father, who was held captive by the Iraqis at the time of the invasion, vowed to name his future baby “George Bush” if it was a boy or after former British Prime Minister “Margaret Thatcher” if a girl.
Thatcher is thought by many to be influential in urging Bush for U.S. intervention and troop deployment to drive Iraq’s army out of Kuwait.
“My wife gave birth to a boy, so I named him George Bush. This is the least I can do for his efforts to liberate Kuwait and save us,” he said.
Mutairi retold some comical incidents his son’s name had caused.
The father said while visiting the United States, police stopped him because he drove above the speeding limit.
“My son was with me in the car, but once they knew my son’s name, they said we can’t fine the owner of a car carrying a U.S. president.”