Brutal despots ruin everything: civilizations, hope in humanity, global peace and sadly, though not nearly as tragic, these bloody dictators tarnish their own names. Hitler single-handedly blackened a once respected designation. Not only did his legacy force 'Adolf' off the baby-naming table, he also stigmatized an otherwise suave moustache. Thanks for nothing Mein Fuhrer-- I think the Chaplin ‘stache would've really complimented my high cheekbones.
And what of the Saddams and Osamas of the world who still have to deal with the smart-aleck ATF agents who stamp their passports at JFK, "Where will you be staying while visiting the U.S.- a spiderhole or a hillside cave?" Even President Barack 'Hussein' Obama caught some flack from his fellow Americans for his Middle Eastern middle name.
Now there's a new alias to avoid -- the 'Lyin’ King' of Syria Assad has laid waste to 70k plus of his own people, leading Arab parents to ban 'Bashar' from their babyname books. Many of the exciled Syrians who are now waiting and freezing in refugee camps have gone on record to say they will no longer spread the B word within their family tree.
Those who have already designated their boy as Bashar have had to employ other strategies:
“Hi, this is my son Ba…rry, yea, Barry.”
“That doesn’t sound Arab at all!”
“We’re big fans of Manilow. And fruit jams.”
If there is a lesson to be learned from the rising and failing of leaders in this fickle world, it is not my place to give that lecture. However, my hope is that all of these Syrian boys named Bashar will reclaim the true Arab meaning of their moniker-- a messenger of good news.
By Brett Weer
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