Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

A Girl Named Facebook

by Will Wlizlo

Tags: Facebook, newborns, Egyptian protest, Tahrir Square, science and technology, Al-Ahram, All Facebook, TechCrunch, Will Wlizlo,

egypt-facebookNo, this post’s title isn’t cheap shot at Mark Zuckerberg, creator of the ubiquitous social networking website. After the protracted, regime-ousting protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, new Egyptian father Jamal Ibrahim has named his firstborn daughter “Facebook”. TechCrunch obtained a translation of the Friday, Feb 18 issue of Al-Ahram (“A New Day”), the popular Egyptian newspaper that first broke the story:

The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. “Facebook” received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name.

Every stripe of social media has been wed to revolution and dissent, but Facebook resonated most strongly during Egypt’s tribulation. TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis argues that “while the baby girl could just have easily been called ‘YouTube,’ ‘Twitter’ ‘Google’ or even ‘Cellphone Camera,’ it seems like Facebook has become the umbrella symbol for how social media can spread the message of freedom.”

All in all, Ibrahim’s gesture was personal and endearing. “The idea of someone naming their children after physical objects or other peculiar stuff is usually reserved to quirky Hollywood celebrities,” writes All Facebook’s Jorge Cino. “And yet, all possible jokes aside, the parents’ intention is no doubt a noble one: To thank the medium they believe helped the most in spreading their message of mobilization and freedom.”

Sources: All Facebook, TechCrunch 

Image by monasosh, licensed under Creative Commons.