This Syrian Refugee Named Her Baby Girl After Angela Merkel
“With this decision, the parents wanted to show their thankfulness to the chancellor.”
Angela Merkel measures 21 inches, weighs 8.6 pounds, and lives in Muenster.
She’s not the Chancellor of Germany — she’s the newly-born baby girl of Syrian refugee parents named for the leader of their new home.
Named Angela Merkel Muhammed, the girl was born on August 16 to Asia Faray and Khalid Muhammed, who arrived in Germany in 2015 at the peak of the Syrian refugee crisis, Reuters reports.
The family, which at the time of their arrival in Germany consisted of the two parents and their four children, were six of the estimated 890,000 refugees, mostly from Syria and Iraq, to arrive in 2015.
That year, Germany received 476,000 asylum claims, the most for any European country, of which 140,910 were approved, according to BBC.
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“The first name of the girl is Angela, the second is Merkel. With this decision, the parents wanted to show their thankfulness to the chancellor," a spokeswoman for St. Franziskus Hospital in Muenster, said.
Angela Merkel Muhammed is not the first child of refugees to be named after Germany’s chancellor. In 2015, Angela Merkel Ade was born to Ophelya Ade, a refugee from Ghana.
Nor is she the first child of refugees to be named after a world leader. In May of this year, Justin Trudeau Adam Bilan was born to Syrian parents, and later met Canadian President Justin Trudeau at an event in Calgary in July.
After famously announcing, “We can do it!,” in reference to accepting large numbers of refugees, Merkel closed the door slightly in 2016, a move that was seen as political, in response to falling poll numbers. The country accepted 280,000 migrants in 2016, according to the German interior ministry.
Merkel will travel to Muenster today for a campaign rally in advance of Germany’s Sept. 24 general election, for which she currently sits with a 15 percentage point lead, Reuters reports.
Whether she pulls a Trudeau and makes a visit to baby Angela remains to be seen.