A couple in Afghanistan named their twin boys Vladimir Putin and Barack Hussain Obama, after arguing over the two names before knowing they were expecting twins, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press reported on Thursday.
Khaama said the couple, located in the central Daykundi Province, negotiated the name of their children years ago before they even knew that the mother was pregnant.
According to the father, Gholam Ali Peyman, the decision to name the first twin after former U.S. President Barack Obama was the result of his admiration of the president’s policies and leadership style, while his wife preferred the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the “courage” he displays in his leadership.
“Sometimes I told my wife that if a boy was born, we would name him Barack Hussain Obama; but my wife insisted that we would name him Vladimir Putin,” said Peyman, explaining that God had blessed them with twins so they could name each one individually.
Peyman added that he believes in naming his children after world leaders and breaking traditional norms, as it will demonstrate a sense of solidarity between the nations of the world.
As well as having the names of very different leaders, the four-year-old twins have also reportedly developed separate interests. Vladimir has shown an interest in English, computers, mathematics, and chess, while his brother Barack appears keener on sports.
It is not the first time that parents from Afghanistan, or even the province of Dakyundi, have named their children after a prominent world leader. In 2018, a self-confessed fan of the American president named his child Donald Trump, only to be faced with abuse online and from his own community, with some suggesting that he chose the name to increase his chances of being granted asylum in the United States.