When we watch television shows, there are many elements that we pick up on and they start bleeding into our day-to-day life. Whether it’s the fashion, the witty one-liners, or even scenarios that characters go through that we wish we can recreate in our own lives. However, one of the most common things that have been inspired by Middle Eastern television are the names. The names of beloved characters have been bestowed upon many babies out there. Ranging from the Selims to the Hayahs, here are names that have become popular following their show debuts.
Mohaned originally a Moroccan name means sword and was popularized from the Turkish television show, “Forbidden Love” (El Ashk El Mamnouah), the name Mohanad spread like wildfire across generations following the release of the show. Mohanad, a character played by Kivanç Tatlitug, epitomized the seesaw of human nature, where he not only was constantly trying to please Samar but at the next stop, he was sabotaging his own efforts at happiness. Mohanad not only was a flawed character but he convinced viewers that his name was tied with attractiveness and being a magnet for women.
While Egyptian Actress Mai Ezz Eldin consistently has character names that have inspired baby names around the Middle East, her 2016 show, “Waad” particularly set new highs of influence. A strong-willed character that knows what she wants in life even though it might seem like she doesn’t; the character of Waad shook everyone during Ramadan when she asked for a divorce because she fell in love with someone else, someone that may be should have been her one all along. Waad symbolized for many strength, passion and chance which is why she resonated with a copious amount of the audience. The name Waad literally means promise and or covenant; originating from Saudi Arabia, the ideal name for the character that has led many to name their kids like her.
The name Thoraya has become trendy from the Lebanese show, “Beirut Bride” (Arous Beirut). Portrayed by Lebanese actress Carmen Bsaibes who is literally an angel. This angel does no wrong no matter what life throws her way, she’s a star on and off the stage and it’s no surprise that’s actually what the name Thoraya means, a star with no particular country origin within the Middle East, Thoraya shines the light on how better and kinder people can be and as a way of hoping or leading by example that their kids will be like her, they are named Thoraya.
You know the name is popular when it made its way to your family. My nephew is named Selim and he’s the cutest version of Selim there’s; fight me. Basha Masr AKA Selim Al Ansari played by Egyptian actor, Amir Karara is one of his greatest roles in the show “Cuffs” (Kalabsh) where the man could do no wrong. Saving people left and right, he exudes a level of confidence and power that people only wished for; for that reason, the name popped in every family following the show’s success. In case you’re still wondering, the name Selim originated from Turkey and means peaceful which is quite fitting considering the character’s literally saving lives.
Has sprouted life into many homes following the Lebanese show “2020.” Especially with Lebanese actress, Nadine Nassib Njeim who had a performance that got everyone talking. Playing the role of an undercover Captain, Hayah who is seeking revenge for her brother, the character along with the show’s tone is full of empathy and emotion that will make anyone fall in love with the name Hayah. The show which paints many tribulations also has many heartwarming moments therefore having the character named Hayah meaning life without particular reference to a specific Middle Eastern country is a perfect choice and has definitely inspired many families out there to name their kids Hayah because… life.