‘Istanbul’ a common name for Somali girls

‘Istanbul’ a common name for Somali girls

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
‘Istanbul’ a common name for Somali girls

Many Somali’s give their daughters the name Istanbul, a youth organization says. Courtesy of Turkish Red Crescent

Istanbul is now one of the most common names given to Somali girls, the executive director and founder of Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals (WSSP) said in a written statement sent to Hürriyet Daily News.

Praising Turkey’s aid efforts in Somalia, Kasim Mohamed Ali said Somalis show their generosity and friendship to Turkey by naming their girls ‘Istanbul.’ “Few people know, but Istanbul is now among the most common names given to Somali girls. All of this reflects a deep sense that the relationship between our two countries is one of mutual respect and mutual support,” he said in the statement.

“We are grateful for the assistance of the Turkish government and Turkish people in our time of need and we are proud to say that Turkey is Somalia’s truest friend. When I recently met Dr. Kani Torun, the Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, he welcomed the work we are doing in Somalia and we look forward to working with him in Mogadishu,” he said.

The WSSP is a non-profit organization with charitable status with headquarters in London and branches across Europe in Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, along with branches in Ohio, Texas, Washington and Minnesota in the United States, in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Asia, and in Somalia, Egypt, and South Africa in Africa.

The organization reaches a combined total of well over 50,000 individuals and has ambassadors in every major continent of the world, according to Mohamed Ali. “We are the only global Somali youth organization that represents the interests of Somali students and professionals around the world,” the executive director defines the organization.

The organization was among the first non-profit organizations to respond when Somalia was hit in August 2011 by the worst drought the country had seen in 65 years.

They also conduct projects in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and education.