KOBANE, Syria – Imitation may indeed be the highest form of flattery, but one Syrian-Kurdish father here has taken that concept to a whole new level.
“My son is 'Trump,'” Rezgar Ramadan, 40, a pharmacy drug representative, proudly told Fox News this week. “He likes his name so much, everywhere we go people always ask us, ‘How is little Trump?’”
Ramadan said he thought of renaming the boy, originally named Mustafa, back in 2016, after Donald Trump won the presidential election. Part of Ramadan's reasoning was easy to understand, he said: He thought the fair-headed, cheeky-smiling boy bore a strong resemblance to pictures of a very young Trump.
“The day Mr. Trump won the elections, I went to the pharmacy and people there had found a photo of him from when he was a little boy, and kept saying how similar his looks were to my son,” Ramadan recalled. “So I went home and discussed with wife about renaming, and she was fully supportive.”
The boy has become a celebrity of sorts in the village of Kobane, in the nation's north, his dad said. "Everyone knows him now. I am teaching him about America. He is already so smart, and wants to lead his brother and sister.”
At work with his father, young Trump shyly said he was learning English, and he embraced being named after “our president.” He said: “People know I have a strange name at school. They like it.”
Ramadan said Trump started school this year at the age of 5 -- two years earlier than most of his classmates -- after a local teacher convinced an administrator to let the bright boy in early.
Meanwhile, Ramadan and his wife, Newroz, are in the process of making the name switch official in the Rojava region record-keeping system.
The couple are also parents to 8-year-old twins Muhammed and Rula, and are planning to expand their family in the very near future. The names are already picked out.
“If it's a boy, it will be 'Rex Tillerson,'” Ramadan declared. “And if it a girl, she will be 'Nikki Haley.'”
“I like Rex Tillerson because I like his character,” Ramadan said, unfazed by the fact that Tillerson had recently lost his job as U.S. secretary of state. “And Nikki Haley fights a lot for the human rights, and speaking out against Russia, who have been committing a lot of crimes here in Syria.”
Naming children after foreign leaders is no longer so unusual in parts of the Middle East. Some supporters of the Syrian regime have named their babies “Putin,” in honor of the Russian president. And "Bush" became a popular name after the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein in Iraq under the administration of George W. Bush.
Ramadan insisted he hasn’t received any backlash over his decision to name his son after the U.S. president. But he does fear what could come if American forces exit the region, as Trump himself suggested before the recent airstrikes. Once under the control of the Islamic State -- with some areas still razed in a bitter battle to take back what was lost -- Kobane is still struggling to rebuild.
“Without peace," Ramadan said, "I don’t know if good things are possible for ordinary people like us.”