Monday, December 25, 2006

What's in a name?

The uproar of Barack Obama's middle name notwithstanding, I thought I would look into the origins of his name and this is what I came up with.

Barack - It could be a Jewish name, a derivitive of the name Barak which means "lightning" in Hebrew. This was the name of a military commander in the Old Testament. It can also come from Baraka, which is Arabic for "blessed".

Hussein - Pet form of Hasan. Hussein ibn Ali (also called Al-Hussein) was the son of Ali and the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Al-Hasan was his older brother. The massacre of Husayn and his family caused the split between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, which continues to this day.
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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a kid, his fmily and friends called him Barry.

9:45 PM, December 25, 2006  
Blogger alyceclover said...

Aargh, my ex-husband is named "Barry" talk about negative name association! Actually he explains it as deriving from Swahali (spelling). Judging from the tremendous support he is getting, we don't really care about his name, we care about where he stands, what he has done and what he plans to do in the future.

3:39 PM, July 13, 2007  

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