Father barred by Saudi Arabia government from naming his daughter Ivanka

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have forbidden a father from naming his daughter "Ivanka," after the family's decision to do so sparked debate across the country.

"The civil status department informed me that the name could not be approved because it was foreign. I pleaded with them to accept the name, but they said that the law did not permit it," the father, Salem Al Anzi, told Gulf News.

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The Saudi government restricts the use of some names if they are linked to loyalty or can be proven a contradiction to the culture or religion of the kingdom, or are seen as inappropriate or foreign.

However, the father said he saw nothing wrong with naming his daughter Ivanka.

"Even though my daughter will not be formally named Ivanka, I will continue to call her Ivanka within the family because I do not see any problem with the name," Anzi said.

Local media outlets report that the "Saudi Ivanka," who is currently residing with her maternal grandmother, would be named Luma -- which translates to "female with beautiful lips" in Arabic.

According to the Saudi news outlet Arab News, Anzi had chosen the name after he was told the Saudi government would not allow it.

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Earlier in May, Anzi initially made headlines for his decision to name his daughter after the U.S. president's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Word then spread quickly of a Saudi baby being named "Ivanka" on social media, where a photograph of the baby's birth certificate donning non-Saudi sounding name was reportedly shared widely and discussed.

Women have come forward to criticize him on social media, saying that transferring his admiration for the first daughter onto his child is insulting and hurtful to his wife.

But Anzi contends that his decision has nothing to do with Ivanka Trump.

"I opted for the name because I liked it," he said. "My choice has nothing to do with Donald Trump's daughter."