Date Seller
Date SellerIsrael news photo

Egyptian fruit sellers, in keeping with the custom to name dates during the month of Ramadan, have named their best dates U.S. President Barack Obama, in light of his popularity in the Muslim country.

“We love Obama and so we named our best dates for him,” fruit seller Atif Hashim told the Associated Press in Cairo, where President Obama delivered his address to the Muslim world in June.

Other high quality dates were the “Abutrika” variety named after a local soccer star and the “Columbo” dates named for a 1970s American TV series popular in Egypt. The best dates sell for around $5 a kilogram.

In Egypt, naming the best date for the U.S. president is a departure from previous years, when the worst dates were usually named for George W. Bush. This year, Hashim named his poor dates for Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

During the month of Ramadan, which began Saturday, Muslims traditionally fast during the day. Many have a tradition to break the fast with dates and milk. Egypt produces 1.1 million tons of dates a year, the most of any country.