If you were wondering what Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s been up to lately, the Dutch flower bulb sector just named a tulip after her: Tulip named after activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
NEW YORK, November 6, 2009: In a ceremony on November 4 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the Dutch flower bulb sector named a tulip after Ayaan Hirsi Ali‘Ayaan’in recognition of Ms. Hirsi Ali’s defense of freedom and human rights for Muslim women.
Ms. Hirsi Ali, a feminist, author, activist and former member of the Dutch parliament completed the traditional naming ceremony by drizzling champagne over the bulbs and declaring, “From now on this Tulip has the name ‘Ayaan’.” Mr. Thijs Leenders, president of the North American Flower Bulb Wholesalers Association represented the Dutch bulb sector in the event. Also in attendance was Mr. Wim Pijbes, director of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. …
Tulipa ‘Ayaan’ is a dark maroon/brown/purple Triumph tulip hybridized by Ms. Lydia Boots, of Lybo Hybridizing, Hem, NL. Ms Boots is one of few women working in the male dominated world of tulip hybridizing. The hybrid is a crossing of Tulipa ‘Gavota’ x a sport of Tulipa ‘Gander’s Rhapsody’.
The new deep purple tulip joins a group of tulips known in Holland as “black” tulips. The legendary quest of Dutch hybridizers to create a truly black tulip goes back centuries. Many experts consider Tulipa ‘Ayaan’ one of the finest and most successful results of this quest. The selection of the flower to be named in her honor was made by Ms. Hirsi Ali herself.
Upon receipt of the signed christening certificate, the tulip will be entered into the Classified List and International Register of Tulip Names, maintained by the Royal Dutch Bulb Growers Association (KAVB) in Hillegom, the Netherlands.