By Sekka Editorial
It’s Mother’s Day in the Arab world, and in celebration we have compiled a list of articles and creative works that speak to the themes of motherhood, ranging from its challenges to the inspiration mothers, and maternal figures, give us.
1. Ismail Zaidy’s photography: A family affair
“I believe that the purest love is the love between a mother and her children; it is a relationship built on giving without waiting for anything in return, unlike other types of relationships…However, unfortunately it is the type of love that gets the least attention in our societies. Therefore, it is my duty to shed a light on it,” says Moroccan photographer Ismail Zaidy in this feature article from January 2021. The rising photographer’s stunning photography often revolves around family love, unity and solidarity. Read about his mother has paid a pivotal role in his photography journey here.
2. Fiction: Mother of birds in Heaven
“During her first pregnancy, he had held her and dreamt out loud with her about the child they would have. When she lost it, he smiled tightly and said it was written. He was cautious on her second pregnancy, but his eyes were full of sorrow. She couldn’t bear it. Did she imagine the look of accusation in his eyes this time around?” writes Emirati writer Shahd Thani in this short story about motherhood, loss and strength.
3. How mothers define the Ramadan table
“There is a deep connection between mothers and the Ramadan table. It has become a ritual and a convention difficult to break or ignore simply because most, if not all, yearn for the event every year. We are nostalgic to recreate the Ramadan table and we are nostalgic to see our mothers prepare them with love and joy throughout the entire month,” says Afnan Alobaidli from Saudi Arabia in this opinion article about the role mothers play in the holy month of Ramadan.
4. Would you use the word ‘aib’ on your children?
“As children, in some way or another, we were all bound by unwritten rules that conformed to society’s idea of what was acceptable and what was not. There was an unspoken agreement between society and parents that certain things were considered ‘aib’, or shameful to do, and generation after generation has abided by this criteria that was preset and labelled as tradition.
Our generation is now at a crossroads. We understand why this concept was so important to our parents and their parents, but many of us wonder if it still applies; if there is a different way of looking at things,” asks Emirati writer Mariam Alhosani in this opinion article from the Aib Issue.
5. Poem: My teta
“My teta is a library of scintillating stories
And a bursting cabinet of spices.
She is the matriarch that made us,
The queen of Syria,
The goddess that seamed blankets with historical fingertips
To build immortal armor stronger than any words of animosity.”
This personal poem by Dahlia Dandashi from Syria, Lebanon and the United States, celebrates the memory of her grandmother.
6. Why we shouldn’t shame working moms
“My aunt told me that I should not bring a child to this world if my career is a priority in life,” recounts Bahraini writer Shaikha Abdullah from Bahrain in this important opinion column.
7. How my role models were a lot closer than I had imagined
“Tonight, however, as I look around me, I realise there is much to learn from, and much to admire about the people I take for granted the most, especially the women our culture sometimes takes for granted who, most of the time, seem to exist for the sole purpose of bearing children; the women who sometimes get buried behind the piles of laundry and dirty dishes,” writes Lebanese-Syrian Ayla Dandashi about her mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins, whom she has found inspiration in, in this article.
The views of the authors and writers who contribute to Sekka, and the views of the interviewees who are featured in Sekka, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sekka, its parent company, its owners, employees, and affiliates.