Sunday, May 11, 2014

My mother was born in 1936 in Tripoli, Libya. Her father believed in making his daughters strong and sent her to school, and her mother lost a finger sneaking around trying to get educated herself as a child. I don't know why.

I do know that the value of education, especially with regard to girls, was passed down strongly through the generations. She used to sing me "Na7lam beek tkunee wazeera, mu7amiya, doctora" (I dream of you becoming a minister, a lawyer, a doctor). She admired Thatcher, the woman of steel, as she referred to her. I don't know if she understood Thatcher's policies so much as she cared that a woman was in power in the mighty United Kingdom.

Whether she would call herself a feminist or not, I don't know either. I think she is conflicted because being a feminist might be offensive in Libya. I don't even know if the term was used when she was growing up. It might have just been rebelious and upsetting.

I can't help but wonder what she would be like if she was growing up now. She is already amazing and has been my entire life. Annusa Shaaban Al Zwawi is the greatest gift of a mother ever and I just want to be as close to her as I can be.


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