Father’s Day: A daughter’s first true love
By: Mariem Hamdi/ Arab America contributing writer
“Baba’s day”, the day celebrating fathers is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in most countries like The United States and many North African countries. In the Middle East, Arab countries celebrate it annually on the 21st of June when the summer solstice occurs. It is commonly known that people tend to celebrate Mother’s day more than Father’s day. In a survey conducted by The National Retail Federation in 2019, 84% of people plan to honor their mom, while 76% plan to do the same for their dad.
In Arab societies, generally, the family is a top priority. There’s a strong bond among family members that is weak and kind of absent in the west. Each particular parent serves the family in a way that makes it impossible for children to fully compensate. They are obedient to their parents, and they show them love, affection, kindness, and dutifulness.
Going deeper into relationships among the family members, there’s this one particular relationship that is very special in every household. It’s the special bond between the father and the daughter. On the occasion of “Baba’s day” this Sunday, we asked one young lady from Tunisia who lives in the United States about how is it celebrated in her country of origin and how is her relationship with her father.
The lady responded:” Father’s Day in Tunisia is not a big deal like Mother’s Day. Not all families celebrate it, but it does exist and it’s a great opportunity to honor fathers! I personally celebrate it every day and I don’t need a specific day to express my love for my father. I give my dad gifts whenever I can, but I cherish him and love him daily. Words cannot describe how much I adore him, he will always be my first, last, and only unconditional love. Nobody can replace my king.
My relationship with him is very special, there’s a strong connection between us and I am grateful for it. As an Arab dad, he raised me like his son. He taught me how to play soccer, swim, and defend myself. We still do everything together until now.
When I was a child, I thought that my dad was severe, but actually, he was teaching me the importance of discipline. He’s my idol, I remember whenever somebody asked me what I want to be in the future, I always respond “I want to be like my dad!”. Do you want to know why? He was my first role model and he taught me the true values and principles of life that made me open-minded and saved me from falling into the trap of prejudice. He made sure that I grew up learning how to be a person who respects all differences and says “Alhamdulillah” and “Masha’Allah” all the time.
My dad has been there for me since day one! He always holds me whenever I cry or fall and makes me laugh from the bottom of my heart. And he expects nothing in return, That’s the unconditional love that nobody can give, but him. We are best friends, I share everything with him, even small and boring details of my daily life, and he is the best listener!
I am almost 23 years old now and I can see that growing up next to him made me who I am today. I’ve been living in The United States for the past 2 years by myself and it’s all thanks to him that I can be independent and self-reliant. He’s my number one supporter, he believed in me, trusted me, and taught me that I can dream big as long as I work hard. My father pushed me to the limit and gave me a sense of empowerment that keeps me hopeful every day.
Being away from him has been challenging, but there’s no one else I’d rather call every day in a different time zone to talk about everything on my mind and ask him random questions. That phone call changes my mood and recharges me to get back on my feet and keep doing what I am doing.
The father is irreplaceable, not a single man on the planet can love you as much as your dad. “Papa” is my backbone, as long as he is with me, I will always feel secure and believe that everything is going to be okay. I do not know what will happen in my “love journey” but I am sure that I will never love a man more than my dad. I mean who can keep up with him? He is the unwavering foundation of love in my life. For this coming Father’s Day, I am sending him a very precious gift that I am sure he will appreciate. “
The young lady’s response was very positive, It showed the importance of having a close relationship with our fathers, especially when being a daughter. After these thoughtful words, we wish you a Happy Father’s Day wherever you are!
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