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Mother’s Day: Ommi…The Tower of Adoration in Arab and Arab American Life

posted on: May 9, 2018

Mother’s Day: Ommi…The Tower of Adoration in Arab and Arab American Life

See below: Ommi El Habibah by Fairouz, a song dedicated to all mothers.

By: Leila Diab/Arab America Contributing Writer

Mother’s Day in all corners of the world, especially for Arab and Arab Americans, is the nurturing tower of adoration of their heartfelt love and respect to their mothers.

Whether it is your mother, sitti (grandma) or umti/khalti (auntie), the Arab culture teaches children to hold their mothers love in praise for all their hard work and sacrifices to guide them on the righteous moral path of life.

There is no higher esteem than the love of a mother in the Arab cultural circle of life.

In Islam, one of the main verses on women in the Quran, says: after the Lord of the universe comes your mother. “We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents; in pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth” (46:15). … The Prophet Muhammad (may God’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:  Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother.”

Here is one of the verses in the Bible that Arab Christians read about Mom: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31:25-30

Throughout all the pain and suffering in the life of Arabs and Arab Americans, due to unjust wars, foreign occupation, homelessness and countless unjust immoral laws, it is the mothers who hold on tight to their children to reassure them that everything will be ok.

For example, one Palestinian woman was forced to flee with her children from her homeland of Palestine in 1967 and come to America. I asked one of her daughters, Maha, who was born in Chicago, why is Mother’s Day special to her.

Mother’s Day: Ommi…The Tower of Adoration in Arab and Arab American Life

“My mother lights up each day of my life when I hear her voice. She is the reason I exist and continue to exist with self-confidence and faith. She lifts me up when I am down. Mom always tells me to be proud of my Palestinian heritage, my professional education as a Doctor of Pharmacology, and to educate and help those who are less fortunate. Their dreams can also come true, just like yours.”

Maha added: “My mom who is the mother of nine children raised us all on her own with hard work and with very little male support. My mom also took care of my Sitti (grandma) that lived to be close to a hundred years old.   It was with her words of encouragement and positive inspiration to be calm and follow your dreams and keep hope and faith alive.   Mother’s Day is special to me because of my mother’s wisdom and love. My mom is the reason why all my brothers, sisters, and myself are successful today.”

Many songs and poems have been written and sung in Arabic and English that honor the struggles, and sacrifices of Arab women worldwide, from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and the list goes on and on.

Ommi El Habibah (my beloved mom) by Fairouz is a song dedicated to all mothers.

To all Arabs and Arab Americans, nothing is more sacred than Mothers. Just like the olive tree with long everlasting roots, mothers are like the tree of life who hold tight to their branches, their children, as they water their roots of life. Albeit, in the changing cycle of life’s struggle to survive any obstacle along the way.

Mothers are the steadfast bearers of the spirit of truth, honesty, and love all rolled into one.

Mother’s Day: Ommi…The Tower of Adoration in Arab and Arab American Life

They dream the dream by their actions, and hope that the future of their children will be strengthened by their resolve, love wholeheartedly, and laugh with joy in the sunshine of life.  Therefore, without a doubt, Arab and Arab Americans celebrate Mother’s Day to honor Mom’s remarkable self-esteem with the utmost of praise.

Enjoy a happy, peaceful, and joyous day of celebration of the Mother in your world, an important and most magnificent masterpiece of life.