As the world celebrates Women Day, I too have many reasons and many women in my life that I want to celebrate. The women in my life are not limited to family members but include so many women in America and around the world. We must celebrate women every day of our lives and not just one day a year.
Personally there are so many many women in my life that I want to remember and to celebrate. There is my paternal grandmother who died in ’67 when I was in the US Army, a Bedouin woman who not only enjoyed a fine cigarette and a glass of wine ( for good healthy blood) but a woman who dedicated her life to helping so many sick people, many that I remember to this day. You see my late grandmother was a traditional medicine woman and she was well known in Palestine.
Of course I remember and thank my late mother who raised 10 children on her own and looked after both my grand mothers and put up with the long and extended absence of my late father. I miss her very much.
There is my mother in-law, a true educator with both a BA and MA from the American University in Cairo and who is an avid reader (both English and Arabic) continues to be active, teaching past 78 years old and who for sure mastered the art of conversation as we sit down for breakfast every morning. She is an inspiration for my wife and children. Thank you Om Base and to all those who knows here and she knows so many people.
Alma my wife deserve lots of thank you for putting up with my constant travel since we married and who after having raised three children went on to get her masters and PhD and who also is an inspiration for all women and who always treated our daughters no different from our son. Thank you Alma for your love and caring.
Our two daughter’s twins (Laila and Diala) smart, successful, beautiful and respectful deserve recognition for being the wonderful and loving daughters, granddaughters and cousins. They have done well professionally and of course are continuing their education. They are what every parent wish for in daughters and who start their morning with beautiful note to members of the family.
My sisters, all four of them ( Laila, Jamileh, Nahil and Salwa) deserve much recognitions for being such loyal wives and great parents and grandparents who worked all their lives side by side to help their husbands and raise children all of whom are successful professionals and of course for being the ever supporting and loving sisters. Thank you all for being an inspiration for me and for your families.
On this day we also must recognize and appreciate the many Arab and Muslim women who broke the glass sealing and who through hard work and persistent and against so many odd became professionals attending some of the best universities in the world and who made and are making great contributions to society in all professional fields. Yes, Arab and Muslim women from Morocco to Bahrain from Syria to Yemen all deserve our full appreciation and thanks. They indeed came a long way and on their own, and without the help of women rights movements in the West.
One must not forget the many women, millions of them here in the United States and around the world who as grandmothers, mothers, wives, sisters who lost and buried so many loved one, lost for ever in cruel and criminal wars waged by criminal leadership here in the US and around the world… in Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan, in Guatemala and Salvador, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Laos, in Congo in Mozambique, in Iran, in Angola and certainly in Vietnam and in many countries around the world. Women who lost their loved one in useless wars waged in the name of fighting Communism and terrorism and I am sure we will invent new reasons to go war once this continuing war on terror runs its course it ever it does.
I am sure no one sitting in the White House or in 10 Downing Street or the Kremlin or Palaise de I’ Elysees, Tel-Aviv or capitals such as Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Kabul ever thought of these millions of women who lost their loved ones, perhaps an only son, perhaps an infant son killed by an Israeli phosphorous bomb or an American drone or by a suicide bombers.
How can any leader ever justify to these women the loss of their loved one? Killed in distant wars for reasons that are at best suspicious and based on lies. Other than World War II we in America did not bring freedom and liberty to the world, we only brought death and destruction and the murdered millions of people.
Too bad America’s leadership since WWII has been nothing about liberty and freedom but about colonialism and in support of international corporations and Wall Street and ideologues as they go about looting the wealth of nations around the world and here at home, creating two kinds of people the have and the have not taking our nation to bankruptcy and failed state.
During the last decade, we spent over two perhaps close to three trillions on waging wars around the world killing the sons and daughters or grand children of millions of women here at home and overseas, and have created a nation of millions of unemployed, tens of millions living below poverty lines and millions of the uninsured and an army of tens of millions of minimum wage. Our wars have devastated societies in Latin and Central America, certainly in the Far East and South East Asia and in the Middle East. Our cities do not look much different from the cities we destroyed around the world.
Yes, we must celebrate the resilience of women around the world, for having to put up with wars, with spousal abuse, with hard work as men wait in coffee shops drinking tea and coffee while their women go out and collect firewood for the night and for cooking or collect feeds fore the animals.
Who knows may be someday we will celebrate the freedom and liberation of men so that their daughters can go to school so they can share the housework , or can promote women based on their competence not their gender and yes, the time is now for all women to break the glass ceiling set for them by men.
To the many women in my life, thank you for every thing and to the women around the world, keep the faith and do not wait for men to grant you your rights as equal citizens you have to take it on your own. We know you can do it.
Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the “soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association,
Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.