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To the one woman who deserves the best

My love and respect go to that one woman who has the biggest share in who I am today. My passion and endless compassion go to that one person who stood against all to make an Idol to her entire family. Everything I am today is because of the great person who raised me, my mother.

She was born in 1954, in Erbil City Iraq. The oldest among 6 other sisters, and the most independent among 9 other siblings. When I was a little girl, I always felt that my mother has an extraordinary strength and soul. I was too young to understand the background she comes from, but I knew she has been through so much.

Ever since she turned 7, my mother took over the house hold, when my grandmother, like so many women at that time, was giving birth to other children. The time which my mother was supposed to play with other kids, she was cleaning, cooking, and looking after infants. Despite all, she was determined to study. My grandfather has the biggest effect in her life, but unfortunately, he never played a good role. My mother and her other siblings were forced to do the chores, forced to wake up at 5 am every morning to do the group prayer and start cleaning the house and bake the bread, then, if approved, go to school. My mother and her sisters had to deal with my grandfather's bad temper all the time. Well, he was a trade man. Whenever business does not go well, girls were the closest target to take out his rage. Books were torn out, yelling was all over the house, and more drama until the master calms down. She wanted to go to college, but her father's big ego did not let her and she ended up joining the teaching institute in which she got a teaching diploma at the of age of 19. She wanted to play sport and become an athlete, but all my mother dreams were taken care of by the male.

My mother had many marriage proposals ever since she turned 15, and so many women would want to get married to leave the scary castle, yet, my mother did not approve any. She always wanted to choose her husband wisely. She got engaged at a certain time but she could not continue with the man who hired the personal driver to spy her moves. Like so many women in Iraq, My mom was a victim of a male dominant community, where the man was making decisions for her. She was a fighter; she never wanted to live by the rules. She was married at the age of 19 to a doctor, who was from a different background, different language, and he loved her. She moved to live in the Capital city to raise children away from everyone.
We all got the best education. We all were given the chance to explore our talent. We all made our mother proud. My mother promised, that everything she did not have as a child, will give to her children as a mother, and she did. My mom harsh childhood life never affected her motherhood. She never abused us. She never oppressed us the way she was oppressed. True, My mother did not go to college but she raised 6 children who have degree from the best colleges. True, my mother did not peruse her dreams, but she gave us the chance to live our dreams. I see happiness in her eyes every time one of us accomplishes something, as if she was the one accomplishing it. Her determined mind and soul made the change she wanted to live, in her children lives. She deserves my respect and love and compassion. My dear Mother, so much of you is me. You are my idol, I am following your steps, and I know I will not fail because you never did. Greetings to all the great mothers around the world.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Sangita Thapa's picture


Thank you so much dear shahd for this beautiful post. Every mother deserves respect and love from her children. Keep up the spirit of 'not failing' because your mother never failed. I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing.

shahd's picture

Sangita, I am the one who


I am the one who should thank you for giving this great opportunity to share this story. You have no idea how overwhelming this is. I kept it inside me for so long, until you gave me the chance to publish it. I was intending to keep it as short as possible so readers do not get bored reading it, otherwise, there is much more to stay. no matter how many words we used, we cannot explain enough sometimes


KathyG's picture

Living her dream

Thank you for sharing a wonderful story of such a strong woman. As I get ready to call my mother on Mother's Day here in the United States you remind me of the missed dreams she had growing up in a different age. Yet she has been loving and nurturing of me and my dreams throughout my life. We as women have a special gift to share this. Such a strong, heartfelt story.

Thank you,


shahd's picture

Happy Mother's Day

I am really glad that you liked my post Kath. Appreciate it. pass my greetings to your Mom. Happy Mothers day



turtledove100's picture

What a lovely tribute!

Thank you so much for sharing your lovely tribute to your mom shahd! How lucky you are to have such a positive role model, especially coming from such a patriarchal society and environment. Your mom shows us all that no matter what obstacles are thrown in our way, we can persevere and overcome them and go on to become who and what we want to be!

In so many ways there is just no substitute for an inspiring and fearless role model when we're growing up! Your mother was obviously that and has given you perhaps the greatest gift she could have--to let you go out into the world full of courage, knowing you will inspire all the lives your life will touch!

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach" (Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author and poet)

shahd's picture



Thank you so much for your support and encouraging words. I am so glad my moms story has reached some people and amazing women like you

love you all

mroozen's picture


I am so glad that I found this post! This is beautifully written and very inspiring. Your mother sounds like a wonderful person indeed. You are very lucky to have her, and her, you. This is a great example of how a family can be transformed in just a generation.
Thank you for sharing,

shahd's picture

McKay, I am so glad you found

I am so glad you found my post too :) I feel more empowered every day because of you guys


Kangabe's picture

Women Empowerment

Can any one define for me what we mean by women empowerment? What are the qualities of a woman who is empowered? If I am a woman and I have a PhD with a well paying job, married with children and with enough money but leaving in a bad marriage (staying with a husband who does not respect me as a wife) does it me I am empowered?

Please let us discuss this.

Kangabe Edith

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