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Arab Women Voices: A Question and 12 Answers

The media is buzzing with opinions on Arab women. More often than not, its a stream of concern over how oppressed we are, at times there are calls to liberate us from our oppressors, and occasionally there’s the odd shocked journalist who’s come in contact with professional young Arab women and is unable to comprehend how remarkable and achieved they are!  Irrespective, most articles are generally off the mark or zoom in on such a small segment that doesn’t accurately represent the majority.

The reason this is the narrative is that Arab women haven’t had a strong voice in international media and have done little to own their own narrative across media channels. In an upcoming series we enlist our sisters, mothers and daughters to answer questions and get the real stories out on Arab women, by Arab women.

To become more familiar with the voice of Arab women we went to the source and asked a single question: “What do you value about being an Arab Woman?”

Here are some of the answers we received:

  1. You feel you are the nucleus of the family; that which holds it together, because of the kind of closeness we tend to have with our family and friends.
  2. The way a man treats us, with certain chivalry; you have the luxury of in most cases, taking for granted that the man has to take care of you and be the main breadwinner. Having said that, I’m aware not all Arab woman have those luxuries, I’m quite fortunate!
  3. We’re generous, lively, we belong to a beautiful culture; our women are strong and caring mothers!
  4. We have extreme empathy for others.
  5. We’re inquisitive, with a passion for learning and adventure.
  6. We have huge potential that’s yet to be unleashed.
  7. Bubbly personalities, never a dull moment!
  8. Oh, and did I mention, a passion for perfumes and all beautiful scents!
  9. We are often looked at as worthless and uneducated by the media. I believe we are the opposite, we know much more about the world than others give us credit for.
  10. I am my fathers daughter, he is my friend and first love till the last day of my life. A father’s support for his daughters in our Arab world is so strong even after marriage which strengthen our emotions and feeling of being cared for. There is no such thing like ‘I hate my father’ or ‘never loved my father’ or ‘don’t care anymore’ which we may hear in other cultures.
  11. I was brought up to care and think of everybody around me before I do something. Despite the pressure that comes with this thinking, it develops the feeling of caring so much that it is easily transferred to our children and this is one of the important reasons of why family ties remain to be strong generation after generation.
  12. I am proud to be a Christian Arab who was brought up within the Muslim culture, which taught me my limits and opened my eyes to continued development and improvement.

We’re grateful to those who contributed to the article.

Our next question is: What do you think of the portrayal of Arab women in the Media?

To read more inspiring, insightful and uplifting stories, visit Challenge 2 Change.  

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Rama Chakaki

BarakaBits Founder & Chief Optimist

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