Friday, June 28, 2013

Between Motherhood and Activism

Women activists in Sana’a (photo Benjamin Wiacek)
My priority in life has always been my family until the Arab spring crashed into our household. Both my husband and I were taken by the revolutions happening in our countries, Egypt and Yemen. Since we were away from both, we followed the events closely through our TV and computer screens. I felt it was my duty to contribute to Yemen’s revolution, by sharing with the world what was happening in Yemen, especially since there was a media blackout and clear marginalization of it’s revolution.
That is when I decided to assume another role, besides that of wife and full time mother. I became an online activist, I started tweeting news, translating articles and co-managing a Facebook news page in English. I spent long hours in the day and stayed up many nights glued to the laptop reporting on killings of protesters and sharing videos. At times it was challenging to be fully awake the next morning to drop my kids to school or cook a proper meal.
From the diaspora, I was overwhelmed with the sense of obligation to serve my country through the only means I could, which was writing. So, I started my own blog, I wrote posts and articles and got together with an amazing group of Yemenis and co-founded Support Yemen (a media initiative highlighting important issues in Yemen). I have to admit the revolution made me aware of many things. It introduced me to many inspirational Arab and Yemeni activists whom I would never have met otherwise and made me discover my passion for writing.
Being a mother and hoping to provide Yemen’s children with a better and brighter future also magnified my desire to advocate for change and hence I continued my work. I explained to my kids why what I was doing was important for me as a human, for my country and for the world. I often share my posts with my elder kids to make them aware of the injustices happening around the world and teach them why we should not be passive about them but advocate towards changing them. We should do what we can, when we can, by committing ourselves to various causes. Although my family appreciated and supported what I was doing, they paid the price of my first year of activism and they certainly were not pleased.
During the revolution, I struggled between covering Yemen’s news 24/7 and giving my kids my usual undivided attention. It took me a while to find the right balance between my roles as wife, mother and activist. Although I am still an avid tweeter, I established a routine and now manage my time better.
Besides enabling our children to read, write, do equations and know how, why and when the earth turns around, we need to teach them about life and the importance of social activism to make it a peaceful world for all of us. It is our roles as mothers to instill in our children the right values and raise them as global citizens by teaching them about world causes. I want my kids to grow up knowing that one’s family is important but that they also need to care about other families in our world. I want them to know and appreciate that being an activist mom is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
This article was first published in La Voix Du Yemen on June 16, 2013
Cet article est également disponible en Français
هذا المقال متوفر أيضا باللغة العربية

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