Happy Mother’s Day
My mother and I never had an easy relationship but I knew she was a pretty extraordinary woman. I learned so much from her and always admired the myriad things she could make with her hands from sewing, baking embroidering, knitting, to crocheting, ironing and decorating. When I was a little girl, she would take me to the souk and teach me how to choose textile, to match the right material to the right dress and to always consider what suited me. Looking back at those mini lessons I realize that she was teaching me how to be an individual, to focus on what looked right on me rather than what was in. There were endless dresses she made for me and endless ”probas” when I would have to stand still and try them on so she could get the exact fit because she was something of a perfectionist. Those pin pricks were probably the closest thing to physical affection between us because I would always squirm and didn’t like being hugged. My mom looked like a magician to me. She would get those old Burda magazines and take out the patterns that had thousands of squiggly lines and mix the top of one dress with the bottom of another to get the perfect pattern to suit my figure and start cutting those patterns. Her friends admired her skills and I always lamented how she didn’t turn that into a business and I saw friends abuse her skills andI saw others get together in sewing circles and make a dress for a young woman about to get married in a gesture of solidarity. Watching all this I learned what it meant to be betrayed and I learnt the joy of female solidarity that is at the basis of my brand of friendship feminism. I don’t think my mother was a happy woman. But that is another story for another day. What matters today is that I often think back through the mothers and grandmothers and just want to say Happy Mother’s Day to her.