Let them think well of the Arab Woman

We don’t know in which cave she got used to being whipped, but we hear her tearful, moaning submission. We threw her ropes on which she spat. She melted her chains. She reunited them for a master to re-tie her because she’s afraid to live, because she is too cowardly to bear the responsibility of living. We gave her our voting rights, the right to participate in the running of the country and to decide its future, the right to struggle in the path of God and country, the right to toil and to bear responsibility.

The liberated woman is a person who believes that she is as human as a man. At the same time she acknowledges that she is female and he is male and that the difference between them is how, not how much. Since they are equally human, they must have equal human rights… The liberated woman today is a reality and part of the intellectual awakening of Arab society. She wants to free herself from some of the inherited social laws and traditional attitudes which contain no human meaning and which disfigure her humanity. It is a revolution of honor by the thinking woman against the doll woman and a fervent cry to affirm existence and dignity and to become free from delusions, uncertainty, guilt and to reach the sun of truth, thought and reality.

In fact, I see no reason to say that the Arab woman is less intelligent and energetic and sincere than the western woman. She does not want to create an anarchic society in which the family has lost its status, sanctity and beauty as has happened in Sweden.

Let them think well of the Arab woman.

Let them remember that we betray our country if we turn our existence into a cemetery in which human causes die.

Let them curse the processions of mummies, let them explode in newspaper columns. From today they will no longer plant us as worms in cocoons of fog.

We have not yet had a quarter century of freedom. For 3,000 years man has been free to create himself his human civilisation. What is it but a civilisation of destruction, O Hiroshima.”

– “Our Constitution – We the Liberated Women” by Ghada Samman, 1961

We must find a way to bear responsibility for our own cause, Arab women. We share in the blame with men – but they do not stand alone! That is the difference between humans and animals, we take responsibility, they do not.

We hold generations and centuries of raising our children, and teaching them our values. We teach them their causes and plights, we show them how to act and change and prove, we tell them the family narrative, we create a context for our children to see their potential.

We demonstrate to our daughters and to our sons the way others should be treated. We teach them justice and fairness. Let us teach our children fairness to each other. Let us teach them how to stay in our solidarity, our constant revolution. Let us teach them peace!

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