A Mother’s Gift | Aya, Morocco

Ever since the first days of my childhood, I can recall the nature of my relationship with mom. I could plainly see love, self-sacrifice, dedication and inspiration all embedded in her every deed, both daily and unconditionally. My mother has been my refuge in my bad times before my good times, has been my supporter in my failures before my great achievements. She has always believed in me when everyone else has doubted me. I can still hear the very first stories that she used to read for me in bed when I just four years old. I can still her beautiful voice with which she would sing me happy songs in order for me to have happy dreams. I can still remember myself telling her, “mom you are the smartest person ever,” as she would always figure out every hardship one of my siblings might be going through.

No matter how long this essay may be, these words still do not measure up to reflect the true feelings I have for such a wonderful person. The love of knowledge, of reading, of dreaming bigger, of expecting the best in studies and in life in general, of believing in my hidden potential are all inspired from my mother. I could never be “Aya” today without that key role that mom played in shaping my personality, in lightening up my path. I am speaking specifically about the role of my mother in my love for reading and the way her skillful orientation contributed to my tolerance and open-mindedness towards other individuals who’s worlds and backgrounds are completely contradictory to mine.

My love for reading, as I alluded to above, began with my early childhood years. As mom is a ‘bookaholic’ or a book lover in other words, she could read hundreds of books and always yearn for more. She used to tell me simple stories, though not frightening ones, that I could find very entertaining and at the same time very instructive for I used to get scared of my shadow when I was a child.

In my first years at primary school my mom would buy me collections of stories in Arabic that include a mixture of stories from all over the world. I would read them with passion and enthusiasm, with pleasure and fascination, with immersion in the world of stories, books and libraries- in the world of my mother.

When my teacher used to ask me to write a simple essay about a topic which required a little bit of style and imagination, I would write samples and go straight to mom to ask her to add her magical touch- a scent of style, rhetoric, and imagination all colliding in a unique hand writing. This I find reflects her gift of authorship. When I would come to class to hand my work in, I would proudly get up and read it aloud while my teacher would ask me, “did anyone help you out?” I would respond with a simple yet confident tone,  “yes, my mother.” Later, I would go back home and tell mom that everyone liked our work and how talented she was. Her reply was always, “ you are the talented one, I only helped you correct.”

Many of these childhood scenes often arise in my mind now that I am a 20 year old Bachelor student of English literature who has consecutively proved herself to be successful amongst both the ranks as well as in the eyes of the faculty, and in spite of all the hardships I have gone through. I believe that after god’s help, my mother has played and is still playing the role of a mentor, a friend, and a parent to me. It is for this reason that I plan to dedicate the certificate that I will receive from YaLa to her for the way I have been raised on the love of reading. It has opened the door for many realizations. It was broadened the scope of understanding differences, accepting other religions, tolerating different beliefs, and having faith in the fact that hope for a better future, for better individuals, and for a better world all exist. My participation in YaLa is a reflection of all these beliefs that my mom somehow sowed in me unconsciously.

Now this little seed has grown to reflect the goodness of my mother’s heart, or perhaps a bit of it. I hope to make you as proud as I can Mama, I love you.

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