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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September 2004, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Egyptian women: Fatmah
BBCArabic.com spoke to eight Egyptian girls about their everyday lives and hopes for a better future.

Fatmah:
17, university student

Jacqueline:
22, unemployed

Nesma:
15, unemployed

Rana:
16, student
Rawiya:
20, unemployed

Reda:
16, factory worker

Sarah:
18, university student

Walaa:
17, unemployed

Fatmah Younis

My name is Fatmah, I study Oriental languages at Cairo University.

I would like to talk about my mother because she made a lot of sacrifices for our sakes.

Fatmah Younis
Fatmah says she has her mother to thank for her education
I would like to deliver a message to all children because there are a lot of them out there who are ungrateful towards their mothers.

Some of them send their parents to old people's homes when they get on in years.

How can they show no gratitude after all the hardships their parents went through to make them succeed in their careers?

I speak here about my mother because she did a lot for me, she supported us since our early years and gave up her job to look after us and educate us.

When our father was ill, she took up his job till he recovered. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for us.

Fatmah's brother at work
Fatmah's brother was able to go to technical college
My sisters Heba and Nema are in the third grade in secondary school.

My mother has always helped them in their studies, but at the same time made them rely on themselves, because this is what everyone should do at the end.

She also supported my brother who is in the faculty of architecture. He didn't go to high school but studied in a technical institute for five years. I think my mother is very proud of what she did for us.

After my degree, I would like to become an interpreter or a television anchor in Hebrew.

I hope my children will be well behaved and decent like us and I really hope I will be like my mother.


Your comments on Fatmah Younis' views.

I really appreciate the way you came out boldly to talk about those taking their parents to old people's home for care and attention after old age.
Mohammed B. Bello, Abuja, Nigeria

Hi. You have the ambition to progress further, and you know that you can overcome obstacles no matter what, but there is also a sacrifice and yet a gain.
Locky, Canada

I completely agree that we should more respect our mothers and have a feeling of gratitude towards them, because no-one in this world is going to worry about you and try his best to make you happy as much as your mother does.
Iroda, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Hi Fatmah Younis, you are definitely a symbol for bright future lady with her parents' blessing. What I would like to say to you is that; be an example for disadvantaged girls' parents in Egypt and the Arab world in order to educate their girls. Also keep in touch with that life is full of mistakes - learning from mistakes is a good way forward!
Elmi, Mogadishu Somalia

Thanks for your frankness. This article is very close to my heart. My mother has three children ( I am the oldest). A few years ago we lived together with our mom but now I am far away from her and my small sister as well. But my brother lives with mom and almost every week I get e mails from my mom complaining how her son ( my brother) treats her. He insults her, blames her for his loneliness, etc. Our mom devoted whole her life to us, she gave us possibility to study, she was always concerned about us, and she still continues to help to my brother.
Sanobar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

I think she is one of the very few girls who appreciates what a female parent can do and ask her to follow the footsteps of her mother and try to uphold the human rights that for a long time have sidelined a woman in this world.
Thandiwe Tembo, Lusaka-Zambia

I am very pleased and truly impressed by your comments about your mother. I bet if all the mothers of this world are read this statement, they would love to you have daughter like you.
Imran, Birmingham, UK

First of all I really admire Fatmah and her family for having respect and gratitude for their mother. I respect their appreciation of the mother's sacrifice and the will to make her children get the best out of life. Here in Egypt the woman or the mother has many great responsibilities - more than ever, she supports the husband, raises the kids and in many cases the husband does not work at all and the wife has to be in charge of everything which is a really tough job. I think in our country we have to facilitate for women more job opportunities and give a chance for the ones who are educated but don't have university degree diplomas in order to have a better life for themselves and their children. I hope Fatmah will be able to fulfil all her dreams.
Perihan, Cairo, Egypt




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