"My warrior, my inspiration, my hope!"
Mina Khan '15 on the "Mary" in her life
I saw her conquering problems as I grew up; she was abandoned by her entire family and society, but did not even come close to giving up. She gracefully persevered, and stood tall and strong against every force that tried to dissuade her. Her story illustrates the successful struggle of every woman who selflessly and tirelessly strives to make an impact on the world.
She was married at a young age, and ended up in a typical Pakistani patriarchal family. Despite excessive pressure from her in-laws, she completed her law degree after marriage. Giving birth to three girls and no sons was not ideal for her in a sexist society, but she believed that her daughters would be her pride. Even after being stranded by her entire family, she gave the utmost protection and support to her daughters, and if you think that is “normal” or even easy, imagine how broken and hopeless you would be if you had no family, no money, and no job, but three young daughters to care for. However, with her unmatched courage, composed nature, and unwavering spirit, she rose above every trial of life, and gave her daughters the best educations so that they could make a mark on the world.
I shall not elaborate on her struggles because she always shied from sharing her problems, afraid that she might get sympathy, not respect and admiration. Still, I would like to point out that despite all her grievances, she always prioritized helping others with their problems. She fought with dignity against the society that inhibited the success of her daughters, and proved that even in a sexist, patriarchal, and backwards society, a single mother of three daughters can give her daughters the best upbringing in the world. Every day came with numerous emotional and physical challenges for her, but she surmounted all the troubles so that she could give society three impeccably brought-up women. She fulfilled her responsibilities not only towards her children, but also towards the world, which desperately needs strong women. I salute her for her strength, and thank her for all her efforts, because it is strong-willed women like her that improve society one generation after another.
She inspires infinite courage, modesty, wisdom, selflessness, morality, and charisma in me. I am not just grateful to her, but forever indebted to her for her love, affection, guidance, and inspiration. When my religion tells me that God loves me 70 times more than my mother, I cannot even begin to imagine God’s love because she, my mother, already gives me all the love in the world! Even though she has physically given me birth just once, she has given me a new life countless times when I was unmotivated, tired, and close to giving up. Her love inspires passion and compassion in me, and I hope to emulate her in all walks of life. Thank you for making me what I am today, mamma! I love you :)