Arab nations celebrate Mother's Day

Arab nations celebrate Mother's Day
3 min read
21 March, 2022
March 21 is celebrated as Mother's Day in most countries in the Middle East and North Africa every year. The holiday was first observed in Egypt in the 1950s, and has since been marked on this day across the region.
States across the Middle East and North Africa are celebrating Mother's Day [Getty]

Arab nations in the Middle East and North Africa on Monday marked Mother’s Day with celebrations timed to coincide with the Spring Equinox.

Countries celebrating the occasion on March 21 include the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Comoros, Djibouti, Libya, and Mauritania.

Google released a doodle aimed at the region, showing a rotating series of illustrations of a mother and a child’s hands in pastel and earthy hues. 

The doodle showed the two holding hands, reading braille, washing under a tap, and tending to a plant. 

There was no information about the illustrator, but the tech giant's map showed that it can be seen by viewers from Morocco to Oman.

The holiday has been commemorated in different ways across the Arab world this year.

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In Egypt, the country's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities released a video celebrating important mothers from Egyptian history, such as the Queens Tiye and Nefertiti.

"Egyptians have been cherishing their venerated motherly figures since ancient times. May mothers across Egypt be blessed with joy and happiness on Mother's Day!" the Ministry tweeted.


Celebration in Palestine was bittersweet this year, with the Palestinian Prisoners' Club releasing a report on Sunday that Israeli occupation forces continue to hold ten mothers among 31 female prisoners in detention the Damon prison.

The report said that the Israeli prison administration deprives the children of women prisoners from seeing them - except from behind bars - or embracing them.

It further highlighted that Israeli forces consistently detain the mothers of those it accuses of criminal activity to pressure them to hand themselves in.

The report also stressed that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have lost their mothers during the years of their detention, without being allowed to say goodbye.


Meanwhile, in the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has called women the symbol of "goodness and giving" in his Mother's Day tribute.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces took to Twitter to praise mothers in the UAE and across the world.

He highlighted the role played by mothers in raising children, calling them the ones who "anchor families and raise heroes".

"The values and morals they instill in their children influence generations to come," he said on Twitter. "On Mother's Day and every day, we reaffirm our love and gratitude towards them and pray for their everlasting wellbeing and happiness."

Mother's Day was first marked in Egypt in 1956, following an official request to the country’s government by Egyptian journalist Mostafa Amin after he learned that Mother's Day was celebrated in the United States each year in May.

Amin lobbied for a day to honour Arab mothers after he met a woman who told him that she raised her son as a single parent, put him through medical school, and bought him and his new wife a house. However, she said that he stopped visiting her after his wedding, even though she had no one to look after her.

Subsequently, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced Mother’s Day as a celebration in Egypt in 1956, and most of the Arab world followed suit.

Other states celebrate Mother's Day on different dates throughout the year. Many, including the UK, mark it in March, while India and Turkey celebrate it in May.

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