Rounding out our weekend of awesome women:
27-year-old Raha Moharrak made history by becoming the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest yesterday.
Moharrak’s ascent is the latest step in changing attitudes towards women and sports in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom fielded its first female Olympians at the 2012 Games and officially permitted sports in private girls schools for the first time earlier this month.
Read more at CNN.
Meet two more awesome women after the jump!
The bowl was in the dishwasher at work and I recognized it instantly. That rim of earthy green flowers decorating the edge of a crisp white Pyrex bowl. My grandmother had a set of the very same dishes in her house in Karachi and they would sometimes make an appearance at chai time. Was it a sign from God? Maybe. Maybe not. But it was something. See, my grandmother passed away last week. Mumma lived a long, full, and happy life. She traveled the world and had a large circle of beautiful and warm friends. She lived to see her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren build beautiful families and lives of their own. Hands down, Mumma was easily the most gracious and loved person I knew.
And yet, when my mother called to tell me of her passing, I had a very removed reaction. It had been many years since I’d seen Mumma. Over the last few years, her hearing had started fading and phone calls became too taxing. I would essentially have a conversation with her nurse who would yell my statements to my grandmother and then relay my grandmother’s response back. Sometimes, the nurse forgot that she didn’t need to yell the response back to me so the entire phone call became a very loud, almost ironic game of Telephone. Thereafter, her memory became foggy and she could never quite remember which grandchild I was. Eventually, the nurse was forced to admit my grandmother had no idea who I was and why I was calling. So, I stopped calling.
Congratulations to 15-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and the 34 other women who made the Time 100 list!
Born in the 1970s at the tail-end of the women’s lib movement, I was a Gen X girl trying to figure out my role in an era of change and uncertainty.
Girls in the 80s grew up fast. My mom’s lectures regarding my future involved college and career choices, not marriage. All of the girls I knew had boyfriends and little pills. Boyfriends were a cultural norm and very much a part of family nights and holiday dinners. The idea of one true love, romance and the ritual preparation of a woman to transition from virgin to bride slipped away in our modern, egalitarian culture in which overnight prom outings and living with one’s fiancé before marriage were encouraged.
A world away in Pakistan, my future husband and sisters-in-law were experiencing a very different introduction to dating and love. One of my sisters-in law said she “had boyfriends” prior to getting married at the age of 19. Further probing on my part revealed that though a kiss or two may have been exchanged, these relationships were platonic fairy tales enacted through phone calls and letters passed through mutual friends. There weren’t many face-to-face conversations and certainly no open, familial acceptance of the boy in question.