Special days in honour of one’s loved ones are celebrated all over the world, in various ways. While some days, like Valentine’s, trigger controversy in Muslim and even non-Muslim countries, others like Mother’s Day are viewed as more tolerable. As many people in the world observed Mother’s Day yesterday, in the Qatari community the occasion caused some ripples.
As a debate raged in the Qatari social media about the propriety and meaning of marking such a day, with many arguing against it and some in favour, it was interesting to note that a few joined the celebrations.
In cyberspace, some people presented poems in praise of their mothers, a few offered words of congratulations and a few asked their friends in the ‘media’ what gifts they could offer. Some said marking the day was a disservice and a sad reminder to those who had lost their mothers because the day reminded them of their beloved mothers.
Interestingly, an organisation of Egyptian women in Qatar took out an advertisement in a local website (www.onqatar.qa/ar) inviting everyone interested to a function it had organised at Katara yesterday to mark Mother’s Day. It was not known what was the response to the ad, but it said it was the first time such a celebration was being held on Katara beach.
Those who oppose celebration of Mother’s Day offer two arguments: first, it’s not Islamic and a part of Arab culture, and second, it’s a Western concept born of necessity because in the West family ties are weak. Such days are required to remind people of their mothers. “At the same time, in the Arab world, family relations are very strong and mothers are well taken care of by their children. Every day is a mother’s day for us and there is no need for a specific day,” said a Qatari on a social media site.
Others argue that there is nothing wrong with celebrating Mother’s Day as it doesn’t contradict Arab or Islamic culture. According to them, more than being a Western creation Mother’s Day is international now and is marked everywhere. With globalisation and the onslaught of the social media, borders are getting blurred and festivals and celebrations are getting an international touch and flavour.
The debate in the social media also shows that the Qatari community is vigorously participating in such discussions.
See also page 2