|Finding My Heroes
by Mandy El-Begearmi
Saturday, December 21, 2002 4:02:24 AM
From: Mandy El-Begearmi
Hello, my name is Mandy El-Begearmi, and this Website is a presentation
for my FAS 230 final. It is a project inspired by all I have learned these
passed few months taking the course. Explore and enjoy.
This Website is a presentation inspired
by a course I'm taking at the University of Maine in Orono, called Franco-American
Women's Experiences. In this class we read about and discuss Franco-American
women throughout history. Some of these women are fictional, but all are
notable heroes in their culture, meaning they are seen as popular representatives
of the Franco-American identity and have impacted their community in a
tremendous way. During the class (and being a woman myself) I have
realized how important it is in ones heritage to know and honor these heroes,
draw inspiration from them, emulate them, and have them enrich our minds
and help us become more intimately involved in who we are and how we evolved
to this present day. These women also leave an imprint on our literature,
our rituals (both religious and everyday), and represent how we may see
ourselves collectively and individually. Having heroes who are women is
especially important because women are so rarely focused on in history,
and our voice is not as widely heard as a man's is (even in modern times).
Being that I am not Franco-American but
Arab-American, the Instructor for this course asked me who my heroes were.
I pondered over the question and replied that my mother is a strong woman,
but I did not know of any Arab or Muslim women who were traditionally recognized
and celebrated. I immediately felt ashamed and stunned that I had never
even asked myself such a question until now. As a result, I have taken
it upon myself to seek out my heroes. I found that this was a hard task.
One of the reasons I was not aware of any Arab women heroes in history
is that beyond the Koran (the Muslim Holy Book) few if none are even acknowledged
before modern times. The famous Arab women in the Koran are the wives of
the prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and the wives of other Muslim leaders after
him. They are revered for their loyalty to the cause of spreading Islam,
and their loyalty and love to their husbands. These women were great, but
I was in search of others who have impacted society beyond being good wives
and good Muslims.
After some research I found several
notable Arab women, and through making this website I am presenting them
to you. I call the final project 'Inspiration' because the class and my
Instructor have inspired me to do this. I hope through making a simple
website I am giving these women a voice and educating others about the
heroes who have impacted my culture and who many Arab people celebrate
as great representatives of our people.
For me this is only the beginning.
I plan on continuing my research and to use this website as a jumping off
point for further discoveries in time to come. I hope you enjoy the
Here is my Final Project: