Finding My Heroes
by Mandy El-Begearmi

Saturday, December 21, 2002 4:02:24 AM
From:  Mandy El-Begearmi
Subject: Final
To:  FASWSTFinalProject


                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.

The Idea
   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 site. 

Here is my Final Project:


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