CAIRO: Brought together by a dream to make women influential in Egyptian society, eight 20-something women started a program to educate women about their “unique roles and responsibilities towards their families and the community at large.
Eve’s Road to Success, as the initiative has been dubbed, is a series of seminars bringing together leading scholars and role models to discuss ways women can be more active, influential members of society.
“Our mission is to educate women on their unique roles and responsibilities towards God Almighty, their husbands, children, extended family, community and society, as well as themselves in an effort to empower them with the necessary knowledge and tools to become better citizens and role models, says the group’s page on Facebook.
“Every woman has to know that she is capable of making a difference, whether it’s at her workplace or through her different roles, as a mother, daughter or wife, she just has to set her goals and work on achieving them, said Somaya Ali, one of the founding members.
The program initially debuted as Road to Success, bringing together a group of young men and women with the objective of developing their community. It didn’t work out, however, said Ali, “We had an overall objective but there was a lack of a specific goal.
“With Eve’s Road to Success we tried to have specific objectives from the beginning so we wouldn’t be lost, she added.
The latest seminar featured keynote speakers Mostafa Hosny, renowned Islamic preacher, and Mohamed Omar, chief executive officer of Zedny, a human development organization.
“We try to keep it balanced, a religious part that explains the role of women in Islam and another part about human development and how a woman can be successful people, said Ali.
Hosny began his speech by saying, “There will come a time when women will be inferior and people will cite Islam as the reason for this inequality.
He went on to explain that women are a crucial part of Islam and always played an important role in society, giving the examples of Khadiga and Aisha, the prophet’s wives, who always stood by him.
“The woman has to be confident and believe in herself, he said to a lecture hall full of women of all ages.
“The key is to be patient and to have a will. If you don’t have your own goals, you’ll become part of other people’s goals, Hosny concluded.
Following Hosny’s lecture, which focused on encouraging a will for change, Omar talked about how to set goals and achieve them.
With his sense of humor and charisma, Omar asked the audience to close their eyes and imagine being at their own funerals and asked themselves how they want to be remembered.
Once that is figured out, people begin to have a mission in life and set goals accordingly, he explained. “There is a criterion for goals, if a goal doesn’t meet this, then it is not a goal, it is a wish, he said.
A goal has to be specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic and time-bound, according to Omar.
Omar finished his speech with a message similar to Hosny’s: “Always remember that if you don’t have an agenda for yourself, you will inevitably become part of someone else’s agenda.
The members of Eve’s Road to Success fund the program themselves. “Each one of us believes so much in the cause so we are willing to give it everything, said Ali.
They plan to develop the program in the future and broaden its scope by including women of different social classes and educational backgrounds.
“We want to be more active, we want to go out on the streets of Egypt and talk to the women and implement our objectives out there, said Ali.
The young women have a vision: They want to bring the world Muslim women who know their role in society and are sincere in their attempts to make the world a better place.