In celebration of mothers everywhere, Mother’s Day is upon us, just in time for spring on Friday. Mother’s Day is a widely held celebration in Egypt, and despite not being a public holiday, finds a place in Egyptian pop culture with songs like Soad Hosny and Salah Jaheen’s famous Sabah Al-Kheir Ya Mawlaty. The origin of Mother’s Day in Egypt is attributed to brothers Mostafa and Ali Amin, who founded the Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper, and thus began a long tradition of Arab women making us all feel extra guilty for one day of the year.
The story goes that Ali Amin proposed the concept of Mother’s Day through a well-received opinion article. Another story credits the Amins’ proposal to a widowed mother who came to visit Mostafa Amin and told him how she had dedicated her life to her children, only to be left alone after they had grown up and become independent. Mostafa Amin then proposed a day to repay society’s debt to mothers in Egypt.
Initially, not everyone could agree on how to celebrate mothers in Egypt; some proposed an entire week for the occasion, while others contested the need for it. Most readers, however, agreed to one day of celebrating mothers around the Arab world and Egypt; the proposed day was 21 March, which is also the first day of spring.
Restaurants, shops and hotels will all be in full celebratory mode, with events and discounts on offer all around the city. Events, markets, discounts at stores and special campaigns were staged around Cairo during the past weeks to encourage people to buy presents for their mothers on 21 March.
Other events which are yet to happen include the Mother’s Day fair at the Katameya Heights clubhouse, which will include jewellery, accessories and clothes. The Aquarium Grotto Gardens in Zamalek will host an event that will feature live music, shopping, food and a mother’s pampering corner. Allegria will also host its own fair, with a range of beauty products, accessories and live music.
We recommend going the traditional route and opting for some flowers and a heartfelt card. Some gyms will offer discounts on annual memberships for mothers but we think you should steer clear of anything that might send the wrong message.
Whatever you choose to do, take advantage of the spring weather and the fact that this year, it comes on a Friday, and most importantly, don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day.