“The face of my mother is the face of my nation”

“The face of my mother is the face of my nation”

By Fr. Rifat Bader

This headline is taken from Jubran Khalil Jubran. It is figurative, since mothers are teachers who provide society with qualified persons able to serve their homeland, nation and world sincerely and with dedication.

On these days, I reflect on this term after my dear mother has left for the Kingdom of God having lived on Earth for 80 years. When I scrutinize the face of “my mother” I do scrutinize the face of my society and “my nation”. I do realize that addressing this sincere mother is merely talking about a citizen in this country who did not hold high-ranking positions, yet she contributed in her own way to proceeding on the path that reflects national affiliation and firm faith.

She was born in the township of Wahadneh, northern Jordan, which is not far from the place where Prophet Elijah was born. This prophet is considered one of the leading prophets who were born in our country, lived there, and proceeded to the Kingdom of God, particularly from the Baptism Site. We used to see mosaics in my grandfather's house (the father of my mother) as well as in the houses of relatives and neighbors, which made Department of Antiquities maintain these places to this day as are.

My mother's face is the face of my Arab nation whose Christians are indigenous and as old as the Christian religion is. It is a source of pride to all of us to have our society preserve its plurality, maintain sincerity to the roots, and respect its various components. The most important mosaic is humanity. Harmony prevails in the township of Wahadneh among all its residents within the framework of religious and church plurality. Memories of childhood are invoked. They reveal how we used to go to mosques and participate in various religious celebrations particularly the Prophet's birthday. This week, namely the first week of February, as we mark interfaith harmony and the various relevant initiatives, it is good to revert to the roots which represent the innate relationship among citizens. By the way, my mother is illiterate. She never "expressed views" about followers of other religions; she rather encouraged us to go and to participate in their celebrations. The face of the mother is the bright face of the nation that enjoys love and solidarity which we hope will revert to its innate nature.

Agriculture was the profession or rather the grand mission of all the residents of the town. The economic situation was difficult, but the citizens were satisfied and happy. Nowadays, anxiety and fear prevail, in general, as there is fear of the future, fear for our children, fear for health, fear for family, fear for the homeland, and fear for love. Why had the people been jubilant years ago? It is simply because they were content with what they had. They thanked God for His blessings, while poverty was not a symbol of misery. Shortage in funds was not a cause for crime, addiction and making gains.

My mother was medically insured at the Royal Medical Center (RMC) since my sister works at the Royal Medical Services. A doctor, who befriended me after I made several visits to the RMC, told me that about a million people report to the RMC daily. We pay tribute to the staff who works day and night to provide basic and vital services to citizens. I, hereby, thank all those who conveyed condolences by coming in person or by sending electronic messages. This attitude enhances our national pride, and corroborates what we learned in our childhood that social relations are still in good shape. May my mother's soul rest in peace and may God save my nation.

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