“The Lebanese woman guardian of the nation’s dreams responsible for contributing to the bringing about of expected change”
First Lady Nadia El-Chami Aoun for International Women’s Day,
Herein is the complete statement:
I salute you, woman, in this your day,
I salute the mother and grandmother in you, I salute the daughter and the sister, and I salute the wife and the friend and the life partner.
Anywhere you may be whatever role you play, one thing never changes and that is the gift of giving, the sacrifice and the altruism.
This day is for all the women of the world, and there have been many precious sacrifices across decades of time, so that it may be celebrated, so it may become a symbol for the struggle and her will.
However, the needs and aspirations and demands of the woman are not the same throughout all societies. They differ with different levels of advancement and education, and yet our concern remains you, the Middle Eastern woman.
The divine laws have been fair to you – do not allow the earthbound ones to oppress you.
You and man are partners, nature has chosen to make you different in many ways, but this is so you can complement one another. You differ from one another, yes. You complement each other, yes. Yet, your rights have to be one: Equal.
You have given much, you have raised, educated, supported, sacrificed and bolstered. It is now time for your role to be more. You too can excel, and have your own accomplishments and contributions and places in society. The history of mankind as the history of the Middle East and its present recounts many of you who have left their imprint in numerous areas of science, literature, art, and politics and even in the world of war and resistance.
O Lebanese woman,
Our paths have been hard, and our suffering has not been easy, not one bit. We have given of ourselves to our country, and some of us have paid the ultimate price. But through all our moments and wherever we may have been we have always striven to plant love in the hearts and knowledge in the minds and ethics in the conscience. Our seeds were sown in fertile land and our harvest was plentiful and good.
And here we have our country, today, on the road to recovery, after all it has suffered, and it is now your turn, Lebanese woman, as a leader and a pioneer; your challenges are great.
Someone said that you have not been given your full chance yet. Remember, chances are taken and not given, so push forward with your will that we have known not to weaken and with sure and confident steps, waste not your time by looking behind you, and I am faithful that your contribution will be effective on different levels and situations.
You are the guardian of the country’s dreams, and your contributions to its recovery, and to the creation of the much needed changes is a necessity, so go forth and do not hesitate.
Translated by Hala Hayek