Some of the most influential ladies of Uswa Al Hasana come from a family of fifteen children, ten boys and five girls. In Lebanon there is a person called a Mokhtar whose responsibility it is to officially register people’s names. WAJ, the municipality in which the ladies work and reside, was, at one time, home to an infamous old Mokhtar who had a bad habit of changing the last names of people in the same family from the same parents. The result of this was that the Karhani family only passed their name onto four of their children, while seven received the grandfather’s name of Assaad, and four others were registered under the name Abdallah. The ladies find much amusement in this story, although it does seem a bit troubling that a person in an official position would be half-literate at best. Luckily, times have changed for the better.
These ladies have an uncommon assertiveness and strength. They openly say what they think and believe out loud to whatever concerned party. They describe themselves as doing what it is that they do “on the roof” and not being afraid of anyone. They attribute these qualities to their late parents. To their father, for being a very generous man, but even more so to their mother. Their mother was well-respected in WAJ for her unbelievable strength and character. She was a woman who lived for the after-life. Thus, she believed in doing good to others regardless of how they treated her before and in return. That one must approach others only from their own level of ethics. If fasting and with one plate of food to break her fast, she would give it to another and opt for tea instead. Much of this good she did privately and without any public recognition. She also forbid her children to antagonize each other about worldly matters that could fracture the sacred bond of family ties.
As a result, the family of fifteen boasts unprecedented solidarity. Still, the women find it very hard to follow their mother’s tolerance and level of ethics when dealing with others. They are women who very much live in the present and choose to tackle the problems of this life. In the end, they say, it would take all five sisters to even come close to matching their mother.
(source: kodezero nyc)