The Arab Woman: Embracing Her Potential
Ruba Rihani Abbassi is a founder, manager and partner relations at ACCTS and has just released her first book, entitled “The Arab Woman: Embracing Her Potential”. The book is as a window which opens up on the conditions of the Arab woman, thus her “reality” but also shows us that there is no surrendering but desires and aspirations for a better future. All these are discussed in seven chapters and are supported by authentic stories from the Arab world.
Through the seven chapters we explore the different aspects of what it’s like to be in an Arab woman’s skin, what’s like to be considered as an “incomplete object”, seen as weak and a second class citizen in addition to having, quite ironically, the heavy weight of the family’s honor on her shoulders. She is as an art piece in the man’s museum or like clay in his hand; he molds her as per his desires, make adjustments where necessary, her real self might never see the light, quite commonly violence and aggressively, physical and mental, are used in the process. If she is ever allowed to have a career, she is still expected to take as much charge in the family life as if she was a stay at home mom. In addition to not being fairly remunerated as her male homologues. And that is only the visible piece of the iceberg.
Despite of all these dark clouds that are overshadowing the Arab woman, the author wants us to see that there is hope and with that hope, tackle these issues. It is our hope to instill in girls the confidence that they have the ability to be leaders, to know their self-worth and therefore can stop injustices forced on them. However, we aspire to see boys and man, now and in the new generation, viewing women as partners, through the cooperation of organizations and religious institutions, Islamic and Christian, in the reshaping of mindsets. This hope, as a fire, is sustained by the reminder of success stories which are heard daily about women who have reached a successful life in spite of the obvious challenges.