In Egypt and many parts of the Middle East, men do not speak their mother’s names aloud in public spaces. Doing so is considered wrong and makes the mother vulnerable to ridicule by others who may drag her name through the mud by making it a source of mockery and shame. Instead she is referred to as “the mother of (x),” and as time goes on, her name is forgotten and no one remembers it. She becomes literally defined by her status as a mother.

Thankfully, some are taking a stand against this habit. UN Women and Impact DDBBO in Dubai  released a short film illustrating just how far this taboo runs. Their Mother's Day campaign launch, “Give Mom Back Her Name,” challenges that mentality and was celebrated in the Middle East on March 21st. Participants took to Twitter to change their profile pictures to their mother’s names and use #MyMothersNameIs to declare her name to the world. While this has been going on for many, many years, we hope the campaign brings about new ideas to contemplate and releases the fear of a mother’s name being used against her.


Image c/o