This Mother’s Day we want to honor Mahbuba Qurbonalieva, the director of Central Asia Institute Tajikistan (CAI-T) and an amazing mother who champions education for all girls. CAI asked Mahbuba to share some of her insights, important lessons she learned from her mother, and wisdom she wants to pass on to her daughter. Below are her thoughtful answers to our questions about motherhood, education, and raising strong women. Enjoy these Mother’s Day insights.
CAI: How do you describe your relationship with your mother?
Mahbuba Qurbonalieva: My mom is my best friend and my mentor, and she is always there whenever I need her. She respects my parenting and doesn’t interfere. She is an awesome grandmother. She has gone through a lot of difficulties in her life, but she is strong, smart, and always keeps a balance between her career and her family life. She is encouraging and has always pushed me to be the best person I can.
CAI: What did she teach you about education and going to school?
MQ: My mother is a teacher. She teaches chemistry and biology at the secondary school for more than 40 years. Education and going to school is the most important thing in her life. She always paid attention to our education and our achievements at school and was incredibly proud when we did well.
CAI: Now that you are grown up, how has your relationship changed with your mother?
MQ: I am a mother of two children now, but my relationship with my mother did not change at all, just the topics of our conversations changed. I talk to my mother every day; my day starts with a call to my mother.
CAI: What is something you love about your mother?
MQ: My mother is my inspiration to everything I do. She has taught me to always try my best, to treat everyone equally, to not give up when things get hard. She tells me to be honest at all times. I love everything about my mother but the thing that amazes me is her calmness, she is calm in every situation.
CAI: Now that you are a mother, how has your idea of motherhood changed?
MQ: We were lucky kids. We were given lots of freedom but also learned respect. I always thought that my mother is strict with us, but now when I am a mother I realize that whatever she taught us we are using now in our life. I realize how wise my mother is that predicted those situations that we can face in life.
CAI: What are the best parts of motherhood?
MQ: When you are a mother you are never alone and you think not just of yourself but as you are responsible for the life and wellbeing of your children you think and do everything for them.
CAI: What are the challenges of motherhood?
MQ: Having kids is taking the responsibility of bringing up good, kind, responsible and independent human beings, and this is the biggest job that parents have to do in their life and a small mistake in this job can destroy all the work you have done so far.
CAI: What advice do you want to give to your daughter?
MQ: To respect and appreciate every role she plays as a woman and pay full attention to it. Also I would like my little angel to know that I will support her in everything she will do.
CAI: What are your hopes for her education?
MQ: My daughter will turn five in April, and after a year she will go to school where she will start the long and life-changing journey called education. I wish that her educational journey will be successful and I will be always there to support her and will teach her whatever my mother taught me.
CAI: Why is education important to pass on to girls?
MQ: Education is very important for every child whether boy or girl. Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for girls. An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen. An African proverb says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation.” By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education. As many claim, investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation.
CAI: What do you want to say to all the mothers on Mother’s Day?
MQ: Mothers are the sweetest gift from God to us. There is no way we can ever really thank our mother for all she does for us. Nevertheless, we must make it a habit to keep reminding ourselves of the various sacrifices she made while raising us. I would like to take this chance and wish my mom a Happy Mother’s Day. I would like to thank my mother for everything that she has done and keeps doing for us. I would like to thank God for having my mom as part of my life, she has taught me many good things. Today what I have become it’s because of my Mom. May God bless all the mothers all over the world with health, long life, and a lot of happiness.
Happy Mother’s Day to mothers all over the world. Thank you for all the late nights and early mornings, the constant support, and mostly the incredible amount of love given selflessly to raise the next generation. Enjoy your day!