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Mother's Day in the Middle East 2020

Various Observed in Egypt and several other Arab countries

Mothers Day

When is Mother's Day in Egypt?

How long until Mother's Day?
This holiday next takes place in 299 Days.
Dates of Mother's Day
Year Weekday Date
2020 Saturday
2019 Thursday
2018 Wednesday
2017 Tuesday
Duration
1 Day
Summary
The story of how 21st March became Mother's Day in Egypt and other Arab countries.

In most Egypt and most Arab countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated on 21st March, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

History of Mother's Day in Egypt

This date is also Persian New Year, so it might make sense to draw an historic correlation between this time of rebirth and celebrating motherhood; but according to the collective wisdom of the internet, Mother's Day began in began in Egypt after the influential and pioneering journalist Mustafa Amin observed the American practice in his 1943 book 'Smiling America'.

He proposed that Egypt should copy this practice, but on 21 March rather than the third Sunday in May as is the tradition in America.

Initially his suggestion fell on deaf ears, but he was driven to campaign for the holiday after hearing the story of a widowed mother who had devoted her life to raising her son to become a doctor, only for him to marry and leave her without any show of gratitude. Eventually he managed to get President Gamal Abdel Nasser to accept the idea (though Nasser did throw Amin in jail twice - so swings and roundabouts) and Mother's Day was first celebrated on 21 March 1956.

The practice has since been copied by other Arab countries, so that 21 March is now Mother's Day in Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Mauritania and Oman.

When Amin was arrested and imprisoned on the charge of being an American spy in the 1970s, there were attempts to change the name of the holiday from Mother's Day to Family Day as the government wanted to prevent the day reminding people of its founder.


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