Whether we like it or not, the people we love shape us. It usually happens in small ways, slowly, day in and day out. It’s not beaten into us, but absorbed through observation, dialogue, and experiences.

As young adults, we are so certain of our originality. Our opinions are formed independently of anyone else’s, our beliefs derived purely from our inner truth… but that’s not really the case. It’s only when we’re older that we can honestly look at ourselves, look back over our lives and say… oh wow, I really am a product of my family and my environment.

I often stop and hear my own mother in the things I say to my children like, ‘put your socks on or you’ll catch a cold’.

It’s astounding to watch my daughter as she imitates me. Follows me around and then repeats the things I’ve said in her sweet little voice. It really makes you stop and wonder at the legacy we leave our children.

When the call out for the Arab, Australian, Other anthology came to my attention, I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of it. A series of personal stories compiled together to collectively dispel the myths about people in the Arab community… I knew exactly which myth I wanted dispelled.

Women in my community are not meek, or submissive, or lack their own opinions. They’re not just mothers and home-makers, but are also professionals, leaders, equal partners, and rule breakers. I know this because of the legacy my mother left me. She never sat me down to teach me, but I watched her everyday. I watched her build cabinetry and decorate the exterior of our home with magnificent Christmas lights. I watched her share her opinions and argue her point. She loved her car, a glass of whisky and cola, and her workshop in the garage. She put her heart into everything she did, and she did everything well.

And so…I wrote One of a Kind, a personal story which I dedicate to my mother. It’s also a big forever thank you to her because whether I like it or not, she has very much shaped the person I am today.

I was lucky to be one of the twenty two contributors selected to be a part of this wonderful anthology. I’m excited, honoured, and glad because my story will now become part of the legacy I leave for my children

Tip o’ the Fez to you.

To order a copy of Arab, Australian, Other – click here.