A word from our mothers

March 21, 2021

To celebrate Mother’s Day in the Arab region, we asked UNDP Iraq staff to tell us the best advice they’ve received from their mother – or any wise words they’ve given to their own children.

Happy Mother’s Day to all, near and far.


Ayub and his mother Jameela, Iraq

My mom's frequent advice is "Don't spend money on things you don't need." 



Teppei and his mother Nobuko, Japan

“You do not need to rush. I always believe you, wait for your decision, and support you.” 

When I was a child, I struggled with a problem, and could not go to school.  My mother waited for me to find a solution by myself, showing her deep affection. That gave me the power to overcome the problem. 

Nadia and her daughters Nouf and Hayat, Jordan

I asked my daughters what the best advice I have given them. My eldest daughter Nouf said: To give without expecting anything in return. The reward lies with the Almighty.

And from my younger daughter, Hayat: Heal a broken heart and find happiness in the smallest things in life.

Mazen, reflecting on his mother Suzen’s words, Lebanon

The best advice my mom has given me is taken from a speech by Jesus: “As I loved you, so too did you love one another and Forgive some of you as God forgive you.”

I appreciate this beautiful idea.

Miriam and her Mother Elizabeth, Canada

My mom often says, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” It is her way of suggesting that we take a breath and step back to look at the big picture. She tells us (her kids) to focus on the important things and not worry about the small problems that won’t matter in the end anyway.   

Shatha and her daughter Haneen, Iraq

My mother does not give advice - she gives orders and we have to obey! The funny thing is that even though I’m in my fifties and a financially independent woman, when I buy something I tell her it was a quarter of the price - and she always says “Ohh, its very expensive!” When I asked my daughter Haneen about the best advice I have given her, she said: My mother is a woman of action, not a woman of words!

Mrinalini and her mother Nandini, India

My mother’s advice to me is super simple: "Don't forget to breathe and take care of yourself." 

Fay and her mother Jarmin, Australia

Like all good Iraqi mothers, the best advice from mine has been: “Make sure there’s enough food!!” 

Suha and her mother Khawla, Syria 

The best advice my mother has given to me is: “Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, follow your passion and never let anyone dim your inner light.” 

Ali and his mother Anood, Iraq

My mother always tells me: “Ali, your best achievements are assisting others. You have to help people and take care of them in all cases and situations.”