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Well, readers, I’m feeling an interesting combination of exhausted and giddy at the moment after my graduation today, which doesn’t lend itself well to my usual snarky media critique. I won’t even try. Instead, I’m going to point you in the direction of this article (mentioned recently on MMW’s Twitter feed), so that you can feel all happy and warm and fuzzy, too.
Half the reason for this is because the picture accompanying the story is just so darn cute (masha’Allah):
But it’s also a cool story about a Moroccan woman, Aicha Ech Channa, who has recently been given an award for her work with unwed mothers:
She is the first Muslim to win the Opus award. The annual humanitarian award from the Minnetonka-based Opus Prize Foundation goes to unsung heroes for their faith-based acts of compassion.
Ech Channa, 68, is the founder and president of the Association for Women’s Solidarity. In the 1980s, she was working for the Moroccan Ministry of Social Affairs, where unwed mothers came seeking help, even though little help was available. Under Islamic law, the women were considered prostitutes, and many had their babies taken away over their objections.
Considering that unacceptable, Ech Channa launched her program in 1985. It offers women legal counseling, job training and medical and psychological support with a goal of making them self-sufficient so they can raise their children.
Having done some volunteer work with a community of young mothers, I appreciate projects that offer a combination of forms of support that these women might need. I also think it’s cool that although the article makes repeated (excessive) mention of the people who oppose Ech Channa’s project on religious grounds, it’s also clear that she herself is “committed to her faith,” and motivated by it to do the work she’s doing, believing that “Every human being has a flame [of love] inside them that must be fanned.”