Salute to the Fathers!

Salute to the fathers, Salute to the Omani fathers from very deep within my heart!

During my course in London, a Danish speech therapist came over to me surprised, asking if I see fathers of young clients in my clinic where I come from. Hearing me proudly say “YES, in fact more fathers than mothers attend therapy sessions with their child” left her gobsmacked! I honestly do not know the source of her surprise or what exactly she meant by that. I can only assume and I will assume; maybe, because Arab men are usually perceived as Macho macho, hence the thought that they would show limited care towards their children? Maybe, she thought about the segregation of genders in my country, hence the surprise that I do actually meet men in my clinic? Other than these two reasons, I found the surprise rather shallow because what I see within the walls of my clinic is by far the most compassionate of relationships. A relationship that is devoid of lies, hypocrisy or personal interests. The all heart relationship between “father and child”!

I do not deny the role of the mother here, I only do not flaunt about it now because it’s the “default” setting if you like, a mother concerned about her child that is. You rarely see otherwise in almost all cultures. However, when the father takes the driving seat, when he runs for his child’s interest for whatever it costs, when the mother is at home and have never even met the therapy behind her child’s improvement, and the father brings the child in for a long-term fortnightly therapy session that could last for years (it happens). That’s the tender heart of a father I’m talking about.  

I’ll leave you with this true story that left me touched, disturbed and impressed in the same split of a second, while taking the case history of a child in clinic.

The Doctor calls me referring a patient with a complicated history of multiple abnormalities. A few minutes later, a gentleman, a lady and the little child are in my clinic. The lady sits on a chair, the child on another chair, sadly I do not have a special chair for children with hypotonia (very weak muscles), their sitting positions are difficult to maintain, someone needs to hold the child or else he’ll lean sideways and could fall down quite instantly. The father kneels on the ground holding his son with his arms, helping him maintain his posture while the child moves, jerks and twitches uncontrollably. 

I started taking the case history, asking the lady pre and post birth questions. I took it for granted (like I assume you all did) that she was the mother. She was apparently the paternal grandmother (She looked really young, it must be the pure heart she has that gave her the glow). After a few questions, I saw a few hesitations with back and forth looks from the lady and her son (the father), as if contemplating whether to trust me and expose the hidden bit or not, and they started… The child had been neglected the care of his mother since birth, or actually the mother has lost this precious son to suit her ego and her heartless family. The story is, after the child had been born, the mother astonished by the amount of physical abnormalities her son has, decided to run away from the hospital, abandoning her son under her family pressure that she will not enter their house with a disabled! The father and his mother were left or rather privileged with the responsibility of taking care of this young boy.

Not only do they care for this child, they show tender love and absolute affection beyond imagination. The grandmother showed repeatedly how blessed she is to have him. The child’s mother on the other hand filed a divorce, got her wish granted, re-married and has a family of her own now. She has never seen her first child after the abandonment in hospital.

I was left repeating “Subhan Allah” all day long!

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16 Comments

  1. Standy said,

    October 27, 2009 at 9:29 am

    sub7an allah, sub7an allah!!!

    she doesnt deserve to even be a mother!!!

    • Shahrazad said,

      October 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm

      She obviously doesn’t! I wonder how she is with her other children, and what would be their reaction if later in life they found out that they have an abandoned brother, sad 😦

  2. Nadia said,

    October 27, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Sub7an Allah Shahrazad, I’m almost near tears; not sure whether it’s because I’m furious with the mother and want to fly to Muscat to find her and chop her up into mishkak, but perhaps touched at the father. The grandmother is expected, but for the father to care so much, WOW. Kudos to all the wonderful fathers out there!! I LOVE THIS POST! And Kudos to you for contributing so much to the people who actually need it!

    • Shahrazad said,

      October 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

      Thank you Nadia. I’m just conveying a message, an appreciation message to Omani fathers, they make us proud (e7m, see not all men are jerks :p)

  3. Essence Oman said,

    October 27, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Such stories give hope that good still exists!

    i thank you for sharing stories not usually heard and spreading the struggle of others whom cannot spread their own.

    • Shahrazad said,

      October 28, 2009 at 10:54 pm

      Good still exists, Alhamdlilah…
      Thank you for your continued contribution essence 🙂

  4. October 28, 2009 at 2:14 am

    What a horrible story 😦
    I love what you said about Omani fathers…masha’Allah!
    And what a cute pic! Is that your family?

    • Shahrazad said,

      October 28, 2009 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks Sara! Horrible indeed, but very rewarding for the father Inshallah..

      No, I don’t have kids (yet). That’s my brother and our niece 🙂

  5. Salma said,

    October 28, 2009 at 9:01 am

    this post touched my so deep :”(
    I don’t blame it on the mother only. It’s her family’s mistake, too! How Heartless they are!… Allah saved the father from such a wife and family in-law!!

    • Shahrazad said,

      October 28, 2009 at 10:59 pm

      Yah.. I couldn’t help but say to the father “God will compensate you for your patience and for the good of your deeds with better Inshallah”

      I know, the family’s attitude is a shame, I cannot believe such heartless attitude exists in this modern life, with all the campaigns calling for acceptance of people with special needs in socities. Ah well… we don’t live in Utopia!

  6. Doubleyou said,

    October 28, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Wow, great story!! Thank you for sharing. I agree with your assumption and I can relate to the situation because I’ve been there as well, “most” westerners do perceive Arab men as macho and dominating.
    I’m not sure how it’s going to be in Oman yet but during my 3 years of practice in Australia, I can count with my fingers the number of times I’ve seen a child attending my clinic with their fathers…So, yes a salute to our fathers 😀

    • Shahrazad said,

      October 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

      BIG huge salute then again and again 😀
      I’ve worked in clinics in UK myself during my degree years, and it was mostly the mother or both parents attending with the child.

  7. Um Haitham said,

    October 30, 2009 at 10:12 am

    nice post & touched with the story, subhan Allah , god will not leave her alone on what she has done to her own child , its thulm if you know what i mean.
    god bless us all

  8. A Desi said,

    November 1, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    such tales bring back the lost hope and faith for me 🙂 thank you for the wonderful post

  9. Rayyan said,

    November 5, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Very touchy.. how could a MOTHER who carried her baby for 9 months and went through labor pain abandon him at the end???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I kept thinking of this Q after labor.. after all the pain mothers get how could any mother just throw her newborn away?

    Sub7aaaaaaaan Allah!

  10. Intisar said,

    November 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    very horrible, it also happened in my working place!! a mother kept an estimated 7 days old baby (coz they didnt know how old the baby was) in one of the clinics in our hosp and left!! a cleaner later that day saw a child sleeping peacefully on a bed with no guardian!!! that is shocking!!!! allah will not let those who do such thing live in peace!


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