Arab mothers aren't the type to make you fight for their love, they will definitely show you they love you. Endless hugs and kisses, tupperware after tupperware of food and of course, a shahata coming your way to teach you respect.
But even after all that, your mother does little things every day to remind you that 1. she loves you and 2. she's kinda weird about it.
Yup, Arab mom have a lot of quirks...
1. Vacuuming at 6 AM
Now, listen, your mother can very well vacuum the house at any other time, but she wants you to wake up with the sun and get as much out of the day as you can.
She'll even open up all the windows and let in that morning light you've been avoiding.
She doesn't want you wasting precious hours when you could be enjoying yourself... and no, she doesn't consider sleeping-in a form of enjoyment.
2. Helping your snack addiction
When your mother sees you hard at work when studying for your finals, something in her little heart goes "Oh, my child is probably hungry."
It's not her fault that you'll probably gain a few kilos during finals, and it's definitely not her fault that you just happen to take totally random food breaks.
She's just trying to keep you healthy... possibly with zaatar to help "open up your mind."
3. A weird dating ban
This one isn't so far-fetched, but so many girls seem to not understand it (as this obviously only applies to us).
To your mother, boys are the scum of the Earth and do not deserve you. I mean no girl is good enough for her boys either but they're allowed to go and have a little look-see.
Don't fight it, your mother is right, join a convent!
4. An even weirder curfew rule
I know mothers have a good reason for setting a curfew and we can scream and yell about how unfair it is, but that's not what I'm talking about.
My mother has... curfew swings. Like mood swings but about curfews. I can come home at 2 AM most nights, but some days, my mother wants me home by midnight.
Why? Well, let's ask her.
Me: "Mom, why do I have to be back by 12?"
Mom: "Cinderella can only stay out till 12."
I mean it's sweet, but why?!
5. Congratulations, she will claim you now
The minute you do something extraordinary, like graduate with honors or get on the dean's list or whatever, your mother will want to celebrate with a bunch of your relatives you don't really know.
It's painstaking, it's agony, and really, it's just a way to show you off. Your mother wants to parade you around, like "Look! I made that! Tal3a la imma."
...There's nothing more to it.
6. Calling you 100 times at work
No matter if you're the eldest child, the middle, the youngest, or a single child, once you're at your first job, your mother call you a million times for no reason. She'll even go on for hours (OK minutes) and not realize that you actually have work to do.
She'll ask you how you're doing, if the other "kids" are being nice to you (yes, kids) and what you had for lunch.
She'll also remind you not to eat too much because she made you your favorite meal at home.
7. You're all the gossip
If you ever disappoint your mother, you will be the discussion of topic at your mother's next meeting with her sisters or friends.
For example, if you decide it's not the time to get a Master's degree, your mother will be at a loss. She will discuss everything from how you've always worked towards an education ever since you were a baby and she doesn't know where she went wrong with you...
Tears may be shed, tears over your missed opportunity. But they're tears of love... or tears of shame.