So much of the work I do now is inspired by being a mother. I want to leave the world a better place for my children. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I want to share with you some words from my ‘Letter to my Unborn Daughter,’ the entirety of which can be found in my 2010 book Nomad:
“Life holds so much promise for you. Please take it with both your little hands, and live it well. Live, laugh, love, and give back with a broad grin.”
Despite all of the chaos and horror in the world today, I hold on to these words. It is so important to affirm the lightness of life in the face of darkness, and to pass on this mindset to our children, and to fight for a world in which that lightness triumphs.
Part of raising the next generation is inspiring them to think for themselves, rather than be constrained by any kind of dogma. This, too, I try to pass on to my children, and it informs the work of AHA Foundation.
Last month, my friend Peter Boghossian began his ‘Reverse Q+A Tour’ at Purdue University, where he encouraged inquisitive young minds to pursue the best for themselves. In our blog this month, he spoke to AHA Foundation about his Reverse Q+As, the importance of free speech, and the necessity of kindling the spark of inquiry in the young. Read it here.
Also in the blog this month, AHA Foundation spoke to Emanuela Zuccalà, the director of a short documentary about female genital mutilation (FGM) in Liberia. It is my hope that her documentary raises awareness of the fight of the daughters of Liberia against the cruel and inhumane practice of FGM. Read our interview with her here and sign up for our live screening of the documentary on June 16, where Emanuela will discuss her work, here.
Emanuela’s work reminds me again, as Mother’s Day approaches, that so much of my work comes down to fighting for the young, and I am proud to say that AHA Foundation is doing its part to combat FGM. Today, in fact, our federally-funded anti-FGM program in Chicago North Side is hosting a training for mental health professionals co-led by the esteemed psychologist and FGM specialist Joanna Vergoth. Find out more about our previous Chicago trainings here.
In June, I, alongside various other experts, begin teaching a summer course at the University of Austin (UATX). My teaching will be focused on free speech, religion, and women’s rights. If you are interested in taking this class or know of young individuals who might be interested, you can apply here.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has already given to our spring matching campaign. Our generous donor Bill Miller has pledged $15,000 in matching funds, meaning that when you give, your impact will be DOUBLED. We are halfway to unlocking these funds, and you can help us reach our goal. If you want to help AHA Foundation in its vital work and make a real difference in the lives of women and girls and, indeed, in the fight for liberty for all, please give a gift now.
Warmly and with gratitude,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder