ISRAEL: #BringBackOurBoys

ISRAEL: #BringBackOurBoys

Below is a guest post by Joanna Landau, the founder of Kinetis. I turned to her when I was struggling to write a post about 3 teenagers kidnapped in Israel by terrorists. I knew I wanted to bring attention to the situation because I have been appalled at the lack of press this situation was getting around the world. Fellow World Moms confirmed for me that in their respective countries, the news was getting close to no coverage and in many instances, no coverage at all. Yet here in Israel, no one has thought about anything else for the past 6 days. Joanna has managed to capture all my thoughts and feelings. Please share her message.

The phone rings. “Hey, Mom, it’s me”, your 16 year old son says, “I’m on my way home”. You put the phone down, and go back to whatever it is you’re doing. An hour later, you start to worry, he’s not answering his phone. Two hours later you and your husband start to panic, you call friends, relatives, start canvassing the neighborhood. Three, four, five hours later, you know something’s happened. And then you realize you’ve joined that awful statistic, something’s happened. Turns out your son hitchhiked his way home with a couple of friends, and has been kidnapped. Your worst fears have come true. And now what? What would you do to bring him back, assuming the police are doing everything they can to find him?

There’s a boy called Naftali, and he was kidnapped together with his friends Gilad and Eyal 6 days ago. Naftali called his mother, a half an hour before he got into the car.

This is not a hypothetical situation. It happened in Israel and you may have not heard of it, because it sounds like the kind of thing that can happen in a place where there’s a conflict going on.

And some may put a political twist on it, bringing in all sorts of issues that can cloud the basic, simple fact that three youngsters have been kidnapped.


In Israel it’s the only thing on our mind, as a nation fears for three kids, not soldiers, who have disappeared, apparently taken by terrorists. But it’s not a political story: for every mother, wherever you live, it’s a personal story. Because these things can happen anywhere, and children and teens have become innocent victims of the evils of this world.

In America it may be from a shooting spree at a school, in Nigeria it’s girls at a boarding school. In any country, it may be a bitter divorced parent who takes their kids without telling the ex-spouse; or it can be a sick person who preys on children. Kidnapping can be anywhere, it can happen to anyone.

Gilad, 16 years old, likes to bake and volunteers with youth his age. Apparently, when he steps into a room, his smile lights it up. Naftali plays the guitar, loves football and is an excellent student. Eyal is 19, likes to sing, and sang at his cousin’s wedding not long ago. These are kids, just like yours. They don’t represent the state, they probably never imagined they would. But everyone is turning this into a political, or diplomatic discussion. It’s not. It’s about how fragile this world is and whether you care.

#bringbackourboys what if

Imagine it was your kid who phoned 6 days ago. Imagine what you’d be feeling today, knowing he’s in the hands of merciless terrorists, or worse. I’m usually a very positive person, with an optimistic outlook on life and a constant desire to make the most of what we have. But as I look at my own three kids, who are 12, 10 and 7 and home safely with me, I wonder how Naftali, Gilad and Eyal’s parents must be feeling.

Premised on the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to raise awareness for the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls, a campaign to #BringBackOurBoys has also exploded online. But only in Israeli and Jewish circles, and hardly in traditional global media sources. Because everyone else is looking at this and just moving on.

If you’re a mother, and you understand how it feels to love your child, and if you believe that children, more than anyone, are innocent until proven guilty, you can’t and shouldn’t remain indifferent to this incident. If you have a 16 or 19 year old kid, hug them tonight, and if these words resonate with you, snap a quick selfie together and help the world #BringBackOurBoys .

#bringbackourboys selfiePhoto Credit: Maya Ben-David & Avner Seliger

This was an original guest post for World Moms Blog by Joanna Landau.

Joanna Landau is the mother of 3 as well as the Founder & Executive Director of Kinetis, a non profit social startup promoting Israel as a hub of creativity and innovation. Kinetis brings leading bloggers from around the world to Israel to experience it for themselves. In addition, Kinetis operates educational programs in Israeli schools, the Army and Universities that aim to reignite national pride.

Susie Newday (Israel)

Susie Newday is a happily-married American-born Israeli mother of five. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and avid amateur photographer. Most importantly, Susie is a happily married mother of five amazing kids from age 8-24 and soon to be a mother in law. (Which also makes her a chef, maid, tutor, chauffeur, launderer...) Susie's blog, New Day, New Lesson, is her attempt to help others and herself view the lessons life hands all of us in a positive light. She will also be the first to admit that blogging is great free therapy as well. Susie's hope for the world? Increasing kindness, tolerance and love. You can also follow her Facebook page New Day, New Lesson where she posts her unique photos with quotes as well as gift ideas.

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EGYPT: Every Woman Needs To Make Herself Her #1 Priority

EGYPT: Every Woman Needs To Make Herself Her #1 Priority

depressed woman

My swim coach is in her mid to late twenties and she’s engaged to be married. On several occasions, I’ve noticed from the way she talks, that she does not seem to be happy in her relationship. Today, I didn’t see her engagement ring on her finger so I asked her about it. She said she had taken it off because she was afraid of losing it in the swimming pool.

I mentioned that I thought she had broken up and she confided that she had been on the verge of doing so the day before. She looked so sad and I understand how she feels. She is desperate and disappointed, she loved her fiancé but as he doesn’t show his love she said that she doesn’t feel anything for him anymore and she believes that sooner or later the relationship will be over.

I found myself telling her to think only about her happiness and about making herself the first priority in her life, that she must stop being the only one to give and that she has the right to receive. I expressed concern that by being the only one giving in a relationship, she may find herself, after a few years, frustrated, disappointed and unable to give anymore.

While talking to her, I found myself thinking about how women in my community, as well as in many other communities, grow up with the belief that a woman is created to only give. Everybody around her expects to receive yet no one thinks about what she needs or that she even has needs that must be met. A woman’s role is to make everybody happy even if she is not. Her husband, her children and even her parents expect a lot from her but no one cares about what she expects.

For many long years, I lived with the people surrounding me expecting too much from me. I was giving so much but at a certain point I could not go any farther. I could not accept the idea of burning myself for others while nobody thought about me. My reaction was a little bit aggressive. I could not bear anymore the idea of being a good girl, good wife and good mother.

Being good to my parents meant being obedient to my mother even if she was intruding on my personal life and imposing her beliefs as to what I need to do and what I should not do. Being good to my husband meant I had to take responsibility for everything, take care of his needs, be kind to him, work, and take care of the house all the while never having my needs met. Being a good mother meant taking care of the kids’ needs, studies, training and entertainment.

You may ask why my husband didn’t do his share in all of this? The answer is that we have different values and backgrounds so he always said that none of those things are his priorities, so if I wanted them I had to do it myself.  For years I did, but after nine years I exploded and that was a turning point in my life. I got divorced and I lived, as a single mom, with my kids, for five years. Those years were the transformation years.

I finally realized what my mistake was. I was not making myself a priority. I was allowing everybody to make decisions for me. I was not happy yet I was expected to make others happy. I never thought about my needs, I was only focusing on the needs of my family. I reached a point where I couldn’t give love anymore. How could I do that with my emotional tank empty? To give love to others you need to get your emotional tank refilled. Only then will you be able to give love to everybody around you.

It took me years and I’m still working on it, learning to constantly refill my emotional tank from different resources in order to be able to give . That’s exactly what I told my lovely and kind swimming coach in my conversation with her today. Get your emotional tank refilled, do your best to find your own satisfaction and fulfillment. Do whatever you can to make yourself happy.  Only then will you be able to give love to others . You will feel happy even if you don’t receive love from others because you already have your tank refilled.

I really sympathize with women in my community because they are taught lies about what it means to be a good wife and good mother and they believe it. They live internally unhappy but do not dare to object or ask for what they need. They feel that they must accept what they’re given. They are looking for approval from others and they are afraid to reject the beliefs they were bought up on.

What beliefs in your community hurt women’s well being yet they don’t dare to reject them?

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Nihad from Alexandria, Egypt. Nihad blogs at  Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

Image courtesy of  “Young Woman Under Depression” by David Castillo Dominici  /



Nihad is an Egyptian woman, who was born and has lived her whole life in Alexandria, Egypt. She says, “People who visited this city know how charming and beautiful this city is. Although I love every city in Egypt, Alexandria is the one I love the most.” She is a software engineer and has worked in the field for more than twenty years. But recently she quit her job, got a coaching certificate and she is now a self employed life and career coach. She says, “I believe that women in this era face big challenges and they are taking huge responsibilities. That's why I have chosen my niche -- women looking for happiness and satisfaction. I help and support them in making whatever change (career change, life change, behavior change, belief change…) they want to bring more satisfaction and happiness in their lives.” Nihad is a mother of two lovely boys, 15 and 9 years old. She states, “They are the most precious gifts I have ever had. I madly love them, and I consider them the main source of happiness in my life.” Our inspiring mother in Egypt can also be found at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.

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