Celebrating Working Mothers

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we asked Turquoise Mountain artisans and staff from Jordan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the US, and the UK about balancing their career with parenthood.

Aya Cropped

Aya, Jeweller and Graduate of Turquoise Mountain in Jordan

Describe being a working mother in three words. Ambitious. Strong. Patient.

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? Work/life balance and not having enough time to prepare food for my baby.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? Gaining the confidence and courage to make the right decisions in my life.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? To travel with my family and learn about new cultures.


Siwar, Turquoise Mountain Communications Director, Saudi Arabia

Describe being a working mother in three words. Challenging, rewarding, humbling.

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? So many! But currently, homeschooling young children has been a major challenge for everyone I imagine. Another challenge for me is reconciling the guilt that I may be missing out on particular things, or that I am not as physically present as I would like to be.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? My hope is that I am showing my daughters (by example) that women can be empowered, independent and productive members of their communities, and that they derive their self-worth from what they are creating and contributing. Also working mothers, and women generally, are incredibly supportive of each other, and it’s lovely to feel this sense of community and understanding amongst peers.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? A vacation to a beach destination with no Wifi!


Khujista 1

Dr Khujista, Doctor at the Ferozkoh Family Health Centre, Afghanistan

Describe being a working mother in three words. A really challenging job!

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? The biggest challenge is not having enough time for my kids. My kids need me a lot and they need my love, especially my only daughter who wishes she could spend more time with me, which is hard with my busy schedule as a doctor.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? It is so pleasant to see your kids reach their goals. Last year my eldest son made his way to Kabul Medical College after a very competitive exam, which is something every mother wishes for their kids in Afghanistan. A mother always lives for their kids.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? Every gift is precious, but the most valuable gift for a mother is respect.


Shoshana, Turquoise Mountain CEO

Describe being a working mother in three words. Barely controlled chaos.

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? Balancing kids I love with a job I love - it would almost be easier if I didn’t love my job too.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? I’m not sure rewarding is even the word - they are just love and joy in little packages. But the mispronunciation of words - in our case ‘that cary horse is boohind me’ - can turn any day around.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? Ivo gave me his big stuffed dog to sleep with - I’d take that any day. And eggs and bacon for Mother’s Day breakfast...


Madina 2

Madina, Teacher at the Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture, Afghanistan

Describe being a working mother in three words. Self-sacrifice, love, and compassion.

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? Working mothers must cope with many problems. At the same time, I must say that mothers are wise managers and very good at planning.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? God has predetermined the reward of mothers: “Paradise is beneath the feet of mothers”.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? The best gift for me is the success of my children and the children I have taught.


Liz, Turquoise Mountain Creative Projects Manager

Describe being a working mother in three words. Enriching. Challenging. Fulfilling.

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? Juggling the needs of my children and family life with my career and accepting that there will be compromises along the way.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? Seeing my children blossom and grow up to become happy and confident young women who will follow their passions in life.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? Flights to Japan for my family.


Thalia, Turquoise Mountain Creative Director

Describe being a working mother in three words. In great company.

What is the biggest challenge you face being a working mother? Realising that there is no guidebook, and that you’re all figuring it out together!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a mother? A kind of delicious mix of joy, warmth, chaos, and total comedy.

If you could receive one gift today, what would it be? Twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep.