Remembering Najma Sadeque


By Deneb Sumbal Sadeque

guest-contributorDear Mum’s friends, peers and colleagues,
On this day, last year my mother, Najma Sadeque, left us so unexpectedly. Losing a parent is always hard, but losing a mother like her is impossible to describe. You feel a huge vacuum and yet feel her strong presence. Someone who didn’t just leave an example for me, but for so many others who reminiscence often. She is still missed by those who loved and revered her.

Please remember her in your prayers and thoughts on her first Barsi.
For a life extraordinary, full of determined, loving deeds.
May she rest eternally in heavenly peace.



The following poem “A Revolutionary Woman” by Marwa Sharafeldin (Egyptian activist/poetess) I had heard on our trip together in 2012 for the AWID conference in Turkey. For some reason, most of the poem imprinted itself on my memory – perhaps because it reminded so much of her and her vast circle of friends and fellow-activists.

A Revolutionary Woman by Marwa Sharafeldin

You talk to me about austerity measures?

The need to copyright my past, present and future

To relieve you financial crisis pressures

I have to tighten my belt and work hard

For somehow I have to save the banking system

So that it can save me and my baby, hard work pleasures.

I am told that the financial architectures are designed

So that abundance overflows

From rich to poor, strong to powerless, man to woman

But all I can see in your architecture,

Is bad plumbing

Clogged pipes everywhere

Congested with your investments

And my assortment of hard-earned debts

But you better watch it

For you really can’t beat me

I’m used to tying your free trade, with my free labour

You market economy, with my care economics

Your fiscal policy, with the welfare of my tenderness

But not for you – for those I love

And in my love, lies my revolution

So don’t get to comfortable,

Because I am a Revolutionary Woman

Did you know of the kind of role that I desire?

My fickle worrier heart,

And my eyes that shine like fire

My dancing step, and my strong working hands

That need our freedom together without tire

My deep wild laughter

And the colourful dreams to which I aspire

Don’t let my thunderous silence fool you

For I shall never honour

You economic ceasefire

Don’t get too comfortable

I’m a Revolutionary Woman

I’m all too aware that you need me

Can you survive with my loving free labour,

without the royalty of my generous nature?

Can your empires last one second, if I decide to withhold,

the abundance of my one dollar?

What if all of us decide to do so?

What happens to your profits,

if my womb decides to hibernate?

No more babies for this world

And no more consumers for this market

What if I decide again to occupy,

A new market, a new system, a new justice

Never forget

Your power comes from my acquiescence

To my legion of beloved friends, sisters and mothers,

The street is ours

Once set (unable to follow next few lines)

It’s true you know

All it takes now is one facebook event page

Let us then see you cower

Under the surge of this woman power

So don’t get too comfortable –

I’m a Revolutionary Woman

Untamed minds and boundless dreams

Ablaze with all possibilities

Equality, justice and solidarity

Connecting our joint blood streams

I pluck the stars and scatter them around us

It’s an old protection ritual for the adventuress

Be prepared

For I know the smell of revolution when it’s a-brewing

Don’t get too comfortable

For in front of me lies

A terrifying bunch of revolutionary women.