The Orchid Garden

A special space for tributes to the most important women in our lives.
Mothers, grandmothers, nannies, teachers, friends – whoever they are, these are the women who provide the inspiration and guidance in our everyday lives.

Also listed in The Orchid Garden are the women who have been honoured by organisations and publications in annual awards.

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Mubarak Begum w/o Mohamed Siddiqe

Recipient of the Jamiyah Exemplary Mother Award in 2012

Mrs Mubarak was married at a tender age of sixteen. While girls her age were pursuing their ambitions, she was arranged to be married to her cousin in Singapore. Not only was coming to Singapore city a big culture shock for her, but facing the trials and tribulations of being the first daughter-in-law of a big Indian Muslim family was her first taste of life’s challenges. She had to appease her in-law’s wishes as well as her husband’s. Her in-laws were especially stringent and traditional, expecting her to stay at home all the time and refusing her any opportunities for work outside the home. Being displaced from her family at a tender age, this was by no means a small feat.
 
Her willingness to learn and contribute to her household was a key factor in her growth as a mother. Raising three children through her teenage years was not easy and she had to sacrifice a lot of her time for her children and her in-laws. She was often berated causing her turmoil and she underwent traumatic and emotional stress for two decades.
 
In 1997, her husband was involved in a major highway accident in Indonesia causing his disability for months. When her children began their tertiary education, the family felt the financial constraints and could not afford to pay their fees in time. With no working experience, she could not secure a job. Over the years, she took a course in Certificate for Pre-School Teaching in Tamil conducted by Ministry of Education and with the certificate she was able to get a job as a Tamil Language Pre-School Teacher in 2010.
 
Through her dedication, all her children are successful: her eldest daughter holds a Bachelor of Education degree, her second daughter is undergoing a Masters of Arts in English Literature at Nanyang Technological University, her third son has been offered a degree programme while his youngest son will be sitting for GCE ‘O’ Level.