JUMAN DOLEH ALOMARY
Juman Doleh Alomary is the Information Technology Audit Director at Wayne State University and the past president and executive board member of the Arab American Women’s Business Council. Juman also serves on multiple boards, including the Michigan Muslim Community Council, the Information System Audit and Control Association, and the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority.
I come from a long line of strong women. My maternal grandma married a man in Palestine who was 20 years older. Forced out of her homeland with her family as a refugee at the young age of 17. She had 10 children and lived through the deaths of three. She was widowed early, lived by herself, made her own decisions. It’s normal. That’s how you do it.
My mom is no different. She was doing something that was unpopular then. She was a gymnast! [People would say] “What do you mean—gymnastics? What do you mean—she’s wearing that outfit? What do you mean—she goes to the gym to practice?”
My grandma told my grandpa, “I’ll go and sit with her while she’s practicing. I’ll watch her.” She let her daughter live her dream.
My mom grew up to be an enabler. You grow best when you enable others to succeed. I learned from her how to be strong, how to sacrifice. She and my dad made a very difficult decision to immigrate seeking a better life multiple times. I lived briefly in Kuwait, Egypt, and Canada. Now I live here. So people say, where are you from? I say predominantly here because I lived here most of my life, but my family are like nomads.
Just the thought of picking up my children at the age of 45 and leaving is daunting. That takes a lot out of you and takes courage. So I appreciate what they did. I appreciate how they raised us to do the right thing and be true to ourselves and our faith.
I teach my sons that women are partners in everything. They do chores with me because they see me and their dad do chores around the house. We both work full time. I think we agreed on this back when we first got married. We wanted to spend time together longer so we split the work. He does the laundry. I do the cooking. We both do the cleaning. But the kids see that partnership every week on many other tasks.
I tell people he’s wonderful. He's doing his part. This is a partnership; this is what love is about. When you say somebody loves me, it’s not about bringing flowers every day. It's someone who recognizes that my partner needs help and I’m here to respect her time and her ability to have some time off. Same thing goes for him.
My son wants to be a YouTuber. He says he’ll be able to work from home and be with me all the time. He told me it’s because he noticed his father visits his mother every weekday for lunch. I told my husband, “The way you love your mom and family makes me love you more.”
This is one of the best things you can teach kids. Family values! The kids are watching us. My husband is being true to himself through his family. This just seeps into our kids, it makes a difference. Raising a generation of people with good, soft hearts, who value humanity, understand the values of family, and the impacts they can have by being good people and Muslims is imperative. That’s very important to me.