He Spiked my Drink

2017

When I was 6,
My mother took me out.
She told me that we were going to visit someone,
But she didn't take me back home with her.
She left me there.

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Sixty Slaps

2017

My father used to beat me up pretty badly over trivial things.
I used to get beaten if I used the bathroom too many times at school,
Or for telling my teacher that my father was being hard on me.

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As I walk down the street

2017

As I walked down the street, a man my father's age tells me "Is your cunt as beautiful as you are?"
As I walked down the street, a guy from behind touches me and says, "I want to rub my penis against you"
gender violence, sexual violence, harassment, the street

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A Circle

2014

I was waiting for the tram,
When I saw them coming towards me,
And calling two others from behind.

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Snipping off a Piece of Me

2019

One day,
In the middle of the first term of seventh grade,
Mama sent me over to my aunt’s.
“Go see what she wants,” she said.
When I went over to her place,
She told me to accompany her to the doctor’s.
I thought she was sick.
While we were waiting for our turn, she said,
“The doctor is going to examine you.”

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At the Holy Kaaba

2014

As I was leaving Hijr-Ismail—it can get really crowded there—I felt someone shove their hand between my legs and grope me.
I immediately spun around and started punching the man behind me.
“In front of the Holy Kaaba, you kaafir?!” I screamed.

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Live Wire

2019

I kissed two women for the first time in my life today at a party.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a kiss on the mouth.
It was a peck on the cheek.
Just a normal kiss; the way you’d kiss a guy friend.
You’ll think it’s weird,
But when you know my story,
You’ll applaud me.

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Fear of Intimacy

2016

I was six or seven years old.
Mama wanted me to learn a musical instrument, so I chose the piano.
She looked for a place that could teach me and found an instructor at the club.
They arranged for me and my brother to take lessons with him.

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Something Wrong with Me

2014

Is there something wrong with me?
Sometimes I feel like I’m a disgusting creature.
I buy something from the supermarket,
And the cashier places the change a good distance away from me,
So he won’t accidentally touch my hand.

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No Escape

2019

I remember that day clearly.
I knew that I was going to get circumcised, it happened to my sisters.
I was 12 then. I took a shower and they dressed me in a short skirt.
They took me to a surgeon. He passed away, but I will never pray for him.
I will never forgive my mother either.

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