I’m Not Afraid of You Touching Me

2012

The whole time I was walking down the street, I was afraid someone would touch me.
They were going to come from behind and pinch my ass, then laugh and make a run for it!
A repeat of a scenario that happened more than 8 years ago...

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17 Years Ago

2017

I was at one of my cousin’s wedding.
The wedding was in a garden on the nile.
I was 10 years old.
I was walking,
And behind me was a group of children who were no older than 8 years old.
I felt something in my behind,
But I didn’t know what was happening,
And I didn’t give it much thought.

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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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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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Unlived Childhood

2017

I didn’t have a childhood.
My mother burdened me with responsibilities very early on.
Women here work on the farm,
Milk the cows,
And feed the birds.
My mother would set off to do these things,
And when she’d come back,
She’d hit me.
“Why didn’t you make dinner?”
domestic violence; gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; parents; child marriage; divorce; work

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On the Same Day

2019

My cousins and I were circumcised on the same day.
I didn’t feel anything because I was under anesthesia.
But I remember lying on the bed with my legs spread wide.
My relatives came over to congratulate us.
I was very embarrassed.

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The Last Love

2017

I was running to get away from him.
I was running so I wouldn't get kidnapped in the dark.
It’s as if the world decided to stand against me.
I hopped in a minibus,
And I don’t remember what happened after.

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The Look in Her Eyes

2015

I was on campus.
I had just finished class and was leaving,
When a security guard grabbed me.
“We’re gathering good and respectable people!” he said.
Something felt wrong.

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I Was in Third Grade

2017

I was in third grade the first time I was sexually harassed.
 I don’t even really remember what happened, but I remember feeling that something wrong had happened.

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Locked Up at Home

2010

Ahmed: “What do you think of that hottie over there?”
Amr: “Which one? The veiled one?
I love veiled women.”
Ahmed: “Really?
Why?”
Amr: “You know when you get a wrapped present,
And you take your time unwrapping it?”
Ahmed: “I’m talking about the girl walking with her, man.
Of course I wasn’t talking about that woman over there.
She looks like the potential brides my mother makes me meet.”
Amr: “Your mother makes you meet potential brides?”
Ahmed: “Yeah, man.
All the time.
She thinks they’re all like her,
Or will be like her in exactly two years.
I’ve stopped meeting them,
So, now she sends me their pictures on Facebook.”

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