Mama Wouldn't Talk to Me

2006

I decided not to have any contact with men when I was 17 years old.
Some people told me, “You’ve become too conservative.”
While others told me, “May God bless you.”
And a lot of my friends stopped talking to me altogether.
But no one told me how to deal with my fiance.

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Better Than No Man at All

2014

It doesn’t matter at all.
I don’t mind if he marries another woman,
And visits me once a week,
Or even once a month!

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The Virtuous Housewife

2017

I loved playing football when I was ten years old.
I would beg my mother to let me play with them.
And the answer was always,
“You’re a girl. I can’t just leave you in the streets alone.”
social pressure, social stigma, parents, marriage

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I Want to Be Free

2016

I want to be free.
I want to write whatever I want.
But all married women now have red lines they can’t cross.
“Now that we live together, you have to forget about writing,”
They’re told as soon as they get married.

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The Thursday Experience

2009

I called Tante Hoda and quickly realized that the whole school and Kuwait thing wasn’t real.
I could’ve told my auntie that I knew what she was trying to do,
But I wanted to put an end to all future attempts at finding me a husband.
So I went to the club and met auntie, Tante Hoda and the suitor—tall, with glasses, and eyes on the floor.

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After I turned 30

2009

“When will you get married?" they ask me every time I’m home.
They treat me like I’m their little project, and they have to make sure I get my happy ever after.
I always joke that they act like my expiration date is coming up.
But to be honest, I’m scared.

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The Suitor

2017

One time I got a suitor who had really good manners.
There was nothing wrong with him, but I rejected him.
I just didn’t feel it.
After I rejected him, my uncle called me and said
“The suitor called and he’s visiting us tomorrow.”
social pressure, social stigma, marriage

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The Pearl Box

2016

When I was little
My mother told me that a girl’s private parts are called a box of pearls
When I got older and we learned about reproduction
I asked my mother
and she told me the same thing that our teacher Mr. Mahmoud told me

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