Leave Me Alone

2018

I am not obligated to have my headphones on whenever I’m walking so I wouldn’t have to hear what they say.
Because even if I can’t hear them, I can still see the way they look at me.
social stigma, social pressure, masculinity, bullying, the street

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Men and I

2008

When I’m alone, pondering my rejection of this rotten, patriarchal world, I wonder if my opinions truly are extreme.
I mean, so what if my uncle divorced his wife five times?
And what's wrong with my other uncle being married to three women at the same time?
And why is it a big deal that my aunt was once beaten up with a pair of flip flops for refusing to make a cup of tea for her
husband, who was lazing in front of the TV watching a football match while she was busy scrubbing the bathroom floor?

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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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What's Up, Magdy?

2017

Imagine that you’re a teenager, 13 years old, and you’re mocked nearly every day at school
because you weigh too much.
On top of that, imagine some of the stupid things that your classmates and teachers say,
social stigma, social pressure, masculinity, bullying, body image

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I Hit Him

2014

I hit him because I wanted to hit everyone.
After Friday prayers, he got into his car and harassed a girl who was walking by.

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The Lingerie Protector

2014

They started searching our bags.
Of course, I was travelling with my girlfriend,
And I had to prove to her and her friends that I’m a man.

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Possibly a boy, possibly a girl

2018

I was subjected to derisive comments on an almost daily basis.
The one I got the most was a quote from one of Mohamed Saad’s movies: “Possibly a boy, possibly a girl”.
I got that practically every day.
At the beginning, I’d usually yell and fight with the person who said it.
Until one time, I got into a fight with a guy who made fun of my hair.
masculinity, bullying, gender violence, harassment, social stigma, the street

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I Never Cry

2014

Whenever I see someone crying, especially my younger siblings,
I immediately tell them to stop.
I’m their older sibling and I must always appear strong.
They can’t cry because I can’t cry.
I have to hold it in.

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The Bravest Man

2015

I just couldn’t wait to grow up to be a man.
Whenever I’d see women waiting in line in front of the kiosk,
I’d go press myself up against their bodies.
The most any of them would do was just walk away.

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Dirty Hands

2017

When I’d drop my nephews off at school, or when I’d be standing or passing by my old school
I’d remember the weird things I used to do
I’m not saying I didn’t hit anyone, I mean I had to!
masculinity, school, adolescence

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