The Meetup

2014

Meetups for arranged marriages in Alexandria usually take place in one of the following places:
The Engineers Syndicate Club, Al-Mahrousa and Trianon.
You usually find a group sitting together,
Then, two of them would get up and sit at a separate table.
Then they’d either wear upset expressions, or seem to enjoy their time.

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Everything Was Forbidden

2014

In high school,
I had reached my limit.
I scored 45% because my father forced me to into the science track,
When I actually wanted to take the literature track.
In my last year of highschool,
I switched to the literature track.
I studied hard so I could get into the university I wanted.
I scored 95%.
“You’re still going to study computer science.”

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A Dress for Eid

2017

I had a recurring dream when I was young,
That my mother wasn’t actually my mother,
And that my father was married to another woman,
Who looked exactly like my mother.
I don’t know why I kept having this dream.
Maybe because my mother was very hard on me,
And my father was kind.
Everyone used to say that he spoiled me.
But I didn’t see it that way.
He used to shout all the time,
And my mother used to hit me,
So I’d grow up to be a proper housewife.

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How Can There Be Another Mama?

2019

I liked to sleep next to my parents in bed.
I’d hug my mother for a while,
Then turn over,
And hug my father.
One day, my father didn’t come home.
I stayed up all night waiting for him.
A couple of days later,
I heard he got married.

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Whip and Cane

2017

Baba used to beat us with a whip and a cane for the most trivial reasons.
A broken tea cup, an unfinished plate of food.
Whenever I complained to mama, she’d tell me it was my fault I annoyed baba!
So I grew up thinking this was normal.
Fathers hit their daughters to discipline them.

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Inappropriate to Talk About

2014

I was in highschool at the time.
It was inappropriate to tell mama about this sort of thing,
She never said so,
But I had a feeling that what happened could not be talked about.

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I Wish All Mothers Were Like Her

2019

I first got my period when I was in the 7th grade.
A few months prior to getting it,
My mother had told me everything about it.
She told me about her own experience,
And told me what to do when I got it.
I was alone the first time I got it,
But I knew what to do.

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She Has Issues

2017

My father used to yell at me all the time.
For things like putting too much food on his plate,
Or him not liking the tea,
Or if the tea was cold.
He would even yell at me if I left the window open when it was cold outside.
I was supposed to figure out that he was cold on my own.
parents, domestic violence, gender violence

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I Hate My Life

2015

I’m tired of my parents.
I don’t know why some people feel bad for orphans.
Maybe their lives are much better without parents.
I don’t want my parents.
They don’t do anything for me.
I don’t spend time with them.

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Don't Talk to Boys

2015

“Why do you talk to boys?
Why’d we send you to an all-girls school then?”

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