I was in the seventh grade,
When mama and baba told me:
“You’ve grown up and you need to be circumcised.”
I didn’t understand what was going to happen,
Or what exactly they were going to do.
All I understood was that if I didn’t remove that specific part,
It was going to grow to look like a male part.
We were in middle school.
It wasn’t a very good school—Omar el-Khattab School.
Sadly, it never lived up to its name.
A third grade teacher was molested in class.
Everyone heard about the incident.
She saw some students masturbating in class,
gender violence, sexual violence, harassment, mass sexual assault, sex, school, sex education
I was a little older at the time.
I was in the seventh grade when mama took me to a gynecologist.
The doctor said, verbatim, “she doesn’t need to be circumcised.”
I understood what they were talking about,
What they wanted to do to me.
“The doctor said I don’t need it,” I told them.
“We know better than the doctor,” my aunt retorted
I was 12 when I travelled with my family at the end of term to Upper Egypt.
That’s where the story began.
One day, I felt a sharp pain in my stomach,
I felt nauseous for three days straight.
That’s when my aunt, who was a 65 year old uneducated woman, decided,
“Our girl is getting older… the midwife must visit.”