A Quick Trip

2014

Two of my friends fell in love and decided to be together.
Two months into their relationship, he proposed.
I knew my guy friend to be open-minded.
However, he started asking my other friend, his fiancee, not to hang out or talk with other guys.

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Cleanliness Is the Most Important Thing

2016

Cleanliness is the most important thing.
You should smell good, and you should be dressed up.
I’ll visit you tomorrow.
Make your mama proud.
We’re all coming tomorrow to check on you.

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When I Lose Weight

2013

I used to end every sentence with “when I lose weight.”
I’ll be more energetic.
When I lose weight...I’ll catch the eye of the man I want.
When I lose weight...I’ll be better at my job.
When I lose weight...I’ll attend more social gatherings.
When I lose weight...I’ll get more roles in movies and plays

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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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Like You're Not There

2017

I was on my way to school like any other day,
When I found everyone making fun of me because I was wearing pants and a t-shirt that were bigger in size than their clothes.
I weighed more than them.
I don’t know how this whole thing started.
bullying, body image, beauty standards, social pressure

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They Dragged Me Home

2019

I wasn’t brave enough to tell my family that I wanted to stop wearing the hijab.
They’re Salafists,
And I could predict their reaction.
Whenever I attended tutoring lessons,
I’d look at the other girls’ clothes,
Clothes I was forbidden from wearing at that age.
I didn’t like going out most of the time,
Because people always called me an old lady,
Because of how I dressed.
That made me hate the way I looked.

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White Hair

2016

The first time I found a white hair, I stood in front of the mirror for about 15 minutes trying to make sure it was real!
Is this really a white hair? Oh my God! I’m only 22!

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I Hate Men and I Hate Myself

2017

I’m not the center of the universe. So, why do people pay so much attention to me?
Why do I always receive criticism from the people I live with and from the outside world about things that don’t concern them? Personal things about my personal life?
body image, bullying, beauty standards, social pressure

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Girls Shouldn’t Hit Boys

2012

I used to beat up the boys with me in class until primary school.
I was tall,
Had a big belly,
And the boys hadn’t reached puberty yet.
They used to call me the “big girl.”

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I’m a Man and I Have Issues

2012

It didn’t feel normal or spontaneous.
Between being scolded by your conservative [female] relative for doing something “immodest” and listening to your friends whispering about touching certain [private] areas on maids’ and female cousins’ bodies, you eventually learn to associate the opposite sex’s body with shame.
There has got to be something shameful about it.

 

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