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.

FULL STORY

Just Talk to Him

2014

It was the summer break of year seven.
I was on the beach with my parents and relatives.
I saw him trying to get closer.
There was nothing I could do though.
After a while I went for a walk. 
He followed me and then his mom called on me and asked “what year are you in?” 
“I am in year seven”

FULL STORY

I Wore the Wrong Pants Today

2015

I’m wearing the wrong pants today.
Please, God, divert their attention elsewhere.
I hate them.
I hate my life.

FULL STORY

I Don’t Understand a Thing

2014

I didn’t know a thing about periods.
When I asked, all I got was its definition from the dictionary.
“Menstruation is a physiological change that the female body goes through during puberty if the egg isn’t fertilized.”
I didn’t understand a word.

FULL STORY

I Don’t Know How To Fight Back

2017

In first or second grade, there was this boy.
He used to wait for me outside of school,
Just so he’d grab my bag, throw it to the ground, and then run away.
masculinity, social pressure, parents, school, adolescence

FULL STORY

The Box of Cigarettes

2015

How do you not know that he smokes, madame?
Cigarettes, Fady? Why? How old are you?
Why, son, why? What have we done for this to happen?
How long have you been smoking? Is this your box?

FULL STORY

Swimming Champion

2014

Mohamed Kamal Mansour.
We used to go to the same school and I remember him very well.
He was a swimming champion, but he couldn't play football
I was very jealous of his self-confidence.

FULL STORY

Low-rise Jeans

2013

I used to hate the low-rise jeans trend.
I didn’t know how to get into those jeans.
I used to force myself to either wear something really long that hid my butt, which would make me look like a whale,
Or tie something around my waist.

FULL STORY

Baba's Place Is a Prison

2015

Why does everything bad happen only to me?
I weighed myself yesterday.
I’m gaining, not losing, weight.
I’m depressed.
My body’s a mess.
I need to change.

FULL STORY

They Separated Us

2012

They separated us.
Girls in one class,
And boys in another.
I thought it was better,
So that we’d be more comfortable,
And be able to ask questions freely.
But after explaining the upper part,
Ms. Amina said,
“That’s it.
You’ll read this lesson alone anyway.”

School, Period

FULL STORY
Page 1 of 2
x
Warning The stories on our story archive could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material. If a story causes you discomfort or pain, please remember to breathe and check in with yourself before continuing or stop reading completely if necessary.