A Serious Condition

2019

I first found out about periods when I was around 11 years old.
We were in Saudi Arabia when I started noticing mama’s Always pads.
I didn’t understand what they were,
Or what they were used for.
All I knew was that they were mama’s,
And that she used them,
But I didn’t understand why.
Then she told me,
But I didn’t understand.

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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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You Must Fight Back

2014

There is a voice in my head that says,
“You gotta stick up for yourself.
How can you not do anything?
Beat them up!
You gotta fight back.”

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Why Can’t We be Nicer to One Another?

2019

I got a scholarship and travelled to France.
I didn’t take any money from my father for 10 years.
I’m independent of him, thank God.
But when I came back,
He went back to being a typical Middle Eastern man.
He wasn’t worried about me while I was there.
But here, he would tell me to come home before dark.
What’s going on, old man?
I lived alone for two years,
So this came as a shock to me.
I did everything I wanted there.

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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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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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Biso et Moi

2007

I come from a conservative, traditional, and somewhat wealthy, capitalist family.
They appreciate a woman’s right to an education and a career, but only under the supervision of the family.
When it comes to marriage, it must be with the total consensus and control of the family.

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Thursday at 9 PM

2016

It was 9 pm on a Thursday.
My mother gave money and sent me to buy a box of tissues.
Three guys appeared.
One of them was holding a knife.
He pressed it to my cheek and told me to walk without saying a word.
They took me to a strange area and called out to another guy to join them.
Then they took me to a warehouse and raped me,
One after the other.
gender violence; sexual violence; rape; parents; social pressure

gender violence; sexual violence; rape; parents; social pressure
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Someone Like Him

2017

I don’t know how else to put it,
Other than that my father,
Is the cause of my affliction.
He spent his life cheating on my mother with other women.
She had no one but him.
She always tried to please him.

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Ola’s Pimples

2015

Two boys on a donkey were passing by.
They said some things.
I was worried about the girls who were with me.
As they passed by us,
One of the boys got close to me and pinched me.

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