I Have a Problem with My Body

2016

I have a problem with my body.
It suddenly got bigger and I felt the need to always hide it.
I had to hide my hair and my breasts.
And menstruation was the biggest secret of all.

FULL STORY

Contagious

2019

Every single day,
People passing me by in the street,
Shout insults at me:
“Blackie!”
“Shikabala!”
“Why’s it dark all of the sudden?”
“Disgusting!”

FULL STORY

Social Stereotyping

2019

“You’re dark-skinned,
But you’re funny.”
“People who are dark-skinned,
Have the best sense of humor.”
That’s what I’m always told at any gathering.
This is a kind of social stereotyping.

FULL STORY

The Handicapped Section

2019

My parents are Nubian.
I was born olive-skinned,
Like most Egyptians.
My brother, however,
Who’s a year and a half older than me,
Was darker-skinned,
Like most Nubians.
That’s not the only problem:
My brother has a disability:
A chronic ulcer on the sole of his foot.

FULL STORY

The Color of Chocolate

2013

“The best thing about you is your tan,” he’d always tell me.
“What tan?” I’d laugh, “I am as dark as chocolate.”
“And I’m crazy about chocolate” he’d respond adoringly.

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During Ramadan

2017

Out of nowhere, a taxi swerved and stopped right in front of me like it was a police car and I was some criminal on the run.
An elderly woman stepped out of the taxi.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing dressed like that?”
I was wearing loose-fitting blue jeans and a black t-shirt. My tightly-coiled hair hung about my face untied.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.

FULL STORY

Yo, Shikabala!

2018

I went out with my hair down yesterday.
It was curly and a little bit frizzy.
“Your hair is disgusting,” a guy on a bike told me.
body image, beauty standards, hair, racism

FULL STORY

The Color of My Skin

2019

Some people at university would compliment my skin tone and ask me,
“How do you get so tan?”
I would tell them that it wasn’t a tan.
It was my skin color.
I thought they were making fun of me,
And that something was wrong with me.

FULL STORY

Pretty Picture

2019

“Her picture will be so dark, you won’t even be able to see her.”

I tried to say something,

But my tongue was tied.

I tried to ignore the slight,

Pretend I didn’t hear it,

Just focus on the camera.

But I wasn’t able to, unfortunately.

The result was as horrible as could be.

FULL STORY

The Memories Are Killing Me

2019

I’ve been subjected to bad things ever since I was a child.
It started with the bullying I’d get at school,
Because of my thin body and dark skin.

FULL STORY
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