The Signs of Adolescence

2019

I was 14 when people around me started talking about jerking off and puberty.
I didn’t understand anything.
I hadn’t reached puberty yet.
I was so happy when I did.
And I told my friends about the dream I had the next day.
sex, sexuality, masturbation, adolescence

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At the Hands of Butchers

2019

We went with them,
And I don’t remember anything about that day,
Except for the doctor yelling at me.
She told me to take off my pants,
But I refused.
They gave me anesthesia,
And cut off a part of me.
I regained consciousness when I had become a “woman.”
Everything changed after that day.

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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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The Midwife’s Visit

2019

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.”

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Protective Measures

2006

“I want to tell you something,
I’m just not sure how to say it,” he said.
He paused and then said,“Noha, you have AIDS.”
“And you?”
He said he didn’t have it.
“Fine,” I said, “What am I going to do.”

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Live Wire

2019

I kissed two women for the first time in my life today at a party.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a kiss on the mouth.
It was a peck on the cheek.
Just a normal kiss; the way you’d kiss a guy friend.
You’ll think it’s weird,
But when you know my story,
You’ll applaud me.

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On the Same Day

2019

My cousins and I were circumcised on the same day.
I didn’t feel anything because I was under anesthesia.
But I remember lying on the bed with my legs spread wide.
My relatives came over to congratulate us.
I was very embarrassed.

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Biology Class

2014

Normally, no one attended classes, but everyone showed up for this one: the lesson on reproduction.
The classroom was packed.
Students from other classes even joined our class for the lesson.
Apparently some boys made it their mission to attend every one of these lessons.

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No One’s Seeing Me Naked

2019

It was my dad who made the decision.
When my mother objected,
He threatened to get one of his doctor friends to do it behind her back.
I found that out,
Ten years after they took away a part of my body.

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In Shock

2017

I’m still in shock.
Perhaps it’s because she was the first woman I had sexual relations with.
Perhaps it’s because our sexual relationship developed so quickly.
Perhaps it’s because we separated so suddenly.
romantic relationships, sex, breakups

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