Ms. Hala

2015

Listen here, boys. I dismissed the girls because I know you have some questions.
Write your questions on a piece of paper, fold it and give it to me. I’ll answer your questions.
This questions reads: How do I stop masturbating?

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

Past Relationships

2017

My friend and I—whom my mother chose for me because he was “well-behaved”—used to frequent each other’s houses for private tutoring lessons.
He asked me one time before the lesson about masturbation—something I knew nothing about.
He insisted on doing it in front of me.
sex, sex education, sexuality, masculinity, body image

FULL STORY

My Mother Hates Me

2017

He instructed me to put on my nightgown.
I put it on, but I didn't want to leave the bedroom wearing nothing but it.
“Goddamn it,” he exclaimed, “Let’s try and get this done sometime today!”
“Your family’s waiting in the street!”
domestic violence, gender violence, sexual violence, sex education, sex work, virginity testing

FULL STORY

My Neighbor

2016

I learned one day that my neighbor whom I used to play with was getting married.
She was almost 16 years old.
“I’ve got something that my husband will take from me and throw away tomorrow morning,” she said.

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What Did They Do?

2017

We were in middle school.
It wasn’t a very good school—Omar el-Khattab School.
Sadly, it never lived up to its name.
A third grade teacher was molested in class.
Everyone heard about the incident.
She saw some students masturbating in class,
gender violence, sexual violence, harassment, mass sexual assault, sex, school, sex education

FULL STORY

The Habit

2017

Until I was sixteen years old, I didn’t know exactly what made boys and girls different.
I hadn’t lived a sheltered life or anything, so I don’t know why I was ignorant about this.
In what felt like an instant, I became surrounded by teenage friends whose jokes were always sexual in nature.

FULL STORY

Desire

2014

You’re not missing much.
It’s really not enjoyable.
No kind of pleasure whatsoever.
He’ll make weird faces and you’ll lie there doing nothing.
It only takes 3 minutes.

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 Didn’t Know What Sex Was

2017

I was 19 years old when I decided to have sex.
I didn’t know what sex was.
I didn’t know what a physical relationship was.
Everything I knew about them came from the media.
sex, sex education, sexuality, body image, gender violence

FULL STORY
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