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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Your Personal Doctor

2017

I thought I’d ask my science teacher since he probably knew about these things.
I showed him the book.
But turns out the things I couldn’t understand in the book were problematic.
He sent me to the school principal.
“I don’t know where she got this book. We need to call her parents,” he said.
sex, sex education, school

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Mirror, Mirror

2010

I’m starting to believe that men see women merely as something that serves their pleasure.
Very few of them treat women as human beings,
Who have their own dreams, and desires,
And could be useful in things other than pleasure.
And you should ask me about men,
Because she who raises a monkey knows their games!
gender violence, hijab, romantic relationships, parents, social pressure, sex, body image, sexuality, consent

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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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Cellophane

2016

I always thought that a girl who was a virgin
Would look different from a girl who wasn’t.
For a long time, I wondered what the difference might be.

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The Censorship Board

2013

Why can’t we publish the story?
It doesn’t have any profanity in it.
“Doesn’t it mention extramarital sexual activity?”

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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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Bedour

2019

I was not circumcised,
But I have been living in fear of it for the past couple of years.
I’m worried that not being circumcised will pose a problem when I get married,
And that I’ll be a bad wife.

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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.
Gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; FGM; sex

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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.”

FULL STORY
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