She Wants It

2008

"Aside from anything else,
I need to have sex.
Can you tell me what to do?
I'm a divorced lady with two kids,
and I just need to have sex.
What am I supposed to do?”

FULL STORY

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

FULL STORY

Just a Tiny Pin Prick

2019

I was in sixth grade.
I got home one day,
And mama told me
“Go take a shower.
We’re going out.”
I thought we were visiting a relative.
I asked her where to,
“We’re going to the doctor.”
She explained circumcision to me,
“It’s a simple process.
It’s like a tiny pin prick.”

FULL STORY

The Bridal Cloth

2016

But listen to me here: let him be in control.
There’s no yes or no.
Here, women don’t talk about these things.
You must only do as he says.

FULL STORY

Are You Happy?

2016

Are you happy?
Are you as happy as your parents?
Do you love him?
Are you sure you’ll love him forever?
Is there such a thing as loving a person forever?

FULL STORY

The Hymen

2014

In my family, it’s neither accepted nor allowed for a girl to not be a virgin before marriage.
I don’t know how intercourse works, and I’m afraid of it.
I feel that the hymen itself is shackling and imprisoning me.

FULL STORY

The Religion Teacher

2016

Mr. Khairy asked me to come sit with you for a bit.
Who asked Mr. Khairy about the [Quranic] verse
that speaks of the Guarding of private parts?
Who?!

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

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

I was 8 when I started working

2018

I was pretty young—eight years old—the day I started working at the workshop. It was during a school vacation.
There wasn’t internet back then, and there were only two TV channels.
I knew nothing about sex at the time.
gender violence, sexual violence, child molestation, sex

FULL STORY
x
Warning The stories on our story archive could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material. If a story causes you discomfort or pain, please remember to breathe and check in with yourself before continuing or stop reading completely if necessary.