Mariam

2013

Mariam, my daughter, came to me a couple of days ago,
Telling me that her friend, Salma, who had just turned 10,
Was being forced by her parents to wear the veil because she’s all grown up now.

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If I Were a Girl

2017

I don’t think I’d be able to put up with the harassment,
And annoying behaviors girls are subjected to.
If I were a girl,
My mental health would be at risk.
masculinity; social pressure; the street

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I’m Responsible for You

2015

"God is going to punish me for you being like that!”
I was sad that my brother, who is the closest person to me
Is treating me like I was a sin that God is going to punish him for.

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Identity Crisis

2012

“Be careful while crossing the street.”
“Don’t take flowers from strangers.”
“Don’t walk down dark streets.”
The things I especially could never forget were,
“Don’t walk like a girl! Walk like a man!”

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I Don’t Know How To Fight Back

2017

In first or second grade, there was this boy.
He used to wait for me outside of school,
Just so he’d grab my bag, throw it to the ground, and then run away.
masculinity, social pressure, parents, school, adolescence

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Before Hijab

2014

Noha and I are old friends.
Right before she and I started wearing the hijab, we went to rent a beach house.
Our hair was down and we were wearing summer clothes.
I can’t begin to tell you how well they treated us.
They were very respectful.

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No One Tried to Help

2017

I was sexually assaulted in public, and no one tried to help me.
It happened at night. They tied me up and started physically assaulting me.
Then, in turn, they started groping and molesting me.
When a passerby tried to intervene, they threatened to hit me again and to continue molesting me elsewhere.
gender violence, sexual violence, rape, social stigma, social pressure, the street

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Give an Inch, Take a Mile

2017

The first time he hit me was the day I found out I was pregnant.
He picked a fight with me when his friend and his wife were having dinner with us,
And I fried the mombar (a kind of sausage dish),
Before the chicken breasts.
He pulled me by my hair,
And dragged me to the stove,
And threatened to set me on fire to get rid of me.

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The Bus Owner

2014

It was me and two or three other girls on the bus.
Two of them were veiled and one was wearing the niqab.
We were all standing in a corner.
We were surrounded by men.
There was a man sitting with his legs wide open and laughing loudly.
It was as if he was the owner of the bus and could act any way he liked.

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Disgust and Guilt

2013

I acted like I wasn’t disgusted, but I was disgusted!
I pretended I wasn't because I felt it would be shameful for me to be hurt when people judge my body and then turn around and judge your body!
In a perfect world, we’d love every body type.

FULL STORY
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