My Greatest Accomplishment

2017

I was always humiliated and beaten up over the most trivial reasons.
He’d hit me and flip the dining table over if there was just a little extra salt in his food.
I was never allowed to open my mouth and give my opinion.
Cooking zucchini was always a frightening experience, because if just one piece of zucchini turned out smaller than the other, it’d be a disaster.

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Eighty over Fifty

2019

A few years ago, I gave birth to my first child.
Ever since then, every time I try to fast, my blood pressure plummets to 80/50.
My mom, husband and sister would tell me to stop fasting.
This would generally occur about 3 hours before we were due to break our fasts.
social pressure, social stigma

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No Friends Inside

2018

This experience made me lose my job.
It made me lose the ability to get my money from the marketplace and give it to people.
It made me lose so many things.
My losses were financial when I entered that place. 
What I learned was to never trust anyone.
prison, work, social stigma

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Imaginary Friends

2016

That day, I sat there and pretended to play by myself because I was alone,
My neighbors weren’t talking to me that day.
At the time my neighbors were my group of friends: Manara, Nesma, Shaimaa.
They were sisters.

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This Isn't a Man's Body

2016

My dad tells me, "If you get into a fight, you won't be able to do anything, and you'll get beat up."
My friend tells me, "This isn't a man's body!"
and my sister makes fun of me!
I'm going to start going to the gym or I'll take up a sport, but when I do that, I'll be doing it for myself, and not for anyone else.

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Girl on a Bike

2017

I use a bike to get around because I like sports and because it saves time.
People can’t tell I’m a girl when they see me from behind,
Because I wear a backpack and loose clothing.
That way no one pays me any attention..
But the verbal harassment starts as soon as they see my face.
gender violence, social stigma, harassment, the street

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I’m Fighting Alone

2018

I get bullied and insulted.
It happened that once the religion teacher performed on me the Islamic practice of healing in front of my classmates.
They had planned to do it because they saw that my being different was something abnormal.
I couldn’t do anything.
When I tried to speak up, they just said that it was a joke.
social stigma, depression, school, bullying

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We Don't Talk About It

2018

My problem is that I am staying at my ex-husband’s apartment.
After I was released from jail, my children all got either engaged or married.
We told people that their father was a political detainee.
And that I lived near where he was held to visit him and bring him food.
prison, social stigma

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I Was Never Invited Back

2019

I remember being 12 or so.
I had been invited over to a friend's house for dinner.
The table was laid and dinner was served.
I started eating and that's when things got tense.
My friend's mother asked me not to eat with my left hand.
social stigma, social pressure

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I Remember

2014

I was walking past an qahwa (local cafe).
I could see them trying to form a circle around me.
No one from the qahwa did anything to stop them.
I don’t know where that scream came from, but it made them leave.

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