Honey

2016

I was eight years old.
I was playing in the streets,
Where a sixty year old man used to sell honey.
He would get us honey every month.
That time there was no one at home.

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You Can't Work

2016

Around two and a half months later he told me,
“You must stay at home, because I’m about to start work,
So you must stay with the kid.”
I refused, of course, and told him, “I’ll send him to a daycare center.”

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An Upper Egyptian Woman

2019

I work in the field of life coaching and training.
I’m not from Cairo.
I’m from Upper Egypt,
From Minya specifically.
I came here alone.
Meaning I left behind my family—
And I come from a big family—
And my job, life, and friends.
And I’m a sociable person,
And I like maintaining close relationships with people.
So, my family and friends mean the world to me.

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Doing It Alone

2019

I got married when I was very young,
As soon as I finished college.
It’s not your classic story of finding out he was a different man after marriage.
Everything was clear from the start.
We don’t really understand the meaning of the other person’s actions when we’re young.

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Torn between Work and Home

2019

I’m a working mother,
And a student.
I work as a freelancer,
So I don’t have fixed working hours.
This causes problems with the people around me,
And even with my son.

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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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Good Person

2019

I’m 41 years old.
It’s a frightening number, I know.
But what’s more frightening is that I haven’t accomplished anything worth mentioning.
I struggle every day to cover my expenses.
It might sound easy,
But it’s actually difficult for someone who’s starting from scratch.
social pressure, work

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Why do you want to work?

2014

He was interviewing me. Toward the middle of the interview, he asked me, "Why do you want to work?"
"Because I like working."
"You mean you like the attention!"
Him: “Okay, you'll get the job. This is the school’s phone number, and this is my private office number."

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That Demon Is My Husband

2018

When I was little, I often dreamt of a demon.
I’d bang on our front door as the demon came down the stairs.
I’d scream and my voice would catch in my throat.
My hands would grow heavier as I pounded on the door.
When I got married, I started to suspect that demon was my husband.
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, social stigma, work, addiction

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The Old Professor

2016

“Okay then. I’ll make time for you. Get the papers with you. I’ll be waiting for you.
We didn’t get the chance to know each other well.
I don’t remember you, Noha.
We’ll get to know each other tomorrow.
And I’ll see your work, of course.
I want you to introduce yourself to me tomorrow.”

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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.