Apparently in Islam,
If a woman is not sexually satisfied,
She has the right to divorce her husband.
I’m passive, weak, uneducated.
Veiled from head to toe.
One of his four wives.
Work in the kitchen all day.
And spread my legs wide at night.
That’s what you think, right?
I hate putting myself in positions of vulnerability,
Even though, I know this kind of space is meant to be safe.
I have felt that way in the past and let go.
I have trusted those who I am expected to trust.
First, my uncle: the funny one.
Later, a monk.
gender violence, sexual violence, child molestation
He was the type of person who fooled around with his friends.
Our sex life was weak.
We’d do it about once a year and even then he’d be tired.
I used to tell him to get treated.
That we were still young and should enjoy our youth.
Honestly, he was really kind and sweet to me.
So, I didn’t say anything.
When I was ten years old,
The sheikh called me to him and took me inside a closet,
Where he touched my private parts.
“When do you plan on getting married?” my father, aunts, uncles, and cousins always ask me.
Or if we’re at a wedding, they always say ou’balik [may you be next].
I wonder how the elders of the family would react if I walked around at funerals and poked them, saying “Ou’balik!”
“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.”
He said he didn’t have it.
“Fine,” I said, “What am I going to do.”
No, no, no, no, you need to go to the hairdresser’s.
You are Egyptian now like us!
We just want...you know... for you to look cute and pretty.
Come on, especially so we can find you a man!