Trigger warning / “A Part of Me” campaign:
This story could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material, especially for victims of female genital mutilation. Please remember to check in with yourself as you read and to stop reading if it gets too overwhelming.

I was not circumcised,
But I have been living in fear of it for the past couple of years.
I’m worried that not being circumcised will pose a problem when I get married,
And that I’ll be a bad wife.
I didn’t know what circumcision was,
Until I saw my only friend at the time sitting in salt water.
I remember it as if it was yesterday,
Although it happened 12 years ago.
Back then, I asked my grandmother and older sister about it.
My sister explained it to me,
And I was frightened.
How could someone see me naked,
And cut off a part of my body?
My grandmother started pressuring mama to get me circumcised,
And it scared me even more.
That was until something happened that shocked a lot of people in Egypt;
The death of Bedour, the first [documented] victim of FGM in 2007.
Mama decided then that she wouldn’t circumcise her daughters.
I felt lucky.
But I’m still scared of circumcision.

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.