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Monday, November 21, 2011

GIRL in Egypt...

So, let me start by saying this post is not a generalization. BUT at least it is a representation of ME and a few friends I know...

I've realized that as a girl in Egypt, our culture really deprives me from living the life of my dreams. Perhaps this is not the perfect timing to discuss this issue, however, the current situation in Egypt has really driven me to get out these thoughts on paper. Hence, to explain to you what I mean, I'm using the revolution in Egypt as an example.

I really wanted to experience going to Tahrir Square during the January 25 Revolution and my parents decided it is not safe for me as a girl to go. A whole revolution took place in Egypt and it is as if I was in a completely different country. I will not lie or kid myself, most of my desire to go was pushed by curiosity the first time. I wanted to know what Tahrir was all about. I wasn't really upset when I missed going because we were busy discovering what was going on. We had no clue where we were heading. We had a lot to keep us busy and may be I wasn't too sure being in Tahrir was really effective or that it would bring about change!

However, today, I really have a strong urge to go, for a cause, because I really want to say that nothing has really changed, that we're still where we are, just a different disguise. Because I'm sick and tired of what is going on, Egypt is moving from one disaster into another and we're really being treated like fools! Because I really want to have say... because I hate feeling like I'm passive. I want to be like one of these girls in the pictures!

And AGAIN my parents would never let me go! It's as if going would bring them a heart attack, or I'm insane to ask for it, like I'm kidding, it won't happen in a million years! And AGAIN it's like I'm in a different country, like Tahrir is somewhere else! I can't even imagine or visualize the experience. I feel detached from reality and what's happening in my country. I want to feel the adrenaline rush that comes with being in Tahrir Square. I want to expereince what it is like to fight for what I believe in and want. I want to be proactive and participate! And since I have a cause this time, I'm honestly pissed off that I'm stuck at home! It's annoying! I seriously feel restricted.

I mean my life is going on perfectly well as if nothing is happening and people are dying for a cause less than 30 kilometers away! Don't I at least deserve to witness that! A simple right I suppose, to see the change in my country that's making history. Think about it, years from now my kids are studying history and they ask me: Mom where you when all this happened? What were you doing? And my answer will be:  Oh dear, since I'm a woman, I was on the couch watching the news! ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME!?

Not just that, you think when you grow up and be independent you get to have a say in the life you run for yourself. Let me tell you this is a load of crap! You, as a girl, probably NEVER get independent in this messed up culture!  I'm a real life witness to girls of different ages; older and younger than me and their parents are not allowing them to go as well! Not only that, I know married women whom their husbands are not letting them go either! Even more aggravating, our male friends think it's funny that we want to go and participate in Tahrir! They think we can't run for our lives, that we should go ONLY when things are chilled and fun! I think the pictures on top are a serious example that not all girls go to Tahrir Square to party, brag about being there or take profile pictures! So let me ask: Seriously What the HELL? 

This is just ONE example! You can really apply this to any decision in our life. Our parents, culture, friends, husbands... or WHOEVER really restrict us from doing what we want! What ever it is, you name it, we need to get their approval first, just because we're women. What we work, the places we go, the way we talk, what we say, the friends we have, the clothes we wear, where we travel, when we travel... practically everything is restricted! It's retarded! Seriously as if I'm living someone else is life! If I'm given the choice, I'd run my life a completely different way! 

Sometimes I even hope I never give birth to girls in this culture because it is really a killer!

So let me ask... in this country, in this culture WHEN do I get to do what I want? When do I live the life I want? If I have to keep getting the approval of my parents till I'm married, even if I have to wait till I'm 40 and then I have to wait to get the approval of my husband, if I get married; WHEN does what I want kick in? When do I get to have a say in MY own life! 



  1. Love it ya Madonna :) and its very true. I too wish I could do something more than I'm doing but I cant because Im also a mommy, which entails being even more cautious.

    During the Jan 25 events I was away from Egypt and I felt obliged to do anything for my country. And so, I started tweeting about the events, calling friends and family home and communicating on behalf of Egypt which was at the time completely disconnected from the world (because of the internet and cellphone shutdown). Before I knew it I was being featured on AlJazeera International, quoted in, the guardian, you name it. When my family found out (mainly my dad and husband) they freaked out, and told me, that if I try to return to Egypt I will be imprisoned, as they were doing to bloggers at the time.

    "Do you know what they do to WOMEN in prison??"

    And I was asked to delete my twitter profile and stop all patriotic-related actions.

    I still think there is SO much that can be done, and maybe our families are right to be concerned.

    You know what they say: If there is a will, there's a way.

    If we really want to make a difference to our country we can... we might have to find an unconventional method. But who says it cant be effective nonetheless? - Farrah3m

  2. It's seriously annoying! I think I need to see what's going on in the Square, at least once! I want to live the experience!
    This is messed up for real!

  3. Madonna totally agree! But I haven't really given in to the culture totally. You can make a difference in other ways. Spreading the word, sending help like aid stuff, trying to stay positive. I actually read this story online a couple times that supposedly happened about a university educated girl that was in Tahrir in the middle of a huge mess of people and fighting and stuff, and this poor guy pulled her out of the crowd and took her to a safe spot and told her that he was going back to the crowd and that as an educated woman, she should not risk her life because our country needs us. Taba3an bel nessbaly this sounds like a total fiction out of some body's ass, but what I wanna say is I'm trying to think that maybe it's not our turn. We are not meant for this hard labor work, we are post revolution people, its gonna be our turn when everyone else sleeps on it and we keep things going with our education and knowledge and push the country forward with our resources.

    Just a thought :S

  4. Maybe you got a point! We can have a role later on, in developing the country! But my point is, I feel restricted! Like i wanna do stuff i can't do!

  5. Couldn't describe how every word just expalins my exact feeling, was talking with someone and I told him how I wanted to be a boy right now , I felt this sentence awyyy "Seriously as if I'm living someone else is life! If I'm given the choice, I'd run my life a completely different way!, but i guess the question is should we surrender ??? to our families, culture , etc....???

  6. I really dono what I can do! Sometimes I'm just helpless! Currently it's my family, and they're my weak spot! I keep saying IF i go and something happens, I'd be the reason for their misery or something! that's the only thing stopping me!

  7. Now? With all due respect to your parents, you are above 18 and you should still be out there. I regret not being in Egypt to do that myself, but I can't imagine anything stopping in my way if I was there.

  8. Umm.. @Tinkerbell, u do have a point of course! But life isn't as black and white as you might imagine!

  9. ok Here is my point of view as a guy and as a person who has gone to tahrir
    i am only talking about the example you gave not the major issue
    first of all parents always worry about their kids and this worry is much more for girls than for guys but i believe that you can do whatever you want if you really want it
    from my experience my parents Forbade me from going to tahrir at the beginning giving million excuses and we had a big fight were i stood by what i believed and showed them there is nothing changing my mind and that if i didn't go to tahrir i'd rather be dead cuz i wouldn't be able to look at myself so i kind of broke through to them but that didn't stop them from calling me every 10 minutes to check up and tell me stay away from trouble and please come home
    they are afraid that they might lose you

    i honestly wouldn't want my sisters to go (i want them safe at home) but i definitely wouldn't stop them if they wanted to go and i'd be very proud of them (ofcourse i'd be stuck to them like glue) anyway you just have to reason with them change is possible in everything if you truly have the will

  10. Thanks Mohamed, of course I know it's driven by their fear and concern for us. no doubt! but it's not as easy as you think is it, even if you have the will!
    Thanks again :)