A Letter to the Egyptian Culture| On the Traditions

By: Hanya Grida

Dearest culture,

    I love you. I choose to start my letter by emphasizing that I deeply love you for you have hugged me tightly, printing traits on me all along. Some of those traits were positive ones while others were toxic and negative. This letter is to tell you that the toxicity is hurting me. This letter is to tell you that I am tired of appreciating the positives but never pointing out the pain you are bringing me. Every single paragraph that follows is pain which grew like leaves from stems of experiences. Your roots of traditions led to so many stems that hurt a lot of your girls.

     I am sick and tired of the patriarchy. I am bleeding from the times he fantasized at my body without my consent. Sexual Harassment is something I experience so frequently within you and you underestimate the pain it brings me. Your traditions raised boys who believe they are superior and as the girls turn into women they start accepting that. No matter the tremendous attempts of deconstructing the patriarchy it doesn’t shiver. Not only do strangers cause the pain but the fathers, the brothers, and the boyfriends too. Its 2018 and while other cultures are advancing their law systems to help girls like myself, you impress me with your ability to keep your patriarchy well-built and rigid.

    I am sick of how unorganized everything is. And yes, I know that I appreciate this a lot of the time when little things happen easier like crossing the street in no time. Yet, the big things leave permanent scars. Your school systems are bullshit and most laws are either illogical or unapplied. A teacher has unsupervised power over a child and parental abuse is considered “discipline”. I am sick of how illogical the social norms are. This brought me pain, confusion, fear, and a blurred glimpse of a future that is different from what I aspire to be. Your systems are inconsistent and most authorities are unjust. I believe I should be taught my rights and duties as a teenager and have somewhere to run to in my own country when I find myself in less than promised.

     I am sick and tired of how everything is either or and no maybes. I am commonly regarded okay if my pain is not felt physically. Numb is considered common and normal but it doesn’t feel okay. I am sick and tired of how gender is either male or female. I am sick and tired of how we either pass or fail. Why are we judged based on rubric with thick, black borders and not a smudged spectrum of possible grading. We act upon discrete systems although we are continuous beings. We are wither virgins or not virgins when I could stand somewhere in between. Like for real, your locally produced face creams mainly target oily and dry skins but ignores the combination skins.

    I am sick and tired of how everyone can not mind their own damn business. I mean when its 45 degree celsius outside and I wear my hot shorts I get the nastiest comments from guys of all ages. People do not understand that my skin is mine, they have to interfere. Why is it that people wear less conservative outfits in the cooler area of sa7ell???  Like honestly, I am sick and tired of how parents decide on who their kiddo shall marry and how teachers decide who the kindergarten kids should sit next to in class. I grew up with strangers modifying my lifestyle and changing who I was meant to be. I still blame the culture that raised people to have their noses in others’ businesses.

     I love my country deep down and I can write a full book on how i’m connected to each and every part of it. However, a lot of its people brought pain to most of my generation who grew up to rebel and not accept to fake water for milk. I see change coming but until that happens, I’m sick and tired.

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