MES in Action
MES young writer demands to be heard!
This month, Salma Ammar, an eleventh grader in IGCSE at MES, proudly witnessed the publishing of her first article "I demand to be heard" in the XYZ magazine. Thanks to a full two-week scholarship to a writing program at the University of Iowa, in the United States, Salma realized she could use her passion to express herself and make a change.
MES congratulates Salma for her achievement and fully supports all her efforts to learn and develop her talents further.
Salma's full article:
It all started in the past summer of 2012, when I won a full two-week scholarship to attend a writing program at the University of Iowa, in the United States (BTL: International Writing Program). I, an eleventh grader in IGCSE at the Modern Education Schools, could've never imagined that this life changing experience would make me realize I could use my passion -writing- to make a change; to be brave enough to speak my mind, and never surrender to any kind of oppression or boundaries what-so-ever. This article is a mere production of my frustration and fury, and I hope it would reach all the women out there, and persuade them to contemplate where we stand in this society now. I leave the rest to you.
I Demand to Be Heard
La ilaha illa Allah, wa 7asbi Allah wa ne3mal wakil.
What else can I say?
I feel defenseless, vulnerable, and weak.
Unprotected, oppressed, and exploited.
Where do I stand, in this society, as a woman?
Why am I denied my right to protest?
Why should I be blamed and rebuked, for being sexually harassed Ėwhether verbally or physically- while the ruthless animal who committed this atrocity is left unpunished?
Why is it always me who brings shame upon my family and pays the price for a mistake I wasnít even responsible of?
Donít tell me itís my fault.
Donít scold me and tell me itís how I dress.
Shut up, people, you make me sick.
What you donít, and wonít seem to comprehend, is that it was never about how I looked or wore.
What you insist on denying is that itís not always me.
I refuse to be referred to or looked upon as a sex object.
I am a human being, who deserves just as much as the opposite sex.
Iím the daughter Ėthe student-, who struggles at school; I try to study and ace my tests, just to earn some recognition.
Iím the wife, who manages to synchronize her time between domestic labor, and her own career; I fight to overcome the glass ceiling which keeps getting in my way of standing out.
Iím the child bearer, who withstands excruciating pain during labor, and takes full responsibility for her children until they start mingling with the world they were brought into.
Iím not perfect, nor am I flawless.
But I sure as hell know Iím not inferior to Adam.
If I canít deny I was initially created from his rib,
Then why canít you admit he came from my vagina, too?
I refuse to be underestimated.
And I strongly demand acknowledgement.
Iím not asking to be favored over the opposite sex,
All I ever pleaded for was equality.
Give me my full rights, and I wonít ask for more;
My right to attend and finish school,
My right to work after graduating from college, and earn a well-paid job that would fit my qualifications and allow me to compete with men, and even outsmart them if I have what it takes,
My right to get married when I have started to establish my career, an independent woman who isnít submissive to her spouse, and be given the right, and offered the space and help to balance my time between family and work,
My right to speak for myself, to go out in the streets and shout out loud to demand what I already deserve,
My right to be soothed and assisted, whenever harassed, instead of being blamed and accused of bringing disgrace to my family. And my right to witness the criminal being punished for what he was responsible of committing.
My right to participate in politics; to vote, to become a member of the parliament, a well-known lawyer, to be heard as a representative of my own sex,
My right to object to what I believe oppresses me, and be listened to and respected.
My right to live my life as a dignified individual, not a useless spare part.
Why did I write this?
I honestly donít know, I canít even tell where Iím going with this.
All I know is that I have suddenly been overwhelmed with inexplicable fury and frustration over whatís happening in Egypt right now;
How women are gradually losing their rights, one by one,
And nobody seems to be doing anything about it.
And even if there is any kind of opposition, it is constantly neglected.
The feelings which have taken over me are nothing I can convey with words,
I just feel spineless, frail, and undermined like a piece of rubbish.
But I wonít give in to the suppressive and patriarchal society whose one and only aim is to bring me down, and make me surrender to my Ďnaturalí weakness.
I am not weak.
I possess the strength of will of a thousand men.
And that, I believe, is just about enough to prove you all wrong,
To prove the entire world wrong,
And make them notice, and admit, that I should never be underestimated."