Monday, August 29, 2011

Here (Doesn't) Come The Bride

    *steps onto soapbox and clears throat*
     The other week I took my father to the hospital for his check-up. While there, we met my uncle who has a clinic in the same hospital. After the usual greetings and niceties, my uncle asked me what my brother was up to now and I proudly told him that he was off to London to do his The London School of Economics in Human Rights. The next thing my uncle asks is whether or not I have any marriage plans in the near future "mafeesh 3rees wala eh?"

     Now I am well aware of how things are in Egypt, I grew up here after all. I know damn well that as soon as a girl hits puberty she is called '3roosa' or bride-this does NOT mean that Egyptians or Arabs in general condone child marriages, just that it is the beginning of what I see as brainwashing of young girls that they will grow up to be wives no matter what. 90% of the time this will come from a female relative and is always meant as a compliment. When I started university I remember an aunt telling me to make sure I didn't graduate without having "caught someone.". Well, I did catch someone, the wrong one as it turned out; but that's OK as far as I'm concerned because we didn't get married, there was no ugly divorce and no one got hurt but us.

    I don't feel I need to be married or in a relationship right now to feel 'successful' or 'complete', I wasn't raised that way. My parents' focus was always education, education, education not matrimony. So while there is a Tiffany&Co. ring that I think is gorgeous, I'm not bothered that I don't have one (and having seen the price tag, I'll probably never have one!). My point is this, I am more than just someone's future wife, I have a brain and I use it. I have opinions and I say them and I will argue to defend them. I don't want a 'protector and provider' I want a partner.

   I am not against marriage but it is not my sole goal in life I have other ambitions and I have no problems waiting for love, marriage and the baby carriage. I'm not rushing to meet men and when I do, I don't judge against a romantic ideal or a check-list (I tried writing one of those once, I struggled to get past 10 items).

   If I met the right man tomorrow and fell head over heels in love, then yes, I would want to marry him; not to feel like I've succeeded in some great game but because I would want to build a life with someone who will treat me as an equal.

*steps off soapbox*


  1. You hit the nail right on the head, Nora!Very well written.I remember getting the same comments from people,too. To say it was annoying would be an understatement!

  2. Again and Again...welcome to the Egyptian feminine world my dear. We share the same opinion; as you probably know. Yet I was fascinated to know that the "marriage" brainwashing talks turned out to be on both gender, not only with us girls :))

  3. You took the words right out of my mouth!


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