A Girl's Life by El Zahraa Gomaa, Egypt

"Do not think, just do!"

A daily dose of frustration you should hear if you are a girl in Egypt.

I live in a small Egyptian village, this village is almost unknown and you can hardly find some one to show you how to reach it; you can't find it in most of the maps for Egypt or Cairo.

Although I love this unknown little place it never was -and still isn't- easy to live in. My small community is a separate world within a world, a world in which the men dominate and own it all. Girls are not allowed to learn, to wear what they want, to even speak as normal free citizens. If you were born as a girl then you have to put up with it and accept what ever they decide.
The one thing you must do is to marry whomever your family accepts at any age!
Minors' marriage is the number one problem facing my community, it is an epidemic! But it is a part of a bigger problem, which is the unfair and the unequal treatment of females in many parts of Egypt.

Back at the time it was no problem to get married at the age of eleven or twelve, but nowadays it's illegal. But does anyone here obey the law?! Of course not!

"Traditions are the law" so you can't look astonished when seeing a 13 year old mum.

Girls, they suppose, are lower creatures who must obey orders without thinking. They are a shame to their families, a shame which you must get rid of as soon as you can!

What's the quickest way to do it effectively? Marriage: Hand your girl -your shame- to another man to protect your "honor"; it is a Mentality problem.

You can't live in the twenty first century watching girls treated as objects and property rather than persons and do nothing!

Media-as the present proves-is the most powerful weapon, it should direct the bullets to the heart of this problem, and try to make the best use of this power given to it.
I've already chosen this topic as a project in my faculty, held my camera, walked in the streets and tried with every girl I met to let her speak up and talk about her situation as a victim of an unfair community. I met angry fathers and violent husbands but I managed to convince some of the ladies to face the fear. They all agreed that they refuse to see their small, unaware girls in their own situation.
I was inspired by their spirit and I suddenly found the solution: It's the little girls!

They must learn to defend their humanity, they should be told that they are equal, that no man is better than them, and never to feel low because this is just the biggest lie in the history. I'm aware that it won't be fixed that easily. I don't expect to wake up tomorrow and see that the Minors' marriage is history, but I believe that small steps will get you to the end of the road, making this world a little bit fair and a better place for every one to live hand in hand.