Being an ambitious girl in Egypt can be challenging, especially since most people would underestimate you or try to put you down. It’s not anyone’s fault really; it’s just how the Egyptian society works. But while our path maybe hard and full of obstacles, we know what to expect and we remain hell bound on achieving our dreams. Here’s a list of some of the struggles we face on our long path to what I like to call success:
We are never taken seriously
It doesn’t matter if you have shared your career aspirations and dreams with someone; it doesn’t matter if you have a plan or are working day and night to achieve your dreams. People will still listen to what you have to say and think that it’s a phase that shall pass. As if having a dream is a disease that they are waiting on to just magically heal and disappear.
Not wanting to get married to focus on your career is automatically translated to having daddy issues
It doesn’t make sense that you are postponing marriage or discarding the idea of marriage from your life to focus on your career, which you have worked so hard for. If you don’t want to get married, you had problems in your upbringing. You came from a broken home because it’s just absolutely ridiculous to think that a sane girl from a loving family would dare to think of choosing herself over the pleasure of being a housewife.
What you have achieved is irrelevant as long as no one put a ring on it
Every family gathering you go to is an interrogation about your love life, never mind the job you just started or the article you just got published. If you are still single, there is something terribly wrong with you. Quit that job already; it takes so much of the precious time you could be using in order to meet eligible bachelors.
Maternity leaves make you a weak candidate
How many times did you get excited about a job posting so much, only to find out the word “Males only” written at the very end? I mean what the heck does that even mean? It’s the twenty-first century yet some jobs are still solely for men, because apparently just the fact that you can grow a baby inside your body makes you an explosive emotional liability. And no we don’t really care if you are more than qualified, take your emotional garbage and leave!
Social standards will hinder your growth process
There were many days when I listened to girls explain how they almost had it. How they almost took the job offer and moved to Paris, or went on a fully funded scholarship to Harvard but couldn’t because society couldn’t make it happen. Because they would have lost their families’ approval and they owed them so much; they couldn’t break their hearts. In Egypt, a girl can only succeed so much as long as she does not break the ridiculous social barriers that society has put.
Finally, succeeding will always be the biggest challenge for any girl, especially because it will always go unrecognized. All you have to do is remember your goals and all that you have achieved so far. Don’t conform to what people are expecting of you. You are not Jasmine. There is no Aladdin and Genie will not magically appear from a bottle. You have to be strong.