A trip back home

Waking up at 5:30am yesterday to take a flight back home after a short night of being really sick and exhausted. I arrive at the airport with a terrible headache and a frown on my face. I want to smile but i cant. I am waiting for my colleagues to finish filling up the passport control form I look down and I see 2 sisters; the older sister is hugging her younger sister, making sure she doesn’t wander off. The older sister is 4 and the youngest is one and half.

I smiled and for a sec my headache was gone.  I wished to be a child again, I wished to unlearn everything I know about the world.
I am exhausted not because of work but because so many tragedies have been happening, Yara Sallam is in jail. I know others are in jail too but Yara is someone I know.
Salmah, A women resource center in Sudan, one of the centers i am working with got shut down by the Sudanese government, Salwa Bugaighis, Libyan human rights activist was murdered in Libya and more than 200 girls are still missing in Nigeria. It felt like a crack down on human rights defenders all over the region.

I learned that God is our judge, but i grew up and re-learned that societies have made themselves gods as well. They judge whoever is different. Whoever who wants justice and equality. They kill and torture under the name of God and claiming to protect us from hell. I re-learned that should fear society more than God, it was like this unwritten unsaid rule.

My friends are ready to go, I glanced at the 2 little girls and left one last time. I got on to a plane, an oval box, breathing recycled air, I feel sick again. Luckily it is not a long flight. I am home. A security officer at customs asks why I was traveling and what is my job? I hesitate then I reply “Women’s right” he looks at me laughing and mocks me. I take my passport puzzled, “did he laugh because of the word rights or women or both?”


It is very hard to work under such difficult circumstances but i look at my African and Asian sisters working under harsher conditions and I feel empowered. I understand now. We have to work collectively and cross culturally to achieve a change. We must continue to fight the power structures. Use every single tool that we have to make a change. Question everything you know.


Women of the world YOU ARE NOT WEAK AND YOU DON’T NEED A MAN TO SAVE YOU. The only way that any kind of change will happen is when we admit we are humans, equal and powerful. We walk next to each other, men and women.


I may not see a change in the system but I am praying and working so that those 2 little girls and every child in this world would.