I can write and defend feminism, fists in air, sword unsheathed.
I can stand up to any man and tell him, fight me, and I will not fail.
For even though my feet felt so weak,
from being strong for so long,
here I am, still standing, and through it all,
my eyes kept dancing,
and my head I held high.
Yet mozaic mess, I am,
when it comes to you.
You tell me
eyes clouded by the heaviness
of a culture that has long
moved away from your history,
yet you cling to so stubbornly;
You tell me,
what an Arab woman
should or should not do,
could or could not do.
who an Arab woman
should or should not be,
should or should not be with.
that an Arab woman
does not venture further than a chicken in its pen.
that an Arab woman does not marry outside her religion.
that an Arab woman's honour is all she has.
You tell me all this despite knowing
my impenetrable belief
that every human life on this earth
is sacred and born equal.
That it is I who have held you together,
that it is I who have supported you
as those very same cultural beliefs
suffocated your heart until it was blue.
You tell me all this,
ready to clip my wings
whenever you see the desire
in my eyes to fly in skies
I was born to eclipse,
fearing that you will lose me.
So I turn to you, and tell you,
Don’t you know that even a chicken can fly?
This article was first published on 15 March 2017.