my mother is back home. She’s all alone. She’s growing old. And I don’t want to miss this part of her life. I’m not sure what to do. But I need to decide soon.

 

 

“I didn’t feel anything. It’s not even a holiday here. I woke up early, walked through the streets, and listened to prayers on my headphones. I might have bought myself a cupcake after dinner. If I was back in Egypt, I’d have gathered with the whole family for dinner. We’d have a specific type of juice—dried figs, dates, apricots in water. On the way to the mosque we’d give all the children treats. Everyone would speak to each other in the streets. It’s quite beautiful. You see all the happiness around and think—‘Yes, it is Eid.’ But here I celebrated all alone. My plan has always been to go back home eventually. I knew if I wanted to go further in journalism– I would need to study in the West. But the plan was always to go back. I always imagined having a family, and getting married the traditional way. But I’m finishing my doctorate in November. And now that it’s getting close—I’m not so sure. It feels like maybe I’d be sacrificing myself for tradition. I’d be like everyone else: becoming a mother, raising my children, and nothing else. Maybe I could become a lecturer at a nearby university. But there’s not a research culture. It’s not about innovation. You can easily get stuck teaching the same content for years. I want to keep going to conferences. I want to travel—not just for tourism, but to do something important. To develop myself. To share my ideas. To have people say: ‘We learned from you.’ I don’t have to be better than everyone else. I just want to contribute. But at the same time– my mother is back home. She’s all alone. She’s growing old. And I don’t want to miss this part of her life. I’m not sure what to do. But I need to decide soon.”

(London, England)

 

“I quit my job for the first three months of this year and travelled with my husband. It wasn’t exactly a mid-life crisis, but it was definitely a point in time

It’s about knowing that if you want something badly enough, you can get it. It’s an energy. The energy of knowing that the option is there.”