Being an independent woman in the Arab world doesn't come without its challenges.
After all, it takes years to decondition ourselves from the deep-seated patriarchy and internalized misogyny.
While some days may be easier than others, some are just hard.
Here are just a few of the sticky situations we often find ourselves in the middle of.
1. We often feel out of place, worse yet, sometimes all alone
Whether having strong views or being opinionated, women might easily feel alienated among their male counterparts.
It should be normalized by now for women to get involved in discussions without their beliefs being belittled on the basis of gender.
2. We still feel uncomfortable walking down the street alone
Some of you will be reading this thinking "that’s a given!"
I would recommend you think twice.
A woman should simply not be harassed or catcalled once the sun is down. Nor when it's up. Just no.
3. We thirst for the true meaning of independence and freedom
Satisfying society would be the end of any soul.
"This is too revealing, too conservative, too loud, too rebellious," comments women live with, yet could and should ignore on command.
4. We often struggle on dates
Some Arab women often monitor their own words and body language to avoid coming off as too strong on a first date.
But it shouldn't be like that. We deserve to be the queens that we are out in public.
5. We are so sick and tired of hearing "3a2belik"
The amount of "3a2belik" we hear at weddings is just ridiculous. We are aware this is purely out of love and good intention, but we are just sick of all the pressure and pettiness.
6. We clash, even with our own families
You might've had a stroke of luck being raised by supporting parents who admire the strong independent woman you are, but for many women, this is just not the case.
Women should be able to make up their minds and take their own decisions, even if that means not getting it right the first (or second, or third) time.
7. We don’t want to be judged
While we think we're immune to destructive comments, there comes a time when reality hits hard and we find ourself shaken by judgemental remarks.
We'll always find a way to dust it off though because giving up is not an option even when ...
8. At times, we just want to quit
It is tiring to carve our way through all the frequent sexism and judgement.
Keep your head up, no matter what.
Independent women have a responsibility toward others; we ought to empower and support each other.