what women want...I'm single and want to leave Egypt!

what women want...I'm single and want to leave Egypt!
Previous what women want post is here

February 2010 issue of the What women want magazine 
includes an article 

There are many reasons why Egyptian women consider leaving Egypt:
- look for another job
- looking for better pay
- to escape society and its rules and restrictions
- to escape the pressures of society on women to get married
- adventure, to explore the world
The personal status of the women is usually either single or
divorced, as married women are
naturally tied to the fates of their husbands.

Popular destinations are:
Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Canada, US and Australia.
Whether the woman is traveling  to the West or to the Gulf,
she breaks the chains handcuffing her by the society of Egypt.

The Gulf although have become more progressive than before,
and open to single women expatries living there,
still occasionally can be a little hars to a single Arab female expat
living there in comparison to a European female for example.

To conclude, the decision to leave Egypt or not, has to be thought carefully, after honestly sitting with oneself, and assessing one's priorities.
What's more important, my career or my social life?
Can I tolerate the constraining social rules of the Egyptian society for the sake of living near my family?
If I do travel, and decide to come back, will I be up to the consequences?
All these thought provoking questions have to be answered, before considering leaving Egypt.

* * *

Are you free to travel?

Are you free to study/work/live 
wherever you want?

What have learned by 
studying/working/living abroad?

Man - do you think that 
"A woman's place is in the home"?


  1. Here I think a woman's place is in the home only if she makes that choice freely. Certain religious beliefs expect women to be in "submission" to their husbands....but I think most women view that as a joke, and so do I.

  2. Questions, which certainly are quite easy to answer for a many of us, but unfortunately not for everybody!

  3. Ahhhh....I'm a little too opiniated on this subject to answer and not piss someone off....
    Let's jsut say that in college, I was THAT girl who wore the shirt that read "A woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle".

  4. What I think is amazing is that you are choosing to be free in your words and writing to us. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be raised in a society that favors men. And yet continue to reach for your dreams whatever country you are in. There is good to bad in every place sweetie. Just figure out what you are prepared to do?

  5. What an interesting though difficult subject to tackle. I guess each one of us can take a long hard look at ourselves and ask that same question, How Free Am I, or How Free Do I Allow Myself to Be? Though in Egypt, the question does seem to have added weight.

  6. You are very thought-provoking. It saddens me to think of all that some women have to give up in order to achieve more freedom. Very difficult choices that can be so ostracizing.

    Keep expressing yourself. Your voice needs to be heard.

  7. For some reason, I keep thinking of Mel Gibson...

    Lots of women do not view that as joke...
    Here in Egypt it's 'natural' or 'normal' for woman to get married > have children > stay at home their whole adult age.
    But Egyptian woman is often the boss of the family and respected especially when old.
    There's also the new and open minded generation (and families) - women can study and work just like men.
    Egypt is NOT like Saudi Arabia!

    and we can't know everything...
    I'm lucky I was born in a free country where we have the right to speak and write plus education is good.

    When we talk 'heavy' or 'deep' topics there are always people who are not pleased. That's a fact.
    We just can't please everybody.
    And you're lucky! What a great relationship you have with your husband now! Age and aging together rocks!!!

    I love 'heavy/deep' conversations. Sometimes I have a need to express that side of me here too.
    I'm 'heavy' and very childish. I can be serious and dance all night long...Yes, I'm very complicated person!
    We all have to make choices in our lives. Sometimes they are wrong. But we should learn and to forgive ourselves the mistakes we've done. Mistakes are part of life. (Sometimes I'm too hard for myself so I do know how it feels when you're not that perfectionist - relieved!)

    I agree - not at all so easy. All of us are not free!!!
    In Egypt women are freer than in Saudi Arabia. That's why I guess lots of Saudis come here on holiday.
    They take off their burgas and look like any Western woman!
    Why do they do that?
    If that's their religion/tradition why not to behave the same way wherever you're traveling on this planet? I don't understand!
    they do NOT want to wear those burgas but they have to - not free to choose!?

    As I mentioned before part of me is very serious and 'heavy', almost rebellious.
    Thanks for your supporting words!

    >>MELISSA B.
    Mel Gibson and Egyptian single women not as free as in Western world??!!!
    Or do you wish him to set you free? :)

  9. Everything comes with time and at a price. Although Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to name just two, have restrictive and suffocating attitudes towards women, remember, there was a time when that was true of the United States as well. Women only won the right to vote here in 1920. There are still unfair pay scales and demeaning situations that result in sexual harassment suits.

    Dues had to be paid. Women my age (61) put up with insults our whole careers, although in later years, they subsided greatly. I was a widow, raising my son alone, and was paid significantly less for the same work because men had families. What was I raising, a puppy?

    Conditions are now nowhere near what my generation experienced. My granddaughter will reap the rewards of all our combined struggles.
    I know that the sisterhood of Mideast women will eventually throw off those shackles. But, it is a process. Dues have to be paid for the future. I'm not saying a thing these smart and hip women don't aleady know.

  10. I love reading thought provoking posts like yours. I came to the U.S. from Europe when I was 25. I couldn't get legal status here and work. This was 1983, and unless I could prove I had unique skills that no American had. How likely is that? I spoke French and Danish, but that wasn't considered unique, so therefore I had to hire an attorney, dump a pile of cash, and that didn't get me American citizenship either. I speak fluent English, unlike so many today, who seem to run across the boarder. I eventually married an American and then could stay in the U.S. The reason I bring this up, is because I wonder how Egyptian women can come into the U.S. or other countries, without all the crap I had to go through. Any thoughts?

  11. Everything that Linda said is so true. Women have always been the underdog in just about every society, and we have had to fight for our rights, equalities and freedoms. More and more women in Middle Eastern countries are realizing this and realizing that they want more for their own lives than what their societies have allowed them. You have presented them with some realistic questions they need to assess before taking the plunge. I wish them the best!

  12. It is so surreal to me that there are women out there who face choices like this in this day and age- simply for the fact of where they were born...

  13. It is a difficult subject to tackle...
    there are so many rules to different cultures that it is not good to compare one to another.
    I am a, let's say, "very free" person. I live in different countries, travel when I want and can afford, and feel like any choice I want to make is possible.
    There are countries where that choice is just not possible...but I am not one to judge. What I wish for is that every person, no matter where they are from, could feel good about making those choices. I do not like oppression...be it from governments, husbands, wives or religions.
    I hope that one day every person will feel free to choose what society type they want to live in and be a part of.


  14. It's amazing to read this. I have never been anywhere but here, yet I know that it is because of my own choices. I never really thought about not having them.

  15. Thanks for visiting my blog on my SITS day!

  16. I'll answer to you tomorrow...

  17. >>LINDA
    It is a process, you're right.
    Life is totally different what it was 20-30 yrs ago.
    Pace is rapid. Buy today and tomorrow it's ancient.
    About the right to vote. First country in the world was New Zealand 1893.
    Scandinavian countries:
    Finland 1906
    Norway and Island 1913
    Denmark 1915
    Sweden 1920 like in US.

    I know what you mean! But don't know!
    Do they all have work permits?
    If they first come to study...
    We have similar problem in Europe. Too many people want to come (or go) to Europe but they don't speak any other language than their own.
    But Europe needs a lot of workforce because it's difficult to get locals to bus drivers etc.
    In the future Europe needs more and more doctors and geriatric nurses...

    Just yesterday somebody said: it's SA why Egypt has gone backwards. Cairo used to be international city till 1960-70.
    But I have seen a lot young women, who are working, don't wear even a scarf and they are very successful at their work...
    There's hope!

    Unfortunately there are lots of countries where women are not as free as in US or in Europe.

    More coming after dinner!

    "I hope that one day every person will feel free to choose what society type they want to live in and be a part of."
    That's a beautiful dream but I guess it'll be a dream...
    We have too many conflicts, we are more and more selfish, a gap between poor and rich is getting bigger, nature is totally against our will to pollute and build this globe...
    All the girls in the world should have education. Women are the only hope to better world...
    Women bring up all those men who were and will be in power in this world...

    Like me, born in a free country, it's difficult to imagine how my life would have been without the freedom I have...

    It was a busy day for you... :)

    Yes, we need to be!

  19. Dear All,

    I am glad my article- provoked some thoughts.
    Just wanted to let you know, that I am Muslim, Egyptian and wear Hijab (a headscarf) and I am free in Egypt. The only rules that constrain me, are the ones I allow by choice.:)
    Please feel free to read more of my articles on http://ladyegyptienne.wordpress.com
    Amany Eid

  20. >>AMANY EID
    Hi there! And thanks for your comment!
    I'm going to post your link in near future...
    I like your way of writing plus you sound very modern Egyptian young lady :)


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