“I’d always dreamed of getting a college degree, but I got…


“I’d always dreamed of getting a college degree, but I got married right after high school.  We started having children right away, so it wasn’t easy to convince my husband to let me study.  The one time I tried to mention it, he immediately said ‘no.’  But a few years later we were in the passport office and I saw an advertisement for a university.  I pulled on his sleeve, pointed at the sign, and said: ‘Lets take a look.  It’s only a look.’  That very same day I enrolled in classes.  Each night I’d wait until 2 AM, after everyone’s demands had been answered, and the whole house was asleep.  Then I’d begin my studying. I’d work until morning, wake the children up, and prepare them for school.  Only then could I rest.  It was exhausting but I was so happy.  It felt like I’d gone back in time and my kids were my siblings.  During my third year I was pregnant again, and I was terrified that I’d go into labor during my final exams.  But I got my diploma.  It was the happiest day of my life.  My husband was thrilled for me.  Everything is different now.  I understand the world.  I used to be afraid to leave the house.  But now I feel powerful.  And it shows.”  
(Cairo, Egypt)