Farah, The Egyptian Feminist

This is an insightful interview with Farah Nabil, a feminist in Egypt. Thank you to the blog ‘Sweden and the Middle East Views’ for the original post. Reblog.


Guest Post: My Love-Hate-Love-Love-Love Relationship with the Techno Life and Writing

Today I am pleased to have author, blogger, editor and friend Lorraine Reguly over for a visit! I knew she had inspirational words to share and so I was happy she accepted the invite to guest post here. I hope you enjoy her words too and (psstttt) there’s a free eBook for you at the end too!

Okay, here’s Lorraine stepping up to the mic now:

★ ★ ★
This is a picture of a some sharks with one of William Henry Channng's quotes superimposed on top of it.

Some people don’t like technology, but others embrace it.

Today I’m going to tell you about some of my experiences with it, some of the personal obstacles I’ve had to overcome in my personal life, and how I succeeded, against all odds (well, maybe not all, but some, for sure!), becoming a source of inspiration to others, actually saving a life, as I learned how to do what I believe I was meant to do, which is write my stories and then share them with others.

WARNING: This post contains sensitive content. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

The 90s: A High School Dropout Returns to School

I still remember my first experience with computers. It occurred in 1992.

During the 1990s, I spent the decade going to school, first finishing high school in a special program for single mothers, and then attending university.

My son was born in March of 1990, and when he was seven months old, I entered a program for single mothers. At that time, I was a high school dropout. I had barely completed my first year of high school when I was raped.

As you can imagine, being raped devastated me. What compounded things was that I didn’t tell anyone about it. I stayed silent for years. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I sought counselling and revealed what had happened to me.

For four semesters after my virginity was taken from me, I quit school. I was in a deep depression, slept a lot, and missed many classes. I fell behind, and had little hope of catching up, even though my IQ was high. School just wasn’t important to me.

I turned to drugs to help me cope. Although I never cared much for alcohol, I began frequenting bars with my older cousin, and often went home with strange guys, looking for love in all the wrong places. I allowed myself to be used and abused, blindly believing I was being “loved” at the time.

I grew to hate myself and my life. Both were destroyed by the monster who raped me. I tried attempting suicide, too. Obviously, I failed. Life went on.

Eventually, I found a boyfriend, and got pregnant. I was sixteen at the time, still smoking pot, and my boyfriend was an alcoholic. For these three reasons, I decided to get an abortion.

At seventeen, I met a Spanish guy at a dance. Though a language barrier existed between us, we began dating. Two months later, I was pregnant again.

Given a second chance at motherhood, I decided to keep my baby. My son, Julian, was born when I was eighteen.

I never really wanted children of my own, but when I was pregnant the first time, my mother had told me a story about my uncle’s ex-girlfriend, whom I loved dearly. When she was with my uncle, she got pregnant and had an abortion, at the behest of my uncle, who wasn’t ready to be a father yet. She ended up marrying a guy who wanted kids, but, because she had an abortion, she was unable to conceive.

When I found out that I had a baby growing inside me, all I could think of was the lady who I really, really wanted to become my aunt. Some twisted part of mind told me to have my baby, because I could, because my uncle’s ex couldn’t.

Continue reading

On Purple Nails and Reflections about International Women’s Day

I was going to call this ‘randomness’ but then you might not have read it. Nooo don’t stop reading (Enter The Matrix slow movement of Neo, note to self to see if I can get a full-length coat like his but in deep purple instead). Oh yes, purple.

I told Cassidy, whose blog I have been following for a long time now, that I would share a photo of me with my nails. Purple, sparkly, OPI brand, here you go:

Purple Nails and Reflections

Showing my purple nails and Sunday face. Photo via Christy Birmingham (me!)

And then my mind started its usually whirring. More notes to self and such. I mean, it’s Sunday, so it’s a day to rest, right? Nope, apparently not. Does your mind go on its hamster wheel a lot too? I began thinking about purple, the shade of International Women’s Day. It was a #paintitpurple movement earlier this month. Okay, so here’s the thing. I wondered why purple?

Continue reading