I am passing a difficult phase of my life, where I question everything, especially the labels I am carrying and my multiple identity. I hate being in a box and can not be out of it, I hate when people do not bother to explore me and prejudge me. Sometimes I ask myself why I am labeled with certain affiliations , do I choose all the relations I enter in, why are people assuming ideas about me.
These are the questions that come again and again to my mind in the first day of the 3rd African Feminist Forum, AFF where women are gathering from all over the continent. We are four from Egypt, and very few from North Africa. In this AFF I felt the power of connections and the importance of sharing knowledge and building capacities. However despite all the positive vibes and the good points I am seeing in the AFF, I was sorry for the weak participation from the Arabs or the North African region, although I felt cherished by the people I already knew before the AFF and others who showed a very welcoming attitude.
What moved me are the North Africans and how they are exerting effort to assert their African identity. In Egypt the population defines itself as Arabs and Muslims. Our African identity is only shown in the Nubian minority or when we engage African in sports and cultural activities. Seriously, I believe that I can be African, Muslim, North African, Egyptian and before all of this is I am Nubian, and I am happy with that. My labels are not in conflict with each other.
I am so happy in Dakar, I feel the peace and solidarity and I will carry all the positive vibes back with me to Beloved Cairo .
Fatma Emam, Egypt