A Muslim woman’s choice

I wrote this piece for British newspaper I News

“Is that your husband? He is English?” Of the millions of Egyptians in the world today, you opted to marry an Englishman?”


My printed piece.jpg

The Syrian passport control officer glared at me after I crossed the once peaceful Lebanese-Syrian border seventeen years ago. He shook his head, and interrogated me with a fusillade of awkward questions after I had submitted my passport. “Yes, I did marry a blond English man,” I said, looking the officer straight in the eye. “Not only that, but we are also planning to travel around the Middle East together.”

Eventually, Bashar al-Assad’s perplexed official allowed us to enter the country. Little did I realise it was only the beginning of a relentless journey of “honour proving” – a struggle to prove my Islamic bona fides whenever and wherever I travelled. And through it all, one thing eventually became clear: my Islamic marriage certificate was more important than my passport. To continue reading the extended version of my piece click here

About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
This entry was posted in Best Read, Egypt, Islam, Tunisia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Muslim woman’s choice

  1. Andraz Sest says:

    Dear Nervana
    Thank you for your article. I have been through a similar experience with my wife, at times even more hostile than you have desribed. I am a Slovenian national, my wife is Egyptian Muslim, and I had to go through similar procedures you have described. We had been threatened with ‘the street’, than by family members (family calmed down after ‘on-paper conversion’), been constantly pressured and harassed by just about everyone with five minutes of time – in addition to my wife being constantly called a prostitute, even when being pregnant. Our son was born in Egypt but at the end we decided to move to Europe due to unpleasant circumstances.
    It is rare to read of such experiences so thanks again.
    Take care.


    • nervana111 says:

      Dear Andraz

      Thank you so much. I certainly relate to your experience and I have full respect for you and your wife. What I wrote in the piece is only a version of what I experienced and I experienced very hostile reactions. That is why I decided to write this piece. I really believe that we should stand against those discrimination against women. We, women, have the right to choose, and no one has the right to judge us.
      Once agin, thanks a lot for your comment. Truly appreciate it.
      All the best to you ad your wife.


  2. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Beck to the past – not!


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