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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Egyptian women: Rawiya
BBCArabic.com spoke to eight Egyptian girls about their everyday lives and hopes for a better future.

17, university student

22, unemployed

15, unemployed

16, student
20, unemployed

16, factory worker

18, university student

17, unemployed

My name is Rawiya and I am 20-years-old. I live in Old Cairo.

I wish I had completed my education but I dropped out of school four years ago for family reasons.

Rawiya longs to live in a quieter neighbourhood and finish her education
I want to register my brothers in schools and I hope they won't drop out. I also want to live in a better area.

My mother works in a factory from 0800 until after 2200 at night.

My father is of limited means, my elder brother is in the army and my other brother doesn't have a fixed job.

My younger brother is in a technical college and my younger sister is in second year of preparatory school.

I hope she and my other sisters, who are now three and six years old, do not drop out of school.

I hope to leave the neighbourhood I am living in right now and live in a quiet, leafy area and to finish my education.

Your comments on Rawiya's views.

Don't despair Rawiya, because you are only 20. I am not sure about the education system in Cairo, but is it possible for you to combine part-time work with part-time studies? I know it would take you longer to complete your studies, but at least you would be making progress in achieving your ultimate goal. Maybe your family could help out in slightly rearranging daily schedules to make your life a little easier. Time management is the key in this area and also flexibility. If you find that study can only be done during daylight hours, you may need to find a part-time night job and vice versa. Maybe your Mum can help you gain day/night work at the factory that she works in. I hope my thoughts help you in some way. But always remember.....never give up your dreams or your goals. There are always people willing to help you if you have the courage to ask!
Lynette, Gladstone, Australia

Rawaya, it hurts my heart reading your lines. Nigeria is also affected by this African disease of dropping out of school. I really welcomed your idea of making sure your younger ones finished their education at the same time as pursuing your own education.
Lazarus Uduma, Aba - Nigeria

Unfortunately, in my country Egypt, we have all the extremes from very wealthy people to too poor families. I dream that one day we can find a solution for this problem which arises/grows due to several factors
Ismail, Cairo



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