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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Egyptian women: Walaa
BBCArabic.com spoke to eight Egyptian girls about their everyday lives and hopes for a better future.

Fatmah:
22, university student

Jacqueline:
22, unemployed

Nesma:
15, unemployed

Rana:
16, student
Rawiya:
20, unemployed

Reda:
16, factory worker

Sarah:
18, university student

Walaa:
17, unemployed

Walaa

My name is Walaa and I am 17 years old.

I dropped out of school when I was in the first preparatory year because of my family's poor financial situation.

Walaa
Walaa says her education has helped her work with others
I do a literacy course and I like my teachers and my classmates a lot, because I never had friends of my age before.

I made many friends through a "Girls' Dreams Class" and whenever I have a problem, they stand by me till the end.

The class infused us with team spirit and good behaviour.

We learned how to work together during excursions or when we make pictures and how to make up a nutritious meal.

We also learned how to colour gypsum, draw, as well as how to read and write in the literacy courses and we are very grateful to them.

I use to like to work with beads and now I love it even more. They provided me here with all the beads I wanted and now I make wonderful necklaces.


Your comments on Walaa's views.

There is no hope unless secularism is followed in my country. I have been born to a Muslim family and have been raised in that society till the age of 20 years, when I began to understand the reality and know the terrible mistakes of these societies. I hope that civilised world will help those suffering people. Sure this will benefit the stability of the whole globe.
Egyptian, EU

Walaa tells a sharply moving life story. How can I not be moved, if I call myself a being with a soul? She is part of the grinding planetary struggle of women, and children, to find reasons to live, to hope. Artistic expression is often borne out of such pain: art can even be a few simple beads and coloured gypsum. That gives me hope too, so much hope, even though I live in the empire of the USA.
Eduardo Delanderos-Tierre, Vancouver, Washington, USA




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