Bora majayaha wala 3iris majahjah!

One ofthe things that irritate me to no end is the increasing age difference betweenme and the young married women wishing me the good luck of being in ‘my ownhouse’ next Eid; me being much, much older. I see the look of pity on theirfaces as they take in my ring-less fingers and henna-less feet, and myirritation doubles. And what irritates me the most is that, when I was theirage, I used to feel the same pity towards women who were my age now. It doesn’tmatter how much I’ve accomplished, how many exams I’ve passed, how much money I get paid, what car I drive, the price of my handbag and high-heels; until theday some man steps up and marries me I will always be considered unfortunateand unsuccessful in life. My parents will still be considered burdened by meand my sisters’ un-married presence in their house. I am the unfortunate byrex.
At thisage, I would be considered lucky if ANY guy offered to take me off my father’sshoulders. And God forbid I should refuse, or even think of refusing any suchgenerous offer, regardless of the quality! Ana lagya? At my age? How could I? Whocares what he does for a living, how much or how little he gets paid, whetheror not he has any kind of education? Who cares if he smokes, drinks or hasn’t prayeda day in his life? Who cares what kind of background he comes from? No onecares, and I certainly shouldn’t. Katar kheiro alja, tajeho alkisha. And if hehappens to be family, then God be with me. Then the wrath of the heavens wouldbe double, triple what it usually would be for rejecting such an offer. And thepeople who tell you that it doesn’t matter that you can’t stand this person, itdoesn’t matter that you have nothing in common, nothing matters because ‘marriageis about so much more and all these things don’t matter in the end,’ all thesepeople had perfectly normal, long term relationships and took all the time inthe world to choose their spouses and actually have no idea what it’s like. Youjust need to get married! To who is secondary. Never mind that this is theperson you’ll be cooking for forever, picking up the laundry for forever,waking up and going to sleep with him in your face forever, and the only wayyou can take a break from him is if you run away from home or die, because he’llbe there every morning, noon and night, ordering stuff and not letting you dostuff and whatnot. And if he’s the typical Sudanese man, he won’t lift a fingerwhile you scrub and wash and hang and wipe, and change and feed and burp, andfrankly, doing all that crap while managing your own job and studies forsomeone you don’t even like is quite difficult. Which is one of the many reasonswhy so many people get divorced so early. Or kill themselves.
The wholeSudanese culture actually revolves around one thing: MARRIAGE. Marriage foreveryone, against all odds, the answer to all problems and the cure to allillnesses: too many visits to the doctor? Get him a wife. Depressed and tired? Onceshe gets married she’ll be tip top. Psychotic? Schizophrenic? Psychopathic? Marryhim off! Everything will be alright then! For men, it’s like the icing on thecake: finish your education, get a fancy job (preferably in the Gulf orAmreeka), build a house or an apartment or even a room and THEN find a suitablewife, white of colour, big eyes, long hair, family with a popular last name,and then go to Hajj and die in peace. As for women, do what you might! You arenothing until you belong to someone else! No matter what you accomplish inlife, you aint going nowhere with those certificates. But stay home without aneducation and get married to whoever it may be, you’re worth 20 girls. Who caresif he insults and beats you? Who cares if his mother and sisters are like anest of scorpions that sting you day and night? Bas al3iris al3iris al3iris! Yi3aris rakabenkom inshallah. Bari yakhti, bora majayyyyyaha wala 3iris majahjah!


  1. wooooooooooow reem thats sooooooo right... like like like.. keep on girl and khlena netfasha 3la lesanek

  2. tmam ya reem... 9awt almar2a al3amila albayra looool

  3. waaaaaaaw reeeeeemoz de al7aga al7a9la

  4. 3arfa gbl al3res ay zol fe ay mkan bgol lek 3ogbalek.....yom 3rsek enshalla ..after i get married ay zol bs2lek aha 7a tsht3'le fe ksa...what's ur line..ento ma tmsho usa or london...
    yaaaaa7'e ya dob etzakrto eno ana dectora

  5. BHF

    Love your blog... had actually not looked at it for some time and have to say.... I am so delighted with the progress you made!!!

    As to your ringless and hennless life... You could also see it from the perspective of NOW - now is all you have. The past is gone and the future has not come yet. If what you described is correct (and most of the time one thing or another you described exists in today's marriages, especially in African countries), then you are actually the fortunate one.

    Enjoy the time you have until you meet the right guy, not the creepy one who will make you scrub and clean, but the one who was made for you to live your life the way you envision it.... There will be someone who will share the same vision and interests you have... all you need is PATIENCE and ATTRACT MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT AND LESS OF WHAT YOU DON'T WANT by being positive. Yes, POSITIVE. Force yourself, if necessary to think positively and live according to your believe that what is meant for you has already been written a long, long time ago.

    This step alone will improve your quality of life considerably...

    Look at it this way.... enjoy the time you have left and do as much of what you want to do with your life, BEFORE you get married. The MPH will be good for you - I told you that a long time ago - it will always give you the flexibility you want in terms of work, even when you have a husband and kids. Go to weddings and think " Good for her, one day it will be me, n'shallah" ... and continue enjoying life.

    It will actually be when you do what you want to do, that you will meet the right person who shares your dreams and ambitions.

    And.... remember, you are not old (just think of me when you think of old) AND look at it this way... at this point in your 'advanced' age, only a man you really loves you will want to marry you. So, you have actually beat the odds of getting the wrong guy because you guys were too young AND had a chance to enjoy life.

    Wow, what else do you want?? I see it more as you ...

    Being Highly Favored!

    1. Reem nailed the subject and this is a spot-on reply!

  6. klamek sa7 bs ne7na fi bld o m3a nas sagaftom al3res al3res f al7amdo lillah o allah yedeyna 6olat albal

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  8. First of all: Blasphemy! How dare you mock marriage? You must not be Sudanese!

    I want to dwell on how awesome you are and all, so I will do that now to get it out of the way: thank you for telling it like it is, you are awesome, please join Twitter etc etc!

    Oxford dictionary defines "al 3iris al 3iris" as a term used to express a person's irritation at the spinsterhood of a Sudanese girl over the age of 20, and their urgency to get that girl under the wings of a capable man who will support her and provide her with a home (hence the popular Sudanese greeting 'al sana al jaya fi baitik').

    I am thinking of launching an initiative to shelter young Sudanese women who are homeless. The number of homeless Sudaniyat is striking, which prompts many people to supplicate for them during Eids and special occasions that their homelessness ends.

    My sheltering homeless bayrat idea is registered at IP btw.

  9. Thanks alot dear Reem's for speeking our minds, sometime is hard to share such thoughts with those who limited. lol

  10. Hey,
    Witty post, I've heard this before, in my head, with my friends, on various rants here and there. It's so sad, but we have to keep the faith as they say, and stick to your own standards and timing.

    The worst thing is, it seems they (society) just wants us hitched so they could have yet another wedding and events avalanche on their calendars. And of course, to have a say in everything that goes in and around the events, ishanifu sakit.

    The idea of "marriage" doesn't go beyond al 3iris al 3iris (damn you Tartar Studio, have to say it twice every time!). It's not about sharing a life, values, your personal beliefs/interests/ambitions...

    Wait a second, do these people (the ones that pressure us) have beliefs/interests/ambitions? In my opinion, and sorry for offending anyone, but anyone who puts a value on marriage before self worth (education/aspirations/achievements/addition to human kind and society) is a retard.

    I'm privileged in many ways that m parents married out of love and a long relationship, and therefore won't even bring this up in anything more than a lighthearted discussion. Pressure, from relatives and people whom I see once every couple of months/years is irrelevant and pure utter bullshit. They don't know me or know what I want. They just want a party.

    Too bad for them, they're not getting it from me.

    :) Keep your head held high ;)

    And don't let the bullshit deter you from finding someone AWESOME, then maybe you want to share your world with him. He'll have to lift a finger or a couple to do some work, otherwise he's not fit for "sharing" a life, and he's too uncool for the ultra modern chic that you are.

    Also, maybe someone with a good taste in shoes? Don't want a wasted shoe as a gift eh?


  11. Thanks alot dear Reem's for speeking our minds, sometime is hard to share such thoughts with those who limited. lol

  12. You go girrrl! *snaps fingers*

    I know our Sudanese [modern I might add] culture has deformed the sacred sanctity of marriage [in the eyes of many young people] by making it an excuse to party and have a countdown of lavish events preceding the wedding [al3iris].

    I cry foul, parents shouldn't neglect the most important attribute they must do to wed their daughter [I know they don't just reminding them if they didn't] , the Deen [Islam Fo L1f3] of the proposing party [as taught to us by our prophet(pbuh)]and also for the proposing party [hubaaands]they shouldn't neglect the four factors and one more important than the rest in their life partner, and they are [for reminding purposes only] her family - one, her wealth - two, her beauty [:-D] - three, BUT MOST [this is the big one] OF ALL HER DEEN - four, so I say this for you my sisters fi allah, hang in there, patience is the key to salvation.

    -an unmarried 26 yr old male [no pressure - is it hot in here or is it 1000 degrees]

  13. hiiiz..Reem..I liked ur article and i enjoyed reading it and so was for my friend bt i might suggest smthn regardin da desig..the color of the background is kind of disturbin for the sight if u might darken da color...coz i had to stop alot while rading da article bcoz of the color

  14. This piece speaks to so many young sudanese women. I remember once a colleague (married) trying to convince me that the girls who get married earlier during Uni are "more valued, more ideal, chosen ones, lucky" than the ones who marry later, to ice the cake she shrugged her shoulders and said: "to be what a husband wants is something simple I don't understand girls who can't figure it out" This Married Club us vs. The starving lonely people ( eleanore rigby comes to mind) Mentality both of men and women in Sudan is a travesity,it's worse also as a man because you have to sit through intimate details of private lives told to jolt your curiosity or courage into joining the "married club" thank you for your brilliant insight and your humor you write beautifully. K.Eltinaé

  15. Well, I had no idea so many people felt the same! I do however notice the interesting difference between men and women's understanding of this post. The guys are like: 'khalas albora dabrasat bek? Get over it already!' kind of attitude. The point of this post is not about being upset we're still single, it's about being upset we're treated as less despite what we've accomplished. And also the idea that we should be grateful for what we get no matter how little, while men are encouraged to marry higher up.
    p.s. K.altinae, are you a guy or a girl? ;)

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  17. You just nailed it, I guess it does boil down to "al3iris, al3iris" and all is reduced to a simple binary variable (yes/no). If yes, you would be asked to kindly proceed to have a glorious life on this earth, one that is bestowed on you because someone "ka7alek" somewhere, sometime and the little boy in him set his mind and soul to get that last toy then and there! Presumably if you are indeed the "chosen" one, the grand prize would be that you live a prosperous life shielded by the love, support and respect of your husband (yah, right!) but if you are ever so unlucky as to be left behind then you are are doomed (by whom? the wicked witch of Blair?) to a life of eternal misery, slowly slithering away with bitterness at the site of other younger, happier "married" women!

    In the sake of full disclosure, I am not "bayra" and venting of steam, I do want to add though that I am quite frustrated from the fact that I have to make such a statement declaring my marital status as to be taken seriously by this society!

  18. Interesting topic. There is a huge pressure on Sudanese young women, the constant search for the "3rees" which followed by the obsession with physical perfection that traps us in an endless loop of self- consciousness and self hatred!

    Will these social habits ever going to change? or will Sudanese women keep stressing about "al-3ris and Ragees al-3roos" nonsense ,and actually become socially independent and accomplish great things for society and maybe one day we will shift this silly cultural perception of young women to the better :)


  19. Reem as a single, if you like elderly, sudanese female approaching my doomed 30's I know exactly what you're talking about. I am thankful everyday of my single existence that I DO NOT live in Sudan. My vacations turn into a grueling 2 weeks of "miten al3iris" & then of course there's the pity looks from younger cousins. I can almost hear them thinking I don't want to be her age and unmarried.
    I think these poor souls will never experience the joy of being completely independent before being tied to a family, kids & responsibilities.
    The line I hate most of course is , the quality of 3irsan will deteriorate as you get older , WHAT ??! I have more faith & pay no attention to such stupid statements. I know people who have married in their 20's & 30's & are satisfied with their lives.
    The bottom line is its "gisma wo naseeb" so please don't give me a hard time over something I have little control over.

  20. al zeeet!
    *nag: add a tweet gadget to ur blog..t make ur posts easily shared on twitter:)

  21. Wait I'm a boy.. What are you?! Does that somehow change anything?!

  22. thank u, good to knw tht i am alone. Well written, witty and unfortunately all so true.
    U knw when it starts to chafe when complete strangers whose lives are way worse than yours give u those 'pity/gloating' looks coz they happen to be married! And wht does 'shidi 7eilik' mean? If u hv a written, well pointed plan on how i go about roping in that all important and elusive 3rees, please tell otherwise don't ask me to 'ashid 7aily' as if i'm running a marathon.

  23. Well, with a name like Reem I guess its safe to say I'm a girl! =)

  24. Hahaha that is funny Reem
    I personally think that the younger the girl is when she is marred the more useless she is because in order to finish her education (that if she wanted to do so in the first place)
    She will have to leave her children for her mother to raise, so technically the poor mother is doing everything.
    So there is no point of her getting marred other than the fact that she saved a spot in the married women club (as if there is a person waiting to steel the spot from her)
    You always hear people say we entered our children school at the age of 4 or even, we let them skip couple of classes on the way so they may finish early or…
    Getting them married in high school so they could finish this matter early

  25. hhhhhhhhh, you said it all Reem, each time I hear whatever you are; safeera wla wazeera, finally you should get married

  26. jebty alzait ya reem walai da alzait zatu...u have summed up ur life my life and the lives of all young educated unmarried arab gurlz not juz sudanese gurls...we all suffer from the same problem,but u forgot to mention the most anoying comment "5alu al3izzeil aye 3arees yeje ardu behu ba3ad da, mafy zaman" like ur a tuna can and u will expire!!! beljad bora majayaha!

  27. hahahahahah, you nearly killed me laughing! Thanks for this, it represents a lot of us Sudanese women.I am better off without a nagging husband, and Ia m so comfortable with it, independent, single and happy. God Bless you

  28. If it is any consolation whatsoever, as a working mother who has no time for the trappings of a typical Sudanese wife, I get the same sympathy. I have to say, "I am married, actually" and that just confuses them, since they don't know what to do when their superiority train is brought to a screaching halt. What's it to you? Really? How does my "social status" impact you? Go away.

  29. Reemoz, your gripe is witty and hits the nail right on the head. The way I see it (and have personally lived it) is: "Better alone than in bad company".

    Those giving you grief over your unmarried state are boring and old fashioned. Ignore. But this does not mean be truthfully disdaining. You say (untruthfully perhaps): "Inshalla ya Rab! Da3watkom!" And that will be the end of that conversation. They will have to pray for you, and life goes on. Costs you nothing, and puts the blame squarely up there on destiny; you are powerless against its forces.

    Thirty is a fabulous age. Forty is better, and Fifty even more amazing. Unless, that is, you let your body and mind go to waste, which means that everything after age 16 is downhill all the way. So hone your mind and your health, and don't give in to the typical Sudanese safsafa which will turn the entire country into candidates for the Biggest Loser.

    I don't particularly like the term byrex, although I know you use it facetiously. Unmarried Sudaniyat are brave independent women, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Keep writing; you have followers!

  30. This article was SO entertaining and SO SPOT ON that I just didn't want it to end!! I felt like you were writing EVERYTHING that was in my head. God be with us 'bayra" girls..


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