Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nike, Just DO Your Homework!

Posted: March 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

As a Saudi woman who loves exercising and lives by the belief that working out is an essential part of any daily routine, I felt personally offended when I watched the recent Nike ad. Since my teenage years (in the early 80’s), my mom, who was born in the early 50’s, has taught me that working out is not something temporary in our life; it’s a life style. During the 80’s, my mom and I would play workout videos of Jane Fonda, Raquel Welsh, and later Callan Pinckney at least 3 times a week along with half an hour of swimming or walking in our small garden.

Back then, it wasn’t ordinary to work out, but our family and friends would always look at mom with respect for committing to exercising. I have to also mention that my eldest aunt, who is 11 years older than my mom, has always been (and until now) crazy about working out!

Exercise back then was not the usual thing for a woman to do (not even for a man), but it was never frowned upon by people in our community.

Moreover, things have become better when I moved from Makkah to Jeddah in the early 90’s after I got married. My two sisters-in-law used to go to a gym called KTG (as far as I remember). I couldn’t join them back then because I was a new mom busy learning how to take care of my first child, but I would never quit exercising at home. It only needed a video tape and some comfy clothes to be fit, and I managed to be fit and stay fit till this day.

Later on, one of my cousins, Nada Hamza Al-Suleimani, who is the first Saudi certified fitness trainer in Jeddah, guided me a lot with the most updated nutrition and workout plans. She also introduced me to Cindy Crawford’s Shape Your Body program, which did wonders to me. Of course, I had my ups and downs during my journey with exercise, but it never stopped; rather it developed. I joined several gyms in Jeddah (some were part of hospital programs), and very few were independent gyms like Concept 10 and Gold’s Gym. And finally, after many years of going to different gyms, which are always crowded with women from different ages, I managed to have my own home gym.

And today, after all of that, Nike creates an ad that shows us as a society that rejects working out and stigmatizes women who exercise! I really feel offended! I know not all women in Saudi Arabia exercise, but I am, along with so many women, are part of this society. We exercise, and we observe how people react to us. I have never heard of a Saudi woman being shamed for exercising (at least not in the urban areas).

Moreover, since 2010 and until now, there have been many groups of female and male experts, nutritionists, trainers, and doctors whose sole goal is to spread health awareness and to motivate people to eat healthy and to exercise. Those experts are young and middle-aged Saudi men and women. Among them is Dr. Rayan Karkadan and his wife Dr. Shaymaa Al-Shareef, Ms. Jumana Jalal, Dr. Manal Marghalani, and Dr. Abdul Rahman Bukhari, to mention a few.

Due to those people’s motivational campaigns, more and more girls and women started to embrace exercise in their lives, and more gyms have opened based on the high demand.

Also, most private schools (since the late 90’s till now) offer PE classes, and there have always been competitions and tournaments among the best schools. Leading universities in Jeddah such as Dar Al-Hekma University and Effat University have amazing and well-equipped gyms for students and for employees (free of charge). Also, these universities have teams of basketball and tennis, and those teams compete in annual tournaments. Here, I am talking about Jeddah alone, but I know from some of my friends who live in Riyadh and Dammam that the situation is almost the same in their cities.

However, public schools do not have PE classes for girls and only one class or two maximum per week for boys. The problem with these schools is far more complicated than having PE classes or not for girls; they don’t have basic educational facilities for students (boys and girls) and the situation is worse than being described by anyone ever (don’t get me started…I would need volumes!).

So, coming from such a background, being a vibrant woman who has embraced physical activity most of her life, and witnessing such a boom in the workout world in my city in less than 5 years…all of that makes me really upset to see an ad that degrades my society and trivializes the issue in such an inaccurate way. I guess, we as Saudi women, are doomed to be stereotyped forever and doomed to be looked at as the oppressed beings who are in desperate need of the white woman or man’s help! I think the media loves this image of us; otherwise, they won’t have any material to talk about.

Yet the problem of the ad is not just my personal reaction towards it; it’s four more major issues!

The first is in the way the ad showed Muslim women revealing their bodies in order to workout. I am not a hijabi fanatic, but wearing shorts is not an image of a true Muslim woman. Besides, as a woman who knows very well what it means to work out, I know that wearing shorts or revealing outfits is not a requirement. Female Muslim athletes around the world have proven that they can be athletic while preserving their decency…remember the Burkini athletes?

The second issue is that the ad is creating a new image for women to follow; being strong makes you a better woman as opposed to being beautiful/vulnerable makes you more desirable. Who are they to impose on women what and how to be? A woman can be anything she wants to be; strong, vulnerable, peaceful, calm, rebellious…etc. No one has the right to tell us how we should be. The ad is actually contradicting itself, and it can easily backfire. “What would they say about you?” Ok, Nike…what if I don’t want to exercise or reveal my body, what would people say about me? What if I wanted to look more feminine? What would people say? What if I didn’t spend my money on your sportswear? What if I bought my sportswear from Reebok or from an unknown brand?

What would people say? I really don’t care, and it never crosses my mind when I exercise. What I care about is how ads shape our thoughts and impose on us certain images. “Be strong and rebellious” is the new “Be slim and beautiful”… It’s just another way to control women and to shape the public opinion. That’s not empowering, guys! It’s just another way of changing women to fit certain media-made standards! I wonder what the next image would be!

The third issue with the ad is that it is not really helping us as Saudi women; in fact, such an ad, when seen by conservatives, will only prove them right! They will take this ad against all our calls for equal rights and for promoting exercise for women. Now they have a solid proof that the whole idea of working out is part of a Westernization conspiracy against Muslim women; a conspiracy that aims at encouraging women to rebel against decency. What people don’t realize is that any interference from the American and British media in our issues as Saudi women has always been nothing but a hindrance to any progress. Anything that comes from the West (good or bad) …absolutely anything is just looked at as pure evil, and hence, any decision in the favor of women is frozen. Even within families, I believe now after this ad, some conservative fathers’ attention would be dragged to the issue of indecent clothes while working out…this will make it much harder for their daughters. I think it’s going to be “an eye-opener” for such fathers. (pun intended) You guys are not helping; you’re adding fuel to fire.

Most importantly, the core of the problem of exercise for females, as notable Saudi economist Reem Asaad has put it in her Snapchat account, is that the whole idea upon which the ad is based is inaccurate. Is it really the society who prevents women from working out or frowns upon their physical activity? “No” says Reem Asaad, “It is all in the hands of the decision-makers, which is not the society whatsoever!” It is true that the society has a role, but once a decision is taken from “above”, everyone conforms to it, even if they disagree with it, adds Reem Asaad.

And this leads me to the fourth problem with the Nike ad; they didn’t do their homework well! I have done a quick and simple survey a month ago, to which 323 women from different cities in Saudi Arabia responded. Most respondents were women from Jeddah, Makkah, and Riyadh; others were from Dammam, Al-Jubail, Al-Madina, and Al-Qaseem.

The survey included girls and women from different ages and different educational backgrounds and work fields. It also included students and stay-at-home moms. 33% of women said they exercise regularly, 53% said they exercise sometimes, and only 13% said they never exercise. 54% said they exercise at home and 10% said they exercise at the gym.

Now the central question in the survey was “If you do not exercise at all, what are your reasons?” and guess what the majority said? Nope, they didn’t say that they were worried about what the society might say about them. 55% of the women who said they never exercise chose this answer “the cost of gyms is so high”, and 17% said “the cost of workout equipment is high.” Other responses varied between 16% “I don’t like exercising”, 45% “I don’t have time”, 1% “I don’t believe in its importance” and 2% “My family/husband prevents me.” Zero percent said they believe it was forbidden by religion.

Another essential question in the survey was “Do you know women (in your society) who exercise?” 80% responded with a “yes”! Also, when asked about people’s reaction to women who exercise and how the society looks at those women, 70% responded that people admired and encouraged such women who exercises, 29% said that people were neutral about those women, and only 1% said that people questioned those women’s morals.

What does this show? Two things; the Nike advertisement team hasn’t done their homework well, and that their popular slogan “Just Do It!” seems to be a “Just Don’t Do It” when it comes to researching and surveying. I wonder on what basis they have created such an ad; on Middle Eastern societies in the eighties? Maybe! Or maybe they were driven by their “Just Do It” thingy that they just did the ad without thinking! Way to go, Nike! What enthusiasm!

To conclude, I am glad that Nike did this ad because it made me realize how aware our society has become regarding exercising. My last question in the survey was “What is the most thing that helps women embrace an active and healthy lifestyle?” and the answers were heart-warming. 85% responded “having self-motivation and a true desire to live a healthy life.” Other responses included: 65% “having more gyms in all neighborhoods with reasonable prices”, 46% “Family and up-bringing”, 28% “Nutrition and fitness programs on social media”, 27% “School and university”, 21% “specifying time for exercise during working hours”, 14% “not depending completely on housemaids”, and only 1% responded by “having equipment and sportswear from costly brands”…the last one made me laugh hard; how ironic! It also made me happy and proud that Saudi women are becoming more and more aware that it’s not about buying stuff from well-known brands; it’s about their deep desire to change and commit to a healthy lifestyle.

Truly, wise and well-educated women know it’s not about buying sportswear from Nike that will free them and make them commit to exercise. More and more women now are starting to realize that the best gym and sportswear is “commitment.” God bless Saudi women. They are great whether they purchase or don’t purchase Nike products.

*The survey is still active and I will update it every week.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PVJ6XSW

Written by: Eman AlWazeer
Translated by: Maha Noor Elahi

After more than ten years of suffering and being forced to leave his homeland, Makkah, Prophet Mohammad
(Peace Be Upon Him) returned to the sacred land with his heart full of love and eagerness. After all that struggle, he returned to where the body of his beloved wife, Khadija, rested in peace. He returned to that woman who embraced his tears after a long period of deprivation. How can he forget all that compassion? In spite of the passing of years, despite her death, the shade of the sweet memories he lived with her still moves his heart. A tear dropped from his eyes as he remembered her, wishing that she could be with him during these glorious moments as she had shared with him torture and pain. After standing sadly and silently for a while in front of her grave, his army got inside Makkah from all directions, and he started calming down Makkah’s people, who used to torture him, by saying his famous words: “Go…You are free!” How can humanity not bow in reverence to this great and forgiving heart?

Yet, it pleased him that, at least, Khadija could hear the axes breaking the statues that she had always despised and could never worship. Khadija, that great woman who comes from an original Arabian descent, famous for its courage, generosity, and nobleness, had refused all marriage proposals of the noblest and wealthiest men in Makkah in order to take care of her daughter and son from her deceased ex-husbands. But the wealth she had inherited obliged her, as it was the custom in Makkah, to invest in trade business. Hence, she needed an honest strong man whom she could trust to assist her. In search for this man, she heard about the greatness of Mohammad, the young man who has been well known for his incomparable rare honesty.

Naturally, she employed him to be in charge of her business.
Khadija looked at Mohammad with the insights of a mature woman who appreciates men for their morals and intellects, not for their appearance and wealth. She was overwhelmed by his nobleness and wisdom in spite of his young age (twenty-five years old), and she saw in him a promising great man. However, she kept her feelings hidden, for how could she think of a man who was fifteen years younger than her? And that was not all; she thought that he would probably never think of her, as he knew her high position among the people of Makkah surrounded by all those rich men, who were asking for her love. How could he, the poor orphan, think of her without possessing anything in the world except his honesty and his pure great Arabian origin?

Yet Khadija could hide her admiration towards Mohammad no more. Her feelings were obvious while she was talking to her friend, Nafeesa Bent Monya, about the honesty and nobleness of that young man. Her friend could see her eyes’ radiance while she was describing Mohammad’s virtues, and so she decided to do something about it. She immediately went to Mohammad asking him about his reasons for abandoning marriage while he needed a caring wife to share with him life’s sweetness and difficulties. Nafeesa did not want to embarrass Mohammad nor Khadija; she made her offer without mentioning any name saying to Mohammad: “What would you do if you were called to beauty, original descent, wealth, and honor?” Immediately, Mohammad realized with his innate intelligence that Nafeesa was referring to Khadija, for who else but her had these qualities altogether?

Mohammad hastened to his uncles to go with him to ask Khadija’s hand for marriage, and the blessed wedding happened quickly in splendor and purity. It was a marriage based on true mutual feelings of respect and love, not on secular or momentary benefits. The Prophet lived with Khadija for twenty-five years in which she was to him the loving caring wife and the mother of their six children. Moreover, she was a mother for him when he needed her support and sympathy. She healed his heart’s wounds and made him forget the days of deprivation and cruelty.
When the spirit of Gabriel visited the Prophet in “Ghar Hera” for the first time, Mohammad rushed to Khadija horrified by what he had seen. Khadija, in turn, absorbed his fears and calmed him down by her motherly love saying: “Rejoice at this, my cousin, and fear nothing. I hope you will be the Prophet of this nation!” According to her prior knowledge gained from a Christian relative, Werqa Ben Nofel, she had heard about the last Prophet’s prophesy. The incident that happened to Mohammad had only assured her that the new religion would be conveyed through her beloved great husband. Now, that is an image of a true graceful woman with a broad vision; a woman who has inspired her husband and strengthened him for the sake of truth, not mundane desires.

Since then, the couple’s life had changed from comfort and prosperity to a severe flood of hardship, pain, and distress. Since the announcement of “Da’wa” or Call for Islam, the couple’s life transferred into a different phase. The Prophet used to return to his house with hurt feelings, dust on his head, and thorns stuck on his clothes to find Khadija waiting for him with a steady shining smile spreading hope and patience in his heart encouraging him for more forgiveness and tolerance. Isn’t this the best thing a man can find in his wife during hard times? But that was not all; khadija had spared all her money for Islam without giving a second thought of saving some for her and her family as she believed that there would be no poverty with the glow and light of Islam, and no wealth with the darkness of atheism and disbelief. Those are truly the deeds of a woman who had surpassed men by her unique virtues.

Khadija remained supporting her husband and believing in him and in the new religion until she died as a result of the harsh “She’b” siege. It was a melancholic year for the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), but life had to go on. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) got married to other women, but he could never forget Khadija as the fragrance of her genuine love was engraved deeply in his memory embracing his being for the rest of his life. That was Khadija; the loyal wife, the compassionate lover, and the great mother who comprehended the true meaning of love, and enfolded the Prophet’s heart even after her death. She was and will always be a glorious example for Muslim women who are willing to have a role in their husbands’ lives and in the history of their nation.

My Book is Released!

Posted: June 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

It has been a while since I last updated my blog, but this was for a reason and a good one too! I have been working on editing and publishing my poetry compilation; A Saudi Woman’s Voice!

The poems in the book display my simple journey and experiences in life since 2001 till 2015, and I was fortunate and blessed to have the book edited by the distinguished editor Ms. Linda Yamak and reviewed by two of the most unique women I have met online; Ms. Mira Al-Khateeb and Dr. Zilal Meccawy. The cover was designed by Syrian designer, Ms. Nour Al-Sebai.

The book is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats.

You can find it on the following pages:

On Xlibris:

http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-001020214/A-Saudi-Womans-Voice.aspx

On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Saudi-Womans-Voice-Maha-Elahi/dp/1503563626/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433583341&sr=8-1&keywords=a+saudi+woman%27s+voice&pebp=1433672284770&perid=1GBQB861BCS87Y06YJYA

On Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-saudi-womans-voice-maha-noor-elahi/1121881218?ean=9781503563629

I hope you enjoy it. Waiting for your feedback.

In a Flash

Posted: August 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Angelic innocence
Shimmering on children’s faces…
Spring’s fragrance
Encircling heavenly bodies with laces;
Vanishing in a flash!
An effervescent laughter
Of friends and lovers
Ascending higher and higher
Spears of youth and power
Standing still as a royal tower;
Fading in a flash!
The most joyous times;
The unforgettable.
The most melancholic mimes;
The indelible…
Are liquefied by the spin of life…
A reality that is inconsolable;
An eclipse that occurs in a flash!
The precious, the cheap
The superficial, and the deep…
All evaporate in a flash!
Eventually…the leader and his herd
The valuable moments and the absurd
Will be dim in a flash!
End of scene…
End of tale…..
Approaching the inevitable
Blackout….

Monday, July 14, 2003

Grace

Posted: August 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

In the heart of the frosty land
As spring was thriving to take its stand,
There, at the tranquil city of Göteborg,
In a melodic solitude by the Göta Canal,
Anonymously wandered I.
In a walk not set nor planned
Buoyantly unaccompanied;
No one but nature & I.
Allured I was by the naked trees
Boasting their nude branches reaching sublime
Philandering with the azure blue skies.
I walked airing an ecstatic chime
Shivering as the crisp wind passed by,
Yet feeling divinely warm from the inside.
Perhaps at forty three,
There’s nothing that can blow one’s mind
Like a silent talk with nature’s moody sighs.
Perhaps there’s nothing at forty three
That can be as animating as a solitary embrace
That unswervingly connects you to God’s grace.
Nothing as emancipating as listening to the trees
As they tempt you to read between their lines
Untold stories hidden beneath the booming pines.
It’s the enthralling luxury of being lost
Of having the ability to take a path
And then changing it at the same instant
Without worrying about that vile clock
Or about what that switch might cost.
A liberating care-free walk it was indeed
Away from Capitalism’s straining slavery
I was simply breaking free
Breathing the entity of my being
In my long-sought solo stray
Cuddled by the morning breeze
Delving deep in the human in me!

Göteborg, Sweden
March 27, 2014

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Khawla Bint Thalaba; The Disputer

Can you imagine Allah listening to an argument of a woman? The idea of a woman arguing is somehow considered “taboo” in many

societies in the Arab world. However, a woman who argued with the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) more than 1400 years ago was listened to and respected.

Khawla Bint Thalaba is a well-known name in the Islamic history. To understand Khawla’s story, first we have to go back to a tradition that used to be practiced by men before Islam. That tradition was called “Thihar”; Thihar means that when a man is upset with his wife or wants to punish her, he swears that she is not his wife anymore and that she is to him like his mother or sister. He tells her that you are like my mother, and our relation is no more that of a husband and wife. This is not divorce as you might think. The wife used to remain a wife but only by name. She remains a wife to a husband who completely ignores her right and needs as a woman and wife. Usually, the family would be destroyed after the husband swears saying those words, so it was oppression under the name of marriage. Some marriages used to end, and others used to survive without happiness and joy.

Khawla was a happy wife with her husband, Aws Ibn AlSamit, and they had been married for years when one day they had a quarrel just as any couple do. Aws got very upset that he swore that “Khawla is no more his wife and that she is to be like his mother.” Of course, it was a great shock for Khawla to see her beloved husband rejecting her this humiliating way when she was a good loving wife and a caring mother to his children. A short while later, Khawla’s husband wanted her again…he loved his wife and it was just his bad temper that made him utter such words. However, Khawla refused to let him get away with such a behavior. She was also concerned about the Islamic opinion; could she be his wife after that? Was it allowed for her to live under the same roof with a man who no longer considers her as his wife? Would she be committing adultery if things got back to normal after the words he said? All those questions raced in her mind, so she went to Prophet Mohammad asking him for advice and asking about the Islamic ruling regarding such a condition.

Prophet Mohammad told her that he thought their marriage had to end, and that it would be forbidden for her to stay with Aws. Khawla wasn’t really convinced nor pleased by what the Prophet had said, so she started arguing with the Prophet and repeating her question in different ways, trying to get a soothing answer from the Prophet. She wanted to get back to the man that she loved, and she wanted to teach him a lesson at the same time. She explained to the Prophet that she was willing to forgive her husband for what he said, but she wanted an Islamic rule that states that her relation with her husband is legal and not forbidden or looked upon as adultery. However, the Prophet seemed not to have the answer she wanted. He kept repeating the same thing to her; you can’t be that man’s wife any more.

Khawla left with great sorrow and went immediately to the Holy Mosque in Makkah, praying to Allah. Being very close in front of the Holy Ka’aba, Khawla was weeping and praying, “Oh, Allah, you know my agony and how tough it is for me to be away from my husband. Oh, Allah, please send your prophet anything that might release me from this grief.”

As Khawla was crying in the Holy Mosque, everyone who heard her sympathized with her and felt her deep sadness.

But something miraculous happened. As soon as she finished praying, Allah has sent Gabriel to Prophet Mohammad with a new “sourah”. A “sourah” that would be read to our day…a “sourah” that is in favor of a woman, who stood for her right.

In Surat Al-Mujadila (SHE THAT DISPUTETH, THE PLEADING WOMAN), Allah Almighty says, “Of a surety Allah hath heard the saying of her that disputed with thee concerning her husband and bewailed Unto Allah; and Allah hath heard your mutual discourse. Verily Allah Is Hearing, Beholding. As to those among you who put away their wives by pronouncing zihar their mothers they are not. Their mothers are but those who gave them birth; and verily they utter a saying disputable and false. And verily Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.  Those who put away their wives by pronouncing zihar and thereafter would retract that which they have said, then upon them is the freeing of a slave before the twain touch each other. That is that wherewith ye are exhorted; and Allah is of whatsoever ye work Aware. And if any has not (the wherewithal), he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones. This, that ye may show your faith in Allah and His Messenger. Those are limits (set by) Allah. For those who reject (Him) there is a grievous Penalty.”

In simple words, the verses were in favor of Khawla’s opinion. Allah has stated in these verses that there is no such thing as Zihar in Islam. It is not acceptable, for no woman can be a mother of any man except his real biological mother. The verses go on to solve Khawla’s situation saying that if her husband wants her to return to him as a wife, he should free a slave as expiation of his sin.

To this day, Quraan is read by millions of Muslims around the world, and the story of the brave out-spoken woman, Khawla, is recited, setting an example for women to defend their rights with perseverance, respect, and politeness.

*****

This article is one in a series about Muslim women’s mission.

Here are the previous related articles.

Saudi Women’s Oppression VS Muslim Women’s Mission

https://saudirevelations.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/saudi-womens-oppression-vs-muslim-womens-mission-part-i/

Aisha Bint Abi Bakr Al-Siddiq – The Prophet’s wife

https://saudirevelations.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/saudi-womens-oppression-vs-muslim-womens-mission-%E2%80%93-part-ii/

Hint Bint Otba; The Free Woman

https://saudirevelations.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/saudi-womens-oppression-vs-muslim-womens-mission-part-iii-hind-bint-otba-the-free-woman/

Khadija Bint Khowailid – The Prophet’s first wife

http://adnisa.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/role-of-women-in-calling-for-islam/

This monologue is one of three monologues i have written for the Drama Club event, Kaleidoscope. It had always been my dream to perform Cleopatra’s role in any given chance, and so I did! It was a joy to be Queen Cleopatra for about 5 minutes! 😀

cleo

So they say I’m strong as a tigress, wild as a carnivorous plant, vicious as a cold desert night. Beware, they say! She’s poison in flames! Her dignity is destructive!  Her charm is obnoxious! She’s a witch…she’s a serpent…she’s a siren…she’s no angel …she’s not noble..she’s so heartless & cruel …she only cares to rule!

OOOOOHHH!! (falls down crying)

For God’s sake give me a break!!

I’m a woman!

I’m a queen who refused to take orders from politicians to serve their own greedy needs and interests! (Her tone softens) Of course, I do take orders when they work in my favor and for my country’s interests. But they kept forgetting that I will not be told where I can go and where I cannot go! 

Starts singing: “And don’t tell me what to do and don’t tell me what to say! And when I go out with you, don’t put me on display! You don’t own me! Don’t try to change me in any way! Don’t tie me down cause I’d never stay”

A feminist at heart I was…long before all of you girls were born!  But …honestly, it took me a long time to be that dominant!

Imagine being born with no choices! At the age of 18, I found myself a queen & my 10 year old brother, Ptolemy XIII, a king! Oh imagine that! Two children ruling!! Quite an amusing game, eh? I Would have bought all the Channel bags and Christian Louboutin shoes if I were in your time!  Nah! Trust me, it wasn’t much fun, for I had to marry by brother just because it was “customary” in Egypt at that era! But it was only temporary; I yielded to conquer!

Sharing the monarchy with my younger brother…(rolling her eyes) oh…deep in my heart I resented the idea! No Ptolemaic traditions could prevent me from ruling Egypt alone! Being the subordinate ruler just because I’m a female wasn’t really my idea of being queen! But lucky me, that little lad couldn’t last long anyway….don’t look at me…I didn’t do it…I didn’t kill him…I just cooperated with his enemy, Caesar, and the poor boy just escaped and drowned into the Nile!

Thanks to Julius Caesar, the throne became mine! In fact, now I have two countries under my thumb; Egypt and Rome! Just in case you haven’t heard, the Roman dictator, Caesar was madly in love with me that he made a golden statue of me and positioned it in front of the Venus Genetrix in Rome in spite of his people who hated my guts! It was a thrill to see it when I visited Rome in summer 46 BC. Oh but misfortunes seem to love me! A while later Caesar was assassinated before he would agree to admit our child, Caesarion! Oh Caesar! That jerk!

(sarcastically)Yeah… there were jerks at my time, too!

He never wanted me to be more than a mistress!

They all saw me as a seductive mistress, but they seldom remember my brilliance…the nine languages that I could speak fluently…my mathematical and business skills…

All what I got from Caesar’s people was condemn! They suspected me killing him! Imagine that! Me killing a man? (pun not intended)

Never mind! I had always known I could do better than an old guy who’s about 30 years older than me!  

I wouldn’t allow such a “small” incident like Caesar’s death to ruin my plans and threaten my country! I had  to

show my loyalty to Antony; he was young and strong ..but never my match!

With my extraordinary charm and wits, he could never resist me! He instantly fell in love with me and I gave him two children; two boys who will inherit him. Together we ruled Egypt and led it to prosperity, but the Romans hated our partnership..and under the leadership of Octavian, they defeated our army. My poor Antony couldn’t stand defeat! He killed himself with his sword like any desperate soldier would do!

And what’s to become of me? What’s to become of my children? What’s to become of a wife and a queen without her husband and ally?

Octavian wanted me to be a slave, not a queen ..not an ally…not a neighboring country …not a partner..but a slave! He even ordered to imprison me and keep me guarded so I wouldn’t harm myself or take my life! He wanted to humiliate me for the rest of my life!

But never! The great Egyptian queen and the last Pharaoh wasn’t destined to be demeaned but to be remembered!