An Open Letter to Egyptian Parents from a 20-Something


Dear Parents,

When you see me talking on the phone, please do not ask me who I’m talking to. Don’t worry, I am not planning a terrorist attack behind your back.

When you see me crawling into my bed or deeply dreaming in my sleep, please do not open the door so abruptly that I feel terrified that someone is breaking in. Even worse, do not turn the lights on suddenly, without warning. It really hurts my eyes when you do this.

When you see me hanging out with certain friends (who you don’t approve of), please let me be. I’m an adult and I know how to choose my friends wisely.

When you see me doing things you that you didn’t do when you were my age, please accept that this is because of the generational gap, and understand that times are different now.


When you see me working in a small company, or a job that has nothing to do with my major, please stop pressuring me. I am still too young to make a final decision about my future career. However, a little support would be appreciated.

When you see me spending the whole day in my room, please leave me alone. It’s okay for me to take a day off and not socialize or interact with people. And please, knock BEFORE you open my door, not while you’re opening it.

When you read my “shockingly disappointing” opinions on Facebook, it does not mean that I will turn into a freak. I’ve just learned how to accept others and be open to various cultures and backgrounds.

When you find out that I had a fight with one of my friends, you seriously do not have to know the reason if I do not feel like talking about it.

When I get back home half an hour/an hour later than your demanded curfew, please chill, it’s not that big of a deal.

When I do not answer your phone calls, I’m not dead. I’m just trying to socialize like you would want.

When I do not call you when I’ve reached my destination, I truly forgot but I am completely fine.

When you realize that I’m in my 20s and still have no clue what I’m going to do with my life, allow me to think and choose, try and fail.

When you know that I’m still single, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to die alone. I just haven’t found the right person yet.

My dear parents, I sincerely respect and love you, but let me teach myself about life through my own trials and errors rather than through your experience. Let me discover the world the way I want, not how you wish. Give me the chance to plan my life and pursue my dreams, not your dreams. Please parents, let me learn from my mistakes, not through your commands.





WE SAID THIS: Read an “Open Letter to the Other Woman”.