Photo Essay | Letter to the Young Me

Today women around the world still have to fight for equal rights, equal respect, equal pay… What if we were all raised in the same way? what if we were offered the same opportunities since childhood? What if both boys and girls were told that they are strong, smart, important and that they can become whoever they want?

On International Women’s Day we asked our members to write a letter to their younger selves.


Haya, Syria/Tunisia

Dear past me ,

To the little 11 year old girl,

I know how hard it is to ask questions at your age even if your family is open to your non-stop questions, only there are some subjects like “Who’s God ?” “What’s after death ?”,that  always have the same answer. As a template

” What’s inside men brains?”
I know that last question is making you confused these days, especially when you are not surrounding by males, no father no brother, only uncles who are open to some certain questions.
Let me make it easy for you, as a 25 year old after many experiences, either male friends or boyfriends, GUESS what?
They aren’t aliens, they do think and act like you and your sisters and mother, in fact, do you remember boys in your old mixed school??
The adult males are the same just they get taller, with beards and other stuff, so it is only physical change, they still act like boys even when they turn into 20’s.
Their main focus became how to get know you and get closer to you, instead of how to get annoy you, for them you are a mystery.
However for many reasons they get paid more than you even if you are smarter. They get all the attention in any occasion because they simply use their loud voices, and they try to steal any chance for you to express your opinions.
Also they are free to do solo travel and many other solo activities, because they are simply men, that doesn’t mean men are all evil creatures, it is what it is because society gives them more chances in different ways, it is complicated sometimes to explain why.

On the other hand, I want to cheer you up,
you will be free to chose your paths in life, thanks to many situations, and your life will become different from other girls in your country, moving between countries. and for other reasons. All of these above will give you more space to express yourself, it will cost you a lot that is true, only you will get you what you want little girl, enjoy your wild imagination, many of your dreams will become true, I can grantee that for you.
At the end, please make sure to value your time with friends and family, you will know why later dear.


Sarah, Israel

Hey, it’s me from the future… I know! Pretty cool ha?!

Please listen to me, and never forget what I am about to tell you: You are worth it. And even more.

You were named after a doll… I know we both hate this story. But you are not a doll. You don’t have to sit in the corner quietly. Stop trying to disappear. Shine and stand tall.  Make your voice heard, make mistakes, take your own decisions. You are strong… believe me.

I know life is and will be unfair for you for a while, that people expect you to be a good girl, to be polite, to stay at home and look the guys have fun… they expect you to be smart, to help at home, to be responsible, they expect so much and it feels like you  have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders… but you don’t. The road will get bumpy when you will come to the light and make your voice heard… but don’t worry, they will still love you… it will take them a little time to adapt to the real you… but they will adapt, promise.

You are strong.


Nermin, Palestine

Dear 11 year old me,

You will face a lot of things when you get older and all I can tell you is that at the age 22 your life is good. You will meet people who are going to love you and who are going to hate you and you will meet new people from around the world. You are stronger because of the problems that you will face during the last months of 2016, the fake people will leave you and you will lose people that you love too. But in the new year it will be good because you will never be the same, and your role is to be happy. Never forget that you are STRONG.


Maroua, Morocco

To the 8 year old me,

I know you’re having the best time of your life now; playing around, making friends  and doing good in your studies. I want you to know that in a few weeks you will start experiencing hatred when some of your so-called friends will get you into troubles. And you will be beaten up hard in front of everyone by your teacher. You will feel humiliated, ashamed and you will start hating everyone. It will not be the first nor the last time that you will experience something bad, and in a few years you will endure a worse situations when some of your friends will post your personal pictures all over the internet to shame you. It will be hard, you will cry, you will know that life is not only happiness and fun. However, you will always have 2 supportive parents who will be there with you in every step of the road and defend you with all that they have! I know that now you feel that it is lame and boring to befriend your parents, but trust me, they are the real friends that you will have for life!! You will meet later on some other amazing friends and you will achieve a lot in your education and life in general!! So be strong, and always keep your head high, because no matter what pain you will face you will have a supportive family and friends who will be there for you. And that is all that matters. You are perfect the way you are.


Oumaima, Morocco

Dear past me,

Hey! I won’t ask you if you are okay. I know you are not. You feel lost, depressed and alone. You parents’ divorce affects you. You suffer terribly in silence; you hide your sorrow from everyone. You camouflage the pain with the big smile on your face. But, the pain you feel now is what will make you the best version of yourself. Trust me. The pain is inevitable my dear. If your future looks blurry most of the time, just breathe from within, forget your worries and dive into your soul. Don’t look for admiration in the eyes of people. Don’t search for love outside, you will never reach it if you don’t love yourself first. Don’t watch TV, read book instead. You can travel the whole world this way, fall in love with characters. Doubt your own convictions. And please, ignore the toxic people in your life, and search for those who will inspire you and challenges you to become better. Don’t define yourself by a statue, diploma, or job. You are more than that. Be an experienced collector as much as you can. Open your heart and mind to welcome the light of life.

Love you!

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