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we call it shyness its lack of self-esteem


Modesty is a beautifull thing but luck of self-steem could be an obstacle ,it keeps you from living your life the way you want . always living up to a certain standards. in my society its very contagious,many of young bright girls end up in a horrible situation weather its pressure from families or from the society .
They end up in a arrange marriage most of the time ,many of them would´nt accept it if it was up to them to decide , what i don´t understand is some one else leading your life for you . and i have asked alot of them how they feel and what does it mean to them, maybe to understand a little bit better , i find it heartbreaking every time they answer me back ( We can´t do anything about it) than i would be feeling inside i might be pushing it too hard , i always question my self how would i be in that situation . would i have survived .
So we call it Shyness but its actually luck of self-esteem when you can not speak for your self .its a horrible thing to witness .


Deqa's picture

Well Said

Sweetie you have definitely illuminated a major issue in our society. Yes many girls succumb to the family's wishes and end up in an arranged marriage that never works out. And it's mainly due to the cultural barriers that make our girls so submissive and take away their decision making and assertiveness by the time they hit their teenage years.
But the society is opening up now and we are seeing many girls refusing to take that road but the majority of course is still suffering from this negative culture practice. Knowing you, your assertive, hard-headed, stubborn personality, I know for sure nobody can make you do anything you do not want to do.
You have always spoke up and raised your voice and I know peer pressure or family pressure is never an obstacle for you, but I also know in our family, well mom, would never make us get married in that fashion, but hypothetically speaking, if we were from such a family, i think it's hard to tell because it's growing up and learning that makes you who you are, but nobody is born with these qualities, in my opinion, it's learnt from the surrounding environment, so luckily we are not subjected to such awful culture practice, and I hope we can help many girls overcome this and rise to stand up to peer pressure, family pressure, and society pressure.
I am so glad and so PROUD you have written this piece and I so look forward to reading more from you.
Love u dearly
Your big sis Deqa

Maryam Osman's picture

thanks hon

You are right thanks my sweet big sis :)

OMG everything makes sense now!!!

Susan K.A.'s picture

Keep speaking up

Hi Maryam,

I just saw this post today. I want to commend you for being true to yourself, questioning the status quo and challenging your countrywomen to think for themselves. It can be a slow path to changing cultural norms, but as long as young women like yourself refuse to go along with the status quo, change will happen.

What do you believe it was about your own upbringing that allowed you to have high self-esteem and a confident voice? Did your parents let you know from the time you were born that you were dearly loved, valued and treasured and that you deserved to be the author of your own life?

I do believe there is a difference between shyness and self-esteem. I myself have a shy, quiet temperament, and yet I have healthy self-esteem and wouldn't betray myself by allowing others to run roughshod over my autonomy.

Your sister says you have an assertive personality. Hurray! I am 44-years old and still learning how to be assertive. It can feel scary to speak up for myself, but it feels so good afterwards! Like Deqa, I am proud of you too, and proud of her and of myself. Let's keep speaking up and speaking out on each other's behalf and on behalf of girls and women everywhere.

Much love,



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