Conversations with a Male Friend

Conversations with a Male Friend

I get quiet.
I’m not sure how to explain to him that Muslim women have sex too.
He doesn’t believe me.
He says, “I used to think we’d end up together. But you had a child”.
I laugh.
I tell him that the prophet married Khadija even though she had children.
He says it was different then.
“I’d marry you if you were a virgin”.
I ask if that’s what he wants.

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From Azem Galica to Shote Galica

From Azem Galica to Shote Galica

In my book No Matter the Time I turn the lens away from my own life and towards history. I focus the lens on the greatest love stories the world has ever known. No Matter the Time is a collection of love letters between historical couples. In each of them, I find fragments of love I’ve known. I hope you do, too.

When writing this book, I knew I wanted to include an Albanian couple and, like most Albanian children, I grew up hearing the legend of Shote Galica. What I didn’t know was that there was an incredible love story behind the legend.

The best kind of love strengthens us, tests our boundaries, and helps us become the people we always dreamed of being. This is how I think of Shote & Azem Galica. I feel lucky to be able to include them in this collection. I hope you enjoy.

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Dy Kategori Të Grave

Dy Kategori Të Grave

Frika nga etiketimi na mban peng pothuajse gjithë jetën. Frikësohemi të flasim me zë të lartë, frikësohemi që keqkuptohemi – se ndoshta nuk “na merr” kush. Për këtë lloj të shqiptarëve, karakteri i gruas ka vetëm dy kategori: Per ata, ne nuk jemi personalitete komplekse në sy të shoqërisë tonë. Nuk jemi njerëz me mendime te ndryshme, karaktere në evoluim, personalitete që kanë vibrim konstant në lëvizje… por, jemi të thjeshta, jemi vetëm bardh e zi : të shtëpisë dhe të përdala. Për ata, të jesh femër në karrierë, me punë, që udhëton, që ulesh në tavolina me burra dhe debaton, diskuton, flet me zë të lartë si ata duke mos pasur frikë, të bën të përdalë.

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STOP SLUT SHAMING!

STOP SLUT SHAMING!

Maybe this little blurb will solve nothing. Maybe it will simply make some roll their eyes, and others mad. But if one, just one, young woman reads this and realizes that her internalized misogyny can be unlearned, that she doesn’t have to hate other women to succeed in life, then my piece has accomplished its goal. I didn’t write this to be shady. It wrote itself out of the pain and disappointment of seeing bright young women all over my social medias (and real life) tear each-other apart over ideals they were taught they should want. Maybe they didn’t even realize they were doing it, but it’s time we taught each-other than there is no bigger strength in today’s reality than the support of other women.

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