Dear future daughter,


I'm not sure how you've come into existence. For a long time, your mom has been unsure about the idea of bringing new life into this world that so often disappoints and hurts us.


She was never sure that she would want to change her life to accommodate a tiny person. She was never sure that she could bear seeing you grow and gain understanding of pain, heartbreak, and anguish. She felt this pain when her own mother, whom she loved dearly, could not understand the deepest and most desperate desires of her heart.


How could two beings, once so close that their hearts beat with the same blood, now be so utterly and hopelessly confused by one another? I did not want you, my daughter, because I did not want this for you.


You are the heart of my heart, blood of my blood, bone of my bone. and yet you are not me. In all my foolishness, I will try to protect and nurture you. And I will try to understand, but I may not. But here you miraculously are.


This is what I must tell you, because you are mine, and yet you are not mine. You will become a magnificent creature of your own. It is both a tragedy and a blessing in this world to be a woman. We have fought so hard and long just to be seen as humans in our own right. Not just mothers, daughters, wives or girlfriends.


You will be burdened with all the expectations society demands you fulfill. You owe them nothing. I will not be able to protect you from this. It is so deeply entrenched into our societies, so insidious, that even I cannot unravel all the harmful sexist habits from the tapestry of our lives. But you will see the chains of girlhood as they are lightheartedly tossed to you by well-meaning and ignorant people. Don’t trust anyone who tells you that your gender comes with natural limitations. Don’t trust anyone who tells you that you cannot do things as well as any boy.


There is no man, woman, school, job, religion, country, or even parent worth changing who you fundamentally are. You are the one who makes the choices you will live with for the rest of your life. You are the one who decides whether or not you will be happy. The only one in control of your life is you.


Sometimes you will choose wrongly. When you find yourself going down that path, know that it is never too late to turn back. I only ask that you take the time to seriously think about things. Learn as much as you can about as much as you can. Speak with many types of people.


Learn their lives, their desires, their fears. Learn that so many of us want the same exact things.


Learn that most people want to simply survive without undue struggle, to provide for their family, and to have a home filled with love and security. Do not despise anyone. Learn that what others do says absolutely nothing about you. Before all else, love people with the understanding that they have their own struggles. Never expect anything from them as an absolute.


This world is amazing-vast, glorious and brilliant. But there will be a series of amniotic changes that will baffle and distress you. Our emotions run so deep and with such intensity, that you could drown in both joy and anguish. The pendulum of life will throw you high and drag you low. Pay attention when life's joys are many. Joy is the boat that will keep your head above despair when all seems lost.


Treasure true friendships that stand the test of time. Never be afraid to apologize when you've wronged someone.


Never let your fear become so great that it stops you from chasing your dreams.


Live, be alert, be vibrant in a world where so many are sleeping.

And forgive your mother, for she has many faults that she is not aware of. Love her as she will always love you. Know that she will look on you with wonder and amazement while your star rises and hers sets.


Shine for those who see you as you are. Shine for those in the dark who need you. Shine for yourself.



Dalia Faheid