Seven days in Tibeib


At the beginning of the field trip, I wondered if we would make a difference. When we spoke at the schools, I met girls with ambition, drive, and obstacles to overcome. I was surprised at the response to the question “what do you want to do in the future?”. “Doctor, engineer, doctor, engineer.”. But many of these girls got married and left high school early. The disparity between their goals and the realities of the situation were clear. Early marriage and a fear of girls being branded “indecent” were holding them back.

We spoke to girls about many topics, including education, reaching your goals, and early marriage. One girl asked me if my parents had any objections to me studying, and I realised that the words of encouragement in my life had been taken for granted. I was met with surprise when I mentioned that there were girls in Ahfad University that were married, with children.

The girls reacted with enthusiasm and awe to our presentations and stories. Telling us that we had encouraged them to study, inspired them. I then realised that we could be role models. This showed me that not only did we make a difference, but we informed, emboldened and tried our best to enable these girls to take on their dreams. We didn’t implement any new policies or laws, but we planted a seed, and every revolution starts with an idea.

I may have been the one that came to inform, but no one was more inspired by the experience than me. To say that the people of the village were kind would be an injustice. They welcomed us with open arms. They were warm-hearted, attentive and respectful, qualities which made them memorable in the best way, leaving a fond feeling in our hearts.

I was taught not only to not take things for granted, but – thanks to wonderful supervisors that complemented my strengths and pushed me hard to work on my weaknesses – that I could do a lot more than I thought possible.

For most of us at AUW, living away from our parents is a new endeavour. You learn to compromise and work as a team. Copious amounts of housework and experiences create a group of people that are like family, and an experience that you will never forget. 

Maryam Abdelwahab Osman
4th year student - School of Medicine



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