“Men would constantly ask me ‘why’, as if I needed a reason to marry someone from another land.” “It is not an Egyptian thing” For Nesma*, the choice came as a realisation after dating her first boyfriend during her teenage years.

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“My family accepted it since the beginning and gets along really well with him,” she says.

When in the streets, however, she often felt harassed as passers-by would frown at the sight of an Egyptian woman with a non-Arab man.

Valentina Primo delves into the stories of three young women to unveil their struggles while seeking a transnational relationship.

She returned home with the feeling that something had changed.

A combination of tradition, cultural norms, and religion have turned it into an unbreakable rule.

“They say they do not accept it because the children follow the dad’s religion,” she explains.

“I don’t want to get married to a foreigner because I want a liberal person; there are tons of Egyptian liberal men, that’s not the point for me.

I just think that the type of mentality I reached is not compatible with Egyptian guys,” says Nouran, as she recalls hundreds of conversations with her foreign male friends where spirituality, energies, aura, and the power of nature took center stage.

So when she met an American young man whom she fell in love with, it was a transitional moment.