I Am a Person, Not a Pearl.

On the occasion of International Day of the Girl, (which was 11 th October) I wanted to share with you this poem which is dedicated to all the little girls out there. I wrote the poem ‘Because I am a Girl’ a while after my own daughter was born four years ago. That and a pic of my own little girl yesterday on the Day of the Girl, which ended up being a big day for us because she lost her first tooth! The tooth fairy came at 4 am last night and is consequently very tired today :)

tooth fairy is coming tonight


My blogging friend over at Ya Mama asked me if I wanted to participate in a photo project for World Mom’s blog, where little girls are holding signs saying what they want to be when they grow up. I really liked this idea so I took the opportunity to draw something nice for my own little girl which we can keep for later. When I asked my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, her answer (in Finnish language) was: A pilot, and a doctor. She also wanted to be a fairy. So when she grows up she will become the world’s first Pilot-Doctor-Fairy.  She was so excited about it and kept asking me to add stuff like the little map and her little bro as passenger in the plane.

When I grow up I want to be..

What a pilot-doctor-fairy looks like in case you haven’t seen one before


What I want to say with the below poem, is that every little girl out there if given the chance, can be whatever they want to. It saddens me how girls are often sheltered and hidden away, with the excuse that they are “precious pearls”. This mindset is something which is sadly still very common in KSA and of course many many other countries around the world.

So on the occasion of The Day of the Girl, I want to say to those little girls..

You are a unique beautiful person with valuable thoughts. You are not someone’s possession, adornment or a piece in a game.

Not even your parents or your husband can ever own you. Your value should not be measured by your outward appearance and your obedience to other people.

Be true to yourself first. Love yourself first, then others.

You are much more valuable than a pearl or even the rarest diamond!

You are a special, one of a kind person, not a mere jewel to be looked at and stored in a box.

You don’t need to be a pearl to shine. Your brilliance shines from within.

Don’t let anyone tell you how to dress, who to talk to or who to marry. You are NOT their doll to play games with. Your life matters just as much as anyone else’s. Follow your dreams and your ambitions, don’t let anyone put you down for being a girl.

Don’t believe anyone who says you can’t do something just because you’re a girl!

Open the door to your dreams.

Don’t be afraid to start living your life and shining your light.


Poem: Because I am a girl, not a pearl.

You can read this poem as a blog post here: http://www.blueabaya.com/2013/06/because-i-am-girl.html

girl in window

For some girl-power inspiration, I recommend you read this post: Never Stop Dreaming which is about a young Saudi woman who became her own hero.

I would love to know what other little girls out there dream of being when they grow up. I saw one on instagram who said she wanted to be a dragon-trainer! How cool is that? If you have little girls, what do they want to be when they grow up? What about you, what did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to be a vet, but I ended up becoming a crazy lady instead :)

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  • AngelaOctober 15, 2015 - 4:04 am

    I don’t have girls but had same dream of becoming a pilot when I grew up :)ReplyCancel

  • Laura of ArabiaOctober 15, 2015 - 1:19 pm

    Thanks for commenting Angela. So what did you become? (I’m assuming you’re now “all grown up ” :DReplyCancel

  • Cohe1nOctober 16, 2015 - 6:50 pm

    a girl can do amazing things and shouldn’t let anyone hold her back just because shes a girl but its not important when the education system eliminates choices for females which re-occurs in job chances, its not supported by anything that could resemble a manufactory producing copies, women driving a car is not okay. women work in education, they make a big role in the education system, they hadn’t done anything important yet when we consider the fact it is 2015,some women believe driving causes damage to the uterus
    so i don’t know what to focus on in a picture like this… i am confusedReplyCancel

    • Laura of ArabiaOctober 29, 2015 - 9:35 pm

      I think I got a bit confused with what you were getting at here..
      True that the education system in KSA is gender biased..Many professions are still out of her reach. But it’s slowly getting better. there are now Saudi female lawyers and engineers in the field for example.ReplyCancel

  • K.October 29, 2015 - 4:42 am

    So much love for this. Thank you for sharing. I hope the tooth fairy was kind. :)ReplyCancel

  • Umm GamarDecember 17, 2015 - 6:12 pm

    The best, most inspirational post and one I will share with my daughter inshallah. Thank you for this Layla. I’m always reminding my girl that she is capable of anything if she allows herself to be or do. I hope all our daughters are able to rid themselves of social constraints and reach their dreams. Only then can they be truly happy.ReplyCancel

    • Laura of ArabiaDecember 21, 2015 - 3:24 am

      Nice to see you around, Umm Gamar, it’s been long time :)

      Thank you for the awesome comment. I truly hope you’re right. We must fight for them, and with them to achieve that in this increasingly crazy world.ReplyCancel

      • Umm GamarDecember 21, 2015 - 4:20 am

        I’m glad you still remember me :-)
        I haven’t been around the blogging scene for awhile. Suddenly was just remembering the glory days 😊 and came over to see what you’ve been up to ☺ In another post, you’ve mentioned about homeschooling your children. Please do share how you arrange the lessons and activities etc. Recently, I too, have pulled my daughter out of a kindie and am going to homeschool her for a bit before i can find another preschool. It’s quite hard to find a good preschool that doesn’t cost like Harvard yet can give the kind of learning i want for my girl. So, please do share. I have no more ideas besides going on pinterest and playdates and some playdoh. And I througt breastfeeding was the hard part…ReplyCancel

        • Laura of ArabiaDecember 21, 2015 - 3:57 pm

          I don’t have many answers for you, I struggle with the same dilemma. Our days consist of going out to the park and exploring stuff there, or then at home I give them arts and crafts, but lately not a lot of time for it, or to really supervise that..So it becomes just a huge mess lol
          My additional problem is combining working at home and homeschooling, which I find is an impossible equation. It’s not fair for the kids or for mommy. So I’m really hoping to find something I would be happy with for the upcoming semester.ReplyCancel

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