life rattle show no. 1357

Presented on friday, October 30, 2015


hosted by Laurie Kallis


"Ring Ring Ring"
"The Elevator"
by Amina Abdelwahab



tonight's Show

Life Rattle No. 1357 features three stories from new Life Rattle writer Amina Abdelwahab.

Amina Abdelwahab, born in 1996 in Egypt, is the elder of two daughters. Raised on Led Zeppelin, Emily Dickinson and Margaret Mitchell, her soul never meshed well with the busy Cairo streets. Bullied through high school, Amina developed and battled an eating disorder. Fourteen diaries and two thirty-pound dumbbells were her salvation. She graduated as Valedictorian of her class.

Amina Abdelwahab moved to Canada with her family in 2014. She now studies writing in Toronto, and hauls equipment around as a DJ’s assistant on the weekend. In her free time she sings, deadlifts, and adds entries to her fifteenth diary.

Amina Abdelwahab’s prose cuts cleanly through the repression that smothers the women depicted in these three stories set in contemporary Egypt. The narrator’s determination and strength fiercely opposes the expected and established position of a woman as powerless.

"Ring Ring Ring" has a young woman visiting her overwhelmed grandmother, who - at the beck and call of her ailing husband and her own mother - scrambles to keep everyone settled. Despite a surface of passivity, Grandma reveals a striking autonomy.

"Sharmoota" begins with an almost dreamy, early morning arrival at school. A chilling twist plunges us into a harrowing assault in the middle-school bathroom. And because of her gender, the narrator is forced to consider that she will likely be judged as the guilty one.

"The Elevator" focuses its examination of gender power imbalance on the nuclear family. A young woman must risk leaving behind her sister, and endure the violence of her father’s storm of rage as she embarks with her mother to a new country for the promise of fresh opportunity.

Please Note: Tonight's stories contain language and intense situations that some listeners may find disturbing. Listener discretion is advised.