“The Strike of Mecca”

A short story from the series of 1001 nights of “NOT your Scheherazade” by Samar Zughool.

In 2011, I went to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, with my mother. 

I did not go there for answers; I already had them, but I went in my search for closure! For any kind of closure!

At the yard of the black stone in Mecca, a male-dominant voice crapped over the microphone.

“Women shall move to the back, for men to pray in the front, women shall move to the back for men to pray in the front”.

My mother and I looked at each other and started complaining and objecting. 

A woman spotted us from nearby; she came to us and approved our dissatisfaction.

”I come from Morocco, I am a professor, I am a holder of a PHD degree, and I did not work this hard to pray behind any man! 

I am not praying behind any man today!” – She said.

She sat on the floor and asked us to join her for a strike!

My mother and I joined her immediately, and more women joined us in a strike on the floor.

It was a moment of glory, a satisfactory sensation, a fulfilment I had never felt before. 

But in a few minutes, the police arrived with sticks and splatted our crowd.

On that day, I did not pray! 

But today, for the woman who self-identified as “A woman with PhD from Morocco.” 

And for my mother’s pure great peaceful, and powerful soul, 

I pray!

I pray but in my own way! 

We did not sit down to talk about our rights. 

I do not want you to give me my rights! 

I want to uproot them from your patriarchal throat and for your misogynic existence to fall down dead. 

I am an outraged belly dancer, and NO, I will not dance!

I will not dance on your patriarchal grave or even in the graveyard! 

But I will burn your orientalist misogyny down into flames of ashes and blow it into the wind as if you never exist. 

No clash of civilisations but witches rising above your Patriarchy, Imperialism and male domination!


The performance tells the second set of ten stories as part of the 1001 nights of NOT your
Scheherezade series of stories by Samar Zughool.
The series of performances, “NOT your Scheherezade”, presents ten stories each time as a
reflective process to gather recipients’ reactions in a collective journey for the performer to
eventually create the “NOT your Scheherezade” book of 1001 nights where each night refers to one story.
Based on its series of experimental performances, “the 1001 nights of NOT your
Scheherezade” book is in progress and may one day replace the misogynist, patriarchal, and
orientalist book the so known as the 1001 nights or Arabian Nights.