By lex, on December 17th, 2009
Inbreeding in Gaza has led to an interesting social dynamic, as pseudohermaphroditic males raised as females until puberty discover their true identity:
“Only my appearance, my haircut and clothing, makes me look like a boy,” Ahmed says, gesturing with his hands across his face. “Inside, I am like a female. I am a girl.”
Until last summer, both Nadir and Ahmed were — for all intents and purposes — girls. They wore female headscarves, attended girls’ school and even answered to the female first names Navin and Ola.
Both Nadir and Ahmed were born with a rare birth defect called male pseudohermaphrodism…
The traumatizing experience is all the more difficult because Gaza is a socially-conservative society, where there is a fair amount of segregation between males and females…
“We did not understand what to do,” says Ahmed, one of the 16-year-olds. “It was a new life for us, as if we were born again.”
It would be ironic if an equal number of Palestinian children raised as boys went the other way. Perhaps their society might be more egalitarian if there was a chance that children accustomed to male privilege faced the risk of turning into chattel.