Nailah didn’t go to school as a child. Her dad thought a girl didn’t need to learn anything other than cooking and doing the home chores. In southern Egypt, many dads like Nailah’s refuse to send their daughters to school.
“I always felt the desire to learn, though,” Nailah says. “So, when my mom allowed me to join a literacy course, I was delighted my dream would come true.” Sadly, her mom thought writing her name was enough. “As soon as I had learned to write my name, she said, ‘That’s enough. You don’t have to go anymore.’” Nailah became an uneducated adult.
Nailah and her husband are part of a local church in El Menia. She vividly recalls the joy she felt when the pastor announced Bible League International’s Bible-based Literacy program. Nailah told her husband about her desire to join. Unlike her father, Nailah’s husband encouraged her to enlist. Following the class became an exciting adventure for her.
“At first, I thought I’d merely learn to read and write,” she says. “However, I soon found out the teacher also taught us from God’s Word. Despite being a church member, I knew nothing about the Bible. Since I joined the Literacy program, I’ve learned many stories from the Bible.”
Although Nailah’s husband supported her, she still encountered opposition from her community. “People mocked me for joining a literacy class as an adult,” she relates. “I told them I didn’t care how old I was because I was determined to learn.”
Soon, people noticed Nailah’s personal development. “A lady saw me reading and singing the hymns in church,” she smiles. “She asked me if I learned to read in the Literacy class, which I confirmed. Now, she has also joined the program!”
Asked about her favorite Bible character, Nailah mentions Noah. “The people around him were living in evil, and God was very upset about them,” she explains, “but Noah decided to obey the Lord. I learned that despite my challenges, I must keep my faith in God. Despite what people say about me, I’ll keep my relationship with God strong.”
With that, Nailah has summarized the impact of the Bible-based Literacy program on her life. “I feel the difference in my life,” she says with gratitude. “My life has become meaningful.”