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Poems by Elle Kilma

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Quote Left If you haven't laughed today, you haven't lived today. Quote Right
Go to Quote / Comment | by Elle Kilma


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I'm a first-generation immigrant born in Cairo, Egypt and living in California. My parents chose to bring me to America as a child. I knew Arabic and French at that time. As a foreigner among 3rd graders, I faced the good, the bad and the ugly. Racism is confusing and hurtful when you're young. Especially when you're an 8-year-old little girl who already felt she didn't belong.

I struggled with my identity for a long time. Am I American or Egyptian or Muslim or Female or African or...? I went on a journey of self-discovery to the Middle East and found out that I don't belong anywhere. I belong everywhere. I am in harmony with all who I am - Egyptian, American, Arab, African, Female, Muslim, Daughter, Sister, Lover, Photographer, Poet, Activist, Professional and....and much more.

Although I have a different profession, I am a poet and photographer by passion. Writing has been my passion ever since I walked into my classroom after choir practice and saw my 5th-grade teacher waving my essay in his hand in front of the class and demanding that the students make more effort and write like me. I was embarrassed and delighted. I don't think my classmates liked me very much after that. But I didn't care. I felt proud. I believed that I am a writer. I am a poet. And that's all it took...believing in me and my abilities. That is the key.

I became fluent in English and started getting a 4.0 GPA and started tutoring my native-speaking classmates in their native language, in about two years. It's easy to learn a foreign language when you speak other languages. Children can learn foreign languages much faster than adults. It's part of their brain chemistry because they absorb information unconsciously and learn without even knowing it. Plus, they aren't afraid to sound like idiots and make mistakes and correct them, unlike our self-conscious, socially-constructed adult minds who are afraid to make mistakes.

I dedicate my writing to my experiences, observations, imagination, conscious and subconscious mind. Without them, I would not be here, I would not have learned, I would not have suffered, I would not have survived; I would not write, I would not create.

I hope you learn. I hope you are entertained. I hope they make you feel something.  

Salam (Peace)











Book: Reflection on the Important Things