Leen Abdul Razzak

I.      Identity – Age 3, Jordan

In a booster seat in the back of the car,
I pondered, overwhelmed by the idea

That people were from places
And that I never knew of such a thing

‘Where am I from?’ I asked
‘You’re Palestinian,’ she said

‘Just Palestinian?’
‘Just Palestinian.’

And that was that.

II.      Life – Age 11, Egypt

She sat there kneading and rolling dough,
With a cup, cutting out pieces speckled with flour.

I watched how she made creases here and there.
I read the patterns and mirrored her.

All while, she said, ‘Do you know,’ and then
Whispered secrets the world had kept from me.

All while, I listened,
Watched our hands as they formed

My favorite spinach pastries.

III. Pride – Age 17, USA

Words came in hiccups
As I let go of my frustrations

To a comforting voice a continent away.
The tears dried and the heaving stopped.

And then I saw it, sitting in my inbox.
And I dialed her number once more.

And I laughed and sobbed, ‘I GOT IN’
And amid the excitement of it all

she said, ‘You deserve it.’


Leen Abdul Razzak is a Palestinian transfer sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering and minoring in Creative Writing. When she’s not running (literally) to and from class, she can be found obsessively drinking coffee and reading books.