it’s a lot simpler than I thought

Author’s Own Photo | Taken in Aswan, Egypt | December 2020

I remember meeting a sailor in Aswan, Egypt named Mohamed and I kept wondering, in my spoiled little head, how can he be happy with such simple things? How can he be content sitting in his galibiya*, watching the water, waiting for the sun to say its goodbyes and the night sky to greet him? Isn’t he antsy? Doesn’t he want more out of life? …

a poem

Author’s Own Photo / Take in Aswan, Egypt / December of 2019

We bury my mother

thirty minutes out

from the city of Cairo,

though it feels as if

she has only departed

for a small nap;

the city traffic still

hums with her snore

and the Nile River

stretches past

every modest Egyptian home,

as an embodiment of her arms,

welcoming the sun-baked farmers

who bend over

and sip water from her palms.

My god, She is everywhere;

her veins course through the city

as highways, guiding locals home;

her freckles are millions of blinking

streetlights; her smile is seen

in the waves of heat in the air; her laughter


flash fiction

Author’s Own Photo / Aswan, Egypt / Taken in December 2019

One night, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw an angel sitting at the edge of my big sister Amani’s bed. I lay still under the covers, my fingers digging into the mattress. I was sixteen and very scared. I was sure it was an angel, coming to take my sister away from me. But the angel, upon seeing I was awake, gave me a long look and left. It was a promise to come back another time.

In the morning over breakfast, I told Amani of what I saw.

“An angel?” she said, unconvinced. She…

a short story

When my new tenant and roommate, Sana, moved into the house, she came with one bag and an arm of pharmacy books. She settled immediately in the room across mine in my two-floor house, living as quietly as a ghost. She had a monotone voice and no particular interest in talking with me, which I was very happy about. I liked the house to be quiet so that I could work on my portraits and my art. …

a poem

Taken by the writer in 2020 in Luxor, Egypt

fallen leaves from a tree

I would like to live

without the fear of time,

without the fear of losing control,

and without the desire to have it.

Control is an illusion. We are all fallen leaves from a tree,

and when the wind didn’t bring me back to you, I could not fight it.

I could only think:

at least I had the pleasure once

of loving you.

  • Nardine

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

free verse, or something idk

Photo by Beatriz Fdez on Unsplash

Every day, we must tell ourselves that we are exactly where we are meant to be, no matter how much it feels like we’re just not there yet. We will learn to pay attention to the given moment because it is trying to tell us something about our lives and our purpose. Setting goals is crucial, but we cannot perseverate on what the future holds just to avoid our present lives. We will learn to meditate, pray, and allow ourselves to be joyful when we can because rest leads to better work. The way to become more aware is to…

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

I remember, as a kid, going to my maternal grandfather’s house, and how my great aunt and great grandmother would sit about the living room singing to me with words they made up on the spot. They would sway back and forth and dance about the place. I thought they were crazy, and now in my twenties, I recognize their crazy as creativity.

It’s sad, but I don’t see that creativity in adults often.

As a speech-language pathology student now who works with…


stories from my cluttered closet.

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