Refugees and immigrants in the US often remain connected to friends, family and events back in their former countries. Recent elections in Egypt provide a reminder, while many Egyptian Americans living here pay close attention to what is happening abroad, they also have a different perspective because of their experiences in the US.
During the production of our recent installment of the Next Door Neighbors series featuring Nashville’s Egyptian community, we heard many stories about politics in Egypt and the impact on the community here. Some felt a general distrust of politics in the US, because they had not had a voice in Egypt. Others dived into the American political system because they appreciated the opportunity US democracy provides. All expressed hope that democracy in Egypt would provide a brighter future for Egyptians. One participant in the program, Zainab Elberry, stands out regarding her political beliefs. She has dedicated much of her life to encouraging political involvement.
Zainab has expressed some of her beliefs through poetry, and the following Storyteller submission from Egyptian intern Sam Mounier shares her poem The Monument. The poem reflects an intersection of Egyptian and American influences on Zainab’s identity and ideals through a description of the Washington Monument.