How to Name a Novel 1

After months of agonizing search for the right name for my novel, the answer comes from a most unexpected source. Here is a list of dreadful names that my novel nearly got called: Maladjusted Realism Hyphenated Realism Amalgamated Realism Hyphenated at the Seams Maladjusted at the Seams Same but Different […]

How to Name a Novel

Elen Ghulam storytelling

Storytelling and Writing

Long long time ago in the Middle East, before there was TV or Radio, men would go to the coffee shop to listen to the storyteller. These professional storytellers knew how to stretch a tale into multi-evening events that kept their audience captivated night after night. Since Graffiti Hack is […]


Gratitude :: The story behind my book launch party

Since I published Graffiti Hack, incidents of serendipity have been popping up in my life. Things that fall in my lap on their own that had I planned for I would have never attained. Most of these are on the personal side and I can’t reveal too much, but this […]

Graffiti Hack Book Launch Party

You are warmly invited to celebrate the publication of Graffiti Hack:  A Novel by Elen Ghulam Join your friends, get your hot-off-the-press copy of the book, nibble on some munchies, and revel in the music of flamenco. Elen Ghulam will be there to sign books, answer questions, offer a short reading […]

Graffiti Hack

Hand Eaten by Book

No More Insight

I wrote the first book thinking that I had something to say and that somebody out there would find value in reading it. When the book was launched into the world, many who read it corresponded with me telling me their stories, sharing their insights. That part was good and […]


Best Novels from all around the Globe

My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk – Turkey Cities of Salt, by Abdelrahman Munif – Saudi Arabia Like Water for Chocolate, by laura esquivel – Mexico Wild Swans, by Jung Chang – China Seasons of Migration to the North , By Tayeb Salih – Sudan Unless by Carol Shields […]

To Lure a Hedgehog 3

To be an Arab living in the west is to be sentenced to a lifetime of caressing a hedgehog. I get pricked by spines of misunderstanding. No matter what I say it gets twisted into an extreme. I shoot a nurf gun, the slightest touch startles , out come the […]

hedgehogin foliage

Book of Love

Book of Love :: Music Video

The book of love is long and boring Read from the book of love you must Music and Vocals by Barbara Browning http://soundcloud.com/barbarabrowning Cover of Stephin Merritt’s song by the same name

The Story Behind my Novel 1

In 2003, while the US was bombing Iraq, yet again, my employer sent me to Washington DC to attend a work related conference. The irony of sending an Iraqi to the capital city of the US at that particular time escaped my boss. My state of distress was well disguised […]


correspondence artist by barbara browning

Book Review :: Correspondence Artist 1

A novel that wants to make love to the whole world. A novel that reveals its secrets in quiet whispers that will make your ears strain against the page. A novel that has no plot yet tells a story. A novel that repeats the same scenario, over and over, but […]

Increase me in Knowledge 1

“Write what you know” I heard it said before. Hmmmm! …… I disagree. At age 19, I immigrated from the middle-east and found myself in an in-between state. Wet from the all immersive experience of being deeply embedded in a culture; dry as a cracker observing new set of social […]

broken tree

book lover

Dating advice 3

Friends ask me for dating advice all the time. “Should I call him back right away or wait for a few days?” an eager friend will inquire hoping for navigation in the turbulent seas of singlehood. “Call him right away” I might half-hazard a reply. “But then I might seem […]

I am ready

I am ready to eat a strawberry by squeezing it between my fingers watch red juice flow drop by drop I am ready to jump up and down on Oprah’s couch declaring great love for others to ridicule I am ready I got it at last My chaos is my […]

heart shape puddle

carnival rawi hage review rose

Carnival :: A Book Review

I remember the first time I heard the name of the author Rawi Hage. At a party, my friend Carol was eager to tell me about the Arab-Canadian author who had been nominated for the Giller (Canadian literary prize). My immediate reaction was “Dang! that is such a cool name”. […]

In the Cave 1

It is such a dense burden – giving birth to a grown up woman. To spare polite society the affliction of observing this most unnatural of labours I feel compelled to retreat into a remote cave in the wilderness where I entered one day and got lost in labyrinth unable […]


graffiti Vancouver Cell Phone

Graffiti Around Vancouver

My new found interest in graffiti is compelling me to notice it everywhere I go and I end up taking pictures.   The text says “Laugh Now … One Day We’ll Be In Charge” This one seems inspired by banksy. I found it on 4th ave in kits.     […]

My Dearie and I :: Part 1 1

Here is the written version of the story I love, love, love my Canadian passport. My sentiment might strike you as exuberant. You have not travelled around the world with an Iraqi passport; therefore I don’t expect you to understand. I have a ritual that I follow whenever I am […]

gollum with the ring

ihath by Falah Hassan

Artistic Correspondence

I receive all sorts of things: Gifts, books, poems, death treats, lovely emails and pictures of all sorts. Today, however I received something I have never received before – A painting of myself. The artist’s name is Falah Hassan, he lives in Irbil Iraq where he teaches fine arts. Unfortunately, […]

Kusama Under my Skin

felt pen on paper I was researching polka dots on the internet when I discovered a Japanese artist called Yayoi Kusama, who is obsessed with polka dots. My research moved from the internet to the public library and I managed to find a few books and event a movie made […]


The humble humus

The Humble Humus 1

This video was inspired by the AnnoyingOrange. Only, I would argue that The Humble Humus is far more annoying than the orange because The Annoying Orange knows that it is annoying, whereas this sticky and mushy food item has no self awareness whatsoever. There is nothing more annoying that mock […]

It was Just a Dream

Music By JoJo Zawawi – used with permission by the artist Here are some words that JoJo used to describe herself: I’m a Classical & Jazz Pianist ! And some Flamenco, too ! I began playing piano when I was 18 months old. I never learned to read music (working […]

It was Just a Dream

My mexican shadow

Two feet on the ground, staring at the stars.

My grandmother always started stories by saying “Long time ago, there was and there wasn’t”. My grandmother never said” in a faraway land”. Her stories were rooted in Iraqi folklore and to her they were an extension of her immediate identity. Stories from One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), […]

shoe confrontation

Let there be Color 1

The above is my first stop motion video. I had no idea what I was doing while working on it, but I certainly learned lots through the experience. The story is of black and plain shoes all moving around in a regimented manner, until colorful shoes invade the space and […]