Deanna El Khoury

Deanna El Khoury

About Deanna

I am 18 and I am eager to write professionally in the future. I am published in Nottingham Community Artist Network’s anthology I Come From A Country Where exploring race and immigration in the UK. I will be published in Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature’s Letters of Solidarity anthology with my letter about losing my Pakistani great grandmother during lockdown. For Nottingham Girls’ High School’s website, I have written blog posts on LGBTQ+ mental health and Environmental Racism. I am General Secretary of a youth-led environmental activism group. In September, I will begin university studying Arabic and Islamic Studies.

My favourite novel is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Atticus Finch’s philosophy to “climb into his skin and walk around in it” in order to understand a person’s perspective has stayed with me since I read it at 11 years old. This philosophy that is really in reference to adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s, can also be said of reading: reading invites us to understand each other’s experiences, helping us build empathy and compassion. Many writers, especially poets, have inspired my writing – ranging from the American poet Emily Dickinson to the Indian lyricist Javed Akhtar. Recently, I have been influenced by many Arab women poets, including the Palestinian poet Michaela Raen and the Iraqi poet Lamea Abbas Amara. Additionally, I enjoy reading non-fiction books about linguistics, such as The Secret Life of Words - How English Became English by Henry Hitchings.

I am incredibly excited to work with everyone at Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and to contribute to this charity’s objectives

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