The HyperTexts

Zainab Elberry

Zainab Elberry is an Egyptian-American poet and peace activist who has lived in Nashville, Tennessee for the last forty years. She is a co-sponsor with Michael R. Burch of the Burch-Elberry Peace Initiative.


Standing tall in the middle of green
As high and mighty as Egypt is
A monument representing the years
Of a Nation’s might and future fears
Monument of Washington
How are you?

All clad in blue iron bars
From your wide base
To your pyramid-pointed tip,
Restoration is taking place
To keep you solid for all
Who will work for peace.

You loom there, strong and aloof
Yet as inviting as the Lady with the Torch
In a harbor near by.
Witnessing the history of a Nation young,
Though as old as the array of its inhabitants’ past
Looking up to you in awe.

You represent America, guarding
Its monuments and the people’s House,
Basking on Potomac’s shore
In the triumph of the people’s voice and vote,
As your peers glittered on the banks of the Nile
Reflecting the saga of the Pharaohs.

Zainab A Elberry
Hotel Washington
11 May 1999


The top of the big Pyramid
Is still covered,
The land, desert as it is,
Full of camels and guards
To protect Egypt’s old treasures
From dawn to late night.

Tourists come from the ends of the Earth
To see these great pyramids.
They were built by Egyptians,
Their name was “ancient” Egyptians
They left them as a treasure and a blessing
To their generation and future generations.

It is a blessing, a wonder, a history and determination
That they left for Egypt to protect it,
To benefit it in past and future days.

Egypt is the only country that
Still has an ancient world wonder.
God protects it because it was made
With honesty, love and sincerity
For ancient Egyptians, Egypt, the Nile and
The street lamps that light Egypt from the south
To Alexandria,

After God’s Light came to it,
As prophets, the righteous and heavenly Books
Made Egypt a wonder and a blessing
That protects religions and is full of action.

Tourists have come for hundreds of years,
With invaders and unjust rulers
The Egyptians expelled
Always with love of country, God and faith.

Now, as I stand facing the Pyramids,
I say, “God shed your Mercy on you, my ancestors.”
You prolonged Egypt’s life
With the temples, religions, antiquities and history
You left us.

Jews, Christians and Muslims built on this, and
Lived in the land of Egypt, repeating its messages
Blessed by houses of God,
Knowing the value of their history,
Working to protect it.

So whenever anyone tells me,
“I want to go to Egypt to see the Pyramids,”
I say, “Go! Egypt awaits you with an open heart.”
Blessings come with tourists.
Egypt will continue to be blessed,
And to be in the best of states.

The Egyptians who built the Pyramids,
Stone by stone with effort and pain,
Will not see the fruit of their labor
Drown in vain in the sands.
Never, never, never!

Egypt is the best of the best.
Let’s build Egyptagain from the start
O Abdel Mota’al.

Zainab A. Elberry
Nashville, Tennessee
10 December 2008

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