Rana Hewezi was born in Cairo, Egypt. When she was two, her family moved to France, and when she was seven, they moved to Ames, Iowa. She writes lyrical nonfiction that confronts and resists the oppression, fear, and ignorance of society. Many of her stories are centered around familial expectations and her culture. She has been published literary magazines such as Earthwords and Teen Ink Magazine, and she is a winner of the Iowa Chapbook Prize. She currently attends the University of Iowa studying philosophy and English, and she hopes to go to medical school after graduation.
“Where I come from, names are powerful.
Endued with meaning.
Indicative of an unfulfilled promise. A vision. A gift.
I believe we all find ways of embodying our name. Of making it our own.
Even my own.
Originally, it was decided that I would be named Reem. A white gazelle. Commonly associated with beauty and grace.
But after the arduous labor, Mama changed her mind. She would grant me something greater than elegance and attraction.
I was named Rana. Eye-catching. To gaze at admiringly.
A name worthy for the daughter of an unconventional scholar.
A name whose receiver is not afraid to be seen, despite society’s will to conceal her.
One who will push away from the wall and walk in the center.”