It Runs In The Family

By Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writer

There are few bonds in life as powerful as that of a parent and child, but in a world that is changing so rapidly, how do children nowadays find that relatable connection to their parents? This past summer, Sophomore Mohammed Abu Dalhoum, explored that question and the curious dynamic between a father and son. The result of this exploration is his newly published memoir “The Life of a Writer through the Eyes of his Son.”

Abu Dalhoum’s father, Mamduh Abu Dalhoum, was a well-known Jordanian writer but faced many problems with his vision after a handful of extensive eye surgeries.

This meant that though he had so much he wanted to write, he was left unable to do it on his own. When Abu Dalhoum returned home from school in the summer of 2012 his father enlisted him to help write his next book, which would unfortunately be his last.

Throughout the long summer of typing, editing, and rereading the work, Abu Dalhoum found a new relationship forming with his father; one that was more like a boss and his employee.

Sophomore Mohammed Abu Dalhoum holds his book titled “The Life of a Writer through the Eyes of his Son.”
Sophomore Mohammed Abu Dalhoum holds his book titled “The Life of a Writer through the Eyes of his Son.”

Through his two distinctive relationships of father-son and boss-employee, Abu Dalhoum learned much about his father, his life, and, as Abu Dalhoum said, “That there is not a better listener than a blank piece of paper.”

When Abu Dalhoum started his blog in 2012 documenting his experiences of that summer, he didn’t originally intend for it to become this novel. When he did decide to expand it, he didn’t tell his father. He wrote with the hope that when he was finally published he could hand his father the book and make him proud.

Unfortunately, this past April, before Abu Dalhoum finished his book, his father passed away. Instead of his father’s death deterring him, it inspired him to finish it. He said, “It was the time for [the book] to be out there.”

Now, after a long summer of writing, editing, and searching for a publisher, Abu Dalhoum’s memoir is finally out for the entire world to experience.

When asked what the hardest part of writing this memoir was, he responded with what is now his biggest regret in life. “If you would have asked me last year what my regret in life was, I would have said that I had none,” he said.

Now, his biggest regret is that he can never hand his father the book documenting their summer of work together. Though Abu Dalhoum is left with questions of what his father would have thought, one thing is now abundantly clear to the world:  Abu Dalhoum is, as he once called himself on the blog he kept during that fateful summer, a “second-generation writer.”

Hopefully, “The Life of a Writer through the Eyes of his Son” is just the first of many books the world will see from Mohammed.

To read the blog Mohammed kept during the summer of 2012, visit

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