“What’s in a Name?” By Samia Atallah

Written by plumtree

Topics: 2021-22 School Year

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt this way

What became of my name?

“The exalted one”

It is hard to feel exalted when it makes you feel infamous

Say my name


Not “Sum-Ia”

Not “Sa-Mia”

I could have been named Lilly


Such a name you cannot mis-pronounce

How much I wish I was Lilly

Common, not infamous, common

I look around

Not one Samia

Alone, and feeling hatred towards being unique

How could such a powerful word, unique, mean so much to me

In a bad way


Samia means so much

To my family, myself

The anger that takes over me

When someone says it wrong

I just want to let them say it wrong

It’s just easier

The anger of someone saying it at all

It just makes me feel alone

My name

How could it leave such a burden?

Some teachers, some students

Know me as “Su-mia”

Or even Sammy

The energy it brings me to say it correct out loud

Is not worth them saying it right at all


After 11 years

I have learned how to accept it

Samia is not the easiest name

Certainly not common

Most of my family has uncommon names

But it makes me special

I am Lebanese

I am not ashamed of that

In fact proud

I am not ashamed of my hair

Or my eyebrows

My skin

So why would I be ashamed of my name?

If you have a problem with my name

I am sorry

But that is your problem not mine

I am known for my achievements

I proved that Samia

Is more powerful than it might seem

Not infamous



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