Lulu Jastaniah


Ibtehal Jastaniah, known to friends and family as Lulu, is a fourth-year majoring in Global Public Health with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. A lover of poetry, nature, and impulsively cutting all of her hair off (wait for it…), Lulu is also deeply passionate about truth-telling, underscoring marginalized narratives through exploring ancestry and heritage, belly-laughs, and long conversations over coffee.

Art Lulu feature

No amount of bargaining or denial will change that simple bead of truth.

red and orange  jars of peanut butter with a background of brown geometric pattern

“OIL SEPARATION IS NATURAL—JUST STIR AND ENJOY” For those who also love peanut butter, you might recognize this informative directive from the lid of Smuckers’ Natural Peanut Butter, printed in white font, encircling a recipe for Peanut Butter Butterscotch Mounds. 

reddish-organs hands with slightlycurled fingers on a brown background with feathers

Does anyone else get how absurd it is? 

To hope, you have no choice but to do so wholeheartedly; it is faith and grace and courage, the heaviest and hardest, yet packaged as airy and leavened; it’s “the thing with feathers”, of course. 

figure of blue girl sitting in rust-colored space


Nestled books 

and nested damp hair. 

Warm bread and blood-


Bloodied bird striking bars; ceramic skull cracked open.

You could’ve held it between two fingers, that small stony thing.

Those steely feathers now matted

your voice buried in static;

purple and yellow Heal-All flowers


(I have no idea if the purple flowers I saw were actually heal-alls but I am always itching for good omens) 


I sometimes look out at birds and wish I was them. And mountains

Oh, the mountains, 

Sending tears down their slopes 

            rippling and shaking 

a girl surrounded by olives and a colorful background

The first time I heard the word “diaspora,” it fit perfectly into my mind's holding place for funny words. Diaspora. I would try it on like a cloak-and-veil, whisper it under my breath, and brush it through my dark eyebrows. I’d write it down in cursive; Google it incessantly every time I forgot its perfect definition.

mountains of trees burn in a wildfire, the sky is smoky and red

I woke up this past Tuesday morning to a too-bright-too-close sky; pale-yellow, opaque, equally begging for and denying sun break. No distinguishable clouds--just a blanket of sick-yellow--cloaking my apartment’s view of mountains, winding streets, train tracks, and industrial eyesores.


a bird with blue-black wings sitting on a hand

Truthfully and begrudgingly, this season, the existential swamp that is 2020, has brought about more questions than I care to count. Who of us hasn’t looked into the mirror and asked: am I doing any of this right? What will be my life’s greatest work? Am I doing it right now? (Just me?)