Raff (Raffic) Ellis is a former computer industry executive
and writer of short stories, essays, and political commentary. His first
book, Kisses from a Distance, has been released August
2007 by Cune Press, Seattle, Wash.
Mr. Ellis has visited the
Middle East many times, having traveled to Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria,
and Lebanon. He has always been interested in, if not fascinated by, the
history of his Lebanese ancestors and the environment from whence they
Mr. Ellis is the son of Toufic Kmeid Ellis who emigrated from the little
village of Bqaatouta, Lebanon in 1914. He has as his namesake one of his
father�s two brothers who perished in Lebanon during World War I. His
mother Angele came to the States from the Hobeiche clan of Ghazir,
Lebanon in 1926.
Although he didn�t know at the time that the information he was
gathering would prove invaluable for researching his book, Mr. Ellis
began recording both his father and mother�s oral histories some twenty
years before their deaths. He also taped the recollections of Harris
Kmeid, his first cousin once removed, in Bqaatouta, Lebanon in 1998, two
years before his death at age 97.
His book was born of the discovery of correspondence his mother had
saved over the years from family and friends in Lebanon. After reading
the letters several times, the notion that they would form the basis for
a narrative took wing. An additional eight years of research and writing
finally culminated in Kisses from a Distance.
Kisses from a Distance
chronicles a Lebanese immigrant experience. It begins with the
kidnapping of the author�s grandmother from a remote convent in 1895,
and explores the difficulties which culminate in her husband�s tragic
attempt to find success in America. In the meantime, the oppressive rule
of the Ottoman Empire, the ravages of the First World War, and natural
disasters take their toll on the vulnerable people of Lebanon.
Employing traditional Lebanese proverbs and folk tales, Kisses from a
Distance also weaves the author�s extensive research and visits to
Lebanon into the narrative.
This journey, so worthwhile for him, will reward the reader as well.
A graduate of LeMoyne College with a BS in Pure Science, Mr. Ellis also
has a MBA from the University of Central Florida. He spent his entire
business career in the computer industry, rising from the ranks of
computer programmer to CEO of an Information Technology R & D firm.
Raff and his wife Loretta have five children and reside in Florida..
� Arab World Books