Kilani was born in the Cairo district of Abdeen on 17 November 1942.He first started writing at the age of sixteen influenced by a family noted for its artistic tendencies. His father was a painter and sculptor as well as a poet. His uncle was a calligraphist and wrote short stories. His uncle from his mother's side was a poet.
The major artisitic influence on Kilani was that of Mahmoud Timor, one of the pioneers
of the Arabic short story. Timor and his followers believed that literature should have a
social purpose and that writing should promote an ethical society. Such a goal can only be
achieved, according to Timor and his followers, through a simplified style embedded in
realism and idealism. Timor described Roustom Kilani as:
Kilani's stories have appeared in the major Egyptian and Arab newspapers and magazines. Many of them have been adapted for radio and television.
He has been included in the Egyptian National Encyclopedia of Prominent Personalities.
Collections of Short Stories
Tears of Remembrance "
Dumoo'o al-Thikra "
A book for adolescents co-authored with Wasfi Al Wasfi:
� 1998 -2000 Arab World Books