Elhum's love of poetry first came from reading Paul Eluard and Charles de Baudelaire as a teenager growing up in Paris. She went on to study Persian Literature at Oxford University, where she spent 4 years studying everything from Nizami to Forugh Farrokhzad.
Since graduating in 2004, Elhum has worked in creative arts in a number of capacities, and today works essentially as a producer of film and photography projects. In 2011, Elhum was selected as one of the participants of the British Council's Cultural Leadership Initiative in recognition of her work. Elhum is currently also a research fellow of the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths University and a lecturer at the Free University of Berlin.