17 September 1983, my mother had just brought me to life in a hospital in Ashrafieh. As they drove through the war torn streets, the USS New Jersey was pounding the Lebanese coast in a conflict that was going strong for the eighth year with no signs of stopping. Cotton buds stuffed in my ears, my father, then 32, drove us in his yellow Datsun to safety in streets that were ruled by war thugs and watched over by snipers.
This certainly wasn’t the scenario my parents had envisioned for their life. This wasn’t the Lebanon that was celebrated in songs nor the pearl of the orient that was the hottest destinations to go to. All dreams were broken at this time. Survival was the dream and the way was the challenge. While some people packed their bags and left on a one way ticket, they decided to stay hoping that by the time I’m young enough to dream, guns would have been silenced and life would have picked up again.
Years passed on like pages quickly flipped in a book. A relative peace came to my country in the early 1990s and from there on, my father helped me dream. He inspired me at a very young age to manage a business when he taught me the nuts and bolts of his trade and showed me how to be respectful and humble when dealing with others. My father also helped me define many moments in my life when he backed me to choose my education and encouraged me to venture abroad.
Looking back at all the sacrifices he made, at all the lessons he gave me and at the love he provided me with, I can’t be but luckily thankful to him and I only wish that one day, I can be the person he has been to me. I love you dad.