I was sitting in a cafe in the Mall of the Emirates, reminiscing about all the moments I’ve experienced throughout my life. I recall having a very good childhood, despite being born during an invasion and occupation by a barbaric nation. My school years were decent, with highs and lows, but lacked discipline from our parents, who quickly forgave at the first sight of tears, most probably demon tears rather than crocodile tears.
In the later stages of my schooling, I made a bad decision that shaped the trajectory of my young adult life. This decision was taken lightly, and no one really tried to direct me toward the right choice. During my university years, I was more of a bum than a student, attending probably only 20 percent of the classes. Again, the absence of proper supervision, guidance, and discipline was evident. But I can only blame myself because, in the end, it was my life.
Apart from the discipline issue, my parents were perfect, caring, and loving. They occasionally quarreled, but I guess all normal parents go through those moments. I knew three of my grandparents.Including my grandfather who died before I was born, all were accomplished individuals in their own right. My grandfather through my mother was a civil engineer who supported his family and his brothers, helping them achieve their goals and build them homes. My other grandfather, whom I never knew, was a hardworking pioneer who died too early. My grandmother through my mother looked after four households and helped three members of her extended family reach the Parliament. My other grandmother was a teacher, founder of YWCA in Marjeyoun, a district in South Lebanon, and in later years, she helped her husband in his business.
When I started working abroad, I was fortunate to begin with a company built on family values and sacrifices. What’s even more important is that through them, I was introduced to many cultures within Africa and the Pacific that shaped my perspective towards others and cemented the belief that I always had: that all people are equal regardless of ethnicity and religion.
My journey led me to exotic locations. I met extraordinary people, fell in love, and experienced heartbreak at times, but such is life. Now, as I likely spend my last month in the United Arab Emirates, I reflect and try to go back in time. Should I have been more patient, sidelined my emotions, and concentrated on work? But then, this is who I am – someone with immense emotions striving for better in life, and “better” is doing something I love, not something I should do.