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My happiest moments of the day are when I get to play with my baby and spend quality time together. We get creative with our activities too 😋🥰 My lipstick is from @loccitaneme’s new delicious, colorful and fruity makeup range. Best part is it’s all natural! 💄 #liveitcolorful #makeitcolorful
Had a productive day today. Coffee at my favorite spot. Ran errands all morning. Went for a walk. Prepared B’s meals. Shot content for two ongoing campaigns. Wrapped up a shoot with a department store I love. Had a junk food burger for dinner. Hung some new ornaments on the tree with my family. And I’m feeling grateful. Emotionally exhausted but grateful. (And so eternally grateful for you guys)
It’s that time of the year again ♥️🎄Hoping we’ll be able to put up our tree in Lebanon as well in three weeks. Christmas won’t be the same this year, but it will always be a time for family, love and gratitude. Here’s to the start of the season. And here’s to my papa who’s always with us 💙🙏🏼
Spent two weeks doing nothing and now everything is back on the plate. Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks... I don’t even know where to start between work, errands, meetings, appointments, and all the planning and follow up I will be doing. It feels good to keep myself busy. Doing nothing has been beyond depressing, and I’m definitely going to be seeing a therapist to deal with all these new emotions. Mental health comes first. It felt so good to go to class today and sweat off all the anxiety. For 45 mins, I kept thinking about dad and my body was drained. I could barely finish each set and thought I was having a heart attack halfway through then I realized it’s only my anxiety. But it still felt better than sitting in my corner sulking. I’m writing this because I know there are many going through the same. I’m still not okay. Nowhere close. Don’t be fooled by my humor, good hair days, outings, and happy family moments. You will see me going out and going back to work. And the world goes on. People move on. But inside, I know I will be stuck in November 1 forever. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to close myself up. It means I’m going to get up every morning and force myself to feel okay, just enough to do 50% of what I have planned. And I take it from there. I have a constant lump in my throat, ache in my chest and tear ready to form in my eye, but I also have this life I’ve got to live. And if there’s anything I learned from this, it’s to not take time for granted. I want to go out there. I want to do things. I want to live. Feel. Feel everything. I want to text my dad at night and tell him all I’ve done and wake up in the morning hoping he texted me back, even if I’m delusional. But I know he’s hearing my thoughts and seeing my actions and I owe it to him to do my best. To make him proud. Life shouldn’t be wasted. Love shouldn’t be wasted. Time shouldn’t be wasted. Meanwhile, my heart is sad forever. But as I said, life goes on. #wordstoliveby
I’ve come to crave and appreciate solitude; a time to reflect, do my soul searching, and better understand myself, the world around me, and my place in it. There’s a certain peace, truth and beauty in solitude. In silence. “To find peace, sometimes you have to be willing to lose your connection with people, places and things that create all the noise in your life.” I’m not saying I dislike people. I’m saying we have different priorities right now. While some may naturally be preoccupied with things I once found important, I’m trying to find the energy and patience to get up in the morning and not fall apart before the day ends. And I’m not sure how much more of that energy I can use up on trying to convince people I’m okay or that I’m still interested in trivialities. So whenever I have a free minute, I choose to spend it alone. And for a fleeting moment, I can breathe. I am at peace. I am myself. And there’s no noise. #solitude
Made in Lebanon 🇱🇧 On the third day of the revolution, I went to the supermarket and stocked up on all the Lebanese products I could find, and I’m still doing so every week. I took this photo on Oct. 19 but I was never in a rush to post it, knowing the time would come where I will feel obliged to share it and the message behind it. I had already explained on stories the importance of supporting the lebanese economy no matter where we are in the world by purchasing Lebanese-made goods. We are blessed to have such a rich country in terms of what its land produces, packages and exports. Everything from canned and frozen food to fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and much more. And maybe I’m biased, but Made in Lebanon products have always been my go-to, favorite choice. Times are now tough, and resources are limited, but Lebanon’s fertile land continues to offer. And as long as there’s supply, let’s keep the demand going wherever we are. #lebaneserevolution #proudlylebanese #madeinlebanon
I’ve been angry, so angry, for days on end. I’ve been angry with myself, with doctors, with people, with God, with the world. I’m overcome with anger. I never understood the stages of grief; and even now, I’m confused by all these emotions. I feel the need to express myself differently, but I also feel I’m not entitled to. Even when I allow myself to feel, I am confused by what I am feeling because my thoughts and emotions are ever-changing. When I’m happy, I feel guilty for enjoying life without my father in it. When I’m sad, I feel guilty for not giving my 200% to my family and work. Taking time off from the world has also given me way too much time to drown in my thoughts and feel more anxious than ever; to the extent that sometimes I feel I am also dying. The few days after my father passed away, I slept like a baby. I couldn’t understand how I slept so well. But, it’s been nights on end that I can’t sleep. I wait till everyone goes to bed so I can truly feel and cry till I can’t cry anymore. After that, I feel okay again; at times happy. I laugh and joke around just enough for things to feel normal again. But things aren’t normal. My whole world seems to be falling apart no matter what angle I try to see things from. I’m unable to shift my perspective or feel as grateful as I constantly preach. So, I now try and accept this new reality, and that I won’t ever be fully okay again. But I will embrace the instances where I do feel okay. And I won’t apologize for it. I know dad wants me to live, to be happy, to enjoy my family, to work, to thrive, to feel grateful and hopeful. Though I’m not sure I will ever know how to fully feel that way anymore. But I’m learning to adapt. I’m praying for strength; for all this anger to go away; praying that I don’t self-destruct. For now, I will allow myself to sit on the seesaw of grief and gratitude; happiness and anger; life and loss; in the hopes that one day I’ll be able to think of dad and smile to memories of his life instead of mourning his death. Till that day comes, I will continue to live, but I will also continue to grieve in a way that is personal to me; in a way that only my soul knows. No one else.
Therapeutic moments in nature, feeling his warmth and heavenly light. There are instances where I feel happy and grateful. I have motherhood to thank for that. I see my father in Brandon; when he smiles, when he sleeps ... even when he cries. I know dad wants me to be happy. I know his heart breaks with mine. I’m trying. But for now, I would rather feel sad and miss his presence in this world than live happily in a world where he isn’t present. I’m not sure I will ever get there. But for now, I’m content with these few happy moments I get to enjoy. And I’m grateful. Always grateful. And always missing you. Always. ♥️ #family #life #truelove
October 30, 2019 - exactly a week ago, was the last time I saw and spoke to dad. He was too weak to talk, but he somehow managed to say, “Rita, Brandon, I love you.” He couldn’t talk anymore after that. To anyone. Knowing this now, those will forever be the most precious words I’ll ever hear. During our call, he had just gotten home from the hospital and he was exhausted; not just physically, but on every level. I could tell. Dad didn’t look like himself at the end, but he always had very strong eyes. This time, his eyes looked sad, tired; as though he’d given up. Something compelled me to take this screenshot, because I felt in my heart it would be the last time I would see him. I selfishly asked him to hold on just until I arrived. I could see how tired he was, but I wasn’t ready for him to go. I had booked my flight to Lebanon knowing I wouldn’t make it on time, but I was still hoping to give him one last hug. I thought maybe, just maybe, we had more time. My dad passed the following night in my sister’s arms, while listening to my mom telling him, “the earth loves you, the heavens love you, and I love you.” Mom’s love was so selfless, she liberated him. And he left. Peacefully. A monologue by Maya Angelou titled “Love Liberates” resonated within me: “Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego...Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now; I love you, so go.’” Dad, wherever you are, I dedicate these words to you. Sorry for being selfish. I loved you and will always love you from the depth of my heart. I normally wouldn’t share these moments, but I’m doing so for anyone out there who’s taking time for granted. Call your parents. Go see them. Even if you’re far. Even if you’re in an argument. Tell them you’re okay. Tell them you love them. Tell them you’re grateful for all they’ve done. And tell them you value and love them above all else. Because there’s no such thing as having more time. Only regret.
A Eulogy to my Angel Father 🖤 Your body may have left this world, but your soul lives on inside me. I love you, forever. #RIP (thank you all for your condolences. It’s been so heartwarming to receive all this love, concern and support from all of you. Dad and I are so grateful. I apologize for not being able to respond. Sending you love, and may God bless and protect you and your families. Praying for all the deceased and those who have suffered the loss of a loved one 🙏🏼)
Dad....You left us too soon, so suddenly. And you took my whole heart with you. I was on my way to say goodbye, but time and circumstances were not on our side, once again, and I will now arrive to the memory of you. And I will never forgive myself. Three years of suffering will never erase a lifetime of how vibrant, brilliant, generous and strong you were. Today, I lost my first best friend, and am flooded with the most random memories. I’m unable to breathe or stop crying. Unable to accept that I cannot drive over or call up the first love and support I ever knew. I will never stop missing you. Your legacy will live on through Rose, Albert, Brandon and me, and I’ll do everything in my capabilities to make you proud. Your only two wishes were for your family to be happy and together; and for your country to thrive again once more ... till the very last minute. And I will always make sure to honor both. I know you’re watching over us. And I know we will meet again. So, till we meet again, papa. My crazy. My heart. My life. My everything. But for now, what is this life without you in it? I love you forever, with every bit of my shattered heart... #RIP Elie Albert Dahdah.
Baby Shark Doo doo doo doo doo doo 🦈 🎃 Happy Halloween from the shark family!!! 🎃
Reflections 💭 How are you feeling? I would like to know. I can’t imagine anyone left unchanged after the events of the past couple of weeks. Sending you love ♥️
Hello 😊 Two weeks later, stepping back into my comfort zone with my usual content. Kind of forgot how to do this Instagram thing 😋
We all want to go home. We all miss home. Even our kids, who are too young to understand what’s going on, miss their families. Our children deserve a passport they can be proud of. A country where they can thrive and live a safe, good life. A country they will grow up thanking and loving instead of blaming it for their misfortunes. Lebanon, we miss you. We, like many others, were not given a chance. We were pushed out to make room for those who stayed to destroy it. But the good people that chose to stay are now fighting for change. And we are fighting for change from every corner of the world. It’s been a long time coming, and this spirit ain’t going anywhere. #لبنان_ينتفض #lebanon #proudlylebanese #lebaneserevolution
This is EVERYTHING international news outlets are trying to hide. Instead, they’re trying to portray the Lebanese people and protests in a bad light. Please share this every way you can and tag the international media that are still not reporting the truth! @bbcnews @cnn @world @time #لبنان_ينتفض #lebaneserevolution #beirut #lebanon #lebanese Video credit: @mqk_ 🙏🏼
THE LEBANESE SPIRIT THAT CAN NEVER BE BROKEN! This is tonight. This is Tripoli. This is Lebanon. People are still on the ground. People are united to claim what’s theirs. I was beyond proud of the beautiful spirit in Tripoli today. God bless you! Yalla, we want more out there tomorrow!!! #لبنان_ينتفض
I have been an expat all my life. My great grand father, grandfather and father were all immigrants. My mother and her parents were immigrants. My husband’s been an expat all his life. His grandfather and father are also expats. My son is an expat. I do not want him growing up to be an immigrant. Why? Because I haven’t seen my mother in over a year, and my brother in four years because they are in Africa working to provide a future for my brother. My father, who is very sick, chose to spend his last years in Lebanon, and my sister, who can live anywhere she chooses, chose to stay in Lebanon despite the terrible salaries and lack of job opportunities, and she’s depressed about it everyday. There isn’t a day where I don’t think of my family and remember a time when we were all together. But now, there isn’t a day when my son, Brandon, doesn’t ask about his Teta, Jeddo, cousins, aunts and uncles. And it breaks my heart. Here, we have no extended family, but we work to provide a stable and better future for our children. We plan, we save, we live, but we always go back and invest in our country. We wake up everyday to photos of our friends and relatives in Lebanon, going out to the places we love, spending time together, and seeing their families on a regular basis. I am forever grateful for the opportunities life has given me and my family. Forever grateful for where I live and how I live; for having a safe home for my son and a stable income. But, this all comes at a cost and with a lot of heartache. I’m pleading with you today, do not stop fighting for us, for you, for the future generation; for our parents, who raise us only to bid farewell to us at airports. We are now, once again, fighting to fix DECADES of corruption and these issues will not be solved overnight. But, persist long enough and I can assure you that change WILL happen. So please, don’t give up. Don’t forget why you started this fight. Don’t let that fire inside you die down. Instead of getting more desensitized by the day, I want you to get angrier because this is one more day you’re lending what’s yours to crooks in power who don’t care about our country. This fight is ours to fight, now!