Marwa Rida is the creator of End2End Events, an event management, design and styling business born out of her passion to create meaningful event experiences with and for others. Her love for creating experiences for others to truly connect, stems from her own struggle to belong in her early days of moving to Australia.
Marwa’s writing was recently published in the book, The Unstoppable Woman of Unwavering Faith, in which she contributed a chapter entitled, ‘The Struggle to be Understood’, published by Winston Cartier Publishing. The post below originally appeared on Marwa’s Facebook page, in a slightly modified format.
Image: © Dušica Milutinović, 2018
I opened my gratitude journal today and, flicking through the pages, I noticed a paragraph I had written back in August after my trip back to visit my parents overseas. It made me think of a conversation I had with someone recently.
I was told, “Marwa, at some point you need to accept that your parents will never come here. Your family are now your husband and kids – focus on them. Lots of migrants your age are in Australia with kids and husbands but no family. Families that migrated with their parents or extended families are not common anymore.”
The comment, whilst true and given in absolute honesty, hurt at the time. Maybe because it was a bit too confronting, or maybe because I have lived for so long, hoping that maybe one day my parents could be in Australia if they needed to be with me. And maybe I had just that tiniest glimmer of hope that I could be allowed to look after them in their old age, in the country where I reside with my young family, when they needed to, and for me not to have to move back to do so.
The paragraph I wrote in my journal read as follows:
‘I am grateful for my family. Having them around in this world is a great means of support and encouragement and a blessing in itself. Even though one can never know when their time is up, I hope that God understands that the pain I will go through if anything happens to either of my parents whilst I’m so far away will be too strong to bear. I pray with all my heart that I am there for them when they need me and in their time of need. I pray it is easy on us all.’
That is just one of the struggles of being a ‘new Australian migrant’ (a term I got introduced to recently).
But how new is new?
© Marwa Rida, 2018