Marwa Rida is the creator of End2End Events, an event planning, 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 titled ‘The Struggle to be Understood’, published by Winston Cartier Publishing. The post below originally appeared on Marwa’s Facebook page around Christmas-time, in a slightly modified format.
I was going through my photos today, and this photo of my grandma stopped me.
My grandma was one amazing lady whom I will never forget. In this picture, she is sitting on her big red leather chair outside her home on the staircase where you would always find her talking to someone who’d come to see her off the street.
She is my grandma from my dad’s side, and passed away in 2008. I was in Australia then, and very pregnant with my daughter, and I remember sitting on the couch that night after getting the news from Egypt and crying non-stop.
Crying because she was never going to meet my unborn child. Crying for all the memories of her that I can never forget; for all the school holidays I spent at her place, all the family get-togethers and gatherings that I would never again see her at.
My grandma was one in a trillion. She was a lady who managed to raise eight children (mainly boys) during the war in Port-Said. A giving lady who always had a place at the table for an unannounced guest, no matter where they came from. A lady who gave a lot to her community and friends. A lady who treated all her daughters-in-law equally and who was always trying to make peace and spread food, love and laughter wherever she went.
A lady who left her door always open, even at night. She fed people who were looking to be fed and gave to those who came looking for something to spare. But more importantly, she gave people a shoulder to cry on when they needed it.
I can only aspire to be like my grandma. When I think of life and its meaning, I think of all that I’ve learned from this amazing woman and how far I’ve come by being that person who stands up for what I believe in and brings a bit of my culture and heritage to share amongst the diverse Australian communities.
The world does not need more things in it. The world needs more love, understanding and people who care, like my grandma did.
Thank you, Grandma, for everything you taught me about life, love, community and giving, with no expectation of return.
I will forever carry your legacy in my heart and with every step I take towards a better tomorrow.
© Marwa Rida, 2018