Between Two Worlds — How I Redefined Success from Beirut’s Echoes to Montreal’s Rhythms
Tracing My Roots from a City of Resilience to Finding My Place in Montreal
Montreal’s first snowfall, as a three-year-old, was a world apart from anything I had known. The world outside was painted in white, a stark contrast to the sun-soaked tales of Beirut my parents shared. I would sit, captivated, as they recounted our family’s shared memories. Beirut was described with a deep fondness, a city of close-knit communities and familial bonds. Yet, it was also a place where the sounds of laughter were sometimes overshadowed by the noise of conflict.
While Montreal presented a world of opportunities and conventional successes — the milestones of education, career, and property — the stories from Beirut carried a deeper essence. Here, success wasn’t about what you had but who you were; it was about enduring, standing together, and rising above challenges. As I grew older, these two worlds would often collide, leading me on a personal journey to redefine what success really meant to me, blending lessons from my family’s history with my experiences in Montreal.
The memories of Beirut I carry with me are ones I didn’t personally live, but rather inherited through the tales of my family. Each story, sung or told, was a patchwork quilt of emotions, rich in history and deeply personal. My parents would often speak of bustling marketplaces, the aroma of freshly baked bread, children playing in the narrow alleyways, and families gathering on rooftops under starlit skies.
Yet, intertwined with these heartwarming stories were tales of resilience. Grandmother used to narrate stories of neighbors helping each other during difficult times, how the community stood as one, and how they celebrated the smallest joys amidst adversities. Success, as painted by these tales, wasn’t about personal achievements but was woven into the fabric of community strength, mutual respect, and bonds that transcended adversity.
From these stories, I learned the essence of values. My family’s roots in Beirut instilled in me an understanding that success goes beyond material gains; it’s about the impact you leave, the relationships you nurture, and the legacy of…