Today is my daughter’s birthday.. She turned 24, but she is still my sweet little girl… (and what’s more, she still has me wound around her little finger!!..)
Hala was born while I was working / training / studying in Beirut.. We were living in a tiny flat near the French Embassy in the Ein Mreisseh district, not very far from the American University Hospital where I was working.. She was barely 3-month-old when we had to leave Beirut in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion..
Over the years, I watched her grow up and blossom.. always radiant with happiness, self-confidence and ambitions.. I watched her brighten my life with her first smile.. I watched her anxiously taking her first steps.. I was there to comfort her and help her back to her feet when she stumbled.. In July 2004, Hala graduated from University.. That was, without any doubt, the proudest day of my life.. The sense of pride and fulfilment that I had when I saw her, looking million dollars, in her graduation gown was, simply, beyond description.. She is now a graduate student, doing a PhD in Genetics, and has already published a few papers.. (Did I tell you that I am very proud of her?..)
Since she was born, Hala has managed to fill my whole existence with love and laughter.. She is the most delightful and most beautiful little girl any father would have the good fortune to have.. (If you think there is a possibility that I just might be a little biased, well.. you’re damn right I am!!.. and I think I am entitled to be..)..
To my most delightful and most beautiful little girl I say ‘Happy Birthday, my sweet little girl.. May your life be filled with as much happiness as you have given us over the years.. May your steps be assured and confident, and may your path be bright and clear.. and most of all, may your days be happy and your dreams fulfilled’