Video: Saudi woman travels to Philippines to see off two retired nannies after 36 years
Raha Moharrak considers the nannies as her 'second mothers'.
By Anita Iyer
Published: Thu 28 Jun 2018, 1:35 PM
Last updated: Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:37 PM
When Rosa and Lumi decided to move back to the Philippines from Saudi Arabia after 36 years, it was a heartbreaking moment for the Moharrak family. How could they bid goodbye to the nannies who took care of Raha and her two siblings since the 1980s? Raha Moharrak, who has seen tougher times as the youngest Arab and the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest, shares that saying her final goodbye to them was the most painful part of her life.
While stories about few Saudi families mistreating their nannies make their way in the news, Raha calls Rosa and Lumi as her second mothers. As the nannies planned to return to their families, Raha decided to take a trip with them to the Philippines. Talking to Khaleej Times, Raha says, "For the past three decades, they haven't travelled much so I was really nervous to leave them alone. I had never been to the Philippines as an adult so I thought it would be great to make a trip with them." Raha started adding videos of her trip on her Instagram account and it was received overwhelmingly. In one of the videos, she meets up with their extended families and they seem like lost siblings. "The family already knew about me and had seen my pictures. Honestly, it was like meeting long lost cousins and nieces. We were connected on Facebook and meeting them was reconnecting with them." "Luma and Rosa might not have my blood but share my heart for sure. Meet their blood family was an honour for me. I think it completed a circle for me to know where they came from, and how their lives were before they came into our lives."
Looking back, Raha shares that saying her final goodbye was the toughest part of her trip. "Seeing them cry as I was leaving the Manila airport and forcing my feet to move forward was difficult. I will never forget their sad faces. I can't explain the anguish of saying goodbye to a part of me." Before parting, Raha managed to set up their Skype and WhatsApp accounts so that they can stay in touch. "I taught them how to dial on Skype and tutored them on sending videos and photos. They have become expert on Facebook now and keep commenting on and liking my pictures."
News about few families abusing their employed help leaves Raha unsettled. "It bothers me how few people in the region are ignorant about the fact that these nannies leave their own children to take care of other people's kids - to make a living." With her videos on Instagram, Raha hopes to pass a message that people need to see these amazing people as family "because they are your family".
Following her videos, many domestic helps from the Middle East and other parts of the world wrote in to her. Many thank her for leading an example of good employers in the Middle East. - email@example.com
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