Video: Saudi woman travels to Philippines to see off two retired nannies after 36 years 

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.

 
In 1982, my mother opened the door to two strangers, Rosa and Lumi, but, 36 years later, they leave our home as family. As our nannies, they cared for me and my siblings as if we were their own. I love them dearly, and am beyond grateful that I get to accompany them back to the Philippines as they return home to their families. Even though this is my first visit, I feel like I've been here before because they've told me so many stories over the years! It makes me feel unexpectedly complete in a strange way, but saying goodbye at the end of the trip is one of the hardest things I'll ever do. I could handle facing down death on mountains but saying goodbye to them is another level of heartache. A piece of me will stay here with them. #Philippines #adventure #explore #worldnomad #naturalhair #iphonex
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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".  
 
At the end of our trip, we explored downtown Manila. Rosa and Lumi were both born and raised in the Philippines, but they'd never been there before. It was really cool to explore the city with them, because it was new for all of us. I laughed when I watched this clip because of Rosa's older sister Nita's mixup at the end of the clip and how Rosa always got grumpy and frowned when the camera was on! It shows how giving she is because she'd put up with something she didn't like because I asked her to be in my videos. Love is beautiful. It reaches across oceans and time to connect us, whether related or not, until we leave pieces of our hearts scattered across the world. Words can't express how much you both mean to me and I'll forever fall short in being able thank you enough for taking care of us all. Love you my Lola's. #Philippines #adventure #explore #worldnomad #naturalhair #iphonex
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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. 
- anita@khaleejtimes.com


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