Photography by Jean Heather Smith Photography
Meet Faridah. She is Beauty Revived.
Faridah Zian is originally from Singapore, she has been living abroad for 20 years – in Saudi Arabia and now in Dubai. She has written her story in her own words. I wanted to stay true to her way of expression.
I was raised in Singapore.
My Mother abandoned me when I was two weeks old.
My two Sisters and I were sent away to three different families for fostering. It was my late Grandmother from my Father’s side who eventually found us, except for my second Sister; I did not know I had a second sister until I turned 15.
When I was a child I remember staring out of the window watching other children playing while I was locked behind doors after school. I was not allowed to join in school or children’s activities. We were not allowed to have toys nor games as a child.
Living with my Dad’s family, was like living in a household with strangers. We did not communicate about regular activities except given instruction in screams and shouts. Physically abused for silly mistakes was a norm.
I hated being a child. As a child, I was vulnerable and dependent on my elders for basic care and to provide shelter. I could not wait to grow up to be independent and free to do what I will.
I lived with my late Dad from the age of 8 until I turned 13. I loved the freedom that I could play with other kids, go on school trips, weekend outings with my Step Moms family and festive celebrations with crowded families from my step Moms side. I thought I would live these days until I grew into an adult.
That thought vanished when death took my Father.
He was murdered by his best friend.
As soon as my Dad passed away, my step Mother send me away to my Dad’s family. I was forcefully taken by my Uncle who grabbed me and dragged me by my hair.
Ever since then, life became quiet and reserved. There were no festive gatherings, celebrations or weekend outings.
When my dad died, I felt my whole life faltered with him. I felt alone, he was the only one who ever acknowledged and respect me.
By the time I was in higher school, nothing bothered me; I was already used to being alone.
I still think of my Dad – I remember a time when he promised he would take me to the playground, I waited until night fell.
He turned up eventually after midnight. I was already asleep, I was woken by his voice, and I got up in a swift, changed, and we went to the playground. I sat on the swing and he watched me going up and down.
My late Dad was a very calm, well-mannered, respectful and generous man. He never once physically hit me or raised his voice to me. He always gave me whatever I wanted, within reason. Those were the days. I miss him tremendously.
Now, I have been living in Dubai since 2000. I received an offer for a career as a Flight Attendant in a Corporate Private Aviation Company. So I jumped at the opportunity to leave my hometown and start life afresh from scratch.
When I was a child, I used to stare out of the window and dreamt to fly away like a bird – and it happened!
I meet my Husband in Dubai, he is from France and works as a Flight Supervisor with an Airline in UAE. He is a very intelligent man whom has his mind set by facts and science. He loves Jiu-Jitsu as a sport; he goes fishing in his spare time and loves Sea Kayaking.
We have a Son who is 3.5 years old. He is attending Nursery in the Neighborhood. He loves to talk about his day and his new discoveries. One day he scooped up a fish in his hand and watched it swim in his hand. He got so excited and drew what resembled somewhat of a fish shape.
I am happy at the moment, although I have been diagnosed with Acute Chronic Pancreatitis and Diabetic Type 3. I take insulin 4 times a day with other medication and am trying for the second child but have failed several times.
My Endocrinologist warned me that because of my medical situation and the medications, there might be birth defects, however, despite the warning, I still want to try for another one.
I would love to have more kids, hopefully twins.