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My Proximie

On International Women’s Day, Dr Nadine Hachach-Haram, Founder and CEO of Proximie, recalls the profound impact her grandmother, Leila Sayegh, had on her life.

Leila Sayegh

This International Women’s Day, I wanted to tell a story about a woman in my life that had such a huge impact on me, and who shaped the woman I am today.

Despite everywhere I have lived and been, the ten years I spent in Lebanon as a teenager will always be the most influential of my life. Certainly the hardest, but it shaped me more as a person, than anywhere else. We lived in Beirut with my Mum and her mother, my grandmother. We were raised by two very matriarchal, strong, independent women.

My grandmother, Leila Sayegh, was well-educated and ran a number of charities, she was very involved in helping families, doing different things to help women learn new skills.

She would involve us from an early age; it didn’t just build resilience and independence, but entrepreneurialism too. She always taught me about right and wrong and was very objective in her views. She really embodied all of the things that I would eventually want for myself, and for my daughters: being fair and independent, loving and strong. I am one of four girls. She showed each of us that women can achieve anything they want.

My grandmother meant everything to me; I still wear her necklace everyday for good luck.

“She gave me that hunger and desire and that capacity to think bigger.”

That mindset was born in Lebanon. This International Women’s Day, I pay tribute to my Grandmother, to this day and forever more, she remains such an inspiration to me.