My name is Omaya and I am from Egypt. My mother is Lebanese and my father is Egyptian. I was born in Egypt and when I was 3 months old, my mother left my father, my sister, and I, and went back to Lebanon alone. I grew up without knowing if she is alive or not. Until one day, she reached out to my sister and I and asked us to meet her and move to Lebanon. We went because we couldn’t imagine never getting to know her. I was 23 at the time.

This is when I got to know my Lebanese husband. We got married, we had our daughter, and we stayed together for two and a half years before he was arrested and went to jail for five years. When he got out of jail, I gave him another chance because I believed he could change and work and make clean money, but nothing changed and he continued to have a very unhealthy life, besides being unfaithful.

Eventually he just left us. My daughter was nine and my son was two years old, he still needed diapers at the time. My children’s father does not ask about them and does not support us in any way, and neither does his family. We only saw him briefly once after the Beirut blast because we visited his brother at the hospital, and he came at the time we were there. Since then, we never saw him or heard of him. Sometimes, my daughter wonders how it is possible to be so cold hearted. How can he not check about us, knowing how difficult these times are? My daughter once sent him a very heartfelt voice message in which she was crying, he did not even care to reply. She needed 500 dollars so she could continue her education and was begging him to help with some of the money.