freiha freiha

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✨Elissa Freiha✨  🌈Entrepreneur 💸 Investor 🎤 Speaker 🌹Flower Child ✌🏽️ Feminist 🌻 Founder @womena 🏆30 Under 30 @forbesmiddleeast @bbc100women 🐥: @freihahaha

🌕Doors have always held a beautiful, mystical meaning for me. A door is a barrier as well as a gateway to something new, unknown, mysterious. It’s shrodingers cat in a box on a larger scale: there can be exciting opportunity, or banal emptiness on the other side, and until we open that door and cross over, we will never know.🌖I’ve just finished the last sit-down video interview for our upcoming #womentumseries and re-living the last year has really put into perspective the array of adventure we’ve had with womena over the last year. 🌗 #Womentum was an experiment and a real life adventure that took me and the team around the world. We saw lots of incredible doors and cross many remarkable barriers, and let me say this: what was on the other side was glorious. 🌘 It’s crazy to think I was once afraid of these doors. It’s mind boggling to think that I was overwhelmed by fear of disappointment or failure. It’s this fear we all experience as humans when we want to take a valiant first step in a new direction...but as founders we are made to take those steps. We are made to push past existing boundaries. We will go crazy if left in the same place too long that we must venture out to stay sane. I have accepted this now. My crazy visions are part of my makeup as an entrepreneur. More so, I am lucky to have a team of fellow entrepreneurs at @womena who share in my desire to break expectations and who remind me of why we *must* keep leading others through magnificent closed doors when I get nervous that we’re going to far. 🌑 S/O to @mrkream on the shirt🍦💜💙💗💛🧡

🌬It’s taken me a while to reconnect with my inner creative: To pay attention and identify that whoosh of inspiration that comes out of nowhere. 🧜🏽‍♀️ So many of us turn off that inspiration receptor as we grow up and get cut down to fit these predetermined societal structures. To put it simply: We move from this emoji section 🌈🍄💥🌺🐾🦚🐒🦄🧛🏻‍♂️🤹🏼‍♀️🦹🏼‍♂️💛💜💚To this one 📓📍🗑📇🔗📋📉📊📤. Its a shame because as children when something triggers us we respond immediately with our imaginations running wild; we imitate the things we see, we elaborate on them, we interpret them uniquely. We used to allow our emotions to have free reign over us and our actions would follow their guidance. 🧞‍♂️Yet now we control our emotions and our emotional receptor, and ultimately kill our imagination and our creativity.🙇🏼‍♀️🙇🏻‍♂️ I’ve felt that loss and that disconnection deeply, and its felt like a brick wall was built around this glittering colourful nymph.🧚🏼‍♀️ Since I spent time in Berlin, I’ve really put effort into breaking down that wall, a fitting image for that specific city I feel. 🔨🇩🇪Today, I aim to honor my creativity and my moments of creative inspiration.✨ I let myself write more whenever I need to without expectations of structure or end result.📝 I let myself colour my hair and dress as I want without fear of judgement in my professional field. 👩🏼‍🎤I let myself be vulnerable with other creatives without worry of not being up to par or as developed. 🎨It’s a beautiful feeling: A timeless feeling, a feeling of freedom and of fierce funkiness that I wish upon all of you. 💓💜❤️🧡💛💚💙🖤Have you ever felt like this?

Thank god for the #GlowUp! #10yearchallenge

Counting down to my birthday and having my health not be at its finest has given me perspective: How far I’ve come since I started this new chapter of my life. 🧚🏼‍♀️ It’s been 5 years since that hippie, care-free, unchained girl full of dreams moved to Dubai in hopes of building something. 🛬🌍 It has also been 5 years since I lost that girl in the chaos that then ensued. I’ve been cheated, I’ve been lied to, I’ve been misguided. 😔 I’ve felt alone, I’ve felt scared, I’ve felt vulnerable. 💃🏼I’ve also been driven, I’ve been determined, I’ve been unwaveringly optimistic. And all through that time I’ve been honored, awarded, and rewarded. 🏆 You see, I’ve had to lose myself in order to find my purpose. I’ve had to unlearn and adapt, so I could consciously choose what and who I wanted to be.🧜🏽‍♀️ All through this journey I’ve carved a new path, still unsure where it will lead to, I persist. At first I persisted unsure of my steps, however now, only recently, I persist proudly. #womena

✨Happiness is new self and new cells, new perspective with old senses. Happiness is hugs, and exhales. Happiness is forgetting the past and the future, and appreciating your presence in the present. We often focus on, and try to avoid, our « failures » for maintaining our new years resolutions. Failure is a word with such a negative connotation that we forget failure is just a step to betterment. We get stuck in the past, in the moment we failed, but we need to realized we’re lightyears passed that now; that we’re actually somewhere else, we’re different, we’ve learned something new. One cannot be better without making a few mistakes. One cannot be happy without experiencing a few miseries. So setting resolutions is fine, and failing to keep them is also fine because its all about wanting to be better. As long as you make those resolutions to yourself to be better then all is good. You are showing a commitment to yourself and your self-amelioration, that’s what’s most important. Once u fail just try to forget about it; its in the past, move on, try again. And this time try something different, make another experiment, take another chance, have another adventure. This is what life is all about: moving forward. ✨So after a week of contemplating, I wish you the happiest of New Years and new starts filled with countless experiments and adventures. ✨ 📸: @jessiquei

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Joyful Holidays, and a Killer Kwanza...oh! and a Fabulous Festivus for the rest of us! 🤶🏼💋

💛Dear @riseupsummit #riseup18 Team, Thank You. Thank you on behalf of the faces and figures of the Middle East entrepreneurial community. Thank you for bringing us together and inspiring us. Thank you for being the drum beat we march to. Thank you for you rresilience and your determination, a crucial player leading by example. Thank you for the memories, the epiphanies, and the laughs. Thank you for building this tribe of misfits and for bringing together a family. Thank you for creating a space to collaborate and a space to connect. This year was another success; your perseverance and insistance to consistently deliver an exceptional experience have left another mark on us.💛 one week on and I still feel the power that #Cairo passed onto me. I feel the energy and the passion that makes its people create monumental change everyday. I can’t wait to return and contribute even more with @womena Next year ❤️💛🖤🇪🇬

#RiseUp18 always manages to bring out some of my biggest smiles. Thanks to @mo4network for capturing the epic positive vibez between me and @womena media bosslady @amiralx 🍎🎈❤️🍓 #cairo #womena #womentum

🤦🏼‍♀️Sometimes you’re just done. You’re done with people’s attitudes. You’re done with empty promises. You’re done with superficial characters and superficial praise. 💆🏼‍♀️You got stuff to do. You gotta focus. You have no time to shmooz or prove yourself to others who don’t see your worth. 🙎🏼‍♀️You just want to prove to yourself that your vision can be a reality. In those days, magic happens. ✨In those times, when you let yourself be yourself and let few others into your bubble, you truly tap into your potential. You tap into who you could be and who you want to be and how you’re going to be in order to get there. 🦄🌈Does what I’m saying make sense? Honestly I’m not sure it has to make sense to you. It makes sense to me and that’s all that matters. 🐣

How many of you are living uninspired right now? 🤷🏻‍♀️How many of you have dreamt of just quitting everything and travelling around the world?🌍🏃🏽‍♀️ and how many times have you given into fear and responsibilities and held yourself back from taking this leap of faith? 🙎🏼‍♂️ well....this bosslady pictured above, my bff, is currently living her best life. 💃🏽Having recently left her job doing Biz Dev at a law firm (ZzzzZz 🙇🏼‍♀️), after years of excuses and responsibilities she couldn’t neglect, and fear of unknown, she took the plunge and is now embracing full on #EatPrayLove vibez, travelling the world. Yes this may be her personal journey but to me she is doing this for every person who hasn’t done it yet, for every person who his held back, for every person who day dreams. She is living life as it should be and I cannot tell her enough how proud I am of her and of her courage to do this. For taking this decision, a decision that is very often seen as selfish, a decision to enrich and inspire your own life and existence is a tremendously difficult one. It is also an incredibly beautiful decision. 💞
And so to this beautiful woman who made a beautiful decision, I want to say that having done so makes her an absolute inspiration. The world is better when we connect with it, when we travel and experience other cultures. The world is better with happier people, more inspired people, more fulfilled people. So if YOU, reader, have ever contemplated taking a decision like this but have argued that its not justified for whatever reason. Just remember, the world is better if you are better. Bettering yourself and your life experience makes the world better. Repeat this. Absorb it. And take those chances to live inspired. 💜Happy Birthday @imanzaghw 🧚🏼‍♀️ you fucking legend. 💜

🖤💀Happy Hallows 💀🖤

Hindsight Is 20/20 Part II // 🇪🇸✈️🇫🇷Choosing to leave #Madrid after such a short time was very difficult. It had been my dream for so long and when I finally was living it, I felt as though I wasn’t doing myself any favours. Yes the city, the culture and the independence were great, but I thought to myself “I can always go and live in a great city if I want to. These college years are meant for learning. Society has gifted us with 4 years of pure education, where it is totally acceptable to do nothing but just soak up every bit of knowledge that the world has to offer.” 🌎💻📚I felt that in the magical wonderland of #AUP, I would be exposed to so much. Not as much academically as socially: The people are what made that place unique. I wanted to be shocked and I wanted my preconceptions challenged. I wanted to be shown every lens possible and use them for self-perception. I wanted to define myself, define my home, define my history. I was open to all experiences, all view points and all adventures and that openness is what was supported at that school. 👭👯‍♀️👬👯‍♀️👫🕺💃🏼Okay, so I came back to my family home, to my baba…fine, I had to fight a little harder to try and live alone again. It felt embarrassing when my inner rebel wished I run further away and I had chosen to return and stay close. I wondered if I was showing weakness by coming back and not sticking it out abroad…But now, in hindsight, I see that it was showing strength. Strength is facing your demons and your past. Strength is facing your family and setting your own rules. Strength is admitting you were wrong and making a tough choice with pride. In choosing to return to #Paris and to AUP, I made the decision to look inward instead of outward. 💆🏼‍♀️🧚🏼‍♀️🧠💪🏽For all those reasons, I am who I am today. I am where I am. I know what I know. So thank you again, to Madrid, for being a #dream and for compelling me to build the strength I needed to decide my own reality. 🙏🏽🌈🙃

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