When Father’s Day was approaching, the Picha team had an interesting observation – there were not much mentioning and appreciation going around for fathers as compared to how it was during Mother’s Day.
Then we realised – heyyyy, for the past 3 years, we’ve always highlighted the amazing mothers who are behind all the delicious meals you enjoy in PichaEats – but we hardly mentioned the fathers!
Even though the fathers are not Picha Chefs and are usually not allowed in the kitchen (cause you can never mess with a chef’s kitchen yo!), but they are still a big part of our Picha Family.
So on this very special day today, we want to celebrate the Picha Fathers who give unconditionally and work tirelessly to provide for their family!
Among all Picha Fathers, one of them has shown us what it means to give all that he has for his family. This amazing man is *Faris. (*Name has been changed to protect his identity.)
Faris is one of the most intelligent individuals that we have met, and he is the breadwinner — not just for his family in Malaysia, but also for his family back in Gaza.
With a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Canada, Faris is truly a master in numbers (which stresses Swee Lin out when she has to talk numbers with him). Upon graduation in Canada, he decided to return to Gaza to marry Dalia. Together, they started a family of their own and have four lovely children.
Unfortunately, war broke out and living became tough back in their homeland. There were no jobs, no electricity, no water and no food for the family. For the safety and future of his children, he had to make a difficult decision and fled to Malaysia to escape the war.
This decision requires him to risk his own life. To flee Gaza, Faris had to go through an underground tunnel which had collapsed many times and buried many people alive. Dalia and her children stayed back in Gaza as he didn’t want them to risk their lives too.
Thankfully, Faris made it to Malaysia safely. Dalia and the children fled Gaza and reunited with Faris here in Kuala Lumpur a year later.
Here in Malaysia however, Faris is unable to practice his profession. Yet he put aside his ego and did whatever he could to provide for his family. Currently, he is supporting the family by selling Shawarma, while Dalia cooks with PichaEats.
When I first met Faris and Dalia’s children, I’m always amazed by how strong and tough the kids are despite their young age. When his daughter had a minor injury on her foot at the waterfall, she didn’t even cry. Just a light “ouch” and she went back to playing!
I noticed how Faris tends to show tough love to his children which is probably the reason why all his kids are so strong! There was one day when I was spending time at their house, I saw his eldest daughter, Deana* doing her homework which she had spent hours on (writing “one” to “five hundred” in English). As she was completing her homework, a cup of coffee was accidentally spilled on her worksheet while her two brothers were playing. Poor girl started crying because she has already written up to four hundred!
When she went to her dad crying, Faris told her one simple sentence — restart and do it again.
He didn’t comfort her or offered to explain to her teacher for her, or help her to complete the homework (like how some parents would), but he taught her to face the problem and be resilient.
Even though this sort of made Deana cry even more, but she learnt to be strong in facing unexpected problems that life throws at her.
After going through war, risking his own life to seek for a better future, and overcoming never ending hardships coming at him in life, what’s so difficult redoing a homework, right?
In Faris, we see real grit and resilient. A father who would risk it all for the family. A father who gives silently. A father who puts a smile on his face in front of his kids and provide them the best that he could, no matter how tough things get.
This Father’s Day, our respect goes to all fathers around the world who have always put the family before self. You all are our heroes. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, and we wish you a Happy Father’s Day!