Ep. 06 – Elissa Freiha

Ep. 06 – Elissa Freiha


“A couple years ago I did this project called ‘A Billion Shades of Beige’ where a friend and I traveled across the US to figure out what a modern American was like. I noticed in the US there’s still a massive separation between people of different colors. It’s not as far along as people claim it to be. Just because Obama’s president doesn’t mean there’s perfect equality. I grew up abroad and when I came to the states the first question I was asked was, ‘You’re white though right?’ and I’m like ‘No, I’m arab. What’s white to you?’. I’m Lebanese and grew up in Paris but in the states you’re either white or black…or mexican if you’re in California. There’s no kind of in between shade. We really disagreed with that. The way we saw it was that this whole black and white didn’t really matter. Everyone was one color: a shade of beige. But different tones within that color. What makes up your shade of beige was your interests or your actual cultural heritage.”elissa-freiha-6

“I don’t claim to know the ways of the universe…but when things align and go well then you know you’re doing the right thing. Just put your head down and keep working and the world will make offerings to you. The world blessed me with a best friend who has challenged me in so many ways to create. Our differences are so perfectly aligned they’ve allowed for phenomenal things to be created. Together we created Womena which empowers and educates women to be angel investors. We contribute to economic growth in the Mena region through innovation, investment, and inclusion.”


“How’s your love life?”

“It’s a mess. I’m in my 20’s. Most people in their 20’s don’t know what they’re doing. I’m so focused on Womena and keeping myself in check, and being healthy, and balanced that a love life isn’t fitting.”elissa-freiha-2

“So a mess as in non-existent because you’re putting all your energy into work or a mess because you feel like you haven’t developed the same skill set that you’ve developed for your work?”

“A mess because I tend to fall for people who live very far away from me…and that is probably because I like people who share some sort of similar appreciation for travel and opportunity. Like they may be introverts, I prefer introverts, they’ll end up living in Swaziland…know what I mean? And it’s super inconvenient to say the least. They say when you fall in love you’re really falling love with yourself. There’s still a balance to that though. You never know what’s really the one that’s going to last. Why do you love them? Do you love them for who they are? Like just appreciate the beautiful creature and cluster of cells that’s in front of you for everything that they are? Or do you like how they make you feel? Or do you like how you make them feel? Or do you like how you are around them? Or do you like how you can both be completely separate and then still together?”


“In cities people seem to fight vulnerability. We spend our lives fighting the fact that we’re vulnerable. We’re trying to open up and be honest, and await acceptance or rejection for whatever our vulnerability is. That’s something really beautiful that people need to strive for.” elissa-freiha-4


January 25, 2016