She exchanged her crown of Miss Lebanon 2014 against a white wedding gown…Happy woman, Saly Greige was engaged to Antoine, the man she loves since their first meeting. Engaged woman, she continues to defend women’s rights. Exclusively, Saly shares with Prestige readers her marriage album, and tells about her experience of beauty queen and her projects.
Congratulations Saly! How does it feel to be a newly wed? Thank you! Being a newly wed feels great! Of course it’s a big change in our lives but it’s a good change. Moving to a different country and sharing everything with another person is certainly a big step in one’s life, but if it is the person you love, it is a beautiful step.
How nervous were you during the whole organization period of the wedding? It is definitely stressful to organize a wedding but I’m thankful I wasn’t alone, I had a wedding planner, Myriam Khoury (Intertwine), that made things easier. As for the wedding, I was very nervous up until I saw my husband. It’s a weird feeling that you can’t explain.
Where there any tears (during the wedding)…No tears, it was a very happy day!
Tell us about your beautiful dress. Why did you choose Tony Ward? How did you know this was The dress? I have been wearing dresses from the designer Tony Ward throughout my year as Miss Lebanon. His designs are elegant and simple and that is something I love. I tried on a few dresses before choosing this one. They were all beautiful but there is always that one dress that makes you feel like a bride. This was the dress for me.
How did you meet Antoine, your husband? When did you know that he was the man you were going to spend the rest of your life with? We met through family. His sister and I are friends and I know his mother very well. The first time I met him I knew he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with.
Tell us about the proposal… How? When? Where? Etc. We were sitting at a romantic Italian restaurant near Beirut and he had a glow in his eyes that made me pleasantly nervous. I didn’t know exactly what was on his mind, and I didn’t get the impression it was a proposal. I had this feeling inside of me that I can’t explain. He held my hands, stared at me with a soft smile and talked about taking our relationship to the next step. I was so excited and surprised that we immediately set the engagement and wedding dates right there and then!!! It was exactly what I had always wanted a true proposal.
«Since I saw him, I knew that he was the man with whom I will spend the rest of my life…»
Was it easy to be Miss Lebanon and have a boyfriend/fiancé? It wasn’t hard at all because Tony who lives in Dubai, would come during the weekends only. So many events wouldn’t coincide with our time together, but if they did, he was very understanding about it and would come with me to the events.
Tell us about your year as Miss Lebanon… The ups and downs… My year as Miss Lebanon was an amazing experience. The ups were more than the downs. I met so many people and was involved in a lot of events that were a great eye opener for me. I traveled to different parts of the world where I was able to reflect the beauty of Lebanon in many different ways. Of course the “selfie” incident wasn’t a great time for me, it was one of the low moments of my year, but it made me stronger.
When you were elected Miss Lebanon, you endorsed the cause of Women’s Rights. What was accomplished? I worked on many different projects ranging from personal one-to-one discussions with distressed women to attending village events around women and municipal events to promoting my cause on the international stage at London and Miami.
What still needs to be done? Defending women’s rights to a civil and happy life free of domestic violence is an ongoing support measure that, unfortunately, does not have an immediate stop date. I hope all women around Lebanon and around the world will unite to take a stance on this issue to hopefully catalyze a complete resolution.
How hard is it to balance between your responsibilities as Miss Lebanon, your studies and you personal life? It wasn’t hard at all to balance between Miss Lebanon and my personal life. I had dedicated this year to being Miss Lebanon but that didn’t take away from spending time with friends, family and of course Tony.
How do you answer critics that beauty pageants like Miss Lebanon diminishes women to just their looks? (Specially that you are a Women’s Right “activist”). Neither Miss Lebanon nor any other pageant can diminish women to just their looks. On the contrary, they look for something more than just looks because they have a responsibility of choosing the right girl to take on the role of representing their/her country all over the world. They always look for a balance of brains, looks, and personality.
«He took my hands, and looked at me with a tender smile…»
Are you ready to start a family? Eventually a family would be a great thing, however, in the short term I am focused on spending quality time with my husband and developing my career.
What are your post-Miss Lebanon projects? I am still getting settled in and will take some time to get to know Dubai. I plan to continue supporting local goodwill institution and charities in their upcoming events.
2015 is coming to an end, if you had to summarize this year…2015 is in short a year that has given me so much and will be a part of me for the rest of my life.
What are your New Year resolutions? To be more positive & energetic.
What will you wish for this Christmas? I wish for health and prosperity for my family and the rest of the world.
A message to our readers? No matter where you go in this world, always remember to keep Lebanon in your hearts. It is our country to protect and be proud of. Interview conducted by MARIA NADIM