Rym Saidi Breidy and Wissam Breidy are Arab superstars. Their popularity is not just because of their respective careers (Saidi Breidy is a Tunisian model and a Fashion Star judge on Dubai TV; Lebanese Breidy is a journalist and TV presenter of Metle Metlak) but also because people feel a particular connection to the couple, ever since watching their relationship develop on reality television. The two met while filming Dancing With the Stars, with Saidi the contestant and Breidy the host. In July 2017, they married in a small ceremony in Milan, followed by a bigger celebration in Lebanon in September. Saidi Breidy wore a custom Georges Hobeika gown and the 1,200 guests were treated to music by Michel Fadel and dabke dancing. But it was Breidy’s speech that moved everyone. “It made the night particularly special and made us all cry,” recalls Saidi Breidy. Always willing to share their joy with their fans, the moment was shown live via Breidy’s Instagram account. A year later, the pair welcomed their daughter Bella Maria.
Wissam Breidy: What did you think when you first met me?
Rym Saidi Breidy: I thought you were a handsome, charming, and charismatic man. And you had such a beautiful voice! You were also respectful, well-educated, spiritual, and a positive person.
WB: When did you know you wanted to marry me?
RSB: When I saw how much you cared about your family. I knew you could be a great father.
WB: Did you always want to have children?
RSB: Everyone knows how much I love my family and that I am ready to do anything for them. I always dreamed of becoming a mother. Maybe because I’m so close to my mom, I wanted to have that bond with my kids, too.
WB: How do you think fatherhood has changed me?
RSB: You used to hate staying in. You loved being surrounded by people and were out almost every day. Since Bella came into our lives, you’ve rarely gone out and are more focused on us and your work to make a better future for the family.
WB: How have you seen motherhood change you?
RSB: Becoming a mother has been one of the hardest but most rewarding moments of my life. Bella is the greatest gift. Motherhood gives me an inner strength I didn’t know I had. It’s also made me more patient. I now understand that I’m a superwoman, like my mom and all moms. It makes me love my mother more. I have become sensitive towards kids, animals, and especially those without families. It makes me very emotional. I definitely have different priorities in my life now. I don’t think about Rym first; I think about my daughter, my family, and then myself.
WB: How do you think our relationship has evolved since having Bella?
RSB: I married you not just because I was in love with you, but because you were a great partner who I could always count on. True, we have ups and downs, like all couples, and we argue a lot. But we never go to sleep without saying ‘I love you’ to each other. I experienced the baby blues and you were patient and supportive at all times. Seeing you with Bella and the magical love between the two of you makes me love you more and think how lucky I am to have you as a partner. As celebrity parents, how do you feel about our daughter growing up in the public eye? We’re regular people at home. I think the public loves us because we are simple. This is how we were raised and how we will raise our daughter – with respect and love for others.
WB: What surprised you most about becoming a mother?
RSB: How hard it is. Pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding – which I found harder than giving birth… Then, of course, the long nights with no sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept for five hours. But I was most surprised at the amount of love a mother can have for her child. When you hold your baby in your arms, you forget everything, and you feel you have much more to give.
WB: How do you hope to balance your career with your family?
RSB: I believe family should be first, before any career. I will definitely try to create a balance since I still have a lot of dreams I want to make come true. But my family comes first.
WB: Would you want Bella to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, like us?
RSB: I’m not the one who decides the future of my kids. I will do my best to give her the finest education, I’ll teach her what I’ve learned from life, and I’ll be there for her when she needs advice, but it’s her future and she has to decide as we decided ours. I’ll be supportive of whatever she chooses.
WB: What is the most important lesson your mother taught you? What do you hope to teach our daughter?
RSB: My mother taught me that when you give love, you receive love. I’ll teach the same to my daughter. Hate builds hate and love builds love, peace, and everything beautiful. It’s about the energy you share with people. I also want to teach her to work hard to make her dreams come true. They won’t happen if she sits and waits for a miracle to happen and leaves it to destiny and chance.
WB: As an Arab woman, what are your hopes for our daughter’s future?
RSB: That Bella will grow up in a society that gives rights to women. I wish for her to be free to choose what she wants in her life and to have no barriers just because she is a woman.
Originally published in the May 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia