She splits her time between continents, and now Jessica Kahawaty‘s achievements in bridging two cultures has been honored with an award. The Lebanese-Australian model, TV host, and lawyer was given an accolade by the Australia Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry this week during a ceremony in Melbourne, lauded for the light she has shined on her heritage. “So yesterday, I received the highest honor a Lebanese Australian could receive!” the star told her 540,000 Instagram followers. “Thank you so much to the ALCCI for awarding me with ‘Outstanding Ambassador to Lebanon and Australia’.”
Wearing a dramatic black gown from Australian label Oglia-Loro, Kahawaty dazzled with sparkling earrings and a slick of electric-blue eyeliner. With her hair swept up into a bun and a romantic, voluminous skirt, the model and philanthropist shared several images of her big night with her followers, as she revealed she “couldn’t be happier for this recognition”. “With my move from Australia to the Middle East five years ago, my aim was to bridge my two worlds and encourage intercultural dialogue and understanding,” she added.
Kahawaty, who is based in Dubai, jetted into Australia last week, where she also attended a conference to honor members of the Lebanese Australian community. Prior to the event, the star, who was born in Sydney, made a return visit to her old high school, where she spoke to “bright, humble, and ambitious” female students in years 10 and 11. “I had goosebumps being there, remembering how I was when I was 17 and what I wanted to hear,” the model revealed after her visit. “Thank you for listening to me.”
This was not the humanitarian’s first mission to inspire the younger generation, either. Kahwaty, who studied international human rights law, refugee law, and family law, has been involved with charities in Australia working to provide children with education and meals, and she visited a UN refugee camp in Bekaa Valle in Lebanon in 2016. Last year, the star also visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan last year, where she met displaced Syrian families as part of her work with the Louis Vuitton for Unicef appeal.