Nora Gharib in her former studio, where she first started living alone at a young age.

Nora Gharib in her former studio, where she first started living alone at a young age. © VTM

In a new episode of ‘Alloo bij…’, Luk Alloo takes actress and presenter Nora Gharib (28) on a journey through the past. She also visits the place where she first lived alone, when she left home at the age of eighteen because her parents did not approve of her then relationship.

Eva De Poorter

“I was in sixth grade and in a relationship. As a result, the home situation became difficult and I went to live alone. That was my own choice,” she tells Luk Alloo when they return to her first studio. Gharib was in a relationship with Anson, whom she would eventually marry and has a nearly two-year-old daughter Chams. Her parents had a very hard time with the fact that he was a non-Muslim at the time. They only accepted it after six years. In the meantime, the couple broke up last year after twelve years together.

“I would have told them that I was going to live alone. But I hadn’t prepared anything yet. It wasn’t until I said it that I started looking. I had already been in contact with the assisted independent living service and had already looked up information. But there was no place to live yet. I then lived for a week or two in an emergency studio that they could offer, which was even smaller than this.”

In the end, it was a rough period for Gharib. “In the sense that I couldn’t really focus on the things you should focus on at that age: school, friends,… There was very little room in my head for that.” The neighborhood itself wasn’t the easiest neighborhood either. The temptation to go astray was everywhere. “All the young people who lived here used drugs. I haven’t used it once,” she says. “My hatred for it has only grown from the things I’ve seen here. I’ve seen lives broken.”

beauty school

Gharib also goes back to the apartment where she lived as a little girl in Merksem. Good memories surface, but it makes her very emotional to return. It even brings tears. She can’t believe her eyes, so she makes a video call to sister Farah to reminisce about beautiful moments together. “Here, the bathroom, where we couldn’t stretch our legs when we sat on the toilet because the washing machine was in the way,” sister Farah remembers.

Nora Gharib also goes to the apartment in Merksem where she lived as a little girl.

Nora Gharib also goes to the apartment in Merksem where she lived as a little girl. © VTM

Gharib wanted to become a detective when she grew up, she says. But studying turned out not to be for her in the end. She then went to beauty school. Her teachers there meant a lot to her. When she visits with Alloo, it is a happy reunion. “Everyone here was like a mommy to me, as I lived alone from a young age. I was quite lonely and didn’t have many adult role models around me. But it didn’t feel like school here, I never felt alone here.”

ALSO READ. Nora Gharib: “My life has changed a lot since my divorce”

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