How bees carried this patient counselor from Lebanon to VCU

Lea Lahoud holds her children's book "The Sister and the Bee."

Lea Lahoud, children’s book author and pastoral care student.

The French drama “Of Gods and Men” is what initially piqued Lea Lahoud’s (M.S.’18/HP) interest in bees. Watching the film at home in Byblos, Lebanon, with her three brothers, Lahoud recalls being mesmerized by the beekeeping rituals of the eight Trappist monks in the film, which is based on actual events from the Algerian Civil War.

“Bees teach us that the impossible can be reached,” Lahoud said. “Despite their little thin wings, they are able to carry their heavy bodies and fly far away.”

The Virginia Commonwealth University patient counseling graduate grew up on the east coast of Lebanon. A devout Catholic, she joined the Lebanese Maronite Order when she was in her early 20s. At the convent where she lived for 12 years, Lahoud maintained 45 beehives. She studied nursing then switched to graphic design and multimedia, but working with the bees inspired her to dream bigger.

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