portrait via elle.co.za; eiffel tower image from @lichipan

In the November issue of ELLE, the Great Escape Issue, women from all over the world were asked to write letters to their city. We couldn’t help but feel warm inside when reading Sarah Diouf’s letter to Paris…


Dear Paris…

As the place where I opened my eyes for the very first time, you will always be home to me, Paris. You are more than ever part of my story, my DNA, and the bridge that allows me to build my dreams while breaking boundaries across my worlds. I feel this unique sensation of always being surrounded by history – somehow also being a part of it.

You are love, magic, and always chic. But you can also come across as very cold when it comes to anything that is not Parisian. Sometimes I wish our people were warmer and more welcoming. On rainy days, you can be sad, yet so romantic, especially for those lucky (and patient!) enough to watch the raindrops falling down on your beautiful Haussmann buildings.

I know being cosmopolitan isn’t easy, as you’re still fighting to adjust and embrace all of your cultures — but what makes you beautiful in my eyes is your diversity, your many colours. This is the image of you I love the most, not the ones portrayed on these beautiful postcards, which cannot begin to capture who you really are.

While sitting outside on a terrace, lost in my own thoughts at La Mosquée, I’m reminded just how fortunate I am to be here. Most of my firsts have been with you. When far from sight, you are closer to my heart; and in your absence, my heart grows fonder. Paris, I love you. I do have to leave you sometimes, so when I come back, I can appreciate you even more.


Sara Diouf is the founder and editor of creative powerhouse, Ghubar magazine. You can follow here on Instagram here or read more of her thoughts on twitter here.

First published on elle.co.za