That morning we met up with his brother, his brother's (then fiance, now my sister-in-law (sitting to my right,) his best friend and her Croatian husband at the Alexandria Country Club. We snacked on delicious tahina, hummus, and other goodies with flat bread. We played a few card games and enjoyed smoking the sheesha. Everyone was in good spirits. (The egyptian is the one taking the picture.)
That night, he enter his family's apartment with a dozen beautiful red roses.
Finally we sat down and exchange rings. His step father is peering over the egyptan's shoulder.
After that, we stepped into the main room, and his uncle stepped in and represented my father. This person is called the "Waleed." They signed papers agreeing upon my price, *giggle* and the ceremonial exchange of money was accepted and the egyptian pledged to be my husband.
Later we had cake and drinks with his family. We were sooooooo happy. It was joyous. Even though the American government did not recognize our vows, we consider this day our original wedding anniversary. To my friends in America, outside of a few close ones, every one just knew us as engaged.
Later we went for a walk along the Sea and a quick visit to Green Plaza for espresso and sheesha.
The next morning the egyptian placed my flowers in a simple vase, and we enjoyed our morning egyptian breakfast!
That was followed by another walk along the Mediterranean Sea.
About two years later he arrived in America and we formally and officially married one another.
The highlight of our ceremony in America was our belly dancer, and my good friend, Sibylle. She is actually from the Republic of Congo, and was taking Flamenco and Belly Dancing at the same school I was. She agreed to be my "entertainment" for the evening!!
Hanging out with my friend Christy and her date. I've known Christy for years. She and her mother were good friends of mine through Girl Scouts.
Tonya enjoying in the fun. Tonya is one of my best friends and former co/workers from the Girl Scouts.
(Obviously, the wedding took place in Georgia.)
One of my best friends from college's daughter on the left, and my niece on the right.
The theme of the Reception was "Arabian Nights."
One of my friends from high school, Erica, made a DELICIOUS Pyramids of Giza cake!!!
Yolanda on the front left trying the dancing out, and one of my best friends from my TV days, Mary Therese, shaking it up!
Another friend from high school, Ginger and I enjoying a little chat.
The egyptian and I with my best friend from church Margaret (she is my friend from South Africa) and my other best friend, Tonya.
My sister made a beautiful middle eastern pillow cake for us! Red velvet!!!!
The egyptian's best friend, Hesham, showing us how egyptian men dance. He flew over for our wedding! My other best friend, Tiffany in the back enjoying the dance She drove all of the way from Birmingham!
My friend Katie from Birmingham, me and Tiffany.
Me, the egyptian, my closest and dearest friend - Telisa, and our other friend from high school - JJ.
My dad & mom
the egyptian, katie, hesham, and our friend Collen (who also drove from Birmingham)
At the end of the day - these two evenings were joyous.
Yes - marriage is not easy, and those who tell you it is - well, God Bless Them.
Love - yes, I love him. That's the easy part.
Our cultural and religious differences are our biggest challenge.
We got dealt some pretty hard blows this year - with both of us losing our full-time jobs and our home.
Not to mention the excessive expenses of more immigration paperwork.
We are doing the best we can and pushing forward to a brighter tomorrow.
The truth is, it can happen to anyone.
What's important to remember - you have to hold on to the good, and try with all of your might to dig your heels in and fight like hell to make it work.
When the odds are stacked against you - you have to turn to God and allow his will to unfold.
I read something the other day that just clicked. I want to share that here today.
Finally, at the end of the day - I choose him.
However... I will always know that...