By Elika Rad
When Ahmad left the war in Syria back in 2015, I was in Thailand completing a teaching internship and catching the humanitarian-work bug. It’s extraordinary that the both of us, in our own ways, were pulled away from our everyday lives to embark on a different course.
A year and a half later, it would lead us to the same place; a refugee camp in the southwest of Attica, Greece. Before we met, we both made some life choices that didn’t work out for us. Those unwanted twists and turns took us down different roads, but they became the path that led us to each other. Allah (SWT) truly works in wonderfully mysterious ways.
Ahmad’s circumstances gave us no choice but to develop our relationship from a distance. We weren’t able to conceive how strong our connection would become as we spoke on the phone every day. Moving from camp to camp, struggling to make ends meet, shifting between having hope and losing it, and getting through some really tough days. It was a year of endless ups and downs. But, alhamdullilah, we came out the other side.
Two weeks ago, I was asked if I was willing to spend the rest of my life with a man who is a refugee and has nothing to offer me except his love. A man who remained gentle, kind and good, despite being ripped apart by war. Who endured the loneliness and cruelty of displacement, but gave warmth and support to others. Who was knocked down by life so many times, but got back up again and again. A man who has gone through the deepest pits of darkness, but still retained his big heart. Without a shadow of a doubt, I am.
But the story isn’t over just yet. We are only at the beginning chapters. I’m from Australia and live in Sydney, while Ahmad is currently residing in Romania. The process of us reuniting in Australia is very lengthy, complicated, bureaucratic and expensive.
We have many more obstacles to face on this arduous road ahead. So we ask you to please send your duas our way to help get us through. We are huge believers in the power of prayer, and know that if you can sincerely pray for us, this wonderful yet crazy journey may just become a little easier.
Jazakum Allahu Khair.