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Translating Love

Translating Love

Issue 69 June 2010

A chance visit to a tourism exhibition to find a holiday to Mongolia, led to a change of faith, as well as marriage for Sascha and Lamiya.



I had studied German at university in Azerbaijan, so when my former boss called and said he needed someone to help interpret at an international tourism exhibition, I volunteered to help. At the time of the exhibition, Berlin was celebrating the ‘cultural year of Azerbaijan’ and I thoroughly enjoyed communicating the beauty of my country to those who visited the exhibition. The fair attracted a significant amount of attention, and Sascha happened to be one of the people I spoke to.

We began to write emails to one another and exchange books and films that we thought the other should see. I guess our relationship was based on friendship and a true understanding of the other person, which I personally believe is the reason for why our marriage works so well.  I noticed immediately that Sascha had a great sense of humour and a certain tolerance and curiosity of other religions. He was inquisitive and forthcoming in seeking knowledge and understanding of things that were unknown to him, which I think is a great quality in any human being.

I remember once seeing Sascha in a mosque. He didn’t know I was there and I spotted him praying with the other worshippers. I was completely amazed; he hadn’t converted at the time but I hadn’t realised how soon he had become committed and involved with Islam and it all seemed to come so naturally to him. When he discussed his desire to convert, he made it clear that as a Christian, he had always maintained a strong faith in God.

After exchanging emails for a while and getting to know each other, I told my parents that Sascha and I wanted to get married. Whilst my mother was supportive, my father was opposed to the wedding initially. Due to the fact that I had been brought up in a Muslim country, my father was naturally hesitant and weary of the fact that I’d need to move to Germany and he had plenty of misconceptions about Western cultures as many fathers of that generation do. But he knew I loved my culture, and my brother’s and mother’s support alongside his realisation that I was truly content in the idea of marrying Sascha, convinced him.

Sadly, a couple of days before our wedding day, my grandfather passed away and the wedding was postponed. Regardless, Sascha and his parents came over to attend the funeral. Although it was a sad time, we were able to introduce Sascha and his family to the people of our village. They immediately warmed to them and accepted Sascha as my husband to be.

Sascha and I get along very well – our relationship was formed on the basis of true friendship and I think that’s been a great balancing force in our marriage. He is very caring and helpful, like a true gentleman! He always knows how to make me laugh and is always making small gestures to make me happy. I’m very proud to have him by my side as my husband. 



I first met Lamiya at an international tourism exhibition in Berlin. My parents had sent me to investigate travel packages to Mongolia, but as soon as I entered I got caught up at the Azerbaijani stand, and there she was. She told me a lot about her country; I could tell she was truly passionate about it. After more than an hour of talking, I returned home and remember mentioning to my parents what a nice girl I thought Lamiya was.
At the exhibition, Lamiya had invited me to visit the Azerbaijani puppet theatre, but I was disappointed to know that all the tickets had sold out. The same day, I learnt that that there was an Azerbaijani concert taking place. I decided to go along and luckily, ended up sitting behind Lamiya. We exchanged email addresses and began writing to one another.
Over the course of our email exchanges, I began to ask my Turkish neighbour questions about Islam. I started reading up on the religion and acquired an extensive amount of knowledge before I decided to convert.  I always had a strong connection to faith and would regularly attend church prior to becoming a Muslim.
Lamiya had returned to Azerbaijan as her scholarship had ended. Before she left, we had decided that we wanted to get married; the challenge was now for Lamiya to communicate this to her family. Her father was quite opposed to the marriage as he wanted her to marry an Azerbaijani and was weary of Western cultures.  Finally, he agreed and I came over and got to know her very warm, friendly and hospitable family. We were engaged in Azerbaijan after which I flew back home to Germany, looking forward to our wedding and Lamiya continued with her studies.
Our wedding was scheduled for March, but unfortunately, a few days before the ceremony was due to take place, Lamiya’s grandfather died. Despite the wedding’s postponement it felt right to fly out to Azerbaijan and attend the funeral. Whilst it was an emotional time, it definitely brought the families closer together.
Three months later, we were married. The wedding day was highly enjoyable; I got to experience Lamiya’s culture like I had never done before. I guess that’s the benefit of multicultural marriages, you get to experience a world that was otherwise unknown to you.
Lamiya has a great sense of humour and we share a great interest in travelling and learning about different cultures.  Lamiya and I have plenty of discussions on religion, ethics, and morals and so much more – I guess we search for answers together and that makes our relationship stronger.  Of course like any other married couple, we encounter problems and challenges but we manage due to our mutual respect and understanding of one another. 


You can check out more marriage articles here

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1 Comment



9 Jun 11, 16:12

Congratulations to both of you. I must say both of you
are lucky that Almighty Allah has given you this
beautiful bonding. I am also going through same
phrase, but not sure whether Almighty will bless me
with him or not, as i could not still talk to him about

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