Maya and Karim were inseparable. They were just one of those couples that we were sure would never break up. And then without warning- they break up and he gets engaged, to a girl from his own religion.
Typical right? Maya the Christian girl from Jbeil and Karim the Muslim guy from Beirut. We’ve all heard this story many many times. But when it happens to one of your closest friends, you really start to rethink things.
He called her his “wifey” all the time. Not once- would you ever look at these two and think they’re “different”- because, well, they just weren’t. I wouldn’t say they practiced religion, but occasionally Maya would go to a mass with her parents and Karim would fast a few days in Ramadan.
They’re relationship was an intimate one. Both couple’s parents knew about it. There were rumors that Maya’s parents weren’t exactly happy, but they knew they couldn’t do anything about it. Karim’s parents on the other hand, always welcomed Maya, and Maya felt right at home with them.
After 4 years going strong, they both wanted more. So they decided they would do what any interfaith Lebanese couple would have to do, a civil marriage in Cyprus. That’s when things started to go wrong. Maya’s mother was heartbroken; she vowed that Maya would “regret” never walking down the aisle. Karim’s parents seemed OK with it all, until they mentioned a small religious ceremony (Katb Al Kitab) upon the couple’s return from Cyprus. “Just for formalities” his dad kept saying.
And that’s when shit hit the fan. Maya felt betrayed that Karim had bought into his dad’s suggestion. When Maya’s parents got word of this, they freaked out. And with communication down the drain, the couple took some “time-off.” One minute we’re shopping for a “silky simple off-white dress” the next Maya’s lying on her bedroom floor crying her heart out.
The girls and I kept trying to explain to Maya that all this shouldn’t matter, what matters is that she loves Karim and they should do what they have to do to make it work. My boyfriend called me such a hopeless romantic, “things don’t work that way”, he kept saying.
Indeed they don’t. Karim felt just as betrayed that Maya wouldn’t do such a “small formality” to be with him. Both parents convinced them they were better off without each other. And today, a month later, Kairm’s Facebook status changed to “Engaged.”
For once, I’m completely out of words. Bisoux