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Happily ever after? | Manolo for the Brides

Happily ever after?

Language, culture, and freedom is no barrier for this bride

A foreign groom. A whirlwind love affair in a far off country. A young bride so in love. Sounds like a recipe for your standard romance flick, right? The problem is that the real world is no movie set and some decisions are harder to unmake than others.

The story of Cumbrian newlywed Amy Robson can be a sweet one or a kind of scary one depending on how you frame it. According to the Daily Mail, the 18-year-old bride ran away to Egypt to meet up with a married boatman she’d met on a family holiday a year prior. When he stood her up, she attached herself to an unmarried Internet cafe manager named Noby. She can’t speak Arabic, and he can only speak a tiny bit of English, but that didn’t put a damper on their infatuation.

It still sounds pretty exciting! They’d planned to marry quickly, but Amy’s parents tricked her into coming home to England. That couldn’t stop her, though… She used the meager pocket money she was given to buy a plane ticket back to Egypt. Noby had moved on, but she tracked him down, and their love had transcended the absence they’d both endured. The two lovebirds tied the knot lickety-split, over what I imagine were Amy’s parents’ objections.

But here’s where this love story dips into darker territory: Noby took Amy’s passport from her. He also doesn’t want her to work, which means that she will have to spend her days indoors with other married women. She can’t even walk around without Noby at her side because it’s considered improper and she attracts a lot of attention with her fair skin and blond hair.

I’m not one to poo-poo anyone’s choices…after all, it’s Amy’s life to do with what she pleases. But what sane woman gives up her passport?

15 Responses to “Happily ever after?”

  1. class-factotum December 12, 2007 at 12:57 pm #

    I dabbled in a relationship with a Moroccan guy for a while. He had a PhD from a school in Paris and his sister went to Georgetown, so I thought he was pretty western, but after spending a week in Paris with him, I realized that the cultural differences were far too vast to overcome. (My Christmas present to my mother that year was the announcement that I had broken up with the Muslim and started dating a Lutheran instead.)

    I would never even have considered surrendering my passport. That’s pure insanity. But this girl doesn’t sound too bright to begin with.

  2. Chloe December 12, 2007 at 1:51 pm #

    *bangs head against wall* It’s her own life, but holy cow – I like being able to walk outside without my husband’s permission…

  3. blondiebimbo December 12, 2007 at 3:13 pm #

    Ohhhhhhhhhh my heart breaks, for that woman and every other woman clearly being oppressed around the world.
    True love does not mean absolute power in the hands of either partner.

  4. lazydaisydays December 12, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    after reading the article, i agree with class-factotum…she doesn’t sound like the sharpest tool in the shed. and the passport thing is just BAD. but there plenty of people out there, men and women, who are perfectly happy to cede all responsibility for decision-making to someone else…..so if this is a matter of someone who wants to be controlled paired up with someone who’s happy to control, then who am i to judge?

    i just hope she realizes that it won’t be as easy to run away from this if she gets bored, like she ran away from home. twice. her poor parents…

  5. Dianasaur December 12, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    That poor naive girl. I’ve heard many similar stories. It’s like that Sally Fields movie “Not Without My Daughter” which is based on a true story. It’s often easy to only see the things one wants too, and ignore the warning signs until it seems to late.

  6. blondiebimbo December 12, 2007 at 4:35 pm #


  7. Susan December 12, 2007 at 6:45 pm #

    You can be her parents are kicking themselves for not having taken the holiday in, say, Spain. Let this be a warning to parents of teenage girls who read too many romance novels- take the family vacation in a place where divorce is legal and women have more basic rights.

  8. Never teh Bride December 12, 2007 at 7:47 pm #

    That’s terrible, blondie…

  9. Ninjarina December 12, 2007 at 8:12 pm #

    This sounds like so many cases I’ve had in the office:

    Irate husband wants to divorce wife and/or take kid[s]
    Demands/steals passport from wife
    Strands/abandons her [and possibly their children] in country w/o papers

    This happens a lot and not just in countries where people are extremely “devout” towards their chosen religion. It’s ridiculous that any sane woman would give up her papers and ability to travel freely. She’s going to want to run away once her MiL starts giving her the eye and is fed up w/ her headstrong spirit.

  10. E December 13, 2007 at 11:20 am #

    How deluded can someone be? She’s either just plain dumb or extremely naive… or both. Now what will the poor thing do, when she’ll get out of her fairy tale and see that she got herself in so much trouble? Run to the ambassy? At least, there’s some media coverage (obviously), but I doubt this will get her far, in, say, two or three years from now. Does she even realise that she just crashed her life?

  11. jb December 13, 2007 at 3:23 pm #

    Hard to feel sorry for a girl who is so dumb, but she is in a terrible situation. In regards to Blondie’s story: that’s not sad, that’s sickening. People have become so obsessed with multiculturalism and “inclusion” that they forget that some things are just BETTER than others, like having human rights vs. not having them. Come to our country, obey our laws. FULL STOP. I hope her father is arrested and never leaves prison and that the Muslim community takes the lesson to heart. Sheesh.

  12. Sarah December 14, 2007 at 10:32 am #

    Arab men can be so tremendously romantic from the very beginning… but lord help you if you ever get serious!

    Suddenly, it turns into “You can’t leave the house dressed like that!” and “But, you would look so nice in a headscarf!”

  13. Tizzy December 14, 2007 at 10:14 pm #

    That girl’s poor parents. I have trouble feeling bad for her because, seriously? You married some one you can’t communicate fluently with? WTF?!?

  14. Phalene December 15, 2007 at 11:39 pm #

    I think this person was already in an unhealthy enviroment to start with. Her parents trickery smacks of a situation in which she was already under heavy control, given that she had to ‘run away’ at age 18. Twice.

  15. teapunk December 16, 2007 at 7:36 am #

    A friend of mine married an Egyptian, too. In Kairo he was the most romantic, amazing, western superhot guy. After some time he turned into supermuslim and she ran away into a womens shelter with her child because he threatened her and tried to kidnap the child. Divorced.
    Some cultural gaps are just to big to cross.