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Fairmont Nile City, Cairo

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Samantha met Paul while studying Arabic at a summer program in California in summer 2010. Though they are both native English speakers, Paul told Samantha she is beautiful in Arabic, which immediately caught her attention and opened the door for their first date. Although the two of them developed a quick and deep affection for one another, Samantha and Paul parted as she went to study Arabic abroad in Jordan, and he went back to his hometown in Missouri to look for work. The two of them wrote love letters to each other in Arabic, and talked at length on Skype whenever they could. As fate would have it, Paul found a job working at a school in Sanaa, Yemen. On his way to Yemen, he visited Samantha in Jordan, and they traveled to the Dead Sea together where they both said "I love you" for the first time. Paul went to Yemen, and they would see each other once more before Samantha went back to the United States to continue her studies: Samantha's parents came to visit her in Jordan and traveled around the Middle East with her--stopping in Cairo in late December. Paul met Samantha and her family in Cairo, and they stayed at the Fairmont Nile City.  They traveled for a few days from Cairo to Alexandria and had an incredible trip. On New Year's Eve, their last night in Egypt, Samantha and Paul went to the rooftop of the Fairmont hotel, shared a dance, and promised each other they would wait for one another until they were in the same place again. The next day, she embarked for the United States with her family and he went back to Yemen alone.

In February 2011, Paul had traveled to the city of Ta'iz in Yemen. On his way home, he took a picture of an English sentence graffitied on the wall that lined the highway. It said "I love you Sam." He sent her this picture just in time for Valentine's Day. As the instability in Yemen increased in March of 2011 and made life much more insecure and difficult, Paul left his job and returned to the United States. He quickly found a job near the city where Samantha attends school and moved there within a month. Although Samantha traveled to work in Tunisia for the following summer, and this pair is constantly on the move, Paul and Samantha still love each other deeply. They are now together in the same city and extremely happy, and hope to stay that way for a very long time.


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