Maaike and Nassar

How We Met

Conakry Guinea 2016, it was a normal working night like any other working nights when I was still working in Africa as director of Food and Beverage in one of the hotels in the city. One of my duties was to supervise the nightclub, which was part of the hotel. I started work at midnight and it was a boring night, so I had a lack of energy and wanted to go home. But around two am something changed when I saw a glowing white light coming from the corner of the club, which by the way was the darkest spot in the club. I could not really understand where this light came from, so I went closer and then the image becomes clear to me.

There was a beautiful tall girl with a beautiful sunrise-gold hair. She was wearing a light blue dress and sat with a very shiny smile drawn upon her face. It was love at the first sight. I could not believe my eyes, she was the most gorgeous girl I have ever seen and she took my heart by storm. So I went to talk to a mutual friend who was sitting with them to introduce me to her. But first he introduced me to a man who was sitting next to her and when we tried to exchange numbers he took the phone of Maaike to register my phone number so I assumed that was her husband. I became frustrated and I walked away without saying a word to her. The days passed by and every time she came to our hotel I looked at her asking myself why destiny is not fair with me and I could not believe that after I finally met the girl of my dreams, she was in a relationship. It was like having a sentimental shock.

The year past and it turned into 2017, after my birthday in April me and my friends went to the Sheraton hotel to have dinner. Maaike was working in that hotel in the finance department, but on that particular night, she was the manager on duty. So we ran into each other on the buffet and greeted each other. I went for a refill on the buffet and when I was heading back to my table I saw her sitting on her own and insisted to join us for dinner and she did. We talked the whole evening and we discovered we both booked a trip to Europe. I was going to travel and she was visiting her home country the Netherlands. In the end, we talked about the nightclub and I told her to take my number and give it to her husband to call me to make a reservation for the weekend. She looked so surprised and said she wasn’t married, nor did she had a boyfriend. I could not be happier to hear that. After dinner, she walked with me to the exit and when we said goodbye I saw her blushing and from that moment I knew that I meant something to her.

The next day I went to the hotel again hoping she would be there and I was able to see her. I was lucky because she was there and I invited her to sit with me. We talked again about all kinds of topics and reasons why we went to Africa. Then I asked her to go on a date with me and have dinner. That week we went on our first date and it was perfect, we became so close and that was the moment our adventure together began. In the five months from there we went on a trip together to Paris, I met her parents in Holland and she met mine in Lebanon and did lots of trips together. For the first time in my life, I am truly happy and I feel that we were destined to be together. Maaike is truly the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with and she is the girl I was dreaming of my whole life. Everything about her attracts me (her ambition, intelligence, the way she acts, the way she cares, her stubbornness, her beauty inside and outside, when she challenges me and the most of all is her eager to success….)

how they asked

So after five months, I started planning for the proposal. After searching for quite a while I finally found Nailia, an event planner, to help me. After several Skype calls we decided I was going to ask Maaike on the 12th of December 2017. The day was perfect. There was a lot of snow in Holland, but yet the sky was blue and there was even sun. It felt like a gift and a blessing from God. On this day I brought Maaike to Lelystad and blindfolded her in the car.

We drove to the destination where I met Nailia, the photographer, and Videomaker. I escorted Maaike from the car and I hold her hand while we walked to the arch which said Marry Me in the middle of the woods. I asked her to take off her blindfold and I went down on my knee.

I asked her to marry me and she was so surprised happy and full of tears of happiness and she said YES. After I put the ring on her finger and we toasted with champagne, we took a helicopter ride as the next surprise. When we were back in the car, she kept on asking if her family was aware and I denied.

She did not know that her whole family was invited for a surprise dinner and when we arrived Maaike was again full of tears and happiness. A Lebanese man who went to Guinea and was never sure why he did that, met the love of his life, a Dutch woman with the same thoughts. I believe we were destined to be together and truly made for each other.

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Special Thanks

Raisa Zwart Photography