Alan writes a brief explanation ...

How did we meet?   Guess.   Yes, on the Internet, believe it or not.   Shamim was in Stafford (near Houston) while I was here in Austin, so we would otherwise be unlikely to have ever met.   We discovered each other online during the evening of December 26, 2000.   I was fascinated to know more about Shamim's conversion from Islam to Christ.   Shamim was thrilled to find someone actually interested to discuss such things.

Then what?   We "chatted" online until Shamim fairly passed out from exhaustion around 11pm.   Then we resumed the next morning.   Later that same second day, we talked on the phone and continued to relish the conversation until we began to discuss whether we might ever actually meet face to face.   I initially thought that we would probably just remain email & phone pals for a long while, but then I reconsidered   ...   Actually, we could meet, as I was off work that week on an extended holiday, and Houston was only about 2.5 hours away.   So, on the third day, Thursday, December 28, 2000, I went to spend a day with Shamim.   In short, by the end of the day (though we were slow to fully admit it during the subsequent months), we had both fallen very deeply in love. But we eventually recognized that it was God who had drawn us together, so after a little more than six months, on Friday, July 13, 2001, we were married.

Can you Tell us a little more about Shamim?   Shamim was born in Karachi, Pakistan on May 16, 1964.   Her parents and her younger brother were visiting Houston when we met, but a few months later they returned to Karachi.   She has another brother who has been living in Houston for many years.

Shamim came to Houston in 1987 to live with her (now ex-)husband, to whom she had been given against her will in an "arranged" marriage.   He sorely mistreated Shamim, and eventually left and divorced her after about ten years, during which time her three children were born.   (As of 30-Dec-2002 update ... ) Her eldest son, Shoaib, is 15.   Her daughter, Aisha, is 12.   Her youngest son, Ahmed, is 9.

In spite of Shamim's best efforts in a very long, bitter, and expensive series of battles in court, her ex-husband has obtained primary custody and now almost completely isolates her from them, ostensibly in order to prevent their conversion from Islam. In summary, Shamim is seldom able to see or talk with her children, and she has only much less frequent contact with the rest of her family.

Otherwise, to describe Shamim briefly, I would say that in addition to being quite beautiful, she is kind, peaceful, loving, tender, sweet, funny, industrious, godly, forgiving, compassionate, intelligent, well-read, ... and a heck of a great cook.   ...   I could go on and on, ...

In the meantime, ... Thanks for sharing our happiness!  (Note: Still Happy!)

AKH -- 26-Jul-2001, updated 30-Dec-2002 -- September 2002 update

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