Saudi Arabia: Reflections of Love


Yesterday the love of my life would have been 55 years of age.  When we were both in Pakistan he shared that the first birthday party he had was the surprise party I had given for him.  Little did he know that when we went on what was to be a “simple and quiet” getaway to Lahore from Islamabad in 2001 was in actuality a carefully orchestrated event.  Yes, I wanted to see and share the exotic closing of the Wagah border between India and Pakistan at sundown with him.  That much was openly shared with him.  What he did not know was that I had organized a private and intimate birthday party for him and had the cooperation of one of his best friends. What he had thought was an excess tendency on my part to pack too large of a bag for a short trip was really a bag full of laughter, love and surprises for him!  Since I would be moving on from Islamabad to my next diplomatic posting in New Delhi, I wanted to make sure that he would not forget about me with some special gifts and memories. 

He did the driving when we went to and from the Wagah border. Driving in Riyadh is a challenge but imagine Lahore, Pakistan where one drives on the “opposite” side of a crowded roadway meant for no more than 2 cars side-by-side but somehow 5 cars, “tuck tucks”, scooters and bicycles all managed to line up in a horizontal row.  He was instructed by me to take a rest in his room while I saw to making dinner reservations.  While he rested I made sure that a private dining room had been arranged, set up with festive ambience, the cake was made to perfection, wrapped presents arranged and his friend had arrived. 

At the appointed time I collected him from his room advising him it was time for our dinner reservation.  The expression on his face when the door to the private dining was opened and as the lights were turned on he saw his best friend, other guests and packages was priceless.  I saw my love blush and I never knew until then that an Arab could blush!

He was so surprised and overwhelmed.  It was especially touching when he and his Saudi friend hugged and kissed each other with raw emotion.  That was when he told me and all present that it was his first birthday party. It was not his last.  From that point on we celebrated his birthday each year…until 2010 when he was taken Home. 

I miss you, Abdullah.  You are now where you are forever young.  God Bless You.


14 Responses

  1. Happy birthday to your sweetie!

  2. God bless you Carol… This post tore at my heart strings. RIP Abdullah.

  3. oh! so sweet… i just wish the ending didn’t turn up like that…

  4. Thank you all.

  5. RIP Abdullah and until you two meet again. God bless you Carol.

  6. May he rest in peace Insha’ Allah…

    I came to learn of blog from the Alarabiya article and was moved by your beautiful eulogy. May God bless you and give you and your loved ones the strength to continue your journey.

  7. You gave each otner great happiness.

  8. Lovely story and a lovely gesture. Thanks for sharing that….

  9. Thank you Irish!

  10. May God give you both Al Firdoz

  11. I love you Carol. I miss Abdullah and I miss not being able to be there with you right now dear friend. You guys made an awesome couple 🙂

    Many hugs and much love

    From both Gibran and me.

  12. I miss you, Gibran and your family, Khadeejah. I am praying you will make it to the USA this year. I have some special pics of our times together with Abdullah to share with you. We bonded as friends, sisters and familys.

    Thanks to you I was always able to understand the nuances of the Arab man’s mind when my own was too cluttered with Western dustballs! (smile)

    Love you!

  13. Carol, I haven’t been reading blogs in a long time due to some medications I was on that was making it hard for me to read and concentrate. I am sorry to learn you are back in chemo and you are in my prayers. In catching up on your blogs, I could comment on all (but my hands don’t have it in them for the typing.) But any pain is put aside so I can tell you how beautifully you get across the love you and Abdullah have … what you have is what so many yearn for and never ever get. I am sorry he’s not with you in person; though I believe he is with you always. I doubt many will ever experience the love you two shared. I have a deep love but it can’t even compare to what you had. Thank you for sharing yours with all of us!!! Love and prayers.


  14. […] some of my special memories during our courtship was giving you your very first birthday celebration.  I’ll never forget the pools of emotion in your eyes filled with tears of joy, love and […]

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