In this weeks LDR interview, we meet Mirja and Mohamed. A fun long-distance couple who share many fascinating stories of their Morrocan wedding. Mirja speaks openly how she found it difficult to be patient at the start of her long-distance relationship, but has certainly proven with time, a plan and patience you too CAN make it work. Your sure to enjoy this story!
Hey thanks for joining us, please introduce yourselves and tell the story of how you met?
Hey there , we are Mirja and Mohamed (Simo). I’m from Switzerland and I’m 26 years old. Simo is from Morocco and 28 years old. We met each other in Marrakech, 1 year and 7 months ago; in October 2016. I’ve been in Marrakech for holiday with my lovely grandmother. On our last evening there, we decided to take dinner in “La Maison Arabe”, a very good traditional moroccan restaurant.
So, we went there and yeah… Simo worked there as waiter. We just looked at each other; we didn’t talk. But at the end of the dinner, before we paid the bill, they brought us a paper to fill out (if we are happy with the service and the food etc.). On this paper, you also had to write your e-mail address.
Once filled out, Simo took the paper and searched me with my mail address on Facebook and Instagram. He found me, but he didn’t text me, he just liked a dozen of my pictures. So, I went to his profile to see who liked so many of my pictures. I wasn’t 100% sure if it’s him, so I decided to text him: “do we know each other? Are you working in La Maison Arabe?”
That’s how it all began. We began to text. Months passed until I went back to Marrakech. I told Simo, that I will be in Kech again on April 2017 and he asked me if we could meet. I must say, we both were in another relationship when we first met each other. But we both were unhappy with our partners.
I agreed to the meeting on April; thought we could just be friends. It kind of worked. We just talked, laughed and walked around in Marrakech. He even told me, I’m his best friend! Lol! But actually, we both knew that this was more than just friendship.
Simo was the first one who broke up with his ex-girlfriend. I needed a little more time. After April, I went back to Marrakech again on June. It was Ramadan. I met Simo again, many times. We went to some tourist attractions like Jardins Majorelle. And then he asked me if I want to come to his home in the evening, to eat with his family. I first didn’t want; I was scared. A European, Non-Muslim girl; “full” with tattoos… I thought his family will not accept me.
Simo told me I should come; his mother would love to meet me. So, I agreed and that’s how I met his family for the first time. It was a wonderful evening. We still were not in a relationship. But it was in June when I definitely fell in love with Simo. Even if I was scared of my feelings and even if I tried to fight them.
Some weeks later, I broke up with my ex-boyfriend and yeah.. that’s where Simo’s and my relationship began. We are now in an LDR since 10 months. But it feels longer because I met him a quite long time before we started our relationship.
What first attracted you to each other?
Mirja: His smile! And he is tall, his skin is dark and very beautiful, and he looked so good in his working clothes!
Simo: She came into the restaurant with such a beautiful dress and she looked so amazing in it! I looked into her eyes and they enchanted me; they’re so wonderful!
Your Morrocan wedding looks Amazing! Please share a story from the big day
Mirja: Well; Simo proposed to me soon after the beginning of our relationship. But we first thought, we don’t even have the money for a wedding or for a life together. We decided, that I will come to live in Morocco and I will first just take an apartment on my own.
But then my plans changed and I decided to study at the University of Zurich. This meant that we would stay in an LDR for a looong time, or we have to marry so he could come to Switzerland and live here with me until I finish my studies.
So we decided to marry. But because we don’t have a lot of money, we thought we would just marry in the registry office and then we will go to have dinner somewhere with our families. But then, Simo’s family wanted to give us a big Moroccan party! This was such a beautiful gift of them! Even if we had a lot of arguments because of this wedding party!
So we began to organise the big event with 120 guests. Simo’s sister helped us a lot. She came with me to choose my dresses. She organised the food, the music etc. The first big argument was about the wedding dresses. In Morocco normally the bride wears 7 dresses; 6 traditional Moroccan ones and one white dress. I didn’t want that. I wanted just 2 or 3 traditional ones and my white dress.
It was just one of a lot of arguments between me, Simo and his family. Obviously, it’s not always easy when 2 different cultures meet each other. But we made it through everything and we had a wonderful wedding!
I think a Moroccan wedding is one of the most wonderful things you can have (of course the most wonderful thing if you are the bride yourself, but even if you just be there as a guest it’s awesome!)
I was very nervous on our wedding day! Because I knew, I will be in the middle of everything. All eyes will be on me. Also the eyes of some people I didn’t meet before. But my family from Switzerland came to Morocco to support me and to celebrate this special day with us.
Simo went to do his hair with his friends in the afternoon. I went to have my nails and lashes done. I barely saw Simo this day 🙂 . But I was with my mother and with a wonderful friend of mine who’s living in Marrakech. I did my make-up myself (another thing very atypical for Moroccan weddings, they always let someone else doing the make-up. My mother did my hair. And then we went to the wedding location.
There we waited for the “Negafa”; a woman who is helping you to wear the Moroccan dresses, she also gives you the perfect accessories to the dresses. And she makes sure that you look the most beautiful as possible in the pictures.
The guests arrived and I had to wait in a small room. Then it was Simo’s turn first. He entered the location before me. I still had to wait and I got more and more nervous! Then finally I could enter the location and everyone stared at me; the people made pictures, some people cried some words in Arabic and there was traditional Moroccan music as well.
Then another traditional Moroccan thing happened. The Ammaria; it’s kind of a big throne where the bride has to sit on a four-strong men lift, then the whole thing if raised up and they carry you through the location. It’s a thing you do to say hello to all the guests.
I could talk hours about our wedding night! Another highlight was when my mother walked me into the location when I wore my white dress while the song “beautiful in white” played.
Simo couldn’t take his eyes off me. And when I was next to him he whispered “you look amazing in your white dress”. It was so emotional. Then we had our wedding dance; I made the choreography. We performed our dance to the song “All of me” from John Legend. It was one of the highlights of the wedding night!
We also had a huge wedding cake. Anyway, we had too much food at our wedding! And then, at 5 o’clock a.m. the party finished. We went out of the location where a horse carriage waited for us to bring us to our honeymoon hotel! The wedding was like a dream; like a fairytale! Sometimes we can’t believe that this really happened to us!
Name a memorable, or challenging experience you’ve been through as a couple?
We had to do a lot of paperwork. Sometimes we’ve been absolutely stressed out and sometimes so happy! We also had to travel twice to Rabat for our marriage, where the Swiss embassy is placed. Even if we were stressed, we had 2 wonderful days in Rabat. We took the chance to see a few tourist attractions there, And one time, after the appointment in the embassy, we travelled to Casablanca where we visited the awesome Mosque Hassan 2 and where we bought Simo’s shirt for our wedding. The marriage and it’s paperwork definitely brought us even closer to each other and it taught us that we could go through everything as long as we “fight” together.
Simo: Our wedding was the most wonderful thing in my life! And I will never forget all the paperwork we had to do for the marriage. It needed a lot of patience and energy. We were so proud and happy, once we held the final paper in our hands!
Please describe your perfect weekend together?
We absolutely love to travel, to explore, to experience. So our perfect weekend would be: We do a little weekend trip to Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Amsterdam, Prague or or or :-). If we don’t have time to do this; our perfect weekend together would be: On Saturday, first of all, sleep in! We both don’t like to wake up early. Then go out for a delicious Moroccan breakfast. The sun is shining, it’s hot and we enjoy our time in a waterpark.
In the evening we go out for dinner, Italian or Moroccan kitchen of course! After dinner, we go home to watch a movie on Netflix and we just appreciate that we are together. On Sunday we wake up early to do a day trip to a wonderful spot in Morocco! For example Ouzoud or Ourika… We laugh and joke a lot together and of course, we take a lot of pictures. And in the evening, when we return to home, we go to bed very happy, talking about how beautiful our day trip was and about all what happened during our trip.
What do you value most about your relationship?
Mirja: I value the most that we can trust each other, that we can talk about everything together. Sometimes we have huge fights because both of us always tell if something’s wrong, if we’re angry or sad. But I guess that’s the best thing to do. To talk about everything, whether good or bad. And I value that he accepts me the way I am, better: He loves me the way I am! And he appreciates me and everything that I do for him. We respect each other and we take care of each other. And he always compliments me and tells me how much he loves me; that’s an awesome feeling.
Simo: Mirja accepts me and loves me the way I am; even if she knows, I don’t have a lot of money. She trusts me and she is honest with me too. We don’t have any secrets; we even have the password of each other’s phone.
What advice would you give to other Long-distance couples?
1: Do video calls as much as you can.
2: Share details of your life with each other.
3: Trust each other! Don’t give your partner the feeling, that he/she can’t trust you.
4: Do countdowns for your next visits.
5: And of course, travel to see each other as much as you can, or travel together as much as you can together.
6: Make plans together for your future; so you realise that distance is just temporary.
Simo: You have to trust each other and talk to each other many times. You have to ask about your partner and his/her life. And be patient; that’s so important! And support each other.
What lessons have you learned from living long distance?
Mirja: I’m really so bad in waiting! For me, it is so difficult to be patient. But our LDR taught me patience. Good things take time. And honestly, I always thought, that LDR’s can’t work. But our LDR taught me better! If you really love someone with all your heart, distance can’t separate you from each other; it just makes your love stronger!
Simo: Patience! And that it needs strong love to make a long distance relationship work. I also learned how important it is, to trust each other.
What are your long-term plans?
Actually, we plan to live in Morocco in the beginning of 2019. We dream about opening a small shop together in Marrakech. Until 2019, we hope Simo could spend some months with me in Switzerland; he’s never been in Switzerland before. I would love to show him some places in the country where I grew up and spent 26 years of my life! So, we plan to close the distance soon!
We would also love to travel around the world for some months; we made a bucket list with a lot of places, cities and countries we would love to visit together! And I definitely want to learn Arabic; the Moroccan arabic (Darija) and I hope Simo can learn German as well.
Mirja and Mohamed 🙂
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