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Mar 18, 2016

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This Pakistani woman may change your mind about arranged marriages

Canadian airport reality TV show Hello Goodbye tells the story of a Pakistani woman at Toronto Pearson International Airport, who is eagerly waiting for her husband’s arrival from Pakistan. Her eye-opening account presents a refreshingly beautiful perspective on arranged marriages.
As the show’s Facebook page writes, Hello Goodbye is an unscripted show that aims to uncover “the touching stories of people travelling through the arrival and departure areas of a vibrant, international airport.”
“This unscripted series examines topics and themes universal to us all, such as: love, loss, friendship, family.”
The show’s host Dale Curd meets a woman named Uzma, who is waiting with her daughter for her husband Kamal’s return from Pakistan.
After four months apart, she can hardly contain her excitement, as she tells Curd, “My heart is pounding.”
They’ve never been apart for this long. “It’s the first time actually, that we’ve been away… I’ve never left him for one night in all these 18 years.”
She explains that her husband had to go home to take care of his sisters, due to the death of his brother. “It’s our culture to take care of our family.”
When asked how she met Kamal, Uzma explains that her husband is also her ‘mamu‘ – her mother’s second cousin.
“My mum just asked me that day, ‘That family is proposing. Do you agree?’ And I had no issue because he was becoming a doctor.”
At the age of 18, she agreed, despite their significant age difference. “He’s eight years older than me, but I’m okay with it.”
She had a hard time transitioning from calling him ‘mamu‘ to calling him by his name.
“He’s your fiancé,” her mother had to point out.
Dale Curd then noted, ”Sometimes we hear arranged marriages are difficult.”
“I don’t think so,” Uzma explains, “In arranged marriages, you are backed by your whole family. In the times of ups and downs, they are with you.”
She had her apprehensions, however. “After four days of my wedding, I was literally crying ‘Oh I have to stay with this man for my whole life. Till death do us part? No way!’”
She learned with time that communication is the key to a good relationship. “When you get married, and you’re living with a person 24 hours a day, the main thing is communication. We had a lot of communication, a lot of feelings, and shared everything… everything.”
These marriages may start off arranged, but they have the capacity to grow into something beautiful with time. “It’s good to have an arranged marriage. But that arranged marriage grows into a love marriage.”
After four months apart, Uzma concludes, “We can’t live apart. We can’t… It’s the real deal.”