Tragic LDR Love Story: Ziad and Nour
My best friend Nour (from the USA) was in a long distance relationship with Ziad (from Syria) for about two years. They had met a long time ago, but they ddin’t start to go out until months after - online. Because of the terrible war going on in Syria, it was dangerous and very hard for them to visit each other in these two years. They dreamt of being able to see each other again, to actually hold each other and kiss each other and make memories in person. None of this happened because Ziad was abducted on his way to work last week, after which the men demanded 5 million pounds from his parents for his safe return. His family could only give 50 thousand because that’s all they had. In times of war, no one had that much money on their hands. It wasn’t enough. On May 16, 2013, Ziad died. Below, is the detailed account of Nour and Ziad’s relationship, as told by Nour herself.
It was the summer of 2010. I was taking a vacation in Syria where my whole family lives, but I live in the US. One day, I was invited to a party that was not a good idea to go to. Normally I’m the innocent good girl who doesn’t go to these kinds of parties, but something made me go to this one. There, I met up with my childhood friend who decided to introduce me to her boyfriend at this party. His name was Ziad. She introduced us and I thought he was a very good looking guy, but of course didnt think about him TOO much because of the fact that he was my bestfriend’s boyfriend, and also I was waaaaayy too out of his league. Especially that he was dating this gorgeous girl who was my bestfriend. Any guy interested in her would NOT be interested in me. Her and I were way too different.
We met again once or twice at different parties. Family parties. I saw his family from a distance, without talking to them, because I was a complete stranger to them. The third time I met him, again, I saw him from a distance but he saw me too and we talked a little.
When the summer was over I had to go back home to the US. So did my bestfriend. A couple months passed and she and her boyfriend Ziad were starting to get into a lot of fights. He decided to add me on Facebook because he knew how close I was to her and he thought I would help them. She then told us both that she never really loved him and was using him the whole time. She broke his heart and they broke up.
Two months passed and Ziad and I were talking a lot. Almost everyday. At the time, I had a boyfriend of 3 years. He was also from Syria, so I was in a long distance relationship. But he treated me badly and I felt the distance was making his love for me lessen. I would then complain to Ziad, I found myself telling him many things and we became good friends in no time. Later, I broke up with my boyfriend because our relationship became useless. Then one day, Ziad told me that he really likes me and I felt the same. So we stepped into a long distance relationship. We talked all day and night. He was literally the most perfect guy I’ve ever met. He was the guy all the girls wanted and dreamed of. Along with that came jealousy problems. Not from me, but from other girls. I went through the first 3 months with him, getting hate messages from syrian girls. I confronted him about it and demanded for him to stop it. He did. Together we blocked every girl that caused us problems. Even the ones he was really close friends with. He did everything for me…
We went through months and months of deep love. I even found myself crying from happiness one night because of how cute he was and the cute things he said to me. I was so happy.
One day, something happened that I thought I would forever regret. A guy at my school that I was talking to liked me, and was trying to convince me to leave Ziad for him. I kept rejecting him. These things were said in messages on Facebook. Ziad and I had each others Facebook passwords, so he saw the messages between me and that kid. He got so mad that he went on his Facebook and sent him a very threatening message that he deffinetly did not mean. I knew this would cause trouble so I went to school the next day, with a friend as my witness, and I told the kid to ignore his message and that he didnt meant it, he just said all of that out of anger. The kid then called me stupid for even thinking that he would take it seriously. So I thought everything was cool. That night, the jerk told on Ziad. The police and my parents got involved. It was this huge thing. I had to explain to my parents how I met him and etc. Of course I got in trouble for going to that party and what-not. My electronics were then taken away from me, to prevent me from talking to him. After a while- as in weeks- I talked to him. I know it was bad but you had to understand I was in love. He told me how miserable he was without me.Everything went back to normal, and I stopped talking to that kid forever.
Sometimes we would have conversations of how we wanted to meet again, and tried to make it cute.
Because Syria was having a war, it became impossible to get a plane ticket to go there for the summer, which really upset Ziad. We got into more fights and he was always mad at me. But he kept promising that he would never leave me, and he’ll wait forever.
These times were very hard for me as the Syrian war got more violent. Constant bombings, kidnapping of people, etc. A bomb went off close to my home in Syria and shattered all the windows and broke the locks on doors. The whole city had to evacuate, including some of my family members like my aunt, uncle, and grandma. My dad’s side, like many others, moved to Lebanon. Thankfully we had a home there. My mom’s side just moved to safer areas in the country as they did exist. Where Ziad lived was a safe area fortunately.
Other things Ziad and I talked about included how we’re gonna get married in the future and have beautiful children. We decided on the girl names of Evanna and Lotus. “I want them to look as beautiful as you,” he would say. He even would save money from his current job for the future. He always cared so much about the future and talked about how happy we’re gonna be. I believed in this future plan so much because of the way we met and how coincidental it was! Me and my Bestfriend, who was his ex, had stopped talking when I moved, but somehow our parents found eachother again and through her I met Ziad. I started to think that God made me meet her again just so that I would meet him. It’s like she came and left again just to drop him off to me, ‘cause time separated her and I apart again later. So it was clearly meant to be!
Summer came and we spent it skyping all day and night. Literally; It was Ramadan, which most of the time prevented us from leaving the house. Before Ramadan though, when I wasn’t home, we found a way to text eachother without getting charged long distance. My bestfriend Sushmita found a texting app for him to use. So we talked no matter where I was. He was very appreciative of Sushmita.
My senior year came and he started to become very clingy. It was my senior year and I liked to go out with friends. He didnt like that. He wanted me home skyping with him all day just like in the summer- he got used to it. This caused many, many fights and arguments. I was very unhappy. So was he. We spent the whole year fighting and arguing about the dumbest things, and broke up about 3 times. These break ups only lasted no more than 2 days because of how much we were attached to eachother. In the last break up, he really realized how much he loves me and how much I mean to him. He promised to never hurt me every again or I would have the complete right to leave him. Ever since then he’s been back to the old Ziad that I loved. Sending me random cute messages in the morning and during the day, being sweet to me, and staying home all day to talk to me when I became sick.
A while back he got a job at a bar. It was like the dream job because of how miserable Syria was in this job-lacking time. This job had great hours and even greater pay. But, working in bars is frowned upon in our religion, which caused his family to hate it. But it was the only job he could get, and was very lucky to get it. His dad wasnt making much money either so he had to help him. Even though it’s against our religion, I supported him because I completely understood the hard time Syria’s going through.The only thing I disliked about it, is his very late hours that would cause him to return home around 1 am. Syria used to be like New York; days are night, and nights are days. So to be out at 1 am was so completely normal. But since this war started, no one stayed out past 8 pm, because of the kidnappings. But Ziad hired a taxi driver to drive him and his friend Rabae home from work safely every night.
One day I was at school, and Ziad texted me, as usual, telling me how much he misses me and how he can’t wait to see me later. Then he - multiple times in the conversation - told me that he loves me along with other cute things. This was not different than any other day really.
That night, I had work, I came back exhausted and just wanted to sleep. He was clearly still at work. And because it was so late I thought he’s probably really busy so he would come home tired. I went to sleep hoping he would understand how tired I was, and I thought it would be better for him to go right to sleep from work.
The next morning, wednesday, I get a message on Facebook from his sister Sara. Sara’s Ziad’s only sibling, and like a sister to me. In the message she says that Ziad has been kidnapped and the people who have him want 5 million Syrian Pounds for him back. Who has that kind of money these days in this war?! I went into a complete shock. All the kidnapping stories i’ve been hearing and now its MY boyfriend and future husband???? This cant be happening. They also had Ziad’s friend Rabae, and demanded the same from his parents. Thursday came and I’ve been talking to Sara day and night. She told me that all they had was 50,000 Syrian Pounds and they accepted it and told her parents to meet Ziad at this specific spot. They waited an hour. He didnt show up. To calm Sara and myself down, I told her to wait maybe he’ll come alone in the morning, after all it was 12 at night. The next day was Friday, also my prom. I did not have fun because of what happened. I was texting Sushmita and she was telling me to try to have fun as he would want me to. She was right. So I pretended to have fun.
The day after that was Saturday, Sara was not talking to me or replying to me all day. I was worried. I spent all day waiting for her to talk to me. When suddenly, on Facebook, I get a notification that this girl Ziad works with commented on an old post I made on his wall. She said, in Arabic, “He used to always talk about you. May his soul rest in peace.” I thought: What- he’s not dead? Just kidnapped haha he’ll be back soon I know he will. We’re meant to be, he’s not going anywhere. Seconds later I get a message from his bestfriend’s girlfriend telling me he’s been killed. Immediately I’m crying and begging for Sara to reply to me and talk to me. She tells me he’s dead. Her uncle found him dead in a hospital and apparently has been there since Thursday. He died with his friend. The doctor said he looked happy. He died smiling. He’s much happier and safer now.
He was my other half. My Bestfriend. The air I breathe. The person I complain to. My future. My love. My heart. Now he’s gone. And I feel like something inside me is missing. Everything we planned is now nothing. We never got to meet again. All that time, almost 2 years, I thought we were actually gonna be together forever. But we were. His forever at least. He really did love me forever.
Now I’m just trying to be happy as he is. I have so many friends there for me. More than I thought. Even my managers at work. I went to work on Sunday and passed out for the very first time, from my sadness, and got so much help from all of them. I even got to cry it out to someone- an assistant manager- for the first time and it felt great and really helped me. More of my friends are letting me cry to them and I could not appreciate it enough.
Living in a country with a war always brings fear to people. So one day Ziad randomly says to me, “If I ever die, don’t cry for me. Just look up and smile.” And now through my tears, I do that for him. Whenever I’m not crying, I look up, and I smile. I know he’s watching me, and probably standing right next to me.