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On Their Own Terms

Eight years into a challenging relationship, writer Krista Bremmer finds bittersweet beauty in a public exchange of vows.

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Connections by Nagat Bahumaid

In our early years as parents, after we had gone to the justice of the peace and recited the Fatiha before our Muslim friends, I had dismissed the idea of a wedding. But as the years passed, I began to feel it was important for family and friends to witness our vows—and after everything we had been through, I could think of no better reason for a party than to celebrate the endurance of our love and commitment. Eight years after we met, we finally had a wedding celebration at a farm in the North Carolina countryside, on a late-spring day when the heat was beginning to press in. Our children were three and eight years old. We hand-lettered invitations for our friends: Aliya Rose and Khalil Zade invite you to celebrate the marriage of their parents. Was it too late for this? Would our friends think a celebration indulgent? Would they assume we hadn’t been married before? It didn’t matter. Something in me had shifted, and now the public ritual seemed important.One of Ismail’s oldest friends was a reclusive piano repairman who drove his battered red truck all over the countryside, tuning and fixing pianos i …

Excerpted from My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2014. Reprinted with permission.


This entry is tagged with:
EssayKrista BremmerCommitment

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