High school sweethearts Mohamad Al-Noury and Athar Farroukh didn’t have long to celebrate their wedding. Just 10 days after they were married about a year ago in Syria, the couple were forced to flee their country because of bombing.
After spending some time in Lebanon, the pair wound up in Saskatoon, Canada, though members of their immediate family are still overseas. While participating in a CBC News story about refugees, Farroukh, 23, mentioned to reporter Eman Bare that she never got to have wedding photos taken.
“I just started thinking,” Bare told the CBC. “And I said, ‘Well, I have a camera. If you want tomorrow, I can take a couple wedding-type pictures for you.”
Bare mentioned the couple in a Facebook post, and several individuals and area business started contributing: A woman donated a suit and a wedding dress (Al-Noury said this was the first time he’d ever worn a suit), another made a wedding cake, and a local hotel donated a banquet room for the reception.
Bare ended up revealing the plan to Farroukh moments before she entered the room for the photo shoot. Though the couple only invited a few friends to their “wedding shoot,” around 50 people showed up to the impromptu reception.
“We’re blessed that we’re in Saskatoon and we’ve seen a lot of great things and met a lot of great people and it’s a dream come true for us,” Farroukh told the CBC.
“It’s a very great feeling to share this with the people here,” she added. “Even though we don’t know each other we were able to kind of pull together.”