It was Hanaa’s neighbour who decided one day to take fate into her own hands. Hanaa, she thought, would make the ideal wife for her brother Najim. She gave him Hanaa’s e-mail address and telephone number – with Hanaa’s approval, of course. Three weeks after they first made contact, Najim came to Morocco. Hanaa was instantly taken with Najim’s manner and was fascinated by his forceful personality. Their engagement was announced soon afterwards.
Najim is from Morocco as well, but has lived in Germany for many years, where he runs a company which makes cheese and dairy products. “He’s mad about Germany”, says Hanaa. He likes the cleanliness, the landscape and the people, and says that people in Germany gossip less than in Morocco. The couple speak on the phone every day. Najim jokes that all the phone calls are ruining him.
After completing her schooling, Hanaa trained as an international sales manager and still works in this field today. However, she doesn’t think she stands much chance of finding a similar job in the German labour market and would like to retrain in Germany. Besides Arabic, Hanaa speaks French and English and took to German very quickly. Speaking is causing her a few problems, though: she feels frustrated because she can’t answer quickly enough.
Her family is finding it hard to let her go. Her mother is pleased for her daughter’s sake, but starts to cry whenever she thinks about Hanaa leaving soon. Hanaa knows that leaving Morocco will not be easy, but she sees it as the path that fate has chosen for her and is looking forward to the future.