Clear Cut Couples: Asta and Naeem
Asta and Naeem met because two of their mutual friends/family members played matchmaker and introduced them to each other. They met for the first time at a birthday party that they attended at Le Souk, in New York City. For their first date, they went to an Escape Room! It was something that allowed them to interact and get to know each other quickly. They did not successfully escape the room in the allotted time, but they learned that they had chemistry. They ended their evening at STK Rooftop, which is a fun place for dinner on a nice summer day. The rest is history!
They have been together for over 3 years and have shared so many incredible memories since then! Their trip to Montego Bay for Valentine's Day in 2020 is one of their favorite trips. It was also their last trip before the start of the pandemic. They stayed at a beautiful resort, ate jerk chicken and festival, rode ATVs, went zip lining, cliff dived and went river rafting. Second to Jamaica was their trip to Spain, where they had a chance to be tourists in Barcelona and enjoy the hype of Ibiza. While they love these trips, some of their favorite moments are very simple and involve good food. A few that come to mind are: their first thanksgiving together when they went grocery shopping and cooked together, a random summer night when they decided to go for a walk and have Shake Shack (this was not regular Shake Shack, the burger gods put something special in that meal! The best that they ever had.) and one of the most memorable moments was getting dressed up for what was supposed to be an elegant birthday dinner and ended up at Popeyes because there was a power outage in midtown and they couldn’t eat anywhere in the city. They enjoy special occasions, but the cornerstone of their relationship has been the simple things that they have fun doing together on a regular day.
When Naeem proposed, he told her that they were going to a birthday dinner and encouraged her to really buy into the event since it was the first time that they were going to a large outing since the pandemic started. To really sell the event, he pretended to order a gift and took it to get wrapped at Paper Source. In reality, there was no birthday dinner. She walked into her surprise proposal dinner, which included 26 of their family and friends at a private event space in Brooklyn. They walked into the DJ playing their favorite song, “Stan” by 6lack and enjoyed a night of fellowship, food, dessert, and music with people that they love.
In many Islamic and West African cultures, there is an extensive engagement process that allows both families to get to know each other and assess character before the bride’s family accepts the proposal from the groom’s family. Asta said, “My family had already accepted his family's kola nuts, so technically, my engagement was no surprise, but because of our cultural duality, my fiancé wanted to give me a modern American engagement and that was a complete surprise to me. I had no idea how he was going to propose. I absolutely love my ring. It is breathtaking and every detail is so me! I appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that went into its custom production!”
They are practicing Muslims, so their immediate priority was to have their Nikkah (Islamic wedding) which was in June in New York! They are planning to have their white and traditional weddings some time in 2022. “We’re still fresh in this "American" engagement period, so a lot of planning is still to come.”
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