A Canadian Muslim girl was allowed to marry her Dubai-based Indian lover after she wrote an online appeal for help while being in her father's "captivity" in Saudi Arabia for three years, according to a report in London.
The transcontinental romance between Nazia Quazi, a Canadian of Indian Muslim origin, and Bjorn Singhal, born to a partially Hindu family, took many twists before culminating into a wedding last week, the report in the online verson of The Telegraph said.
The girl was held captive for three years under a Saudi Arabian law which prohibits a girl from marrying against the wish of the nearest male guardian, mainly her father or brother. The girl's father Quazi Malik Abdul Gaffar, who worked in Saudi Arabia, used his power under the kingdom's rule to stop her leaving the country after she went on a visit.
The Quazi family had Canadian citizenship, and the pair met when they were both studying at Ottawa University in Canada. Singhal has a Hindu father and a Muslim mother, and although he practised Islam, Gaffar did not approve of the relationship.
But following a campaign by supporters in Canada that was taken up by the media there, and even in Saudi newspapers, he relented and allowed the marriage to take place in Dubai, the online report said.
The girl's case was taken up by Human Rights Watch and other groups in Canada after she wrote an online letter appealing for help earlier this year. The couple were eventually married in the presence of both families in Dubai.
"I still can't believe it," Quazi, 24, told reporters after the wedding. "I keep pinching myself and I keep pinching him".
She says she has now forgiven his father. "He wanted me to be happy, so he got me a ticket to come here" to Dubai. Both my parents really wanted me to get settled down and married," , she said.
Singhal, 29, said he had now reconciled with his father-in-law. "It was a great relief," he said at his new family home in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah.