Love and Dating in the Muslim World: True Stories of Finding Love

Produced by Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders

Original broadcast: February 18, 2009


Click on the audio player above to play the show or download it here.

Shelina Janmohamed, author of the chic lit memoir Love in a Headscarf said, “If you want to tell a universal story, the best story to tell is the story of love.” We aired juicy snippets of love stories from Muslims living in Madison, WI, and talked with Shelina Janmohamed and Navid Akhtar, the producer of the BBC series, “Modern Muslim Marriage.”


Navid Akhtar is an award winning Broadcast Journalist whose work has explored the British Muslim experience. His documentary “Modern Muslim Marriages” aired on the BBC network in 2002. Navid now runs global content production company Gazelle Media alongside a team of producers, journalists, designers, and developers.

Shelina Zahra Janmohamed is author of Love in a Headscarf. She also blogs on her own site, Spirit21, which was nominated for a Brass Crescent Award this year under the best female blog category, and writes for the Guardian UK.

This show featured selections from interviews with local Muslims talking about love and courtship. The full interviews are below. To listen, click on the player beneath each introduction.

Aseem comes from a Hindu-Muslim background, but had nearly no knowledge of what was expected in terms of protocol for his marriage to Navida, which caused problems running up to the ceremony.


Akile explains the diversity of dating and marriage practices in Turkey, from dating as most of us in the US know it to arranged marriage.


Ahmed and Ghazan are friends, studying engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Ahmed comes from an Egyptian background, and Ghazem comes from a Pakistani background. They talk here about the similarities and differences in their marriages.


Sabi dated his now-wife for eight years before marriage after moving here from Syria, much to the displeasure of his mother.


Salih grew up a Catholic in Southwest Wisconsin. After meeting his now-wife from Somalia and taking some time off in the south, he converted to Islam, and came back to Madison to a lucky reunion when she arrived on the same day.


Faiysel and Laila grew up in the same town in Algeria, but never really talked until meeting in the cafeteria at University. They ended up dating without their parent’s knowledge, although they had to pretend that they never knew each other when he officially proposed.


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Updated: March 10, 2009

3 thoughts on “Love and Dating in the Muslim World: True Stories of Finding Love

  1. The story of love is a Universal language, and there should be more of it than all the hatred that there is in the world today.

  2. Great show !
    The choice of the guests was really well done and diverse.
    I really enjoyed it.