How A Macedonian Border Guard Fell In Love With A Refugee

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The interfaith couple are now settled in Macedonia, with a baby due in five months. "I felt like something lit me," Noora Arkavazi said.

As Noora Arkavazi, 20, entered Macedonia after traveling through Turkey and Greece from her native Iraq, she likely never expected to find a spouse. 

Love works in funny ways though. 

Arkavazi, who speaks six languages, was fleeing Diyala, a violent province in Iraq, with her family. It was at the Macedonian border where she met Bobi Dodevski, 35, BBC News reports. Arkavazi's family was trying to get to Germany.

Arkavazi had a high fever, and Dodevski, a border patrol guard, took care of her.

"I had fallen down many times. Bobi immediately sent the Red Cross to save me," Arkavazi said to the BBC's World Service's Newsday. A co-worker apparently spotted Dodevski's affection for Arkavazi. 

"After that I talked with him, and I felt like something lit me," Arkavazi said. She said she considers it love at first sight. "I wanted to talk with him more."

Once Arkavazi's health was in order, Arkavazi started helping the Red Cross, and she and Dodevski spent more time together. He even took Arkavazi and her mother to buy clothing and food. 

They were eating dinner one night in April, and Dodevski proposed at the restaurant. 

"I told him no, you're joking, but maybe 10 times he repeated this, 'will you marry me?'" Arkavazi said. 

Now, she lives with Dodevksi and his three kids in Macedonia. Married, there's a baby on the way — Arkavazi is four months along. 

Dodevski, for his part, attributes it all to fate. 

"I see something special in Noora's eyes, and I say: 'This is it. I must have Noora here to be my wife,'" Dodevski said. "It was destiny."

As for the rest of Arkavazi's family? They made it to Germany safe and sound. 

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr, George Redgrave

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