Abdullah and I initially met when we were both work working at our respective embassies in Islamabad, Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan always has a soft spot in both of our hearts for multiple reasons. In 2005, I had the opportunity to return and work on behalf of an international US company which recruited me to set up and establish its presence in Pakistan. Although it would mean another long distance separation for Abdullah and I, we talked it over thoroughly and he gave me his blessing to pursue the opportunity. Thankfully there were regular opportunities for me to return to the US and for him to come and visit me in Pakistan.
It was a strange but exhilarating feeling to return to the same country where our relationship had started. I left Pakistan the first time in 2001 wondering if Abdullah and I were really going to have a future together. Now, fast forwarding only four short years to 2005 and I was returning as his wife!
Sadly, I returned to Pakistan two days after the tragic earthquake of October 2005. Before I could think of renewing contacts with old and dear friends, I jumped immediately with a crew into earthquake relief efforts. I could only cry silent tears as I entered Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) and realized so much of where I had explored with Abdullah was no longer.
However, life does go on and I helped as I could and focused on the job I had accepted. I wanted to do it well. When circumstances allowed me to resume getting in touch with old and dear friends, in spite of the recent tragedy in Pakistan it was still a joyous and emotional occasion. Most were not only my friends but friends of Abdullah and myself when we had last been in Pakistan together. They were all overjoyed by our marriage.
I’ve chosen to share photos of the house I lived in when I returned to Pakistan in 2005. This particular home is also quite similar to many Arab homes. It was configured so it could easily accommodate segregation if that was desired. In addition it was large, spacious and ideal for both working and entertaining. While Abdullah and I did not live there on a regular basis as husband and wife since he was posted to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC during this period, we managed to make it our enjoyable and comfortable second home in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Welcome! Entrance from front door to our home in Sector F-8, Islamabad, Pakistan. Although not seen in photo, there is another similar door to the left side which would lead to a men’s area if segregation were practiced.
Front door opens into the large salon. To the left where one views the enclosed plants that is actually a two level waterrfall.
These are views of the main salon which were taken from the balcony above on the 2nd floor.
This is one view of the kitchen(s) in the home. This is the primary kitchen and directly behind what appears to be a small hallway led into a second full kitchen. This made the home extra ideal for entertaining and hosting large functions. This photo was taken prior to a dinner party with my chef and a helper starting to prepare for the function.
These are two separate shots of the dining room. The dining room was situated between the main salon and also what could be a separate men’s salon but which Abdullah and I had converted into a rec room. Note that the dining room could easily be shut off and private from the main salon in the event of segregation. Although not seen, another wall in the dining room had floor to ceiling built in china cabinet. Additionally, a lovely washroom was also off of the dining room. Abdullah selected and mounted the swords on the wall as decoration.
This is the rec room where many happy times and competitive games of billards took place!
The upstairs of the house had 3 spacious bedrooms each with en suite bath and Bedu’s private home office. Note the top of the two story water fall in the first of the two photos. The sound of the falling water was always very soothing and calming. Another unique aspect of this house is that there was a small inner corridor which connected each bedroom without the need to have to go out into the main hallway which overlooked the main salon.
These are views of the largest of two bedrooms which were used to host visitors. Most visitors joked that this room made them feel like they were taking part in a film giving the style of the curtains!
This was the guest room I preferred to have female guests stay in with its pink walls and delicate pastel furnishings.
These are two separate views of the grand master bedroom suite. Note in the first photo you can see an air conditioning unit on the wall not too far from the bed. Imagine my and Abdullah’s surprise (shock) when we discovered one night that a family of geckos had made their home inside of it. We kept hearing unusual noises coming from the a/c and when Abdullah turned on the light to investigate, several of the gekko family members had been walking across the ceiling but when the light came on they all scurried back in side of the a/c unit. Trust me…they quickly had a new home outside of the bedroom!
Bedu’s home office with picture of her Habibi where she could easily view it! Although I had established a corporate office and staffed with personnel, I enjoyed the sanctity and privacy my home office offered.
One of Abdullah’s many trips to Islamabad while I was there.
Good friends and Saudi kawa! One of Abdullah’s Saudi friends was in Islambad when Abdullah departed in 2002 and still remained when I returned in 2005. It was like a mini-family reunion!
A special moment between a Saudi Dad and his little girl. She’s actually trying to teach him how to play “Simon Says” while visiting at our Islamabad home.
Night time view of the front yard with its small waterfall tucked in one corner.
Hope you enjoyed the tour and this walk down memory lane!