Yes, what you read just now is true and it surely is mesmerizing. Who wouldn’t want such any fairy tale to turn into reality? Well, that’s what happened in the case of Bogart Lamprey and Noora Al Matori and you will undoubtedly be delighted by their journey of ending up together. Of course, for a convert it’s highly challenging to convince the family of the decision taken and sometimes matters get out of hands. In case of Mr. Lamprey here, the news of him embracing Islam bombarding on his family was indeed of no surprise because yes, they were not ‘too excited’. Mr. Lamprey said:

"They thought I was going to go and join ISIS…they were not happy."

But while his "very Australian” family was hesitant, the reason behind the 32-year-old's conversion was remarkable: despite vastly different cultures and family values, he had found love. Mr. Lamprey's wife-to-be, Noora Al Matori, was born in Iraq but grew up in Australia. She and Mr. Lamprey met in Wagga Wagga, and her parents were similarly concerned; they had always thought she would end up with someone who "understood" their way of life. But Mr. Lamprey was on already a mission to expand his horizons, and as he fell in love Ms. Al Matori, he fell in love with her culture as well.



When Mr Lamprey, 32, first saw Ms Al Matori, 31, in a Wagga Wagga cafe, he was instantly smitten. His brother kidded that he might end up marrying her, but for Mr Lamprey it was not a joke. He said:

"I laughed it off, but I was thinking, 'I will marry her’."

He spent the next six months visiting the cafe with the hope that he would run into Ms Al Matori, and this time speak to her. According to him:

"Every time I was in the shop I asked the elderly lady working there about Noora."

He would eventually get a hold of Ms Al Matori and meet her for coffee, but for Ms Al Matori the relationship was strictly platonic.

"I could never see myself marrying somebody who was not Middle Eastern."

But during the preceding years of friendship, Mr Lamprey was immersing himself in her world. He realized that if he wanted to be with Noora he would have to do things the traditional way. He further added:

"I got to know and understand the culture, I embraced it, I studied the Koran every night and converted to Islam.”

Moreover, Al Matori enlightened that:

"When I told my dad that Bo was interested in me and coming to ask for my hand, he decided to go on a holiday for three months and keep Bo on hold. He wanted to see if Bo was going to stay around or turn around and go."

Mr Lamprey stuck around, and spent time building a rapport with other members of Ms Al Matori's family. He returned for another meeting with Ms Al Matori's father, and this time he brought his family along with him. After finally getting her dad's blessing, Ms Al Matori said yes.

As the wedding drew closer, both families warmed to the idea of embracing new family customs and traditions. Ms Al Matori said:

"For me it was important for my family to respect Bo as much as they respected me."

The families decided to make the effort to immerse themselves in each other’s culture. They all get together to celebrate Christmas, as well as Muslim holidays like festivals of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha.

The couple has been happily married for almost four years and now lives in Canberra. They have a daughter, Jamila, who is three years of age. Lamprey said:

“I just want her to grow up and value herself the way we value her…If she turns out half as good as Noora, in terms of respecting herself as a human being; I’ll be the happiest man in the world.”

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population. Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity. A Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, while a Muslim man is allowed to marry a Christian or Jewish woman.

Over the last few years, many people have been converting to Islam and becoming widely known Muslim converts. There are many stories of Muslim converts. This year. It was disclosed that Joram Van Klaveren converted to Islam, considering he had been so anti-Islam; a miracle happened is what it seems like to many. Similarly, last year Sinéad O'Connor converted as well astonishing many worldwide. May Allah (SWT) guide and make more people the members of Muslim Ummah. Ameen.

Source: ABC

The author

Rida Ghaffar