You are currently viewing They met on an airplane to Egypt then fell in love

They met on an airplane to Egypt then fell in love

(KBN Info) – If all of the items had gone in line with plan, they’d most certainly in no way have met. Nevertheless Mafalda Feliciano’s distinctive British Airways flight from Brazil was overbooked, so she was bumped on to a distinct – after which future carried out its hand.

Touring collectively along with her sister and brother in laws for a visit in Egypt in September 2004, the group was re-routed by means of London.

After they misplaced their distinctive seats, Feliciano ended up on her private, in the midst of a row, between two strangers.

By her private accounts, Feliciano, a then-37-year-old medical physicist from Brazil, is after all shy and introverted. She had no intention of making dialog with the passengers on each side of her. In its place, she settled in for a quiet flight all through Europe.

About two hours into the journey, bored of napping, Feliciano went to activate the inflight leisure. She reached for what she thought was her distant, constructed into the armrest, and hit the on-button.

It was the unsuitable distant. She’d by likelihood turned off the show belonging to the person throughout the window seat subsequent to her.

“He was like, ‘Excuse me, nevertheless I used to be watching a movie and likewise you merely stopped my movie,” she remembers. Embarrassed, Feliciano apologized. “Oh, I’m sorry, sir,” she talked about.

Laughing on the formality of her apology, he replied: “I’ve by no means been knighted by the Queen.”

They started talking.

The window seat passenger was Sameer Sah, a 38-year-old, Indian-born Londoner who labored for a world charity. He was a frequent BA flier and – as he jokingly locations it – “principally thrown a tantrum on the airport and talked about, ‘No, I need a window seat.’”

It was sort of his fault that Feliciano and his family had ended up sat in a number of rows.

He was touring to Cairo for work, she was touring for journey. They spent the rest of the journey in deep dialogue.

Sah was taken with Feliciano immediately: “She was pretty,” he says. He thought she appeared quite a bit youthful than her 37 years.

As for Feliciano, she was not fluent in English on the time, so not all his jokes landed, nevertheless she knew she liked her agency.

When the flight started to descend over Cairo, Sah hedged his bets. He requested Feliciano if she’d favor to get dinner collectively all through her week in Egypt.

Feliciano hesitated, she was keen, nevertheless this was not how she’d envisaged this journey going.

She was recently divorced, and, in a wierd coincidence, she’d actually met her first husband on an airplane, on an inside flight in Brazil.

What have been the possibilities of 1 different romance beginning throughout the air, and would this one work out?

Serendipitous meeting


Mafalda Feliciano and Sameer Sah in Cairo, Egypt, correct after they met in 2004.

Courtesy Mafalda Feliciano and Sameer Sah

Correct sooner than Feliciano set out for her Egypt journey, a buddy had provided to do a tarot card finding out.

Feliciano didn’t contemplate in future, or divination, nevertheless she indulged her buddy anyway.

She remembers her buddy shuffling the taking part in playing cards after which her, knowingly.

“She talked about, ‘The taking part in playing cards are telling me you’re going to meet any person on this journey.’”

Feliciano merely laughed in response. “I’m not going to fulfill anyone,” she insisted.

Now proper right here she was, making an sudden connection on a flight sooner than she’d even touched down in Cairo.

Feliciano agreed to dinner with Sah, nevertheless requested that her sister and brother-in-law accompany them.

She swiftly outlined the state of affairs to her family as soon as they’ve been reunited at Cairo Airport.

“They have been like, ‘You merely met him on the flight, nevertheless he’s coming for dinner?’ They have been a bit shocked. “

Nevertheless the evening was successful. “We had an wonderful time, all of us collectively,” says Feliciano.


The couple, pictured correct, with Feliciano’s sister and brother-in-law in Cairo, Egypt in 2004.

Courtesy Mafalda Feliciano and Sameer Sah

The group ended up spending most evenings collectively. Sah would work all through the day and Feliciano spent her time touring the payments web sites collectively along with her family.

Then, throughout the evening, the couple met for dinner – at first with Feliciano’s sister and brother-in-law in tow, then later, on their very personal. Moreover they did some sightseeing altogether, along with to the pyramids of Giza.

The connection didn’t fizzle out when the week ended. Feliciano and her family moved on to the next leg of their journey in Istanbul, nevertheless she continued to converse to Sah on the cellphone most nights.

Sooner than prolonged, he visited her in Brazil they often decided to begin a long-distance relationship.

Globe-trotting romance


The couple launched right into a long-distance romance, meeting the world over. Proper right here they’re in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Courtesy Mafalda Feliciano and Sameer Sah

Feliciano says her associates have been astonished – a few joked they want to start flying further.

Nevertheless her buddy who’d be taught the tarot taking part in playing cards merely talked about she’d instructed her so.

Over the next couple of years, Feliciano and Sah met every three months or so for two-week holidays. They reunited in London, Brazil, Brussels, the Netherlands, New York, and the Dominican Republic. Every like to journey and say exploring the world with one another was an unforgettable experience.

“I really feel it was meant to be.” Me, an particular person from South America, meets an particular person from India, flying over Europe, going to Africa. “

Mafalda feliciano

Nevertheless as a result of the two-year-anniversary of their fateful airplane meeting rolled spherical, the couple had reached a deadlock.

“Each we break up up or we get married.”

As fulfilling and as glamorous as a result of it was to journey collectively, it was exhausting being apart from one another in-between.

Plus, it was pricey, Sah says he was racking up financial institution card debt.

The couple decided to go all in – they’d get married, and Feliciano would switch to London.

His wedding ceremony ceremony celebrations handed off in Brazil. A night to recollect, lasting until the early hours of the morning.

“An unlimited celebration, a great deal of ingesting,” laughs Sah.

Making it work


Feliciano and Sah settled in London after two years of meeting on journey, along with on a apply to Casablanca, Morocco, pictured proper right here.

Courtesy Mafalda Feliciano and Sameer Sah

After the exhilaration of the wedding and the whirlwind romance of the previous few years, the reality of their selection sunk in.

A number of of Feliciano’s associates had instructed her relocating for love was a mistake – she was leaving a longtime job in Brazil.

“My boss talked about, ‘I’m sure you’re going to be once more after a month, your job is correct right here,’” says Feliciano.

Sah’s associates have been excited for him, nevertheless the state of affairs alongside together with his family was robust. He was moreover divorced, with two youngsters, and his mom and father and siblings refused to acknowledge Feliciano as his partner.

Inside two months of arriving London, Feliciano purchased a job at a hospital, nevertheless it absolutely was a lower rung on the ladder than she was used to.

She’s since risen the ranks and is now Head of Brachytherapy Physics at Colchester Regular Hospital, southeast of London, the place she treats most cancers victims.

The couple moreover wanted to adapt to dwelling collectively full time.

“There have been a great deal of points to begin with,” says Feliciano.

“It took us, I really feel, a yr, to chill out. It was two completely completely different people, two completely completely different cultures – totally completely completely different as correctly – dwelling beneath the similar roof.”

Sah was aggravated that he wanted to do the entire cooking, and Feliciano was not a fan of Sah’s dishes.

Plus, Feliciano was dealing with the stresses of dwelling in a model new nation and attending language classes.


A modern {photograph} of Feliciano and Sah with their canine, Ziggy.

Courtesy Mafalda Feliciano and Sameer Sah

Nevertheless after a yr of being at odds, the couple sat down and talked candidly about their relationship and its future.

“We reached some extent after we thought it might not work out in any respect,” says Sah. “Nevertheless then we sat down, spoke, then made an effort – every of us – and turned our lives spherical. And proper right here we’re after 16 years.”

Now the two keep luckily throughout the historic metropolis of Colchester, throughout the southeast of England with their canine, a cocker spaniel referred to as Ziggy who Feliciano calls their “pretty boy.”

Feliciano, who was suspicious of serendipity, now thinks his meeting was future.

“I really feel it was meant to be,” she says. “Me, an particular person from South America, meets an particular person from India, flying over Europe, going to Africa.”

Nevertheless correct now, with flying curtailed and social distancing and mask-wearing the norm, it seems impossible two strangers on a airplane would strike up a dialog and make a connection.

It has been a surreal yr for Sah and Feliciano. She’s continued to work throughout the hospital all through the Covid-19 pandemic, treating most cancers victims with radiotherapy and making an attempt to stay safe.

Within the meantime, the tuberculosis charity Sah had been working with for the previous few years folded ultimate yr, and he’s now working as a contract advisor.

Sah says 2022 was moreover the yr he hoped to make it to 100 worldwide areas, he’s at current caught on 95.

Nevertheless they’ve been there for each other all by means of the stresses of the pandemic, merely as they’ve all by means of their marriage.

“Initially, it’s a notion throughout the completely different particular person,” says Sah. “And secondly, there’s a great deal of perseverance. If you want to make points work, there could also be in no way a easy half. You truly should work exhausting to make it work.”