Alumni, Faculty and Staff Find Lasting Love at King’s
Even before King’s Academy opened its doors to students in the fall of 2007, it was unlocking hearts. Since its founding, King’s has introduced 14 couples that are now enjoying their happily ever afters. They shared some fun stories and favorite memories with Beyond King’s.
Tamara Jumean ’10 and Tareq Alsalem ’10
Tamara and Tareq met at King’s Academy’s first Orientation Day in 2007. Throughout their three years at King’s, they took two classes together. They were frequently separated by their teachers for chatting! As weekly boarders, they would spend time before curfew together on “dinner dates” in the dining hall or by ordering in food.
Zaid Al Rifai ’10 and Samiha Al Fayez ’11
The only class Samiha and Zaid took together was AP Human Geography. They were very competitive and would constantly compare grades. One year, King’s organized a schoolwide time capsule event, in which each student placed an item into a time capsule that was buried on campus. Samiha and Zaid selected items that had to do with one another. The location of the time capsule has since been forgotten — maybe one day it will be accidentally discovered!
“Zaid and I attended our high school’s first prom together in 2010! It was the first ever prom in King’s Academy’s history, so it’s a special memory.”
Fatima Al-Yousef and Ahmad Marrie
Fatima (Tima) joined the IT Department at King’s in 2007 as an intern. The staff member who was meant to train her was busy, so the training fell to Ahmad, which is how they met. During training, Ahmad explained the different types of cables to Tima, who wrote her name on a section of cable. Ahmad kept the cable, and showed it to her after their wedding. They have one daughter, Masa.
“He used to make me sandwiches and fill my desk drawers with chocolates whenever I was busy and couldn’t go to lunch during break.”
Shaadi Khoury and Dima Khozouz
Mutual friends encouraged Dima, of the Human Resources Department, and Shaadi, of the Department of History, Religion and Society, to get to know one another. After a year of exploring shared interests in art, culture, travel, family, and the region, Shaadi proposed at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Ahmad Abu Mathaneh and Inas Salahat
Ahmad worked in the Hess Family Dining Hall, and Inas was a bus supervisor. Although they have both left King’s, they say that the “amazing environment at King’s Academy has given us wonderful memories of the time we met. We will never forget our time here.”
Imad Zahr and Farah Abu-Jazar
Farah and Imad met and got to know each other through their work in the Office of Student Life. When the students learned about their engagement, they organized a zaffe on campus, distributing invitation cards in the dining hall and leading a spirited procession to the Academy Building. Farah and Imad have two children, Karim and Maria.
“We quite often would walk to the fields and the track after study hall check-in for some privacy!”
Emily Clark and Jamie Magagna
Emily and Jamie got to know each other while chaperoning the Arabic Year Eid break trip in 2015. Describing the trip, Emily says: “We traveled all around Jordan, from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea on a giant bus all week. We will always have Imad Zahr to thank for being cupid: choosing us both as chaperones and thus beginning our relationship.”
Their first date was at a little Yemeni restaurant near the University of Jordan. It remained their favorite restaurant in Amman, and was one of the last places they went before leaving the country. They worked together on Al Majnoonah, the literary magazine of King’s.
Maria Schreiber and Darien Tontar
Both math teachers, Maria and Darien had the same teaching schedule during Darien’s first year, so they spent free periods getting to know one another. One day when Maria wasn’t feeling well, Darien cheered her up by adopting a cat, Lola, from the Humane Center. Lola still lives with them — despite Darien’s cat allergy!
“For some reason our advisory lunch tables were merged right after we started dating. We’re not sure how/why that happened but it only added fuel to the students’ speculation that we were a couple!”
Hadley Roach and Matthew Westman
Hadley and Matt got to know one another through proctoring many mall trips together. Their favorite hangout spots in Amman were Wild Jordan, Abu Jbara and Hashem’s. They also explored Jordan together on many hikes.
Salwa Manaja and Baraa Salah
Salwa and Baraa met in 2007 at a Mother’s Day celebration on campus. Salwa works in the Round Square Office and Baraa works in the Finance Department. They would frequently sit together at lunch, which was unusual in the early days of King’s as most staff members sat with their own departments only. They have three children.
“Baraa played goalie in the Thursday afternoon football matches (a tradition living on at King’s till today) and I always went to cheer.”
Steve Uydess and Gabi Wintner
Although they didn’t start dating until after they had both left King’s, Gabi and Steve met in 2009 as teachers in the History Department. They grew close over their shared love of 80s night at Cube in Amman and of sports, running the Dead2Red race together as part of team Chicken and Rice. Gabi and Steve have three children: Hutch, and twins Cooper and Perrin.
“We often talk about the whims of fate that guided us both to the same faraway spot in the same year; we certainly would never have met had it not been for the opportunities we both found at King’s.”
Ruba Haddad and Chris Bossie
Chris met Ruba at a house heads dinner held at Beit al Mudeer, and says he “knew then that I wanted to marry her.” One of the first things they did together was a hike at Wadi Mujib along with Mr. Ryuji. Ruba’s car broke down on the way so they spent most of the trip waiting by the side of the road for help! Chris would frequently get manaqish from the Kaziyeh and bring them to Ruba’s classroom for “manaqish dates.” They have two girls and are expecting their third this summer.
“When I asked for Ruba’s hand in marriage, I didn’t have a “tribe” to go to her family, so Mazen Jarrar was my spokesman.”
Tiffany Norman and Hassan Refai
Tiffany and Hassan met during the first-ever faculty vs. staff soccer game held in January 2007, prior to the opening of King’s. Tiffany was a teaching fellow and Hassan worked in the Maintenance Department. They got married in the summer of 2008 and held a celebration in the Safwan M. Masri Courtyard, including karaoke and fireworks. They have three children: Layla, Yasmine and Zidane.
“Hasan did not speak English and I did not speak Arabic when we met. Salwa Manaja and a number of dictionaries helped us communicate with each other.”
Dima Saad ’12 and Hunter Bell ’12