An Internationally Flavored Downtown Portland Wedding

Afaf & Joseph, June 6, 2013 at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church and the Governor Hotel in Portland
From: Spring/Summer 2014 edition

During a trip to his family’s village in Amar, Syria, Joseph Azar, 36, met Afaf Raad, 25, who lived across the street from his godmother. Each was smitten right away, and a whirlwind long-distance courtship ensued. After six months together, the couple met in the Bahamas for Christmas, where Joseph popped the question. While she returned to Syria, he flew back to Portland to prepare. Afaf landed in Oregon just a few weeks before the Orthodox Christian wedding celebration, where the couple entertained 280 family members with an Arabic band, a Syrian poetry ceremony, traditional Arabic dancing and a special speech from the bride—recited in both English and Arabic. After a peaceful honeymoon in St. Lucia at the Jade Mountain Resort, the couple has returned to their loft in the Pearl District in Portland, where Joseph works as a radiologist and Afaf is practicing for her American driver’s license test.