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Amir, 33, and Amy, 42, met when he helped her move house in 2020 – a language barrier meant they began their relationship through Google Translate. Now married, they live together with their two cats in Georgia
In February 2020, Amy had plans to go on holiday to the UK to visit friends. Originally from the US, she was living in Tbilisi, Georgia, teaching English to Chinese students. At the last minute, she pulled out of the trip. “I’d heard about the virus that had started spreading through Europe and decided it might not be great timing,” she remembers. The same week, she discovered black mould in her home. “Instead of going on holiday, I decided to move house.”
After finding a new flat, she asked a friend if she knew anyone who could help her to move. “She said she knew someone from Iran but he didn’t speak any English.” Amir had moved to Georgia to buy a home, had bought a van and set up his own moving business. When he arrived to pack up her boxes, she was struck by how attractive he was.
“He was the most handsome man I’d ever seen. I hardly knew where to look,” she says. Because Amir couldn’t speak English, they weren’t able to communicate on the journey. “Even though we couldn’t talk, I thought she seemed smart and pretty,” he says.
The next day he texted her to ask her out, using Google Translate to send the message. They went for dinner and used their phones to communicate all evening. “We talked about our families and the reasons we’d come to live in Georgia,” says Amir.
Amy admits she was “being cautious” because of the language barrier. “It kept me from opening up and getting to know him at first.” But when he offered to help her unpack and sort out her new flat the next day, she recognised how kind he was. “That’s when we were able to get a better feel for each other’s personalities,” she says. “I could tell he was a good person who would do anything for anyone.”
A month after they started dating, the government announced that a strict lockdown would soon be coming into force. “Just before everything shut down, I invited him to move in,” she says. She continued to teach online, while Amir’s business was temporarily paused. “I started to teach him some English, but he’s a very stubborn student,” she laughs.
It wasn’t long before they began discussing marriage. “I was thinking about it from the start,” says Amir. “She is so smart and independent. She knew what she wanted from life.” Amy also felt the relationship was right. “He’s dedicated to me. Even though he couldn’t express these things with words, I saw it through his actions.”
“He’s dedicated to me. Even though he couldn’t express these things with words, I saw it through his actions”.
At the end of the lockdown, Amir “asked me through Google Translate if we could get married”, Amy says. As they were unable to have guests, they held video calls with both families before and after the wedding, which took place at the end of May this year in Georgia. “My family always trusted my decisions and they were happy for me,” says Amy. Amir also had his family’s blessing. “I’ve always been able to tell my dad anything and he supports me.”
The couple enjoy doing everything together, from hiking to yoga. They share a passion for travel and have plans to visit Japan in the future. In September, they moved into Amir’s apartment, just outside the city. They’re now planning to return to Amy’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
“The government in Georgia invited people from Iran to live here if they could buy a home for $35,000, but this rule has now changed and the home must be worth over $100,000. It means Amir is no longer eligible for residency, so we’re going back to the States.”
Amy loves her partner’s fidelity and commitment to her. “I told him I wanted a pet fish and he bought me this amazing aquarium. He has unquestioning loyalty and will do anything to make me happy. He’s my best friend.” Meanwhile, Amir appreciates his partner’s caring nature. “She’s always teaching me about the world. I have a better understanding of culture, and she’s opened my mind to new things and new experiences.”