Reem and Firas are one of the growing number of couples who have managed to translate an online crush into real-life romance. Debunking the myth that social media disconnects us from genuine human interaction, the couple - who announced their engagement this summer - sat down with to discuss love, Twitter and the way social media has changed their lives for the better. Who followed the other first? Who would admit to stalking the other for longer?

Firas: I followed her first when I retweeted her on November 7, 2013. However, I used to read her tweets through Tajadod Youth who would always retweet her. I was also a regular reader of the segment (مشاهدات ريم) she used to write for Abjad News.
Reem: I usually don't follow my new followers back right away, but I checked his profile and decided to follow him back on the same day. He also added me on Facebook that day but I didn't accept his request until two days later. My best friend told me he must be an interesting person since he works at the Samir Kassir Foundation, and that’s why I accepted him. How long did you two know each other online before you met?

Firas: After Reem accepted my friend request on Facebook, it took us around one month to start talking to each other. Reem had posted a picture of a boy cleaning a pool of blood off the floor of his house and her caption about it was that the child was Syrian and he was cleaning the blood of his slaughtered brother. I decided to run a fact-check on the photo only to find out that it was actually taken in Gaza and the boy was cleaning the blood of a slaughtered cow (ad7iya) served for the Adha feast. So I decided to let her know so she could remove the picture or change the caption. I remember we started chatting after that, and time flew by. I didn't want to stop chatting with her. After two days of round the clock chatting, I decided to ask for her number. I thought the worst thing that might happen was that she would not give me her phone number, but she did! Then our chats turned from Facebook to Whatsapp. Two days later, we went on our first date. And how did your first date go - was there any awkwardness?

Reem: The date lasted from around 1 until 5, but time actually flew by quickly. There were no awkward moments since we found we had a lot in common and also a number of friends in common. I used to know people from social media and they turned out to be Firas' close friends. I found him really interesting and nice, and was looking forward to seeing him again.

Firas: I will never forget that first date. She looked much more beautiful in person than in her pictures, and when we talked and conversed, I found her even more interesting in real life than in her tweets and statuses. A person can have another personality online, but Reem's personality was the same. She was transparent, spontaneous, and a brilliant person. Do your friends and family know that you met on Twitter? What are some of the reactions? Do you find that there is a social stigma attached to meeting someone online?

Reem: Yes, they all know we met online; it wasn't that weird for them since they are also social media people and meeting people through social media is becoming more common. I have to say that meeting someone online is tricky. Some people tend to have a fake personality on social media sites; they feel protected behind their screens, writing things they might not really shout out loud in real life.

Firas: Well, we did have some funny reactions. Like when we are meeting someone new and they ask us how we met and we tell them through social media. You look at their eyes and their smile as if it is saying, "are these guys serious?!" I have to ask, who is more Twitter famous?

Firas: [Laughs] Reem is definitely more Twitter famous with more than 3,500 followers. Let's not talk about my numbers, it is quite incomparable! Reem is more of a frequent user, her ability to be as smart and spontaneous online as she is in real life makes her widely followed. In one conference hosted by the Samir Kassir Foundation, she asked me about one of the people in the conference and asked me to meet him. I then introduced myself as Reem's boyfriend and he knew me right away. He is a friend of hers from Twitter. They never met in person before, but we all had dinner together later that night. Are any of your Twitter friends invited to the wedding?

Reem: I have made many friends through Twitter, and some of them have become my close friends. I had several Twitter friends that turned out to be Firas's friends and they will definitely be attending the wedding.

Wanna get in on all the love? You can follow Reem @RKaedB and Firas @LisanEl7al on Twitter.


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They are lovely sweet people and we are lucky Twitter was able to bond them. Love transcends in mysterious way :)

Malak Halawy on Sep 1, 2014 via web