[caption id="attachment_1650" align="alignleft" width="300"] Shakiba and Ahmed at their wedding ceremony[/caption]
23-year-old Shakiba Banifatemi came to America as an exchange student where she met her husband, Ahmed Abdollahpour, a Canadian from an Iranian family based in Ottawa. They attended the same university, where they met and fell in love. After only a year of dating, the couple wed in Toronto in an elaborate wedding ceremony on 1st April. The April Fool's wedding occasion turned out to lead to an unsuccessful marriage.
Traditions required a dowry from the groom's side of the family. Ahmed's family, quite happily handed over a substantial dowry, keeping with Persian traditions for the marriage of their son to his beautiful bride.
[caption id="attachment_1651" align="alignright" width="300"] Shakiba was asked to pay back $50, 000 for the elaborate wedding ceremony in addition to $1-million-dollar home[/caption]
Shakiba and Ahmed soon separated, and the families are now trying to settle a dispute regarding the dowry. Ahmed's family gave the couple a gorgeous $1-million-dollar home, and he expects Shakiba to return her share of the ownership of the property to his parents. The family has also ordered that she reimburses them $50 000 to cover the costs of the wedding. Also, they feel that she should return her wedding gifts.
Shakiba's mother-in-law, Sima Abdollahpour, stated that she felt betrayed and that the family said that they could no longer trust anyone. They feel that their son was conned into marrying her so that she could reside permanently in America. Furthermore, they have alleged that Shakiba's father, who is living in Iran, had previously stated that all of the wedding gifts would be returned in the event of her leaving their marriage, or should there be any inappropriate actions on her part towards her husband.
Shakiba dismisses all the claims against her and insists that their marriage was genuine, and that she had every intention of pursuing a life with Ahmed. She has a brother, in fact, who lives in America, and would have been able to assist her with obtaining residency. Shakiba had no need, whatsoever, to enter into a fraudulent relationship. The couple lived together as husband and wife for 18 months, but her mother-in-law was living at home with them which put a lot of strain on their marriage.
The judge has, however, ruled that "the evidence presented in court did not support the allegations." Shakiba is satisfied with his ruling and hopes to keep her personal life as private as possible.