Mustafa and Melanie Rawanbakhsh
Ethnic backgrounds: Afghan and Filipino
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Tell us what you do for:
Work: I work in the Insurance industry
Hobbies: I train at the gym often in order to keep up with my kids! (They are full of energy!)
Name of your kids, and age: Eliana is eight years old, and Leora is four years old.
Your favorite activities with your kids: Park hopping, swimming and running with the kids. (Somewhat like “Tag” and somehow, I’m always “it”)
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
When did you arrive in Canada? When I was eight years old.
When did you meet Mel? We met in 2006
How did you meet Mel? We met at a social event in Toronto.
How did you propose? I proposed on an island, down on one knee.
When did you propose? I proposed a year after we met.
When did you get married? We got married in 2008
Tell us what you do for:
Work: I’m a Marketing Specialist
Hobbies: Kids, Kids and kids – whatever they love to do, I do it with them! (Reading, Biking, park activities, etc.)
Your favorite activities with your kids: Playing Hide and Go Seek. It’s a classic game! (and we play it with a twist. We pop out and scare each other! It’s hilarious)
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada
First impression of Mustafa? Extremely handsome; like magazine kind of handsomeness.
What attracted you to him? His smile and dimples.
Three things you admire about Mustafa? 1) his love for his family 2) his willingness to help others (including strangers) and 3) his honesty.
Your family’s happiest moments? When we’re together and laughing together.
Your favorite family activities? Taking the kids to the lake, parks and zoo outings.
Biggest challenge regarding multicultural marriage? Language. I would love our children to be able to speak many languages. Unfortunately, I only speak English so I can’t teach my children Tagalog and wouldn’t be much help in teaching the kids’ Mustafa’s first language either.
Your advice for women on resolving conflict in marriage? Communicate. Many issues arise from a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Open up, always be truthful and listen to each other.
Your advice for raising kids? Be patient with them. I’m not perfect, I’m still learning how to be consistently patient with them in certain areas, but if you remember that YOU too are learning, you’ll realize quickly that they too; are still learning as well.
Who are your biggest influences in your life and why? My grandmother and my father. My grandmother has taught me how to give and not expect in return. I apply this rule to many areas in life and it grounds me. My father has taught me the meaning of unconditional love. No matter what obstacle and circumstance, he remains supportive and loves me always.