Their love 'brought together two different nations'

Jehad and Fabiola Saleh brought together two cultures
and religions when they married. He is from Jordan
and is Muslim; she is from Mexico and is Catholic.

While browsing at an antique fair, Jehad Saleh noticed an interesting-looking woman.

“I liked how serious she was and, when I talked to her, I saw how smart she was,” Jehad says.

It was 2001 on the Country Club Plaza and 28-year-old Fabiola Camacho agreed to have lunch with Jehad because she was curious about him


Jehad, 32, was from Aman, Jordan. He had gone to college in Louisiana and had moved to Kansas City in the late 1990s. Fabiola was from Guadalajara, Mexico, and traveled back and forth, dealing in antiques.   Despite Fabiola’s sparse English, the two enjoyed their time together.   “We tried to get to know each other,” Fabiola says.

“Because it was hard to communicate, our lunch lasted three hours. Being with her was so romantic and enjoyable,” Jehad recalls.   Afterward, they talked several times on the telephone. But Jehad was shy and didn’t quite know how to ask her out. Finally, three months later, he invited her to lunch again.   “ I was very happy when he finally asked me,” Fabiola says.   They began meeting for breakfast. During a year of morning meals, they started feeling they were meant for each other.

“I love her ability and her motivation,” Jehad says. “She inspires me.”   “There are so many things I love about Jehad,” Fabiola says. “He’s so disciplined and so creative.”   They continued dating for two more years. Then in 2004, during a picnic on Jehad’s lawn, he proposed. Fabiola was delighted to say, “Yes.”

They were married in June 2005 at Jehad’s restaurant, Café Cedar, in Parkville, where Jehad runs the kitchen and serves as head chef. Fabiola now runs the dining room. After their long and demanding work day, they return to their Kansas City home and spend several hours together, cooking a late dinner, eating and talking.   “We always make time to be with each other,” Fabiola says.   They enjoy sharing their different cultures and religions, celebrating both her Catholic holidays and his Muslim observances.

“Lots of people said our life would be difficult because of our differences,” Fabiola says. “But we love each other too much to let that get in our way.”   “All religion is good, and all culture is good,” Jehad says. “When we married, we brought together two different nations.”   Both feel their marriage has made them more giving and loving.   “She knows what I like, and I know what she likes,” Jehad says. “We try hard to please each other. We are friends as well as husband and wife.”    “We were meant to be for each other,” Fabiola says.

Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer.
Posted on Sat, Aug. 21, 2010 10:15 PM