Last Sunday on a national Albanian TV station, on a TV show hosted by one of Albania’s most eminent TV-hosts, Ardit Gjebrea, an amazing story was shared of the “Albanian Cinderella”. Her name is Klaudja, and she is a young girl coming from a coastal city of Durrës on the Adriatic Sea in western Albania.
Klaudja is the youngest child of a 4-member family with a traditional agricultural background. It was at the age of 14, when her mother was diagnosed with a heavy disease, when the fate of this young lady completely changed. The financial burden was left to Klaudja and her older sister, and she landed her first job the very same year.
Being forced to drop out of high school, she started working at Euro Lotto-a local Lottery Shop. Despite all the difficulties, she learnt one important thing from her current job: The wheel of fortune never stops spinning.
Ambitious and brave, she decided to try her luck beyond borders. She worked as a waitress in Oman; Marketing Manager in Thailand; but she knew that she has to do one more final move. If she only knew that the final ‘drawn ticket’ would change her life forever. She tells, it was early 2016 when she started working as a shoe shop assistant in amazing Dubai. Fully dedicated to being the hero of her family, “her only goal was to provide that little extra income for her parents in Albania”, she recounts.
Sitting in a chair in the studio wearing a white dress, she said: “Up until the 8-year school we were just a normal family. Then, the subsequences have begun. When I was in high school, my mom got sick and had a gut in her chest. She got visited everywhere and then we decided to make an operation, but our income was not enough.”
She had to make a lot of sacrifices in her life and that meant traveling and changing her jobs several times.
She continues: “After some time I changed my job and applied to emigrate to different country. At first I started as a waitress in Oman but then I got promoted to supervisor. I flew to Thailand, with an agency and a friend, where I worked as a marketing manager and I stayed only one year.
“I went back to Dubai, to my friend. Meanwhile, I told her that this would be the last destination. When I went there I started working as a vendor in a shoe store. At first I stayed at a hotel. Per month I made $1,000. Meanwhile I found a home in a province in Dubai, where I paid $300 and shared it with other girlfriends.”
But things started shifting one day, when she received a Facebook Message from a complete stranger. Coming from a conservative culture such as Klaudja’s, would impose a lot of withdrawal in communicating with men, especially of different nationality than hers. Despite all the dogmas she grew up with, she felt something special about this new guy in her life.
His name was Emad – a driver in Dubai, coming from a very poor family with a long list of debts pending- at least that is what he said. Among the questions asked by Ardit, Klaudja said that she never minded Emad’s financial status, as he was “the most honest guy she ever met”.
As things were evolving, and their relationship grew stronger, Emad invited Klaudja at his sister’s wedding, as an official event to introduce her to his family. At her huge surprise this was not even close to a modest wedding ceremony of a poor family.
In the contrary, Klaudja says: “It was the most glamorous and luxurious event my eyes have ever seen.”
But, there was a reasonable explanation for it all. Emad’s brother in law was a very wealthy UAE national, hence the big wedding. With tears in her eyes, Klaudja shares with the audience that that evening, Emad proposed to her in front of all those people, whom she had never seen before.
Their romance lead to getting married pretty fast.
She says:” We met in April and I got married in August 2016 and now we have a daughter named Kayla. We continued dating until July since we had a lot of common things including borrowed money that we needed to pay.
One of Ardit’s questions brought a few moments of silence. He asked her: “Was it easy for you to decide right away?”
Klaudja explained that there were 2 conditions she posed to Emad in order for her to say the ultimate “I Do”. Firstly, bearing in mind their financial status and the absence of her family, she says that she requested a modest wedding without any particular ceremony.
“We decided to get married on 8th of August but I didn’t become a bride. Arab countries are very affected by Islamic beliefs, and weddings have their own rules. Women and men are separated and I did not have my family there.
Secondly, UAE Legislation has a provision that allows men to marry 4 different wives without bearing any penalties such as in the country where Klaudja is from.
She says: “I asked Emad whether I’ll be his only one.”
Without any doubts Emad immediately scheduled their wedding in August. Since the marriage contract needs to be registered in a Sharia court, they decided that that would also be the only a formal procedure to entitle them as husband and wife. One of the provisions in the legislature states that both parties must reveal their financial status, along with all proprieties and wealth possession.
It was moments after Klaudja’s short list when Emad had his turn. In complete shock, Klaudja was counting the endless possessions and wealth that Emad was listing. She tells the public that he ended the list with a deep apology for not letting her know the truth from the very beginning.
Needless to mention, Klaudja’s life was really changed forever.
“He apologized to me for not telling the truth but I told him not to worry about it. That was extraordinary. It was like the tale of Cinderella,” she says.
“I gave Dubai the last chance to switch my luck and help me save my family, and it gave me the love of my life, and a complete dream come true. The story ends with Ardit and Klaudja inviting Lindita, Klaudja’s mom, to make her dream come true and to surprise her.
“Today I invited my mom who always told me to have a wedding. She saw my older sister as a bride before. First of all, I want to apologize to her for every tear I might have caused her. And second, I know that she will get very surprised.”
After the big sister got married, Lindita’s dream was to see her youngest daughter in a white dress too. When she sees her, she gets very emotional and immediately starts tearing up.
The speechless Lindita claims:”Every parent’s wish is to see her daughters in a white dress.”
Ardit tells her that Klaudja has a message for her as well.
Klaudja starts her message: “First of all, I have to apologize for every word I have returned to you. This will be a very nice memory and we should enjoy it. But I have a request for you. You are ill, you are taking pills and after one month you have some medical visits to do in Italy. If you don’t get better soon, you will have to get operated. So, I ask in front of all the public here, to quit smoking since it’s better for your health.”
Klaudia’s mom was hesitant at first to quit smoking but then she accepted her daughter’s request.
“Maybe not today or tomorrow, but I will sure try to quit. And I keep my word,” Lindita said.
Then, the two of them hugged each other and shared beautiful memories together.
But the surprise was not over yet since Ardit thought about yet another thing. He invited Klaudja’s husband in the studio too without her knowing. Meanwhile she was saying ‘Hi’ to him through the TV, Ardit called him in the studio where the real ceremony of the wedding took place.
After drinking non-alcoholic champagne because of the strict Sharia rules, the couple also enjoyed the wedding cake. Klaudia’s daughter Kayla and some family members were also there. The guests in the studio were also tearing up and emotional while watching this “Cinderella fairy tale” with a happy ending.
The spectators were very touched, many of them wrote comments on the Internet.
“Such a beautiful couple. This is the reason why people shouldn’t love each other for their money.”
Another one added: “Congratulations to the couple. I hope they live long happy life together.”
What do you guys think? Isn’t this a typical Cinderella story? Comment down below and let us know.