Me: Scandinavian woman, 42 years, converted muslim since quite some time back Him: Tunisian man, 39 years, asylum seeker (religious reasons/activity during past president) Venue: Capital city, Scandinavian country Met this man through his sister at the local mosque where she initially, on her brothers behalf, asked me for information about the ledger that the mosque keeps for parties interested in marriage. I showed here to the information desk and on the way we started chatting, she asked whether I had family or not (which in itself is not uncommon amongst muslim, much of talk with other women tend to start on that end) and when I stated I wasn't married she wondered if I would be interested in having a coffee with her and at a later date, possibly also her brother, at a cafe some time in the future. I agreed to it, as I didn't see much harm in meeting, and we exchanged numbers. Again - such an introduction in itself is not out of the ordinary amongst practicing muslims as the first "date" is usually with a chaperone to introduce two potential candidates to one another, for them to get a first impression and then possibly meet some more in public places to get to know one another better. As I left the mosque after praying her brother arrived and we said a quick hello - first impression - a slightly shy man, stocky build, average but nice looks, polite with good islamic manners (i.e. not very much gawking/looking and greeting restricted to a short nod and handshake) - nothing very out of the ordinary. Two weeks later I got invited over to the sister for dinner. Her husband working late, their four children in ages from 7 to 15 at home - some with friends, some having dinner with us and we got to talk quite a bit between ourselves. She told me a bit about herself - she and her husband (also Tunisian) has lived in the country for the past 18 years - came over when the local industry needed workers and stayed as the children got born, started school and found friends. 2 older brothers and 5 sisters still live in Tunisia - most working, the oldest brother retired. Parents dead since many years back and hails from Tabarka where most of them still live. No signs or tales of apparent hardships or bad luck - rather the impression of a fairly common middle-class Tunisian family where the nieces/nephews have gone on to university, brothers and brothers-in-law work in places ranging from postal services to telecommunications, sisters and sisters-in-law usually stay-at-home mothers or doing smaller businesses from home. Next meeting together with her brother at a local café, bit of chit-chatting in a mix of English, French, German, Arabic and local language. He's been here for the past 2 years waiting for a final response on his request for asylum - understands local language fairly well, but finds it a bit difficult to express himself in it. Not working - as not allowed to under local laws when seeking asylum - but has volunteered to help local friends to pass time (and most likely getting some payment on the side but not registered). Intelligent, well-spoken, no over-the top declarations or suspicious sayings so far. A few other meetings in public places - most often meeting after Friday prayer at the local mosque and then going out for a coffee, or a bite to eat. Speaking of things both high and low - both values and thoughts about family, household economy and what marriage/relationsship means to either one - and a whole lot about islam, Quran and related subjects. As I know a fair bit both of Arabic and general islamic etiquette/law/sayings/thinking it's quite evident that he has studied a fair bit in this area and correctly and frequently quotes from both Quran and hadith. A few dinners at his sisters house as well - sometimes with him being there when I arrive, sometimes arriving later - and from that quite evident that the children do know him and like to be around him. The 7 year old daughter clings around his neck, the 10 year old son challenges him to arm wrestling and playing games on the XBox, the two older daughters at 13 and 15 a bit more laid back (teenage girls... ) but still polite and around. Sister's husband has been around as well at some occasions, so nothing indicating that this could potentially be an ex- or current wife "helping" him - which would even be very far-fetched thought, since she has lived here 18 years and there is no reason to doubt it due to her level of local language, the children's mastery of local language along with arabic and french and the presence of wedding photos to her husband showing them both in much younger versions. He has all the time been very careful in observering correct etiquette when meeting - as in no unnecessary touching, paying for everything that has been done (even though I am the one working and he is on daily "allowance" due to his migratory status), never asking for anything out of the ordinary (as I've experienced with some muslim-born men assuming the hijab for a converted muslim woman is mostly for show and can be removed when the man asks). Contact over the phone and text messages has been to the point with not much of flowery or exceptional language drizzled in. A few "I miss you" from either side, but mostly confined to setting a time for next meeting, stating that either one would be 10-15 minutes late due to traffic, wishes of a good nights sleep, to scratch the cats behind the ears when I get back or a reminder not to forget a daily prayer after coming home late. A month or so into dating the subject about marriage has come into the picture - again not out of the ordinary as we have met quite a bit, found common grounds in where we are, what we think and how we reason. Last week we went out to look for a ring (even though an islamic wedding involves no exchanging of rings it is from my understanding tradition to exchange rings in Tunisia) which he promptly paid for when we had found a suitable one. My gut reaction both from having been in long-term relations before my conversion, reading this and other sites, and also seeing the spanish/greek/italian versions of the summer-flirts/bezness men is that this man is serious about what he expresses. Of course the option for a permit of residence and work here is a great bonus for him as his asylum request will most likely be rejected due to the changing political/religious climate in Tunisia - something he doesn't deny as he also expresses a deep fondness for his sister already living here. But as always - the more eyes that are on to a situation - the greater the possibility of discovering something that could speak of ill intentions. So - here and willing to listen to your gut reactions from what I tell - friend or foe; or rather - rat or a good man?