Love and Marriage Blended Cultures in Fort Bend

By Zeenat Kassam Mitha –

Love stories are some of the best stories because they involve the heart. Emotions are at an all-time high when they involve falling in love. Having butterflies in your stomach, being tongue-tied, having shaking knees or sweaty hands – all simply because your loved one is near.  What could be better?

Love often leads to marriage, and when people of different cultures marry, the stories involve passion that the heart understands. In Fort Bend, we have several such stories. Here are a few of these during this auspicious month when love is celebrated in such grandeur.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

300-mayeThe Bozorkis

Leandra Dewes was born in Porto Alegri, Brazil.  She was working in her father’s boutique hotel on the beach and was visited by many tourists from around the world. She was passionate about travel, arts and culture. At the age of 23, in April 1994, she was ready for a new adventure and moved to Clear Lake, Texas with the opportunity to study.

Maye Bozorki is from the cultured city of Kashan, Iran and moved to Houston for his education. He completed his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Science at San Jacinto College, his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a master’s in Industrial Engineering from Texas Southern University, followed by a B.A. in Business Management from the University of Houston. Maye loves the United States for the many opportunities it offers, including its mix of cultures.

Leandra met Maye through a mutual friend in October 1994. They soon became good friends. Maye asked Leandra to join him and meet his family at his birthday dinner on March 21, 1997 at Churrascos on Westheimer, and they took their friendship to the next level. Maye loved her vivacious personality, her love for life and her laughter. Leandra admired Maye’s love for family and his intelligence. They began working together in the real estate and the wireless business that Maye began. In March 2003, both were ready to move forward, and Maye proposed.

They married on March 20, 2004 during the Persian New Year. This was a special time, as it is the birth of spring and a time for blessed beginnings with family and friends. Their daughter, Sophia Gabriella, was born on October 10, 2008, and they love to travel and learn about other cultures
as a family.

300-robertThe Lathams

Robert, an Australian, educated in Sydney, Australia and Houston, and Vicki, a Houstonian, educated in Houston and Europe, met the summer of 1979 while working at Fluor Engineering. Robert is an engineer and Vicki, educated in public relations, is also a harpist and artist. Love at first sight has its true meaning in this case as both were struck by Cupid’s arrow immediately after meeting.

Robert asked Vicki on their first date a few days after they met for a visit to Astroworld. They enjoyed the Cyclone roller coaster followed by a nighttime drive to Galveston, where they watched the moon and stars on the beach and chatted all night. Two days later, Robert asked Vicki to marry him. Valentine’s Day was the only day when Robert wanted to get married, so they set the date for February 14, 1980. They had two weddings, a civil service and one at their family’s Catholic church.

Vicki and Robert are proud parents of two daughters, Candace and Chanel, and they have a Yorkie named Pickles, which makes the family complete. They have had the opportunity to reside in various countries throughout Europe and learn various languages and cultures. Vicki is a professional harpist who is involved in community service. Robert is currently working with a biochemical engineering group to build an innovative and game-changing process for converting municipal solid waste that would otherwise be a landfill, into low-carbon, renewable transportation fuels.

Love at first sight turned into beautiful dreams that came true for both – a world of traveling, a lovely family, blended hearts and sharing a beautiful life of service.

300-vickiThe Warrens

Vicki Le and Kraig Warren hailed from different backgrounds but met while working to achieve a common goal: obtaining their MBA degrees. A native of southern Illinois, Kraig was raised in the small Midwestern rural town of McLeansboro. Vicki, whose parents emigrated from Vietnam following the fall of Saigon, was brought up in the suburban south Orange County area of populous Southern California.   

Kraig and Vicki were in the same MBA finance class at the University of Houston Sugar Land in January 2006, where both playfully competed against each other for the top grade. When Vicki asked Kraig to be on their Case Conference Team, Kraig assumed she also liked him and began working closely with her.  Following graduation, Kraig asked Vicki on a date to B.J.’s Brewery in December 2006. Vicki wore four-inch heels in the sleet and slipped, first falling on her back inside the restaurant and then again outside while Kraig was holding her hand. Kraig fell down with her, hence also falling in love, at the same time. Kraig coined the nickname “Twinkletoes” for Vicki after that date, and they have been inseparable ever since. Kraig asked Vicki to marry to him on Valentine’s Day 2008, and they tied the knot on August 9, 2008 in Antigua, Caribbean Islands.

Today, Kraig is the engineering and fabrication manager with the privately held A&A Machine and Fabrication in LaMarque, while Vicki actively pursues her passion in real estate as the broker-owner of MBA Realty. Their hobbies include alpine skiing and snowboarding, as well as traveling. Recently, they welcomed their daughter Kayley Joy into the world on November 24th, 2015. They look forward to teaching their baby girl to snowboard and ski.

300-nazlinThe Peffleys

Nazlin Keshwani and Richard Peffley met at Purdue University in Indiana in September 1975. Richard was a junior tutoring Nazlin’s freshman Chemistry class. One evening, Nazlin was waiting for the bus to go home, and Richard sat down beside her on the bench and started talking to her.  He found out Nazlin’s birthday was in a week and that she had never had a party. He also found out she was an Indian American born in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa, and his eyes immediately lit up. Richard was from Dayton, Ohio, and he had traveled there with his parents and siblings on an East African safari in 1968. At a time when nobody had heard of Uganda, here was an American who knew all about Kampala. Nazlin was smitten! Richard offered her a ride home that day, and she never rode the bus again. A week later, Richard hosted a surprise birthday party for her surrounded by his friends. They began dating soon after.

The two married on January 5, 1980, and both Richard and Nazlin received job opportunities in Lake Jackson, Texas as engineers for The Dow Chemical Company. Nazlin took some time off after their daughter, Sultana, was born in July 1989. They added to their family when their son, Majeed, was born five years later.

Richard is a consultant in the chemical industry with Lean Six Sigma Technology, and Nazlin works as a freelance project management consultant. They celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary on January 5th with a tradition – eating a meal at McDonald’s, where they spent many evenings during their college dating years.