Avery Mills, star of the hit reality series 90 Day Fiancé, met and fell in love with Omar Albakkaur after connecting on a Muslim dating site. Mills converted to Islam when she was 18-years-old, and is now considering moving to war-torn Syria to be with her fiancé.
Avery and Omar are the first Muslim couple to appear on the TLC series. Since Avery converted to Islam at such a young age, fans might be wondering whether or not she converted to be with Omar, or if she chose to shed her Christian life and convert to Islam on her own accord.
Here’s what we know about Avery’s decision to pursue the Muslim faith:
Avery Converted to Islam Before Meeting Omar
In the clip above, Avery says she converted to Islam when she turned 18. She says her life “wasn’t always like this,” and she went through a “big change” when she converted from Christianity to the Muslim lifestyle. She says she was a “typical American girl” who did gymnastics and cheer leading, went to school dances and enjoyed partying. However, she quickly realized that life wasn’t for her, which led her to Islam.
Avery recently told Newsweek that she always believed in God but decided to convert once she learned more about the Islamic faith. “I believed in God, but I wasn’t always 100 percent confident in all of the Christian views. I was open to learning about Islam and never expected to convert, but I was curious, so I asked some Muslim friends about Islam. Everything I learned shocked me, it made so much sense and I realized it’s an amazing religion. The turning moment for me was when I went into a mosque and had a moment in my heart I knew I was with the right people, in the right place, about to follow the right path.”
After she converted, Avery joined a Muslim dating site, where she met Omar. Omar was living in Syria at the time and studying to be a dentist at the University of Damascus, according to Starcasm. Although she expected to meet a Muslim man who lived in America, she “could help but fall in love with Omar,” Newsweek reports.
“When Omar sent me a request I saw his profile was so nice, and he was so handsome. I knew he was Syrian but it wasn’t until after about a week of nonstop talking that I realized he still lived in Syria,” she said. “Oddly enough it didn’t change my feelings at all for him.” The reality star said she was shocked when she learned that he lived in Syria, but that she was “already hooked.”
She Doesn’t Care What Viewers Think About Her Faith or Her Decision to Move to Syria
Avery has already received some significant backlash for her decision to convert to Islam, (from family, friends and viewers alike), but the reality star couldn’t care less what others think, according to Newsweek.
“I have never cared about what people thought in the past. No one can sway my decision on my choices,” she told Newsweek. “I really make my own path and I’ll tell them that.”
In the clip above, Avery’s friends confront her on her decision to move to Syria to be with Omar. “It is just weird to me that you just didn’t tell anybody really, and then out of the blue you were just like ‘oh yeah, I’m getting married,'” her friend Rachel tells her in the clip. Another friend agrees and says “it’s crazy,” and they worry that Omar might be a completely different person when she meets him for the first time.
However, Avery isn’t concerned. She told Newsweek that she is just excited to see how hers and Omar’s love story plays out on national television. “I’m excited to see how the story is going to play on TV [and] of course there are a few nerves, but I’m mostly excited,” she said.
According to Soap Dirt, it only took one day for TLC to confirm the couple for the show. The vetting process usually takes months, so the network was clearly interested in showcasing Avery and Omar’s relationship on the show and scooped them up in record time.
Tune in Sundays at 8/7c on TLC to catch Avery and Omar on season 3 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days.