Above: Nayyef Hrebid (left) with his husband, Betu Allami
Nearly 13 years ago, Betu Allami and Nayyef Hrebid fell in love in Ramadi at the height of the Iraq War. Hrebid, an interpreter for the U.S. Marines, and Allami, a soldier for the Iraqi Army, kept their affair hidden for five years, as same-sex relations in the military — and in the Middle East — were not socially sanctioned. Fast-forward to 2014, and the couple’s situation became vastly different. The dangers of combat far behind them across the Atlantic, they were married in Canada. They now reside in Seattle, their life together a complete 180 from when they first met. “I always tell him, ‘You’re the air I breathe,’ ” says Hrebid. “I can’t live my life without him.”
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