Woman engaged to Egyptian tour guide three weeks after she met him on post divorce holiday
A woman on a post-divorce holiday to 'find herself' fell in love with her Egyptian tour guide and got engaged to him after just three WEEKS. Gina Quiñones, 32, always dreamed of going to Egypt but says "life and marriage got in the way". She suffered with depression after losing her nail business during the pandemic and divorcing her husband in August 2021 after 10 years together. Gina decided to jet off to Hurghada, Egypt, in January 2022, on a solo travel trip to "disconnect from reality and embrace the Egyptian history and culture". Before jetting off, Gina researched and booked a tour guide, Abdel Amin, 31, who showed her all the sights during her three-week holiday. On the 14th day of the trip, on a White Desert excursion, the pair couldn't deny their romantic feelings on the secluded moon-lit plains. Gina met Abdel's family who approved of Gina entering the family - and they agreed they would get married - and he formally proposed outside a palace three months later. The pair married in April 2022 and now run their own travel company from New York. Now the pair are in a long distance relationship, and Gina travels back to Egypt when she can. Gina's family are supportive of her decision, she said. She hits back at trolls saying he's not her "90 day fiancé". Gina, from Brooklyn, New York, USA said: "I lost my nail business which was only open for six months because of the pandemic and I instantly lost everything. "I got a divorce and I wanted to do something for myself because I was battling depression. "Going to Egypt was always a dream - it's somewhere you see a lot on TV in America on the Discovery channel. "I don't have any kids and I didn't have any good friends, I had some money saved so I decided to go. "I never expected to fall in love and meet my husband." Abdel, from Sohag, Egypt, said: "Thousands of people from US and Europe think I just married her for the green card or visa but this is completely wrong. "I earn a good income, I can travel already, and I have to stay in Egypt because I'm an Egyptologist - an expert in Egyptian history." Before her travels, Gina started doing research through Instagram to find a travel company to book a guide through. "I was trying to find an affordable tour guide and I wanted to go with an Egyptologist," she said. "I didn't want the regular Joe Schmoe, I wanted someone who could read the hieroglyphics. "I booked a 15-day private tour but I had no idea what he looked like - he could have been a man or a woman." She set off on 20 January 2022, but her adventure didn't get off to a good start when her luggage was lost in transit. She said: "I arrived in Hurghada after a 10-hour flight from JFK to Munich and then a four-hour flight from Munich to Hurghada with a layover. "They lost my luggage, and I was in the middle of this third world country without cell service. "I got through customs and saw this really tall Egyptian man with a sign which read Gina. "He sat in the front, and I sat in the back of the car. I was so jet lagged I couldn't think about anything." Gina was too tired to pay attention to Abdel and he treated her professionally- as he would any other tourist. Luckily Gina's Airbnb was well-equipped with a washing machine and detergent so she could wash the clothes she was wearing - before she was reunited with her luggage after four days. She added: "For the first four days we did a lot of Hurghada excursions. "We did a safari tour in a four-by-four and snorkelling. "We went shopping and to seafood restaurants and he would drop me off at my AirBnB which was part of the service." Four days into the tour, the pair took a domestic flight to Cairo and drove four hours to reach the white desert. Gina said: "That's when we connected in the middle of the white desert. "It's the most beautiful place on Earth. "You can see every single star constellation and the moon lights up the entire desert. "That's when something sparked, we started to talk about our lives. "I spoke about my divorce he told me about his life. "Both of our dads had died from hepatitis, and we bonded over small things." Abdel added: "In the desert in the full moon with the sky is when we bonded. "It was very romantic. I think from this moment we knew we loved each other. According to Abdel, most people speak to Gina in Arabic as they think she is Egyptian. He says most people in his village of Sohag get married when they are 25 and his mum has been patiently waiting for him to bring home a wife. He said: "I didn't get married I was busy with work and studying. "I meet hundreds of people every day but didn't meet the right person. "When I met Gina, I knew she was the right person for me." Gina said: "When we went to the Egyptian museum this strange French lady came up to us saying you guys look like Ramses and Cleopatra - I called him Ramses for the rest of the trip." Gina converted to Islam five years ago before she married her ex and shares the same religion as Abdel. According to Gina, dating doesn't happen in the traditional conservative society of Egypt. Towards the end of the trip the pair were 'dating' and Abdel brought Gina to meet his mum, Sorya, 65, and family. Gina said: "I had never been to a village in the middle of Egypt. Everything was wood and cement. "The houses on the inside are beautiful. "I remember looking at his mum and thinking her eyes are like mine." According to Gina all of Abdel's relatives are tall like her and she felt a sense of belonging. She said: "I met his mum, she was ecstatic. He's the last baby and the last one to get married in the family. Abdel added: "Gina tried our traditional food and life and she loved it. "She didn't want to go back to New York, she wanted to miss her flight." The couple agreed they would marry on 4 February 2022 during Gina's trip but Abdel formally proposed two months later with a ring on 25 April. Gina said: "He proposed to me at Baron Palace, it was such a beautiful place. "He got down on one knee and said 'will you be my wife?" According to Gina, all her family supported her decision. Gina is still based in New York City but flies back to Egypt when she can. The couple married on 10 April, 2022, in a simple ceremony in Abdel's village and defied haters who think they have married so Abdel can be a '90 day fiancé'. Gina's friends and family weren't able to attend but Abdel's family all celebrated with the newlyweds. The newlyweds set up their own travel company, Travel Egypt Now, which allows them to combine their love for each other and Egypt. She said: "The business is based out of New York, and we support LGBTQ+ tourists and solo female travellers. "At the moment we're long distance and the next time I see him will be May or September as we're organising a big group tour. "We hope these tours will eventually pay for us to have a home in Egypt. "We're in the process of getting a visa right now. After one year I can gain Egyptian citizenship and then later dual." Abdel is also applying for an American green card so Gina can show him her Hispanic Puerto Rican heritage and New York. Abdel said: "I have a good life and I have found my person. "It makes me upset that people say I am using Gina for her money and a visa."