Greenville Life Winter 2019 - Page 17

Friends first EL ZORKANIS ARE GRATEFUL FOR TIME AS FRIENDS BEFORE DATING Love Is All Around W The El Zorkani family: Layla, Mandy, Zain and Jimmy hen Mandy Stewart and Jimmy El Zorkani first met each other through mutual friends at a St. Patrick’s Day block party, they would have never guessed that in four years they’d be exchanging wedding vows. Now, nearly 10 years after their first seem- ingly passing encounter, the two say they are grate- ful that they had the opportunity to get to know each other as friends before they started dating. “I was out with my friend, Christin, and she wanted to take me to say hi to some other friends of hers who had come,” Mandy recalled of their first meeting. “Jimmy was part of that group.” “I think she (Mandy) was a little annoyed at us, actually,” Jimmy added with a chuckle. As Jimmy and Mandy became better ac- quainted through months of the same group of friends enjoying NASCAR races, camping in RVs and participating in other recreational activities together, they both continued to date other peo- ple. “Even though we were just friends, when we would date other people we would each feel a little jealous, I think,” Mandy says. “People would keep asking if we were together, because we got along so well and after nine months of hanging out, we built a connection, and it looked like we were dating.” WINTER 2019 Greenville Life 17