Israel’s war buried many a wedding dream in Gaza

Special Israel’s war buried many a wedding dream in Gaza
Men in Gaza Strip, on Thursday, pray near the rubble of a mosque, destroyed during Israeli airstrikes that left 248 dead in the besieged enclave. (AP)
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Updated 27 May 2021

Israel’s war buried many a wedding dream in Gaza

Israel’s war buried many a wedding dream in Gaza
  • ‘It is not possible now for Ahmed to be a groom in this world ... He is now a groom in heaven’

GAZA CITY: Salwa Nofal and Sobhi Ziad were forced to have a “silent wedding” following Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

Their marriage had already been postponed twice due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease pandemic and a death in the family; they set May 18 as the third date for their big day, which ended up being the eighth day of the fighting.

The young couple decided to cancel their wedding party, and instead began their life together quietly in a house that Nofal had prepared before the start of the fighting on May 10. 

Ziad wrote on Facebook: “We went to our house carrying all the love for each other in our hearts and the hope that our home would be filled with joy and happiness ... I wish you all complete safety.”

They were among the luckier couples, but many others were less fortunate.

Anas Al-Yazji’s world came crashing down on him as his fiancée Shaima Abu Al-Ouf was killed in an Israeli airstrike that destroyed her family’s home in Al-Wehda Street in Gaza City.

She had been in her third year of university, and was set to become a dentist. Her professors and colleagues said that she was bright, and dreaming of her graduation day; she was eager to kickstart her career.

It was decided that Shaima and Anas would tie the knot after Eid Al-Fitr, but an Israeli raid destroyed everything. What remained was blood, debris and many scattered engagement gifts.

After a love story that lasted almost three years, Al-Ouf’s last words to Al-Yazji, on the phone, were “I am afraid,” he said. “I asked her to take refuge in a safe place, then a massive explosion took place and she got killed. She is in paradise,” he added. 

Muhannad Al-Nawati, 20, and his bride Hiba Harzullah, lost all their wedding gifts — clothes, appliances, gifts — in the rubble of Harzullah’s family house, next to the Kuhail building, which was targeted by an Israeli airstrike that flattened it. 

The pair stood looking on in disbelief at what was left of the seven-story building, which had collapsed on Harzullah’s modest house, burying their simple dreams.

Al-Nawati said the wedding party, scheduled for after Eid, has been postponed indefinitely due to what happened.

Ahmed Al-Masry, 21, was preparing for his wedding on the second day of Eid, but was killed in the first strike of the conflict, along with his sister Rahaf, 10, nephew Yazan, 18 months, and seven others, most of whom were his relatives.

“It is not possible now for Ahmed to be a groom in this world ... He is now a groom in heaven,” said his father, Abu Atallah. “He joined his mother, who was martyred in an Israeli raid during the first war on Gaza in 2018,” he added.

The family has suffered before at the hands of Israeli strikes on Gaza: Their home was flattened during the 2014 war.

“The missile tore my heart before it took the life of Ahmed and killed our joy,” he added.