Palestinian Ahmed al-Salhi and his bride Shaima from Gaza prepared for their wedding ceremonies to come out in the most beautiful way at the time of the specified wedding, but the spread of the Corona virus in the Gaza Strip and the accompanying security and health measures disrupted everything.
The couple decided to abandon their plans and complete the wedding on the specified date, but without a public ceremonial ceremony, in light of the strict government measures aimed at combating the spread of the virus.
“All our plans and our preparations have been canceled,” said Al-Salihi, who stayed for two hours, accompanied by police officers, in front of the entrance to the Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip, waiting for his bride to arrive to complete their wedding ceremonies.
Zaff in police cars
He described what happened as a rare event for him with the beginning of a new social life. The newlyweds’ vehicle drove with darkness, in front and behind it a group of police cars blowing their horns to celebrate them.
When they reached the house, al-Salihi, who was wearing a military uniform, and his bride in a white dress, both wearing protective masks, jumped to the applause of the police and the celebration of their families and neighbors.
And the Gaza Strip, which is inhabited by about two million people, amid living, humanitarian and health crises as a result of the blockade imposed by Israel 13 years ago, did not record local infections with the new Corona virus during the first months of the virus spreading globally.
And life is disrupted
At that time, Al-Salhi proposed to sermon his bride Shaima, but was unable to organize a celebration on this occasion due to a series of measures taken by the security authorities at the time, which included closing wedding halls, restaurants, cafes and gyms and suspending Friday prayers until further notice, following the detection of the first two cases of coronavirus infection. From Egypt to the Gaza Strip last March.
“I agreed with my fiancée and her family to hold a party for days before the end of the summer, and when the deadline approached, life here was disrupted,” Al-Salhi said during an interview inside his home two weeks after his wedding.
A wedding without a celebration
According to al-Salhi, the wedding agreement remained in effect, but the celebration and celebration were canceled, as the groom called the camp police station and asked to facilitate the arrival of his bride to his new home. Palestinian Police Vehicles.
Although Al-Salhi is a civil servant in an international institution, he wore a military uniform. About that, he said, “Everything changed in one moment … I felt at the beginning that I was on my way to becoming a military man and not a groom to marry his bride.”
With the passage of time, young people in the Gaza Strip resorted to organizing their joys in the midst of a limited presence of invitees inside the halls of homes or on the roofs, a scene that brings to mind the weddings that Palestinians regularly organized in the eighth decade of the last century, as wedding halls were not as widespread as they were. Today.
Coordination with the police
For example, the wedding ceremony of Muhammad Hamdi, 29, to his bride, Malak Jawad, 21, from the Rafah refugee camp, south of the Strip, took place in the courtyard of his home in the middle of this month, after prior coordination with the police in the city.
A limited number of Hamdi’s relatives and friends celebrated for some time inside the courtyard, which was decorated in a hurry and placed at the top of it the “grooms platform,” but the joy of the newlyweds remained incomplete, according to what they said.
Hamdi pledged before organizing the narrow party for his bride and his family to re-organize his joy anew upon resuming life in Gaza.
The father of the groom said, “Joy is in the heart,” and the most important thing is to preserve the health and lives of people in such difficult and complex conditions with the outbreak of the Corona virus locally in the coastal sector.
Hamdi’s family was keen to put sterile materials and signs at the entrance to the house calling on the attendees to be satisfied with congratulations without shaking hands or kissing.
The groom’s father said that a limited number of relatives and friends responded to the invitation of joy. “Some of my sisters and brothers were absent due to the curfew, and praise be to God, things ended peacefully.”
The government authorities in Gaza had implemented a curfew decision and separated the five governorates of the Strip from each other, since the first 4 confirmed injuries were discovered in the ranks of a family from the Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip on August 25, and they took strict security measures, including the closure of refugee camps and their complete isolation and the closure of roads Within cities with dirt mounds.
Despite this, the authorities in the Gaza Strip, which has been controlled by Hamas for 13 years, decided to partially resume work in the Sharia courts less than 10 days after the decision to implement the curfew.
On the first day of the courts’ return on September 7, 110 marriage contracts were concluded, according to the head of the Supreme Council of the Sharia Judiciary in the Gaza Strip, Hassan al-Jojo.
Al-Jojo said, “The resumption of the work of the Sharia courts despite the outbreak of the Corona pandemic locally came based on the requirements of the public interest,” explaining that since the start of the decision to implement the ban, about 500 calls have been received from parents who have fiancée children.
He added, “It was decided to stipulate that the two suitors be from the same governorate, to prevent the occurrence of mixing and movement between provinces in light of the procedures of the local authorities to confront the spread of the virus.”
Hamas supports the marriage of young people, as it supported a large segment of them with money by organizing group wedding weddings during the past years, and now it provides interest-free loans through its authorities to about a thousand young people every year.
For some grooms like Al-Salhi, his wedding will remain like a rare event, which he will narrate to his children and grandchildren, and he echoed jokingly with his wife, “If (his bride) wants a wedding when life comes back to life, I will ask her immediately.”