Palestinian couple's wedding dreams destroyed by war in Gaza - GulfToday

Palestinian couple's wedding dreams destroyed by war in Gaza


Ahmed and Suwar Safi, who delayed their wedding that was planned for Oct.19 due to the ongoing conflict, talk in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Reuters

Palestinian bride Suwar Safi was looking forward to wearing her white dress and sharing her life with Ahmed after their wedding, but instead she is living in a refugee camp after Israel launched air strikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

"Everyone was telling me, it's ok and to have faith, this is our destiny and we have to accept it," she said, adding: "We did not get the chance to experience that joy."

Safi, 30, and her family from the northern Gaza Strip are now displaced and living in a tent at a United Nations site in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Ahmed Safi, from Khan Younis, still lives with his family and the couple rarely see each other because of the conflict. They were due to have married on Oct.19.

Weddingcard-Gazacouple Suwar Safi  shows her marriage invitation card after she and her fiance Ahmed delayed their wedding in Khan Younis. Reuters

Israel launched the air strikes after Hamas attacked Israeli towns on Oct.7 in a rampage that killed 1,400 people, most of them civilians, and hostages were taken back into Gaza.

When the conflict erupted, Ahmed said he tried to call his fiancee and her family to try to move them from the north to the south. Israel had urged Palestinians in Gaza City to move south, because it was safer, but air strikes have hit across the enclave.

"Even when we finally managed to get a car to get them here, air strikes happened while they were fleeing," he said.

Palestiniancouple-Wedding-destroyed Ahmed and Suwar Safi walk in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Reuters

"As a 30-year-old man I was impatiently waiting for this wedding and for this day. The 19th of October transformed from a joyful day to a catastrophe full of sadness, destruction and death," he said.

Weddings are usually a bright spot in impoverished Gaza, one of the most densely-populated places in the world with 2.3 million people and where many people are jobless and cannot afford to marry.

In a statement on Wednesday, the health ministry in Gaza said at least 6,546 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli bombardment since Oct. 7, including 2,704 children.



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