Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Young Gaza couple begin married life in a tent

Live from Palestine Reports
Rami Almeghari
March 2, 2009

Last Thursday, relatives, friends and local community representatives attended an unusual wedding party in Gaza. The celebration was held in a newly-erected refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabaliya.

"My wife and I planned to marry at my house, where we furnished an apartment, just shortly before Israel's war on Gaza. Yet, as you see, we were forced to stay at this tent in the al-Rayyan refugee camp," said newly-married Ahmad al-Hersh of Jabaliya refugee camp.

"We had no other option; after the war, there have been so many difficulties to find a house to rent, as the demand is higher than before. My wife Eman initially objected but later on she agreed as we don't have any other choice. And thanks to those who helped furnish this marriage set," recalled Ahmad while sitting at his tent's bedroom.

Ahmad used to live in a three-story house in the al-Khulafa neighborhood inside the town of Jabaliya, before it was bombed by Israeli warplanes during the 22-day siege of Gaza. The tent where the newly married Palestinian couple will live has a bed, table, cupboard and a small bathroom.

Ahmad explained that "I am not totally pleased but what can I say. But I look forward to the reconstruction of Gaza soon, so I and many others like myself get relief. I am a victim of the Israeli war."

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, Israeli shelling and missiles during the 22-day-long siege destroyed more than 2,800 homes completely and damaged an additional 1,900, leaving tens of thousands homeless. To accommodate the large number of internally displaced Palestinians, a number of small refugee camps have been erected in different parts of the Gaza Strip, mainly in northern Gaza, through assistance by international organizations such as the UN agency for Palestine refuees, UNRWA. Ahmad's special tent was funded by a local charity in Jabaliya, via a Kuwaiti grant.

To read the entire article go to: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10361.shtml