Aug 2 2009
…NOT flower girls as many have suggested.
AL-JAZEERA confirms that the Palestinian celebration for 450 couples was indeed a wedding. In a mass wedding organised by Hamas, 450 young couples got married in the Gaza Strip.
“We are saying to the world and to America that you cannot deny us joy and happiness,” Zahar told the men, all of whom were dressed in identical black suits and hailed from the nearby Jabalia refugee camp.
Each groom received a present of 500 dollars from Hamas, which said its workers had also contributed five percent of their monthly salaries to add to the wedding gift.
The 450 brides shared none of the glamour, taking seats among the audience of around 1,000 party guests: most couples had already taken part in religious ceremonies elsewhere, with more marriages planned for the next few days.
Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin explains how the event represented a rare display of Palestinian unity.