Yara Shaheen is 21 years old, a student of English literature at Al-Azhar University-Gaza, and was going for the final fitting of her wedding gown when the news broke of the conflict, after Israel killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari.
Tuesday was supposed to have been Yara Shaheen’s wedding day, but on Monday, as she sought shelter with her family instead of carrying out last minute preparations for her big day, the young Gazan woman held onto hope.
Perhaps there’s some mysterious reason, she mused, one that God only knew, that caused this war to happen precisely now forcing her family to call off the wedding.
Yara commented: "I was at the shop, wearing the white dress, when they killed Jabari. The moment I heard the news, and I knew I would have to postpone the wedding," she said. Yara Shaheen left the dress at the shop, went home and started family discussions over whether she and her fiancé, Hussam, should cancel the wedding for 400 at the Love Boat hall, not far from Gaza’s nicest beachfront restaurants and hotels.
"It’s so disappointing. I feel anxious and so angry," Yara Shaheen explained in a phone interview.
"Everyone in Gaza is in pain now, even the people who are not directly exposed to the killing and bombing," she said. "Now I don’t care so much about the wedding, but that the people around me should be safe. We’re watching news of children being killed, there’s no way we could celebrate at a time like this."