A Wedding Behind the Bars in Palestine

A Wedding Behind the Bars in Palestine
Fri 17-04-2015

Reem Abu Wahdan, a Palestinian woman, will wear her white wedding dress on July 27, even though her husband-to-be will not be there to share the joy of the moment.

Reem, 18, will visit her mother-in-law in the occupied West Bank on that day to marry a man who is behind bars inside an Israeli jail.

While the husband-to-be will not be there – on that day or for many more days to come – but Reem nevertheless feels extremely proud.

"This is the least I can do for a man who sacrificed his entire life behind bars for the Palestinian cause," Reem told The Anadolu Agency.

The last time Reem saw her husband-to-be, Mahmoud, in person, was in 2002, when she was only five years old.

A short time later, he was locked up by Israel for allegedly planning to carry out attacks on Israeli targets.

He was slapped with three life sentences and an additional 30 years of imprisonment.

When Mahmoud's mother approached Reem to make a marriage proposal on behalf of her jailed son, the 18-year-old Gaza Strip resident was overjoyed.

For her, being engaged to a symbol of the Palestinian resistance against Israel's decades-long occupation is a source of pride.

"I just want to give him the message that imprisonment will not last forever," Reem said. "Hope and determination can do anything."

On July 27, after officially documenting her marriage to Mahmoud, Reem will attend a wedding ceremony, even though the groom will not be present.

The following day, Mahmoud's mother will visit him in jail to give him the engagement ring, upon which Reem's name is engraved.

Reem says she cannot wait for the marriage to be officially documented so she can visit Mahmoud in prison after obtaining permission from the Israeli authorities.

She says she is ready to wait for him until he serves out his sentence.

"I will wait for him until he is free and victorious," she declared.

She voices hope that Mahmoud will be included in a future prisoner swap between Palestinian resistance factions and Israel.

Reem's father voices similar sentiments, stressing that imprisonment does not last forever.

"My daughter and I are happy because we managed to make my nephew Mahmoud happy in prison," the father said.

Source: World Bulletin