When Yara met Fadi: The story of a Syrian wedding dress under Gaza rubble

They endured countless trials and tribulations to be together – and their story has captured Gaza’s imagination

Gaza wedding dress MEE Sanad Latefa.jpg
A photograph of Yara’s wedding dress in the fiances’ damaged apartment has attracted attention to the couple’s unlikely love story (Sanad Latefa)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – When Yara first set foot in Gaza in the middle of the night on 8 November, the 22-year-old Syrian woman’s journey was the culmination of what had until then seemed an impossible dream.

Yara was finally going to meet Fadi al-Ghazali – the man she fell in love with five years earlier and was set to marry.

On her odyssey from her hometown, Khan Sheikhoun in northwestern Syria, to the blockaded Gaza Strip, Yara’s luggage held a precious cargo of embroidered tulle and sequins, a symbol of the hope that had carried her through an arduous, years-long journey: her wedding dress.

Never would Yara have imagined that, only five days after she arrived in Gaza, that very dress would end up buried under rubble.

A love against all odds

Yara and Fadi’s love began quite unconventionally in 2013 when the two were only 17 years old.

“I fell in love with Yara five years ago. We met each other on social media and I immediately knew she was the one,” Fadi recalled to Middle East Eye.

Fadi said they bonded because they “shared the same suffering” – him living under Israeli siege facing the dangers of repeated conflicts, and her caught in the devastation of the Syrian war.

“She was going through a hard time, especially a year ago when she witnessed a chemical attack on her town,” Fadi recalled. “I was terrified something bad would happen to her.”

“We supported each other all the time,” he said. “We both went through devastating wars and deadly attacks, but this only strengthened our bond and made me love her even more.”

Two years into their long-distance romance, Fadi and Yara – who requested not to use her full name or be photographed – decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

But it took the young couple three more years until Yara was able to reach Gaza, as she struggled to obtain a visa to enter Egypt, from where she would then be able to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.

“Everyone doubted that we could ever meet in person. They said it was almost impossible, but I never gave up,” Fadi said. “Those who heard our story laughed, they made fun of how a girl from war-torn Syria would want to marry a man from devastated Gaza.”

But Fadi’s mother, Umm Hani, was supportive from the start.

“I told her I would not give up even if we had to wait 20 years. She is my son’s choice and I loved her from the moment I first talked to her on the phone,” she told MEE. “She told me she would never marry anyone but Fadi, and that she was willing to do anything to meet him and come to live with us.”

Umm Hani did her best to help her son finally meet the “daughter I did not give birth to”.

“I called everyone I knew to help us bring her from Syria,” Umm Hani said. “I used all means to share her story – some Facebook pages and groups even blocked me for posting too much and asking if someone could help us get her a visa.”

Yara submitted visa requests to the Egyptian embassy in Syria six times before an official told her he would help her join her fiance.

“We were so happy we could not believe it,” Umm Hani recalled. “Our three-year struggle was finally worth it.”

Yara arrived in Egypt on 5 November, and then went on another exhausting, days-long journey to reach Gaza. For two days, the young woman travelled by car from Cairo to Rafah, going through several security checks along the way.

After spending all day at the border crossing, she arrived in Gaza at midnight on 8 November – finally meeting Fadi in person.

“We achieved the impossible,” Fadi told MEE. “I was so happy I could fly. I never knew before then how happy someone could feel finding their soulmate.”

A future struck down

With Yara in Gaza, the young couple was excited to finally start planning for their future.

“We set the date for the wedding on 18 November, because it is also Fadi’s birthday,” Umm Hani said. “Fadi and Yara said they were living the best days of their lives during the preparations. They thought that their struggle was over and that they would finally start a new life together.”

Yara easily got along with her new in laws, who helped her set up the new apartment, one floor above theirs in the same Gaza City building, where her and Fadi would live together once married.

She hung her wedding dress on the door of the wardrobe in her new bedroom, ready for the long-awaited day.

Unfortunately, Fadi and Yara’s struggle was not over yet.

On Monday, 12 November – four days after Yara arrived in Gaza, and six days before their wedding date – Israeli forces launched air strikes across the Gaza Strip.

The escalation of violence came in the wake of a deadly botched Israeli ground operationinside Gaza, prompting Hamas to retaliate by launching hundreds of rockets towards Israel – to which Israel responded with strikes.

At least nine buildings were directly hit in Gaza City, including a building known as al-Rahma, next to the Ghazali home.

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The night of air strikes in which Yara and Fadi’s apartment was damaged caused untold destruction across the Gaza Strip (AFP)

“Yara and my mom were arranging her clothes in the bedroom when people in the street started to shout,” Fadi said. “Someone pounded on our door and said we had to leave the house immediately, because Israeli F-16s were about to destroy the building.

“I did not know what to do, I didn’t take anything with me. We just rushed to the street before several massive air strikes hit the al-Rahma building, causing it to collapse.”

By the time a ceasefire was reached on Tuesday, 15 Palestinians and one Israeli had been killed in the span of two days.

Starting anew

After the attack, Fadi and Yara rushed back into their apartment.

“Everything was destroyed: the doors, the windows, the furniture, our bedroom,” Fadi recounted. “Yara’s wedding dress was under rubble. She was in complete shock.”

Years of savings for their future were now “gone with the wind”.

“Yara told me: ‘I have been running away from war my entire life, but this monster seems to have chased after me and found me’,” Fadi said.

“I was speechless. I did not know how to make it up to her. What could I tell her? Sorry I’ve saved you from one war only to bring you to another one?”

Yara was scared her parents back in Syria would find out what had happened.

“Her parents were worried she would leave them and come to Gaza,” Umm Hani said. “How can I tell them now that their fears were justified?…Her apartment was destroyed and she would have been killed if she had not left it right before the attack.”

With their life plans now in jeopardy, the couple has begun asking themselves whether they should not only postpone their wedding, but forego a wedding party altogether.

“How could we have a party and be happy again after we’ve lost everything?” Fadi asked. “All I know now is that I need to make it up to Yara. She’s already gone through enough.”

But amid their hardships, hope has sprung anew.

A photograph of Yara’s dress hanging amid broken cement and debris gained attention in Gaza – and sympathy poured in as details of the young couple’s unlikely love story became known. A local kitchenware business announced they would donate ceramic plates to make up for their broken wares.

Soon enough, other businesses and individuals followed suit – donating money, goods and services to help get Fadi and Yara back on their feet.

The outpouring of community support has reinforced the two young people’s commitment to one another, as Fadi told Yara not to give up: “We will tell our children and grandchildren about all the suffering and obstacles we had to go through in order to stay together.”

By Maha Hussaini
Source

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Israel to Police European Coastlines: Protecting the Continent from Refugees?

Astute News

This sounds like a bad joke. It ain’t. Its real. One fascist government helps another fascist government. Yes, I have written about fascism invading the west before – warning that the European Union (non-union) is being gradually, but ever faster turned into a fascist dictatorship under the guise of democratic protection of ‘Democracy’; and this by her unelected European Commission (EC) leaders (sic).

EU citizens are being brainwashed with neoliberal lie-propaganda into believing that they are living in the heart of democracy – that they are free and protected by police and military, 24/7.

Indeed, such protection can be seen at almost every street corner in France’s major cities; France, the country that had the audacity to make the permanent state of emergency part of her Constitution. And others are dutifully following Macron’s example.

No wonder, EU member country governments have all been ‘put in place’ by fake elections, with…

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Why “Veterans Day” is really “Palestinian Genocide Day” – By Kevin Barrett – VT

What we call “Veterans Day” in the USA is known as “Remembrance Day” in Australia. Whatever they’re remembering, we’ve apparently forgotten. The end of the “war to end all wars” ?  Maybe. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 was supposed to usher in permanent peace…but somehow instead it led to Orwellian dictatorship under an empire of permanent war.  Maybe all those 11s were Satanic illuminati signposts pointing down the road to dystopia?

Read “11 Questions for Veterans Day“

Something else to “remember” (if you ever knew it at all): The “victory” that ended World War I was a Zionist victory. Everybody else lost. As Laurent Guyénot writes in From Yahweh to Zion:

guyenot-yahweh-640x364.jpgLaurent Guyénot’s From Yahweh to Zion may be the best book ever written on “the Jewish question”

After the defeat of Germany, the great powers met in Paris for the peace conference that began in January 1919 and closed in August 1920. The Treaty of Versailles, under the headline of “Minority Treaties,” placed Palestine under the provisional authority of the British, whose “mandate” included the terms of the Balfour Declaration, namely the creation of a “Jewish national home.” Making clear to the world that this was only the first stone of a much more ambitious edifice, Chaim Weizmann declared before the conference: “The Bible is our mandate.” Emile Joseph Dillon, author of The Inside Story of the Peace Conference(1920) wrote: “Of all the collectivities whose interests were furthered at the Conference, the Jews had perhaps the most resourceful and certainly the most influential exponents. There were Jews from Palestine, from Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, Rumania, Greece, Britain, Holland, and Belgium; but the largest and most brilliant contingent was sent by the United States.” Among the many Jewish advisers representing the United States was Bernard Baruch, a member of the Supreme Economic Council. Another was Lucien Wolf, of whom Israel Zangwill wrote: “The Minority Treaties were the touchstone of the League of Nations, that essentially Jewish aspiration. And the man behind the Minority Treaties was Lucien Wolf.”

Down under, where they celebrate Remembrance Day but probably don’t remember much of what World War I was really about, my favorite Jewish truth jihadi Aussie, Dr. Gideon Polya, just sent out the following. Time for me to shut up and give him the last word.

Dear fellow humanitarian,

WW1 ended on 11 November 1918 but there is relentless continuation of the Palestinian Genocide that commenced with the WW1 British invasion of Palestine (since then there have been 2.3 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or imposed deprivation, 2.2 million). Violent killing of Palestinians commenced with the Surafend Massacre on 10 December 1918 in which about 100 Palestinian villagers were massacred  by Australian soldiers. There is a huge irony associated with Remembrance Day observance in Australia that commemorates those brave Australians who mistakenly fought for the genocidally racist British Empire in WW1. Thus on Remembrance Day 1975 reformist Australian Labor   Prime Minister  Gough Whitlam, a WW2 air force veteran who was opposed to the Vietnam War and ended Australia’s involvement in that atrocity, was removed from office in a US CIA-backed Coup.  Eminent expatriate Australian journalist  John Pilger has described the 1975 Coup as “The forgotten coup – how America and Britain crushed the government of their “ally” Australia”.

11 November 2018 (Remembrance Day) marks the centenary of the signing of the Armistice that brought the carnage of WW1 to an end. This important  centenary will be commemorated in countries that were former British allies in WW1  (UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgiumand Russia) and in the opposing countries  of  Germany and of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Prominent in the  commemorations will be the modern equivalents of the mendacious politicians,  journalists and jingoists who were criminally responsible for WW1 (20 million killed), the so-called war to end all wars, that inexorably led to WW2 (100 million killed) and the post-WW2  US world war on humanity that in the 21st century has focused into a US War on Muslims (over 32 million dead from violence, 5 million, or from deprivation, 28 million, since 9-11) (see Gideon Polya, “ Jingoistic Perversion Of 1918 WW1 Armistice Centenary – Humanity Ignored Yields Genocidal History Repeated”, Countercurrents, 10 November 2018“).

 Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne, Australia.

International Zionism and Satanism Are Indistinguishable

An “active allegiance to Satan” is the political ideology of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and indeed Israel, specifically when it comes to dealing with important issues in the Middle East. The Jamal Khashoggi debacle again makes this very clear. The recent war in Yemen is another example.

By Jonas E. Alexis
Source

There are essentially three Zionist powerhouses in the world: Israel, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. Those powerhouses want to rule much of the world with an iron fist. They have been meddling in covert activities and diabolical espionage for more than sixty years, and the Jamal Khashoggi murder is a recent manifestation of clandestine enterprises through the decades.

One can historically argue that covert activities are engrained in the Zionist powerhouses. By 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini understood that idea very clearly precisely because it was already creating chaos in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. Khomeini then had to attack that idea. He fleshed out a principle which continues to be true to this very day. Khomeini posited then:

“There is no crime America will not commit in order to maintain its political, economic, cultural, and military domination of those parts of the world where it predominates. It exploits the oppressed people of the world by means of the large-scale propaganda campaigns that are coordinated for it by international Zionism.

“By means of its hidden and treacherous agents, it sucks the blood of the defenseless people as if it alone, together with its satellites, had the right to live in this world. Iran has tried to sever all its relations with this Great Satan and it is for this reason that it now finds wars imposed upon it.”[1]

“International Zionism” is an apt description of what was going on then. The United States and England had already overthrown a democratically elected president in Iran by the name of Mossadegh in 1953,[2] and both countries were expanding aggressively in the Middle East to keep a diabolical empire alive and well.

By 1954, the CIA again overthrew a democratically elected official by the name of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.[3] The documents for this unfortunate coup are readily available at the National Security Archive.[4]

If one peels the ideological onion, then the logic becomes pretty clear: the United States has been in the business of overthrowing countries in the Middle East and elsewhere for a century.[5] So it is no surprise to see that Trump is treading on the same diabolical path.

Going back to the Ayatollah Khomeini, he made an attempt to solve the “international Zionism” problem by appealing to Muslim unity. But that again was another problem because countries like Saudi Arabia were already prostrating before “international Zionism.” As E. Michael Jones puts it,

“At the very moment he invoked Islamic unity, Khomeini was forced to concede that Islam was breaking up into two warring factions. The grand climactic battle of the anti-Communist crusade disguised this split for decades, but now, as intra-Islamic wars raged in Yemen and Iraq, Khomeini showed himself more of a prophet than a politician who could bring about Islamic unity. Either way, the Great Satan was exacerbating division as a means of achieving geo-political goals.”[6]

Khomeini obviously lit up a prophetic fire which again is still relevant today. “International Zionism” is still sucking the blood of virtually every nation on earth through covert activities, espionage, and deceptive means. And by metaphysically rejecting the moral and political order and embracing chaos and destruction, international Zionism has essentially become Satanism.

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Yemeni civilians living on bread crumbs

This principle was articulated by St. Athanasius, who posited that any metaphysical idea which ontologically denies Logos and its central place in the universe will end up being Satanic. In a Satanic universe, what is true is actually a lie and what is a lie is by definition true. In fact, opposition to Logos “was deemed to involve an active allegiance to Satan.”[7]An “active allegiance to Satan” means that innocent people have to die in order to preserve a wicked ideology. If you doubt this, then take a look at what happened in Iraq in 2003, where the warmongers sent a six-trillion dollar bill to the American people.

In short, an “active allegiance to Satan” is the political ideology of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and indeed Israel, specifically when it comes to dealing with important issues in the Middle East. The Jamal Khashoggi debacle again makes this very clear. The recent war in Yemen is another example.

The sad thing is that there are people out there who preposterously think that the murder of Khashoggi was a set up by a “a rogue group connected to Turkey, NATO and others” in order to embarrass both Saudi Arabia and the United States! The person who has made this crazy claim is none other than Alex Jones.[8]

Creatures like Jones will never tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth because they prey on naïve people. Like Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau who keep selling military weapons to the Saudis (despite the fact that the Saudis have openly assassinated journalists),[9] a green goblin like Jones is just on the air to empty the pockets of thousands upon thousands of listeners. That’s why he lies. He invents lies. And he will continue to lie because he loves money more than truth.

So in the Zionist world, everyone wants to get a piece of the pie. The only people who cannot get even a decent meal are the poor souls in Yemen, people who are now living on bread crumbs.[10]

  • [1] Quoted in E. Michael Jones, “The Great Satan and Me: Reflections on Iran and Postmodernism’s Faustian Pact,” Culture Wars, July/August 2015.
  • [2] See Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2003 & 2008); Christopher de Bellaigue, Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup (New York: HarperCollins, 2013); Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: The New Press, 2015).
  • [3] Stephen C.. Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (New York: Anchor Books, 1990); Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944-1954(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992); Richard H. Immerman, The CIA in Guatemala: The Foreign Policy of Intervention (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007); Nick Cullather, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala 1952-1954 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006); Kate Doyle and Peter Kornbluh, eds., “CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents,” The National Security Archivehttps://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/index.html.
  • [4] https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/index.html.
  • [5] Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2006); Michael Grow, U.S. Presidents and Latin American Interventions: Pursuing Regime Change in the Cold War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008).
  • [6] Jones, “The Great Satan and Me: Reflections on Iran and Postmodernism’s Faustian Pact,” Culture Wars, July/August 2015.
  • [7] Ibid.
  • [8] If you are an Alex Jones listener, if you are financially supporting this man with your precious money, then I feel sorry for you because you are being duped. Alex Jones has not the slightest of moral and truthful integrity, particularly when it comes to issues in the Middle East. No sane person should even support this man precisely because fundamental truth is not part of his vocabulary.
  • [9] Ashifa Kassam, “Justin Trudeau defends Canada’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” Guardian, March 21, 2018; “Justin Trudeau says he is unlikely to cancel Saudi armored vehicles sale,” Guardian, October 23, 2018.
  • [10] “Yemen’s displaced live on bread crumbs, leaves,” Associated Press, November 2, 2018.

 

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