“Gaza does not know the impossible – from the womb of suffering, joy is born.”
This phrase is etched into the heart of many Gazans, including Mohamed Abdel-al, a young Palestinian newly-wed who, alongside his bride Yasmine, have chosen to get married in the Gaza Strip even in the middle of the occupation army’s brutal bombardments.
Inside one of the shelters for the displaced in Deir Yassin, Rafah, the couple wed on Saturday amidst dozens of displaced people. Through ululations and folk songs, their voices rose for just a moment above the relentless Israeli bombing.
The shelter’s overwhelming air of sadness did not prevent Mohamed from stealing moments of joy and marrying Yasmine, who was unable to even get a traditional white wedding dress.
Photojournalist Aboud al-Sayed documented the happy moments of the newlyweds.
“Over the sounds of bombs, Mohamed and Yasmine were able to get married, without a home or preparations,” he recounted.
“Despite Yasmine’s dream of wearing the white dress and living in their home, which they have always dreamed of since their engagement and preparing for the wedding, the winds always bring things that ships do not desire,” Sayed said.
“A large number of displaced people were keen to attend the wedding, even though they were not related to the newlyweds, but in order to send a message to the Israeli occupation that they are steadfast until the end and do not fear death at any moment”.
The Palestinian photographer explained that the newlyweds had already been engaged some time before the war.
They had been preparing for their new house when the war on Gaza broke out, hampering their plans, he said. As the war continued on day after day, the couple decided to go ahead with the wedding regardless.
“They wanted to celebrate, so they told the displaced people inside the shelter, and they all accepted their request, and even encouraged their decision.”
Sayed added: “I wanted to publish the story so that it would be a window of hope for a way out of the ordeal that the people of Gaza are experiencing, and to deliver a message that Gaza does not know the impossible.”