Getting ready to head to my office, I have heard that my cousin is going to get married sometime this July. I thought for a while and said “What makes it distinctive?” It’s a wedding under Apartheid after all! A wedding in which most close relatives, like me and the rest of my family, will not be able to attend. A wedding that will take place somewhere in the other part of our homeland, but we will not take part in it, for committing the greatest sin, being Palestinians, Gazans.
In case we make it without getting the holy permission, which likely will not be issued under the broad banner of “security”, we well be fired at, killed, or at least arrested, if we are lucky.
Relatives who are eager to attend one of their many relatives’ weddings are considered “security threats” to Israel. All over the world, brides and grooms go by the beach on their Wedding Day, except in Palestine, they cross by settlements, buffer zones, checkpoints, armed teenager soldiers, walls, fences where Jews-only streets appear in the distance. This is not a real wedding. It’s a semi-wedding in truth.
It’s an apartheid wedding where very few will be allowed in, while many others will not have the opportunity of dreaming of being there, for a while. It’s how the state of occupation wants Palestinians to spend their happy moments, away. It’s the doctrine of separating Palestinians off from Palestinians, brothers from brothers, me from my cousins, uncles from aunts, families from families, beloved from beloved, sisters from sisters, me from my grandma and grandfather’s graves, a dad from his son, daughter. It’s separating us, people, from the place we belong to, separating our memories from our past and our present from our uncertain future. It’s removing cheers from children’s faces in such a time.
It’s a reminder to us too, to our commitment to our eternal cause, to get united to rid our country of this scourge. It’s a call of duty to strengthen social connections among us, among our cities, villages and towns. United we stand, divided we fall. The wedding under apartheid, the idea of the wedding under apartheid is a reminder to us that the geographical rift brought about the political one. It’s a nudge tells us each morning that we are still under occupation, segregation, and siege. We should keep looking at the horizon even if walls prevent us from seeing what is beyond.
Dear cousin, congratulations on your Wedding Day in advance. I wish you the best in your life. I hope these emotions get to you directly, without being asked to get permission, like us! All greetings to you, your dad whose hair turned white, while upsent, your spirit of hope in the time of despair. Until we encounter once again, take care of yourself.
By: Yousef M. Aljamal
Tuesday, 5th July, 8:38 p.m