Palestinian couple marries at U.N. shelter in Gaza

A Palestinian couple refused to delay their wedding plans because of the ongoing and deadly conflict between Hamas and Israel, so they sought assistance from UNRWA, which agreed to host their wedding at the U.N. shelter in Gaza they now call home.
By JC Finley   |   Aug. 14, 2014 at 4:12 PM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Despite over a month of deadly conflict between Hamas and Israel, one couple decided to move forward with their wedding plans.

With no wedding dress or place to call home after their houses in Beit Lahiya were destroyed, 23-year-old Heba Fayad and her fiance, Omar Abu Namar, 30, resolved they would not put their wedding on hold.

So the groom approached the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. "I went to UNRWA and told them that I am engaged and asked them if they can help me do the wedding," he told the Watania Media Agency.

UNRWA's response? "They said yes, we will help you with it. They stood by me and helped with the wedding from A to Z."

The couple was married at the UNRWA shelter that became their temporary home after losing their houses in the conflict, and UNRWA paid to put the newlyweds up at a hotel for the first few nights of their marriage.

UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness remarked that "It is truly heartwarming that amid the carnage and devastation we have a story of love and humanity -- it is a reminder of the dignity and the destinies that lie behind the statistics."

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