Druse bride gives up Golan for love

This is the first time in four years that a Golan bride has moved to Syria, although several have gone the other way in this period.

By SHABTAI GOLD
March 13, 2007 00:50
1 minute read.
Druze Syria 298 88

Druze Syria 298 88. (photo credit: )

In the demilitarized zone between Syria and the Golan Heights, surrounded by UN forces, Arwad Abu Shahen and Muhanad Harb were married on Monday. For Abu Shahen, from the Druse village of Bukata on the Golan, this was a one-way trip. From now on she will live in her husband's home in Jabal al-Arab, Syria. Abu Shahen, 26, has been in contact with Harb, 28, for several years, but last saw him two years ago in Jordan. Since then, they have maintained contact by Internet and telephone, as well as via conversations at the "Shouting Hill" in the Golan, where Druse from both sides of the border yell at relatives across the mountains and view each other with telescopes. The wedding was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It lasted about an hour and was attended by some 100 family members from both sides of the divide, near the Red Cross base in the buffer zone. This is the first time in four years that a Golan bride has moved to Syria, although several have gone the other way in this period. Abu Shahen gave up her Israeli identification card and will not be able to return to the Golan unless there is peace with Syria. Family members expressed grief at having to say good-bye, but also said they were happy she was marrying a man she loved. Her brother, Tarwad, married Souha, a Syrian who came to live in the Golan three and half years ago. She also cannot return to her native home. "Living here [in the Golan] is nice, pleasant, but I hope there will be peace so I can see my family again," Souha said. She maintains contact with her friends and family in Syria via telephone. She and Abu Shahen, who wore an elegant white wedding dress, danced together, along with friends and family members, before the bride set off for Syria. Tarwad Abu Shahen said he hopes "for the Golan to be returned to Syria. I hope Israelis and Syrians will get to know each other better" so there can be peace between the nations, he said.


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