Face­book­ing a rev­o­lu­tion, and fall­ing in love

Syr­ian cou­ple de­cide to get mar­ried in Aleppo de­spite civil war, the strife-torn coun­try’s main north­ern city, and one-time eco­nomic cap­i­tal

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

On a Face­book page that was orig­i­nally cre­ated to send up­dates on the Syr­ian upris­ing, and the on­go­ing shelling by the Syr­ian regime, love flew like the bul­lets of AK-47’s be­tween two young peo­ple. Yusuf and Ghada be­came friends, and soon fell in love. Both of them posted daily up­dates on Face­book to high­light the bru­tal­ity of the Syr­ian regime, and as an out­cry for in­ter­na­tional in­ter­ven­tion they col­lab­o­rated their sources to give a clear pic­ture of the bru­tal­ity civil­ians faced.

The wed­ding cer­e­mony was or­ga­nized in ac­cor­dance to Is­lamic reg­u­la­tions, and pro­ce­dures. The cou­ple were wed­ded by an Imam, who was also the leader of the Free Syr­ian Army in Aleppo. Un­for­tu­nately the bride’s fam­ily could not at­tend the wed­ding be­cause they were sit­u­ated in an­other part of Aleppo that was un­der the con­trol of Bashar alAs­sad’s mer­ce­nar­ies.

Yusuf said, “The cer­e­mony was very quick. We signed a pa­per, ex­changed rings, and we were mar­ried”. In cel­e­bra­tion of the cer­e­mony, rebel fight­ers fired AK-47 ri­fles into the air, while cheer­ing “Con­grat­u­la­tions, God is the great­est”. Yusuf, who works as a part-time fixer for for­eign jour­nal­ists, said “We can’t let war dic­tate our lives. We don’t know when this war will fin­ish. It could be a few months, or it might be five or 10 years. Do I have to wait till then to con­tinue liv­ing”.

Ghada ex­plained the mys­tery be­hind how they met. She said “Yusuf and I started chat­ting be­cause my Face­book pro­file pic­ture was an im­age of a lit­tle cat. He likes cats,” she smiled. The love-re­la­tion­ship mostly blos­somed on Face­book, and through phone calls be­cause Ghada lived in a part of Aleppo that was con­trolled by the regime, while Yusuf lived in the lib­er­ated ar­eas of Aleppo. He said “We have only seen each other four times” and that “Most of the time, it is too dan­ger­ous for her to come here, so we’ve spent the past seven months chat­ting on­line and on the phone”.

They are both op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of Syria, and Yusuf says if God blesses them with chil­dren he wants them to ei­ther re­build Syria or to fight the regime un­til it col­lapses. Ghada says, “Deep down, what I want is to build a new coun­try, where our chil­dren can live hap­pily.”

Youssef, a mem­ber of the Free Syr­ian Army, looks as his wife places a ring on his fin­ger dur­ing their mar­riage cer­e­mony in Aleppo Jan­uary 17, 2013.

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