A social media campaign has been launched by a young Palestinian and his fiancé to bring their situation to public notice. “Deliver the bride to the groom, President Abbas” is a heartfelt call on officialdom to allow the couple to be together.
For four years, Rashed and Dalia have been unable to complete their marriage ceremony due to the policy that separates Gaza from the West Bank. Their story has been played out in Nablus’s high mountains in the occupied West Bank and the alleyways of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The sea brought the couple together years ago, but then politics cut them off from each other.
“The crossings are closed, everything is closed,” said Dalia, “and there are no open windows for us. I am only asking for my human rights.”
Dalia has not allowed frustration and depression to affect her feelings. She has found a window for herself on social networking sites. The campaign that she started with Rashed aims to gather the largest number of supporters possible and convince the political officials to intervene in order to bring them together. “After several attempts, we have found no other way than this to reach the officials,” said Rashed.
Although it has already received a lot of attention in the social media, it has tended to be amongst friends and relatives, so the campaign has not moved their case forward. Rashed and Dalia are still waiting for a politician to make that decision, or maybe international coordination or even negotiations in order for the barriers standing between them, and the West Bank and Gaza, to be removed.
Dalia and Rashed’s story is one of thousands about similar individuals and families who have been torn apart by politics and lost in the Palestinian Diaspora. Social media is providing the window to bring people together, but it needs someone of influence to make a real difference. “Deliver the bride to the groom, President Abbas.”