Refugees hold authentic, traditional Syrian weddings at Zaatari

13-06-2013 01:48 PM

Ammon News - by Muath Freij/ Jordan Times

MAFRAQ — Even though Diaa Hariri spent the last four months in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, he was still able to host a traditional Syrian wedding last week, which cost him JD30.

Hariri said he did not want his refugee status to affect his bride’s big day, so he wanted to hold the most authentic Syrian matrimony possible for his bride.

“I learned that there are several wedding shops in the camp, so I visited the most popular one and began organising the occasion,” he told The Jordan Times as he negotiated the expenses of his big day with a wedding organiser.

Hariri, who decided to postpone his wedding until he and his bride were safe in Jordan, said most Syrian parents do not mind their children getting married in the camp.

“The parents want to ensure the best future for their beloved ones,” he added.

Around 10 weddings are held in camp every week, according to Abu Mohammad, owner of one of the wedding shops at the camp, who is behind the majority of the weddings.

Wedding paraphernalia was an urgent requirement in the camp, according to refugees interviewed by The Jordan Times.

Abu Mohammad, who has been in the camp for more than nine months, said he started his business seven months ago because he wanted to “bring joy to the young Syrians”.

“We do not sing or dance during weddings in the camp out of respect for martyrs,” he told The Jordan Times.

“The least we can do at this time of suffering is let the bride enjoy a perfect night, dolled up in her dream dress,” he said, adding that he also opened a women’s hair salon to help the bride prepare for her big day.

“Four Syrian women work at my salon. We spend around three hours preparing the bride’s hair and applying her makeup,” he added.

Abu Mohammad said his business could also provide the happy couple with a white car — with a Syrian licence plate — to drive them around the camp, to ensure a completely authentic wedding experience.

The bride and her groom drive around their neighbourhood on their wedding night to celebrate the occasion, as they would in Syria.

“If the couple wants to rent the car, they have to pay an extra JD5,” he added.

Abu Mohammad said his business provides all of the services for JD30 per wedding.

Hariri said the store was a blessing.

“We want to the whole world we can still celebrate and enjoy life even though we are far from home,” he added.

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