Druse bride leaves homeland for love

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
It was a love story that began in Jordan for Arwad Abu Shahen and Muhanad Harb who were married on Monday in the demilitarized zone of the Golan Heights.

Abu Shahen, 26, made a one-way trip from her Druse village of Bukata in the Golan Heights, to her husband’s home in Jabal al-Arab, Syria.

The couple’s relationship began two years ago in Jordan and they had not seen each other since. Yet, aside from internet and phone conversations, they were able to communicate through the “Shouting Hill” in the Golan. This is an area where the Druse speak to their relatives on the Syrian side and can view each other through a telescope.

The International Committee of the Red Cross facilitated the wedding near its base in a buffer zone. Relatives from both sides were able to attend the wedding.

For the first time in four years, another bride set out across the Golan to live in Syria for the love of her life. Abu Shahen was forced to give up her Israeli ID and will not return to the Golan Heights unless there is peace with Syria.

Abu Shahen’s brother married a woman from Syria who also left her homeland to live with her husband, but still remains in contact with her family.

Tarwad Abu Shahen, her brother, said “I hope Israelis and Syrians will get to know each other better” so there can be peace between the nations.

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