Living within the crumbling economy of besieged Gaza, one Palestinian couple simply couldn't wait anymore for things to improve before publicly confirming their undying love for one another.
Abd El-Hakim Zughbor and his fiancée Falastin Al-Tananiare met seven years ago as they volunteered with local NGOs. They quickly found a strong connection and over time, they fell deeply in love. However, marrying the one you love isn't always simple, especially when the place you call home was recently leveled by Israel and continues to suffer from an ongoing siege.
Although Zughbor and Tananiare have university degrees in architecture and computer engineering respectively, they are unable to find work in their fields because of Gaza's poor economic situation. Struggling to save money, they decided to turn to crowdfunding so they could finally call each other husband and wife.
"My name is Hakim and I am in love. I want to marry the woman of my dreams, Falastin, but in order to do so I need your help," Zughbor wrote on the couple's GoFundMe crowdfunding page.
Cultural traditions run deep in Palestine. Society requires a marriage to be officiated in a very specific way. "For us to be able to live together as a married couple, the groom must have a furnished apartment. He must also rent a wedding hall for the traditional celebration, provide lunch for the wedding guests, as well as pay for the hairdressing, studio photography and transportation," Zughbor wrote.
The campaign was launched two months ago and since then, the couple has seen the generosity of complete strangers from around the world. Taking a leap of faith, Zughbor took out a loan to fund the wedding expenses and the couple are now happily married, hoping that the generosity will continue and allow them to fully pay off the loan.
"We are pleased with the success of our campaign, after your contributions that exceeded the two-thirds of the target," the happy couple wrote as an update on their campaign page. "We had made a wonderful wedding party, attended by beloved friends and family. However, this campaign contributed significantly to be together, thanks to all supporters of our story very much. We hope to achieve the end of the goal so that we can cover the rest of the obligations resulting from the wedding expense."
To learn more about the young couple and their journey together or to contribute to their new life together, visit their crowdfunding page on GoFundMe .