Wednesday, March 14, 2007

postheadericon Sleeping with the enemy

I saw this picture in yesterday's "Globe and Mail" and the contrast between the beautiful Western-dressed bride, the Arab-veiled mother and the barbed wire, stopped me in my tracks (wish I could have got a clearer picture for you).

The bride, Arwad Shahin, was being given a send off as she prepared to leave for her bridegroom's house. But this was no ordinary send off because although Arwad and her husband-to-be were both Syrians from Druze families (the Druze are a breakaway Islamic sect following al-Hakim, an Ismaili caliph, as the embodiment of God), they live on opposite sides of the border, with Arwad living in one of the villages of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Harb (the bridegroom) living in Syria. Once Arwad crosses the border into Syria, she relinquishes her residency and any right to return. Infact, from now on, the Israelis will consider her a "foreigner from an enemy state."

THis also means she will never be able to meet with her family again as she will never be allowed back into Israel and nor will her family be allowed into Syria.

Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights and parts of Palestine has separated 100's of families. Not being able to see your family must be the hardest thing for anyone to endure. No doubt it happens in other parts of the world too, I am reminded here of the 100's of Indian families that were separated when India was divided into India and Pakistan and also, families from North Korea and South Korea. Still, some of those countries have come around and now special dispensation is given for visits between family members...why isn't this happening on the Israel-Syrian border as well?


Sanjay said...

I saw this link on CNNs web site too and never thought about clicking on it. So thank you for the post.

This is indeed heart rending, but peace in that part of the world is going to be elusive at best.
The other hidden (so to say cuz not much has been written about it in a way that we hear about it)issue that will further cause problems is water. When I have some time will look up a link for you, that furhter explains this.
But back to my point about peace being elusive, unless the big kid (US) sets its mind on it, peace won't happen.

Not to mention significant movement from people of the region as well. As time goes buy and life in the region gets harder for the occupied and disillusionment deeepens with their own rulers, this whole process will get harder.

Sorry if this is a pessimistic view and for the long comment as well.

Sanjay said...

I remember reading about the Druze militias and their siding with Israel as a kid in the 70s. I have no idea why I retain this information to date.Wiki link about the civil war here.

Another link about the coming water crisis in the ME.

Radha said...

It did take a long time for Ind-Pak to reach this stage. So maybe the Syria-Israel border will get there too. Someday peace will win.

diyadear said...

recently i read abt a similar story on india pak border.. the husband an old guy now comes back home to india after 22 yrs from pak while wife waits for him.. story of veer zara rt? ;)

Gayatri said...

Love knows no boundaries...