A Bedouin Wedding in Gaza: A Fascinating Experience of True Palestinian Tradition (PHOTO ESSAY)

One of the grooms’ relatives is seen atop a camel during the commencement ceremony. Gaza, October 29, 2021. (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Nasser

I was sitting on my couch when my phone rang. It was my uncle, Hassan. He told me that there was a bedouin wedding just outside Gaza City and asked if I wanted to attend and take some photographs.

I immediately accepted.

It was a beautiful spectacle. Everything looked fascinating: the people, the setting, the energy.

Some guests took Shisha. My uncle said it smelt funny.

Just a few moments later, several camels entered, one at a time. They ran in circles as the men climbed on their backs. 

My uncle was sure that there would be horses, too, but they didn’t arrive and I was disappointed. 

However, my disappointment didn’t last long, as the caravan of camels continued to amaze me.

Finally, the groom arrived atop a camel’s back wielding a rifle. His close relatives stood by his side, also wielding their guns. 

Then, the camel show came to a halt, and a traditional dance called ‘Dihya’ commenced.

Everyone started to dance an inch-perfect choreography. 

I had never been to a bedouin wedding before. It is something truly unusual. 

These are the small things that Gaza has to offer, the things that make life here worth living.

Children of the groom’s uncle embrace before the wedding. October 29, 2021, Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
Two kids observe the wedding ceremony from the back seats. Gaza, October 29, 2021 (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
The groom’s brother (R), stands watching the run of the camels. Gaza, October 29, 2021 (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
Relatives of the groom during the run of the camels. Gaza, October 29, 2021 (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
The groom (middle wearing the brown cape), sits atop a camel alongside his relatives wielding unloaded weapons. Gaza, October 29, 2021(Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
One of the grooms’ relatives is seen atop a camel during the commencement ceremony. Gaza, October 29, 2021(Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
Two of the groom’s relatives stand atop two camels while one raises an unloaded weapon in the air in celebration. Gaza, October 29, 2021 (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
Child of the groom’s uncle sits on the shoulder of a wedding goer, hands outstretched in celebration. Gaza, October 29, 2021(Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
Relatives of the groom dancing to traditional Bedouin music in Gaza on October 29, 2021(Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)
Wedding goers stand shoulder to shoulder taking part in a traditional bedouin dance called “Dihya”. Gaza, October 29, 2021 (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)

(All Photos: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)

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