2.02.2011

Palestinian Wedding in the West Bank!

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Traveling in the West Bank in Israel I was given the opportunity to photograph a Palestinian Christian wedding in the town of Bethlehem last Sunday.

A new friend, Awad, another shining example of one of the many friendly people I've met in the Palestinian Territories connected me with the hired photographer for the wedding, Rami, who allowed me to shoot alongside him throughout the day. The six hours I could afford to spend photographing at this wedding were certainly the most exciting of my wedding career thus far. I'll let the photos speak to that.

We started with portraits at Bethlehem's only 5-star hotel: The Intercontinental. From there we drove straight to the church, just down the street from the local mosque. The priest met the couple at the door to bless their entry into the church as the wind blustered in through the open door of the sanctuary and a family member yodeled (Middle East style) at the top of her lungs in celebration. A perfect moment.

After a beautiful, energetic, and, at the finale, passionate ceremony in Arabic from the pulpit where the couple, the close family, and the photographers stood, there was a rest period before the big party. I went home to attend to some obligations before heading out to the reception a few hours later.

The guests wait around for at least an hour at the reception, it seems, smoking, eating, drinking and awaiting the arrival of the bride and groom. The excitement for this moment is pent up and released all at once upon their arrival. You'll see what I mean in the reception images. It was the first time I'd seen a groom hoisted up, standing on a table above the dance floor to a cheering group of guests. I'm told that 1000 guests is an average number of attendees at a wedding reception around here.

So grateful to have gotten to witness the love and the passion at this wedding in the little town of Bethlehem in this especially contentious region of the Middle East.

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4 comments:

  1. What a fabulous experience! I am so happy that you got to be there - for you definitely, but also for how fortunate that couple was to have the gift of you, LIA! Thank you for sharing this! What a blessed gift for all!

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  2. What an incredible experience to have, Natty! You are super fortunate to have such a serendipitous experience across the world like that.

    Does the guy you photographed with have a website? Did you get to ask him much about how the wedding business is over there?

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  3. You need a blog on which you mention things like "Hey, I don't have any photos of it yet, but I'm going to Palestine tomorrow." That way people will know. Awesome. Have fun in Palestine. Will you be travelling a little in Israel too?

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  4. Congratz man! What an opportunity. You need to write a book on making the most of Life!

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