13 Jun


In planning the trip to Nablus, I made sure that Waseim understood clearly that we needed to leave Nablus in time for me to get back, showered and dressed for Nasri’s engagement party. Nasri is Ranim’s brother, to be engaged to his fiancé Rula. Engagement among the Palestinians is real big. It is all very formal and very public. The engagement party is the responsibility of the boy’s parents. The local priest comes and does a ceremony. There is a blessing and exchange of rings, to be worn on the right hand until the wedding. A couple hundred people come to the rented hall, with just a three days notice, all dressed in their best. All are to be present and seated before the boy comes in with the girl, in a very formal entrance. There is music and a little dancing, a bit of champaign, a piece or two of candy, a piece of cake, and everyone goes home. All is over in a couple hours. The boy goes home to his parent’s house; the girl goes home with her parents, which is where they stay until the wedding, however long that might be. Being engaged, they are now permitted to date and be seen alone in public. “We don’t do things the way they are done in America,” I have been told frequently. During the party Ranim was constantly watching hand checking in on me. I sat with her soon-to-be fiancé, Amir, and his parents Kane brother. He and they were welcoming and kind. You may have read in a previous post that I told Ranim that I hated him even before I met him. I told Ranim after the party that I am worried, because I am beginning to like Amir. She smiled, and said she hoped that one day I will love him. Obviously, she does.

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