A story like no other is what a lucky girl from Gaza-Palestine is living. A journalist was born in Missouri, U.S.A, called Maphaz Ahmad Yousef, with an Indo-Palestinian love story.
The young girl is well-educated, with an MA in Peace & Conflict Studies from the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace & Conflict Resolution at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi India. Her passion to spread the Palestinian cause led her to translate for the few foreigners. They visited Gaza and help them interact with locals where she had the chance to meet the love of her life, Badar Khan Suri, a Delhiite, when he was part of an international humanitarian convoy came to Gaza in 2011.
What did India mean for Maphaz?
Maphaz says watching Bollywood movies was something essential as she grew up. And she believes that India has the best names in the world like Mahatma Gandhi, Amitabh Bachchan, SRK and Saris. She hopes that one of her future kids will be like Gandhi who spread peace, love and to help ending the Palestinian’s cause.
Bader was allowed to stay only for five days in Gaza, however her attractiveness filled with knowledge and her infectious smile kept his heart there! Maphaz’s interest about India and Bader’s interest about the Palestinian cause was the link that kept them in touch after he left. They could contact through e-mail, social media and phone.
Their is always obstacles when it comes to love
Many Palestinian girls have to face these obstacles when it comes to love. Especially in the past century, socially it was not that acceptable to love and talk to a strange guy from the same country so it’s very difficult when it comes to having a lover from a different country, culture. Therefore, to convince the parents was so hard. Moreover, Maphaz didn’t have the chance to meet Bader since he wasn’t allowed to enter Palestine. It is always hard to get to Gaza easily by anyone. Even so, the love they have was so strong and brave enough to go through all the difficulties and finally be together. In matter fact, Bader had to wait until he was finally able to enter Gaza and meet her father in person to convince him and get his blessing.
The big day date was set, December 2013; everything was prepared for the wedding day. People gathered to start the party but the groom and his family were still on the way. She called him asking where are they, he told her they are not coming all the way … They will wait for her in Egypt. But due to the political situation in Egypt that turned volatile, they were not allowed to go through the borders into Gaza. Maphaz’s family put up the groom’s picture and went ahead with the wedding. Although his family made another wedding in India, most of her relatives were not able to come and celebrate with her.
Will the fairy tale have a completed happy ending?
In recent years, Maphaz and Bader have lived together in a small home filled with love in India, nowadays their 4 years old son Arafat is sharing that love.
likewise, Maphaz wants the world to know her sister’s story, a story with deep sadness. And worries herself and her son will live the same. “My elder sister was married to a man from the west bank. After one week from her marriage the second intifada, the war took a place. So as a family we wanted to see our sister but the Israelis prevented us many times. She also tried to enter Gaza and but wasn’t allowed too.
In the end, I lost my sister. 17 years passed and she passed away. “Neither my mom nor anyone else was allowed to give her the last goodbye. It only needs a half an hour’s journey to reach the rest of the family but we all are forbidden,” Maphaz expressed.
What’s worse than living in a war area?
Whoever thinks that Maphaz is living in peace far from the war of Gaza doesn’t know the rest of the story. During the last war in Gaza, she spent her time watching many members of her family getting killed by the attacks. And she was only able to know about it through TV. “It is very terrible to watch people suffering and you can do nothing, the sadness I felt can’t be measured,” Maphaz added.
Palestinians live in blockade and it is very difficult to enter or leave Gaza. For three continuous years she couldn’t visit her family. Also, it took her 5 month to be able to go back to India by herself.
Nevertheless, Maphaz keeps wearing the Palestinian traditional dress in almost every event she attends. Her love to Palestine and India is non-stoppable and she will continue telling the world about the Palestinian cause in every possible way she can.