I was watching Dubai One News last night, when a story came on about how the UAE sponsored a public wedding for 23 disabled couples (who wouldn’t have been able to afford a wedding otherwise), in Nablus, Palestine. After the broadcast, I went online to see if I could find an article..somewhere..anywhere. But to my disappointment, none of the major news sources covered it (I shouldn’t have been surprised)! Finally, I resorted to Realtime Google search..and (you guessed it!) found a link someone had shared on Twitter from Ma’an News Agency – a non-profit media organization founded in 2002 to strengthen professional independent media in Palestine.
In an article titled, Nablus Celebrates Wedding for the Disabled, Ma’an News Agency reported,
“Nablus residents celebrated a public wedding for 23 couples with disabilities on Saturday night. Hundreds of locals attended the celebration, which was sponsored by a charitable committee from the United Arab Emirates and President Mahmoud Abbas.
Nablus municipality coordinated the event and distributed items from the Emirates as bridal gifts. Bashar Al-Jamal, representing the Emirates charitable commission, said the Gulf states would always support Palestinians “because they are a great example of steadfastness and dignity.”
Head of the president’s office Hussein Al-Araj presented each couple with $500 as a gift from Abbas. Al-Araj said Palestinians with disabilities should never be made to feel like strangers from society. He delivered greetings from Abbas, and said that “We are one nation and we will always be united.”
Groom Nidal Saleh, 30, said that he could never have married without the support.
“This is my best day in my entire life,” he said.
Another groom, Muhammad Mustafa from Jenin, said he was overjoyed with the ceremony which was very special for him and his bride. Mustapha Al-Johari, 27, said his wedding day was the first time that he felt part of the community.
“I am sure that this wedding ceremony will change the way society looks at us and they will no longer see us as disabled.””
I wonder how many other beautiful and overwhelmingly touching stories like this one never see the light of day because of agenda-setting by mainstream news media agencies….