A marriage with 4,000 guests. But they are neither friends nor family. They are refugees. What happened in Syria in the past days touched the web and found hospitality in the most important newspapers of the world. It is the story of Fethullah and Esra, two Turkish bridegrooms who have decided to donate the money strenuously spared by their families for their wedding party to the inhabitants of a refugee camp near Kilis. The latter is Turkish city situated on the border with Syria, that has the highest inflow of people fleeing from the advance of the Islamic State and where the noise of Ankara’s thunderous air raids against the jihadists is at its strongest.
This is where Fethullah and Esra got married last week. Traditionally, weddings in Turkey are celebrated from Tuesday through Thursday and culminate in a sumptuous feast. Instead, the couple decided to contact the Kimse Yok Mu organization, that works with the refugees, and to give them all of their savings. Pictures of Esra dressed in gold and white and Fetullah who is wearing a smoking while they are offering a hot meal to every refugee, have gone viral on social media and in Turkish periodicals. Aboard a truck, the couple has served their ‘guests’, then they posed smiling in the middle of a group of children.
The first one to have thought about a ‘‘different wedding’’ was the groom’s father: ‘‘It dawned on me that consuming a delicious dinner with friends and family was not necessary, especially because we know that there are many people in need near us’’. When his father made this suggestion, Fethullah did not hesitate not even for a second. ‘‘It has been the most beautiful moment of my life. Seeing happiness in the eyes of the Syrian children has been priceless. We set out on our journey towards happiness by making other people happy. And this is a priceless feeling’’.
The bride was less enthusiastic, but only at the very beginning. ‘‘When Fethullah told me, I was shocked, but then he convinced me. It was a wonderful experience’’. And who knows, perhaps this act of love towards the neighbour will be followed by others, in an area that is among the most devastated by the effects of ISIS’ fury where soon will be built a new camp to host up to 55 thousand Syrian refugees. ‘‘Our friends’’, told the groom, ‘‘said that our deed inspired them and now they want to organised a similar feast for their own wedding’’.
Yet, hunger and despair do not dwell only in countries damaged by war. Poverty and indifference are progressing also – and perhaps especially – in the West. Who knows, maybe this example will be able to touch the conscience of the so-called ‘‘civilized world’’.
Translated by Ecaterina Severin