Ahmed Soboh, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy married 14-year-old Tala in Gaza last week, and a Reuters photographer was on hand before, during and after, to document the unusual event.
The teens grew up in poor families, made further evident by a report that the groom’s father sold two donkeys to pay the bride’s dowry, according to an Arabic news report tweeted by Jerusalem Post Correspondent Khaled Abu-Toameh.
The website Radio Bethlehem 2000 reports that the children are cousins.
The two-day wedding festivities took place in Beit Lahiya which is near the border between northern Gaza and Israel.
Reuters photographer Mohammed Salem writes that when he arrived at a pre-wedding party, he saw people celebrating in the street. “Among them was a young Palestinian boy being carried on the shoulders of relatives and friends. I couldn’t believe that the boy was the groom until I asked him and he replied with a smile, ‘yes I am,’” Salem writes, adding that the teenage boy later went to play with his friends in the street.
“I was surprised when I saw the groom’s mother helping him put on his wedding suit. I couldn’t avoid thinking that it looked as if she was dressing him for school. After that he started combing his hair using a broken piece of a mirror,” Salem wrote of the wedding day.
Reuters reports that the newlyweds live in a three room house with nine other family members.
Photographer Salem met up with them again two days after the wedding ceremony. This is Tala without her face covered. According to Reuters, her home was damaged in an Israeli airstrike four years ago.
Reuters reports that Ahmed works with his father cleaning roads which earns him $5 per day. Because of their economic limitations, the newlyweds’ honeymoon two days after they got married consisted of a ride to the beach on a donkey-drawn cart and a walk along Gaza’s shore.
As TheBlaze reported earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy married a 10-year-old girl in Egypt, a matrimony that was described in Egypt as the “strangest wedding in the 21st century.”