In Egypt, a wedding amid the protests: 'Life shouldn't stop'
When demonstrations and protests broke out in Alexandria, Egypt, Hany Ahmed Abozed, 28, and Eman Hamed, 25, thought they might have to postpone their wedding. But their friends insisted they go through with it.
"Life shouldn't stop. The corruption should stop," said Hamed, an English teacher. On the day of their wedding, her husband had a crazy idea: Let's take a photograph in front of an army tank. He wanted to show people that in spite of the protests, life could go on. She said: "My husband and I decided that we should send a message to the people who were in hestitation about the protests. 'Life is coming to a stop,' they said. But life is going to go on."
On Feb. 1, the couple married in Alexandria and then posed for six photographs in front of an armored vehicle -- she resplendent in a white bejeweled gown, he grinning happily. One photo was uploaded onto Facebook on Feb. 5 and quickly spread on Twitter, becoming a sign of the resilience of the demonstrators. Some people confused the couple with another couple who wed in Tahrir Square. That couple, Ahmed Zaafan and Ola Abdel Hamid, married amid the crowd in the capital city, determined not to leave the square until the protesters' demands had been met.
Abozed, a customs officer, said he and his friends wanted to protest the government because of the virulent corruption and unemployment in his country. He wants a better future for his children. He is optimistic about the protests, and Hamed said she felt free in her own country for the first time. "We have voices for the first time in our lives," she said.
The couple met in the traditional Egyptian way -- through their families -- but quickly fell in love.
"I'm happy that I married him in such situations," Hamed said. "I didn't have a real wedding. In Egypt if you don't have a real wedding, it's considered a total disaster. Everyone should be cheering, shouting hooray for the groom and bride. I didn't have such a thing, but I am happy. Everyone in Egypt was saying hooray for freedom."
| February 7, 2011; 5:57 PM ET
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