Palestine Couples Powerful Engagement Snaps At Ref Camp

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

These powerful images show a Palestinian couple celebrating their engagement at the Lebanese refugee camp where the bride-to-be grew up.

Newly-engaged Samih Mazien Mahmoud, 23, and Rayan Sokkar, 24, decided to pose for their engagement snaps at the Shatila refugee camp, also known as the Chatila refugee camp, in the Lebanese capital Beirut.

The camp was originally set-up for Palestinian refugees in 1949 and is home to over 10,000 people.

Omar Ahmad/Newsflash

When the bride-to-be shared the photos on Facebook for her family and friends, she never imagined that they would have been liked and reposted by thousands of netizens around the world.

Rayan told Newsflash: “We are so shocked about the interest because it doesn’t make sense to us why people would want to share someone else’s engagement photos.”

Rayan was born and raised in Shatila while her fiancee moved there after leaving Al Yarmouk Camp in Syria in 2013.

Omar Ahmad/Newsflash

The stunning engagement snaps were taken by the couple’s friend Omar Ahmad who wanted to show the camp’s hidden beauty.

Ahmad said: “Despite the hardship, I see the camp as a beautiful place, a place that illuminates beauty all the time through the spirit of the people in it.”

Rayan said: “This is my camp, this is my home, this is my life, and I’m happy with this scene.

Omar Ahmad/Newsflash

“I’m proud that we’re able to succeed and prove ourselves from nothing, whether it’s with school, work or marriage.”

Rayan told Newsflash that she left the camp three years ago, but it still remains in her heart: “I lived the most beautiful childhood there and it makes me sad when people speak negatively about it.”

The Palestinian couple, who both live in Lebanon, said they work as journalists on the ‘Campji’ online platform since 2016.

Omar Ahmad/Newsflash

Rayan said: “We wanted to do something new and different to most couples who take photos in front of cityscapes or next to famous buildings.

“We are so shocked about the interest because it doesn’t make sense to us why people would want to share someone else’s engagement photos.”

“It is something very personal, but we are very happy that so many people loved the images.”

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