Last night, I was invited to have dinner with another couple, parents of DD2’s classmate. This boy was Amelia’s ‘best boyfriend’, the one she wants to marry when she’s 28, apparently. Just like us, they too are in a mixed marriage. And just like us, it was fascinating to hear, how they had to fight some mountains to get to where they are today.
O, the Norwegian daddy, met H, the Palestinian mummy, about 8 years ago, through an online interest chat group. O was single and not looking and so was H. They were both working closely in each country’s Ministry so had very interesting views. They realized that after a few weeks of chatting and Skyping, they had fallen for each other big time. O decided to meet H and bought a ticket to Israel without discussing with H how he was going to cross into the ‘forbidden’ land of Gaza. At that time there was still massive fights breaking out every day in Gaza. O cancelled his plan but war cannot stop two hearts meeting in love.
They met up some months later in Cairo, Egypt, a neutral ground. As fate would have it, when they did meet face to face, it was just to confirm the fact that they were so compatible with each other and had much in common, despite the obvious differences. Six months after they first made contact, O proposed to H. Of course she said yes and now the challenge began.
H of course wanted to get married in front of her family, in the traditional Islamic Gaza ceremony. Now all O had to do was fly over. But this was where I realized that love knows no boundaries. There are no mountains high enough to climb, no river to deep. O flew over to Tel Aviv and as soon as the Mossad knew of his plans to cross over to Gaza, his interrogation began. They wanted to know why a white male Norwegian wanted to cross into Gaza. He had to repeatedly tell them he wanted to get married to his future wife.
He was tailed into Gaza. And when he wanted to cross the ‘border’ into Gaza, more interrogation ensued. O told me that he has never felt such ‘hatred’ in men before. Even though he showed them his proof that he was working for the Norwegian ministry and NOT an infiltrate or a possible terrorist, they don’t seemed to believe him. They cannot believe that a man would travel this far with 2 large suitcases just to marry a Gaza woman. But in the end, relent they did. But not before a whole row of troopers pointed their machine guns at him and shouted over and over again for him to get going.
O explained that they was a turnstile to get past, before a long corridor to the other side. O was flummoxed, so to say, how best he could get 2 suitcases, bearing presents for his love amongst others, through this tiny turnstile, which was meant only for one person. All these while, he knew the possibility of the trooper shooting him was very real. For all they know, he could still somehow be hiding a bomb in the suitcases that they had checked and checked for hours.
When I asked O how he finally managed to get through, he said he had no clue. Maybe the adrenaline was making it possible that he carried those heavy suitcases over his head and walked quickly past the corridor to the other side. I rejoiced when I heard he managed to overcome all these extreme situations to finally be with his true love.
But that’s not the end of this international love saga. Naturally, O wanted H to live with him in Oslo after they were married, in relative peace and quiet. It was a year or so after that they realized that H had been ‘targeted’ by the Israeli government and she was banned from taking a flight from Europe into Tel Aviv to visit her family. Well, she is not allowed back into Gaza/Israel anymore for political reasons. You cannot tell a daughter she cannot see her mother and father. H had to buy another ticket into Cairo and drove through the desert on her own to find a way to meet them there.
Oh wow! After hearing all these, I thought what I had to go through to be with my DH, my soulmate, was hard. But hearing them, I can appreciate that there will always be others who have it worse than us. I really feel that in most times, a mixed couple will always have it harder than a same race couple, due to more complex issues.
Remember that when it comes to pursuing a love, be it another person or passion in life, we never should give up easily. Imagine having soldiers aiming machine guns at you, you know that you cannot give up; you have to keep persevering at what you want. Remember, happiness comes to those who actively search for it; it will not fall on our laps when we demand it. So how far will you be willing to travel for love?