by Gillian Scholz


That night, all I wanted was bananas.  My friends and I had gone out to the supermarket to get them when we heard the music starting.  One of my friends, Eta, lived in Israel and speaks Hebrew, so she asked a passerby what was going on.  That’s how we found out that there was a wedding.  Our interest was piqued.  It only took a little encouragement from our professors telling us to check it out for us to wander over to the soccer field the wedding was being held in- after dropping off the bananas, of course.  When we asked how to get there, our professors told us to follow the music.

The Soccer Field

Following the music brought us to the soccer field a block away from the dorm rooms.  Why was the wedding held in a soccer field?  Because over 3,000 people attended.  We were told that it was too large to hold in an apartment so they had to rent out the soccer field.

Our arrival to the soccer field was accompanied by an abrupt change in music.  To put it shortly, the music started bumping.  For a while we were just standing on the street enjoying the music, but we were once again encouraged by our professors’ arrival to investigate further.  My first glimpse of the wedding itself included flying photo drones, and men dancing and clapping in a circle.  The atmosphere was filled with excitement.

For a while we stood against the gate taking in the atmosphere and the views before we decided that we had outstayed our welcome and took our leave.  However, on our way out we were met by a group of friends who were also going to check out the wedding, so I decided to go back with them.  We went to the fence to view the wedding, and stayed there for a while before another two professors decided to check it out for themselves.  Following the trend, they encouraged us to not just investigate further, but to take the offers of the people attending the wedding to join them on the soccer field.

Full Blown Crashing

Sitting on the sidelines, one of my biggest questions was, “Where are the women?”  As you can see from my videos, they’re not visible from the fence, so when I went in with one of my professors, we followed another group of women in front of us. We were ushered through the crowd by several people. Surprisingly, none of these people seemed to care very much that we, who obviously didn’t belong there, were attending. They simply smiled and showed us the way to go. Once we got there, a man greeted us to take our picture. He even took a few with us, but I’m fairly sure I’ll never get to see these photos. I like to think that the couple will look back on their wedding photos and see these pictures of us. Maybe they’ll be confused as to why a bunch of strange women crashed their wedding.

Our initial assumption was that men and women were separated at this wedding, but when we arrived to the standing space behind the rows of chairs we found this wasn’t the case.  In this back area everyone was milling around.  So, we went and collected the guys we left behind.  We returned to this back area and enjoyed the wedding all together, bopping to the music, laughing, and just generally having a good time.  Most people didn’t pay us any mind, but some looked at us with puzzled looks before shrugging and moving on.  All-in-all , it was a great experience.

The Bride and the Groom

It is my assumption that the man in the black suit getting lifted and paraded around on the platform in the video below was the groom.  In this parade, two other men on a platform followed him, one of whom played a drum that shot fireworks out of it.  Something I was not able to get on camera because it happened so fast was this man being carried on his friend’s shoulders, and then pushing off this friend onto another friend’s shoulders.  This happened several times.

I was only able to get a good look at the bride for a few minutes before she disappeared to her seat on the side.  The day after the wedding I asked why the bride was not taking part of the festivities as much as her groom.  I was informed that Arab Muslim women are expected to sit quietly on the sidelines during their wedding.  From this information, only she can say if she was having a good time.

What I found interesting from this information is the contrast between weddings here and America in regard to the concept of “who the wedding is for.”  The stereotype in America is that the wedding is for the bride, while here it seems that the wedding for the groom.  He definitely seemed to be having a good time.

Sugary Drink

Refreshments: 10/10

Not only were we met with smiles or nonchalant shrugs, but also with tremendous hospitality.  Remember the man that came up to us to take pictures?  Well, he returned after a little while with sugary sodas for us.  Don’t worry, they were sealed when we got them.

A little later in the night, they started serving coffee, and I am absolutely obsessed with coffee.  It became my own personal mission to try some before leaving, so on our way out I was planning to ask for some.  This was completely unnecessary, though, because when I started walking his way the man serving coffee beckoned us over and poured us all little shots of delicious, and rather bitter, coffee.  Mission accomplished.

Coffee on Coals
Gillian Scholz
About Gillian Scholz

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So I Crashed A Wedding