lundi 2 novembre 2009

Bridging Iraq's sectarian gap

By Gabriel Gatehouse BBC News, Baghdad

It is the culmination of seven days of wedding festivities at the Amin household. At the entrance to the house the men sit on two lines of chairs, the family of the bride on one side, the groom's on the other.
Inside are the women, separated from the men so they can unveil themselves, dancing and singing to the accompaniment of an all-female band.

The groom, Ali, comes from a fairly conservative Shia background but his bride, Zeinab, is a Sunni.
"I met my wife during the peak of the sectarian violence in 2006," he says.
"We met at university. They were difficult times, but we were able to overcome that problem."

Ali says the wedding is more than just a happy occasion for him, his wife and their two families.

This is their way of confronting the sectarianism that has claimed the lives of so many thousands of Iraqis since the invasion.

"It is a natural thing, and we are trying to send a message to the world. It is a way to heal the wounds of Iraqi society," he asserts.

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