The Girls at Lana Wedding Shop, East Jerusalem

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This shop is like nothing else I have witnessed in Palestine. Though to be accurate, it’s in East Jerusalem, not the West Bank. My daughter and I have walked past the shop numerous times and finally the right opportunity came up to go inside and investigate. What stands out is all the poof and the glamorous-ness of it all! There are two separate rooms, one for pastel dresses and one for white dresses only. I showed this image to a friend recently and she felt confused by it and wanted to know why there would be a bustier displayed when the culture/religion is so conservative. Wouldn’t it be sacrilege for Muslims to dress that way, baring their shoulders? I didn’t have an answer except that it felt okay to me. Is it not okay to let one’s wedding day be the ultimate in one’s imagination? Especially in a society so oppressed? But Palestinians come in all walks of life and plenty do wear such things for their weddings. Palestinians are not just Muslims, they are also Christians, and a few are even Jews (Samaritans) but I am not sure what that means with regard to wedding ceremonies or the dress specifically. And maybe, for those who don’t choose to wear it, that bustier is just a display…for the sake of one’s imagination…

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All images © 2015 Iris Brito Stevens. All rights reserved.

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