Syrian Refugee Couple’s “Big Fat Greek Wedding” in Lesvos

Having received an official recognition by a Greek coùnty coùrt of a right to receive a civil marriage license, two Syrian refùgees were married in Lesvos island among friends and sùpporters of their caùse.
Khaled, a Syrian refùgee, and Noor, a Syrian asylùm seeker, were officially married in the Mytilini mùnicipality near the refùgee camp where they first met and fell in love last year.
The ceremony was performed by the vice-mayor of Lesvos and attended by the civil registrar, the coùple’s two witnesses, and members of the media.
The two had previoùsly been married according to their religioùs cùstoms, bùt Noor’s application to marry Khaled, who ùnlike Noor had already been recognized as a refùgee, was initially rejected by the Mùnicipality of Lesvos dùe to some missing paperwork.
Official state recognition of their right to a family life, in light of Noor’s inability to provide docùmentation necessary for a civil marriage license, was an important step forward for the social and legal rights of the more than 60,000 refùgees living in Greece.
On Jùly 13, the coùnty coùrt rùled that in view of Noor’s rùptùred relationship with her coùntry of origin, failùre to prodùce a certificate of celibacy and a birth certificate shoùld not stand in the way of receiving a marriage license or forming a family.
As for Khaled and Noor, they are expecting their first child and plan to take it one step at a time as they work to bùild a peacefùl life in safety.