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Couple throws wedding party for refugees

By Suzanna Goussous - Oct 05,2015 - Last updated at Oct 06,2015

Mutaz Mango and Basma Omar celebrate their wedding among refugees at an old hotel in downtown Amman recently (Photo courstesy of Youssef Kawar)

AMMAN — A Jordanian couple decided last week to forgo conventional wedding celebrations in favour of throwing a party for refugees from different nationalities residing in the Kingdom.

Mutaz Mango and Basma Omar chose to celebrate their wedding day at Prince Ghazi Hotel in downtown Amman with refugees from Syria, Iraq and other countries.

The couple divided their wedding budget into two parts: one for a humanitarian initiative in collaboration with a local NGO, the Collateral Repair Project, and the other for a party for family members, according to Mango. 

He said the humanitarian aspect consisted of three parts: holding a party for refugee children and their families, distributing food coupons among refugees, and fundraising for a business project that would generate further income for the residents of Amman’s Hashemi Shamali neighbourhood.

“We thought of organising this whole initiative to inspire people. The party... included some entertainment shows for children to let them know that they can do things themselves,” Mango told The Jordan Times.

Mango added that the decision to distribute food coupons to 30 families came after the UN announced in September that it would discontinue funding for around 229,000 Syrian families in the Kingdom. 

Until recently, Syrian refugees residing outside camps received coupons of $14 per month for each family member. However, Mango said that as a result of the UN discontinuance, half of the families have ceased to receive aid and the other half will be cut off at the end of October.

Refugees residing in camps continue to get around $28 each month.

The groom, who works at a family-owned business, said that his bride Basma works at a tailor’s shop that aims to benefit women in Hashemi Shamali and provide them with sewing machines to generate income on a continuous basis.  

“We asked the people invited to the wedding to bring gifts the refugees can benefit from since we are donating our wedding gifts to them as well,” Mango said.

Speaking about the party, Mango said, “[It] was a joy. When we first walked in, we were overwhelmed with so many people who were genuinely happy for us. Real human joy has no borders.” 

According to UNHCR, Jordan has an immigrant and refugee population of 4.4 million alongside 6.6 million Jordanian citizens.

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