Beyond borders: Gaza to Delhi, an Indo-Palestinian love story

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  • | Sunday | 11th February, 2018

“I wanted to name my son either Gandhi or Arafat, but finally I chose Arafat,” says Maphaz, who hails from Gaza. Unlike Gaza , a coastal enclave with pleasant weather and clean air, Delhi was hot, polluted, and overcrowded. She met her husband Badar Khan Suri, a Delhiite, when he was part of an international humanitarian convoy to Gaza in 2011. She had this enormous interest in India, and asked me endless questions about our country,” says Badar. Maphaz says she grew up watching Bollywood movies and India for her meant Mahatma Gandhi, Amitabh Bachchan, SRK and saris.

The early morning chill permeates the sunless living room of Maphaz Ahmad Yousef’s fourth-floor house in Jamia Nagar.

The room has many souvenirs from Palestine.

Dressed in a black Palestinian thobe, her head covered with a scarf, Maphaz, 27, is playing with her son, Arafat.

“I wanted to name my son either Gandhi or Arafat, but finally I chose Arafat,” says Maphaz, who hails from Gaza.

“I want him to be like Gandhi, whom I consider a self-sacrificing man of exceptional values.” The otherwise soft-spoken Maphaz has strong views on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Palestine on Saturday, she says, will help assuage the feelings of Palestinians who were hurt after he visited Israel, but not Palestine, last year.

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