• STV
  • MySTV

First wedding in Raqqa since Islamic State driven out

Singing and dancing were forbidden during the extremist group's rule in the Syrian city.

Bride and groom Heba and Ahmed celebrated in public.
Bride and groom Heba and Ahmed celebrated in public.

Syrians in the city of Raqqa have celebrated their first wedding since so-called Islamic State militants were driven out by US-backed forces.

Under three years of IS rule, singing and dancing were forbidden, strict dress codes were enforced and men and women were not allowed to socialise.

But once the extremists were driven out of Raqqa in mid-October, bride and groom Heba and Ahmed could celebrate in style.

"It's been years since we danced the dabke (folk dance), we're tasting life again," said one guest.

"Everyone was waiting for this moment."

He added: "What use is there to a wedding when everything is black? Today everything is white."

Wedding guests said the years under IS made such parties unthinkable.
Wedding guests said the years under IS made such parties unthinkable.

Another wedding guest said: "It's been a long time since we had a party.

"We're celebrating with joy this marriage after the end of IS rule."

Heba's day became possible after US-backed forces seized Raqqa in mid-October.
Heba's day became possible after US-backed forces seized Raqqa in mid-October.

Despite most of their city living in ruins, spirits remained strong at the party.

"Raqqa will be happy again," said one. "No one will prevent us from singing and dancing. We will party as we like."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.