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Iraqi couple enlist help of police to wed despite curfew

Ahmed Khaled al-Kaabi and his bride Ruqaya Rahim (Anmar Khalil/AP)
Ahmed Khaled al-Kaabi and his bride Ruqaya Rahim (Anmar Khalil/AP)

Police came to the rescue of an Iraqi student and his fiancee whose wedding came under threat due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahmed Khaled al-Kaabi, 23, proposed to the love of his life Ruqaya Rahim last year, and the couple planned to stage a huge celebration with family and friends in the holy southern city of Najaf.

But in the wake of the novel coronavirus, those hopes were dashed when a government-ordered curfew banned large public gatherings and wedding venues were shuttered.

Police cars transported the wedding party
Police cars transported the wedding party (Anmar Khalil/AP)

Najaf has been among the cities hardest hit by the viral pandemic. At least five people have died amid 257 confirmed cases in the province, according to Health Ministry figures. Iraq now has nearly 1,300 confirmed virus cases.

Unwilling to postpone the wedding, Mr al-Kaabi came up with a different plan. He asked the local security forces to help him make the wedding happen.

The police responded by providing the groom with vehicles, complete with blasting music. They transported his bride to the family home for a small celebration with just six people.

The bride said: “I didn’t expect my wedding to be this way. I was hoping for a party and that we would visit the Imam. But we were prevented from doing that.”