"As far as I know, every relative we have--no matter how distantly related-- will gather to welcome him. I'm assuming over 200 people will gather. It'll be chaos! I'm guessing some animals will be slaughtered for the occasion and a huge feast will take place. I'm also guessing that the women have been working for days making sweets to pass around to family, friends, and neighbor. The celebration will begin with his welcome at the Rafah crossing and then an hour's drive to Khatiba Square in Gaza City where thousands will gather and all of the prisoners will be shown a hero's welcome. My relatives will be travelling in busloads to Gaza City to celebrate and welcome the prisoners. The they will go to my uncle's house where our matriarch, my grandmother, lives. They have decorated the house days in advance. The wedding-like festivities will likely begin at sunset and continue throughout the night."
"I wish with every ounce of my being that I could be there with them. For the first time in weeks, I won't be spending 8 hours in the library after class. I'm going straight home so my mother and I can video chat with out relatives in Maghazi and Deir il-Balah refugee camps. I will speak to my uncle, screen-to-screen, at 4 pm Dallas time, 12 am Gaza time."
"Rumor has it that the family has already found him a bride, and they're simply waiting for his approval and within a week there will be an engagement. I will not be surprised if his wedding is in less than a month! I'm hoping they will wait until the end of December so that I have a chance to go to Gaza after finals and make it to the wedding."
It seems like the Elyadi family have a lot to celebrate over the next few months. Hazem's return, Eid with Hazem, Hazem's engagement, Hazem's sahra [nighttime party] before his wedding, and Hazem's wedding.