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[media-credit name="Downtown Express photo by Cynthia Magnus" align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit]BY CYNTHIA MAGNUS | Prior to Tuesday’s eviction, Zuccotti Park’s first “occu-wedding” took place on Nov. 13 when Occupy Wall Street activists Emery Abdel-Latif, 24, and Micha Balon, 19, exchanged vows before New York University Islamic Center Imam Khalid Latif, with whom the couple became acquainted when they visited the Imam for pre-marriage religious and procedural advice earlier this month.
Balon, who said she would keep her name, said she joined O.W.S. on the first day. Of her immediate plans for the couple’s new married life, Balon said, “We’ll continue doing what we’ve been doing, only now Emery is more pressed to find work!”
Abdel-Latif is a coordinator at the park’s busy kitchen station and Balon, who is an undergraduate at Hunter College, said she is active in several O.W.S. political action working groups.
Three of the couples’ best friends served as witnesses at Zuccotti Park for the first of the two-part traditional Muslim wedding ceremony, attended by additional OWS friends and onlookers. Balon said the wedding would eventually be followed by a larger more formal private reception hosted by both the bride’s and the groom’s parents, who were unable to attend the wedding in Zuccotti Park.
Abdel-Latif, who left a part-time job in West Chester, PA, where he lived with his family to come to Zuccotti during the occupation’s first week, and said, “I’m very happy that they day went off well.” Abdel-Latif plans temporarily to continue sleeping at the park, though he said that now his “first priority is finding a job.”
Daniel Levine, a friend of the groom and a fellow O.W.S. activist said that he hoped the camp’s kitchen would not lose Abdel-Latif, and quipped, “Hopefully they don’t rush into the occu-baby!”
Levine said of the newlyweds, “To bring the message back to the movement — I wish that they grow old together in a country that has strict campaign finance reform and accountability in the banking and finance sector.”