Zechariah and Shama’a endured unimaginable hardships that nobody should ever experience. However, they managed to stay together for an incredible 91 years. What’s truly remarkable is that their love for each other remains strong even after almost a century has passed.
Zechariah and Shama’a experienced extremely difficult and challenging circumstances that no one should ever have to endure.
Despite facing numerous hardships, Zechariah and Shama’a remained together as a couple for an impressive 91 years.
What’s truly extraordinary is that even after almost a century has passed, Zechariah and Shama’a are still deeply in love with each other. Their enduring love is truly remarkable.
Both Zechariah and Shama’a experienced the loss of their parents at a young age and grew up without a mother to care for them.
Shama’a shared with BBC, “We both grew up without mothers. He didn’t have a mother, and neither did I.”
Following the customary practice in their native Yemen, Zechariah and Shama’a were married at a very young age due to their orphan status.
Zechariah was just 12 years old, and Shama’a was 10 years old when they got married.
Their early marriage was intended to increase the likelihood of Zechariah and Shama’a remaining within the Jewish community and not marrying individuals from outside their faith.
Regrettably, child marriage continues to be a prevalent issue in Yemen even today.
According to the Borgen Project, as of 2022, there was no minimum age requirement for marriage in Yemen.
The Sharia Legislative Committee has consistently rejected attempts to establish a minimum marriage age of 17 and above, arguing that it goes against Islamic principles.
Reports emerged from Yemen in 2020, indicating that children as young as 12 were being married in the country.
Despite facing pressure to marry from individuals who were not their parents, Zechariah and Shama’a had no other support except for each other. They relied on their bond and mutual strength to navigate through their challenging circumstances.
“We didn’t have an easy life. We endured a lot of suffering,” Shama’a shared with the BBC. “There was no greater suffering than what we went through. None compares to it.”
The children and the married couple were compelled to take care of themselves and face the challenges of life without much external support.
“We didn’t have a proper home, so we cleaned out a donkey’s barn and lived in it,” Shama’a recounted.
They managed to survive by cleaning out a barn and using it as a place to sleep and shelter themselves.
In 1948, Zechariah and Shama’a fled Yemen to escape the persecution faced by Jews. They moved to Israel when they were in their mid to late 20s, during the time when the country was founded.
After settling in Israel, Zechariah and Shama’a built their family and had a total of 11 children.
Over the years, Zechariah and Shama’a have been blessed with a total of 64 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, expanding their family legacy.
Zechariah expressed, “One, two, three. I can’t remember exactly how many there were. There were so many.”
Zechariah considers himself incredibly fortunate and blessed to have married his wife.
He expresses deep gratitude for the many years they have shared together and the large family they were able to create.
Zechariah believes that his wife was a gift from God, and he considers himself fortunate to have won her heart. Despite the attention he received from other women, he remained faithful to her and never entertained the idea of being with anyone else. He emphasizes that she is the first and only woman he married, and he has never thought of separating from her.
At this point in the article, Shama’a playfully silenced her husband, indicating that it was time to move on from the topic of their relationship.
Shama’a affirms that their marriage has been a source of joy and contentment for her.
She expressed, “We have spent many years together without any fights. We are happy to have each other and share our lives.”
Zechariah expressed his hope that they will never have to be separated and can continue to be together.
Zechariah expressed his belief that God has protected them throughout their lives and hopes that they can pass away together. He extends his wishes for God’s protection and a good life to others.