Monday, July 31, 2006

Summer Marriage Shopping

I was talking with one of my Egyptian girlfriends in Cairo few days ago about a new suitor who proposed to her. Sounds like an interesting story that should have a happy ending. In fact, it is a horror story and just tells me how many values in our Egyptian society is so mixed up and confused. I felt so sorry.

She told me that her mom asked her to visit with her one of her friends. My friend was well-intentioned and went with her mom. But of course there was a surprise waiting for her. Fine, arranged marriages are among the most popular forms of marriage in Egypt.

My friend wants to marry a guy whom she falls in love with. That’s sounds to me so normal and the right thing to do especially when it comes to spending your life with someone. May be me and my friend are from this old-fashioned school that belives that the only basis for marriage is love. We are so outdated now.

She could not take the guy and told the friend of her mom her position of marriage. Everything until now is ok. What was not ok is the reaction of this woman who arranged this meeting. My friend was in shock and I was shocked when I heard the story as well. I thought it is because I have been away from my home for sometime. The guy is very rich and he lives abroad and he is visiting Egypt to shop for a bride in the summer. The woman told her you can marry him, setting some conditions before signing the marriage contract. She told her you can try him if you do not like him, you will have him make you a transfer of some of his properties and money and this way you do not lose anything and you do not waste your time. I am not so sure here what did she mean? Is this guy or a fridge that my friend will have at her place to try for sometime and she can return and get back her cash? What’s wrong with you my people?


At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Sounds like legalized prostitution.

I agree with you, freedom. My Egyptian husband and I met in school, fell in love and got married - to the disgust of his family (read: mother). I'm not Arab.

Long story short...over a decade later we have the happiest marriage of anyone in the family and his mother loves me to death. At first she loved me because her son was (unexpectadly) so happy. Then, she loved me because I actually fit in very well with the family.

your instincts are correct - marry only for love.


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