Thursday, April 29, 2010

Polygamous marriage in Gaza

A report from Gaza in The Economist focuses on a polygamous wedding agency.

"In his crisp fourth floor office, Mr Atiri and I leafed through four albums of photos classified according to girls aged 15-25, spinsters aged 26 and above, divorcees and the depressingly fat file of widows. Waiving his finder’s fee of 50 shekels, he offered me a form where I could list the specifications for my ideal bride, according to height, weight, eye colour, education, and financial means. No matter, said Mr Atiri, that I already had a wife. Polygamous marriages were increasingly popular—and now comprised half of his business. It was, he explained, a social service for women who might otherwise be left on the shelf or bereft of a family as well as a sign of fertility and status. After all, Gaza's burly interior minister, he noted, had six wives, though in accordance with Islamic tenets he had had to let two of them go. For the sake of appearances, Mr Atiri felt obliged to set a good example, though in a nod to gender equality had let his first wife select his second. (She picked a divorcee 12 years his junior.) "How can I promote Islamic dress, if I don't wear it myself," he asks."
"Poverty remains a biting issue for many–husbands who used to provide second homes for their second wives now house them in second rooms. "

1 comment:

Singh is King said...

Polygamy, most of us know already, is the practice of having more than one spouse at a time. It is considered legal in many countries. Different countries have different laws governing polygamy. International laws on polygamous marriages or potentially polygamous marriages are worth being aware of.