Monday, February 01, 2010

  • Monday, February 01, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Media Line (h/t Media Backspin tweet):
Ehsan fell in love with his wife A’isha, a girl from the neighborhood, when he was 14 and she 13.

Eight years later they are still together, with Ehsan is about to graduate with a degree in pharmacology from Gaza’s Al Azhar University and A’isha studying journalism at the same school.

But after being together for years, the couple is still no closer to being able to expose their marriage.

“I am a religious person and well mannered, and so is A’isha,” Ehsan told The Media Line. “We know right from wrong. Whenever we sneak our the back door of the university so that we can walk in the street for five minutes, we feel guilty and ashamed.”

“Then I remind myself that it’s not wrong, even though our parents don’t know,” said the black-haired young man with cautious honey eyes. “I have never even touched her hand, or degraded her in any way, be it hurting her feelings or her dignity. How can I hurt a person I love more than myself? Love is not wrong even though it’s considered ‘scandalous’ and unacceptable here in Gaza.”

A’isha and Ehsan’s status is what is known in Gaza as a ‘conventional marriage’, a union recognized by law, but often without the approval of the religious authorities or the couple’s families - an anomaly in a society in which religion, law and cultural legitimacy are so intricately weaved together.

“Conventional marriage, in its real meaning, is just like the real legitimate marriage but lacks the court papers, appearance and approval,” Dr Hassan Al Juju, Head of the Supreme Council of Sharia Law in Gaza told The Media Line. “Instead of the sheikh, a lawyer does his usual work in the presence of the man and woman. The bride’s father or legal guardian has to be present even if she is over 18.”

‘Conventional marriages’ occupy an uncertain space in Gazan society and are frequently known to stir controversy. The debate on whether they can be considered legal and culturally legitimate often appears irresolvable and the boundary between ‘conventional marriages’ and ‘secret marriages’ is often blurred.

In a society in which women’s ‘honor’ can impinge upon a family’s reputation, secret marriages and love affairs are a dangerous business, and often end in ‘honor killings’ – the murder by a family member of a female seen to have shamed the family name.

Men began knocking on A’isha’s door to ask for her hand in marriage when she was 16. Although she would always find a reason to refuse, she knows it won’t be long before her parents would start asking questions and force her to get married.

“I hope it never happens,” A’isha said through tears. “I am trying my best to buy him time and I don’t know how my destiny will end once my family knows I am married.”

I am sure my family will either kill me or lock me up forever,” she said. “I want to live my life and be happy. Is that too much to ask?”

Many say they got into a conventional marriage by chance.

Nur, 31, holds a prestigious position in a Gazan civil society organization. With a degree in social science from the Islamic University, she has a tall fit frame, grey eyes, looks younger than her age and is smartly dressed.

“Every one who meets me thinks I am very happy and that I am lucky to have such an open minded father that lets me work and not get married,” she told The Media Line. “But the truth is much more complicated and painful.”

My father has been refusing every man that knocks on our door for over nine years,” Nur said. “I am tired of him taking my salary and preventing me from marriage. Now I see education, work and independence as a burden, not a privilege.”

“Eight months ago a man came to ask my father for my hand,” she said. “After two months my father said he wasn’t fit and that I should forget about him but it was too late, we are in love.”

“I know it might sound too bold or maybe wrong but what could I do?” she said. “I had to turn to Dr. Hassan and tell him to give my father his last ultimatum or I will use conventional marriage to marry this man. I just want to be happy and be a mother. Isn’t that my right?”

Though the consequences for those who chose traditional marriage can be very severe, the desire to find love and happiness is often too big a draw.

“You know what would happen if we revealed our marriage right now?” Ehsan said. “She would be killed and I would be either locked up or have to go into hiding to keep myself alive. But I can never let them separate us and I will do everything to fight them if they try. I am willing to take her and live somewhere else or hide or even get out of Gaza.”


Hasbys!

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

follow me

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats music Muslim Brotherhood Natural gas Nazi NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive

subscribe via email