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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Egyptian men want Chinese wives

This article from Al Arabiya is, let's say, intriguing:
Egyptian young men have recently been seeking to marry Chinese women in an attempt to escape the hefty costs of a traditional Egyptian marriage as well as have partners well known for their loyalty as wives.

A considerable number of Egyptian men, mostly over the age of 35, contacted the Chinese embassy in Cairo to inquire about the possibility of marrying Chinese women. Others have been seeking Chinese brides through matchmaking websites.

The financial condition of Egyptian youths is the major reason behind their preference of Chinese brides. In a traditional Egyptian marriage, the groom is required to pay dowry, buy an apartment, and give the bride a diamond ring or a gold gift. On the other hand, Chinese women do not have any conditions when it comes to money.

In addition, many Egyptian men view Chinese women as perfect wives since because they are pretty, active, and smart as well as very skilled in cooking and other household chores. They are also well trained in martial arts, thus capable of defending themselves as well as their husbands.

Obedience and loyalty are also among the most distinguished features of Chinese women as, according to Egyptian males, their culture dictates their subordination to their husbands.

For Egyptian men, the Chinese woman has a very important advantage: her mother will not accompany her, which means the husband will be spared the trouble the mother-in-law’s interference in the couple’s life.

The phenomenon of seeking Chinese brides did not stop at major cities like Cairo and Alexandria, but extended to small towns in Upper Egypt and the Nile Delta and Egyptian families who have unmarried girls started expressing their concerns over the Chinese invasion.

The remarkable increase on the demand for Chinese wives drove Egyptian MP Salah al-Sayegh to submit a questioning to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

The phenomenon, Sayegh argued, is aggravating the spinsterhood problem in Egypt, especially that recent statistics by National Center for Social and Criminological Research revealed that 28.4% of Egyptian women are unmarried and that more than 2,700 try to commit suicide because of spinsterhood.

Contrary to the MP’s view, sociology professor Dr. Samia al-Saati views the Chinese invasion as a healthy trend as it teaches Egyptian girls and their families a lesson.

“Men’s preference of Chinese wives will teach girls and their families to stop draining the groom financially,” she said. “In Egypt, marriage is all about fake appearances. The Chinese bride is the magical solution.”

Saati added that experience proved that such marriages are, in most cases, successful since Chinese women proved to be better wives.

“Chinese women manage the house and raises children in a much better way than Egyptian girls who are very spoilt and allow their families to interfere in her affairs, which contributed to the rising divorce rates.

Sociology professor Dr. Suhair Sanad begs to differ. She argues that seeking this kind of marriages is nothing more than a form of delinquency like unofficial (urfi) marriage, in which the couple writes their own marriage contract, or blood marriages, in which they mix their blood together as a sign of creating an eternal bond.

“These marriages indicate the deterioration of values in society and the extreme lack of trust between Egyptian men and women.”

This lack of trust, she explained, is largely because the girl feels insecure about the man she is about to marry, so her family starts burdening him with exaggerated financial demands. This, in turn, makes him feel exploited.

Sanad also argues that the marriage between an Egyptian man and a Chinese is not likely to be successful.

“There is a huge gap as far as culture and values are concerned, and there is also the language barrier.”

Dr. Mustafa Ghalwash, professor of theology at al-Azhar University, stated that marriage with a Chinese woman is not valid.

“A Muslim man should basically marry a Muslim woman, but if he has to marry a non-Muslim then she has to belong to one of the religions endorsed by Islam, not a pagan religion.”

Ghalwash called upon parents to go easy on suitors and not to drain them financially. He cited a saying in which prophet Mohamed advises parents to accept the suitor as long he is religious and well-mannered.

‘The prophet also said that the bride with the lesser dowry is more blessed.”
If any non-Egyptian would use any of the many stereotypes listed throughout this article, he or she would be branded a bigot.