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Friday, October 15, 2010

Selling off daughters for $700

We've discussed before how rich Saudis take vacations in other countries, notably Egypt, and "marry" women for the summer.

The Arab News adds more detail to this disgusting practice - and it is not only the Saudis who are guilty:

About 900 children born to Egyptian women and Saudi men in what is commonly known as “misfar” or “tourist” marriages are abandoned by their fathers, said an Egyptian activist at a recent forum on human trafficking.

Speaking at the conference in Egypt, Aiman Abu Akeel, chairman of the board of trustees of the Maat Foundation for Peace and Development, said that the majority of men who visit Egypt looking for misfar marriages tend to be Saudi, followed by Iraqis, and that the women they marry are predominantly younger than them.

“Misfar” marriage refers to a union contracted so that a woman may join her “husband” for the period of time he travels in a foreign country.

The women in such unions are divorced after a short time ranging from a week to a month, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Yaum Al-Sabi reported.

Speaking at the same forum, Azza Al-Jazaar, the general organizer of the Anti-Trafficking of Egyptian Girls program, said that these young women do not know they are being treated like commodities.

Their fathers receive up to 4,000 Egyptian pounds from these men for trading off their girls, she said, adding that most of these girls are below 16 years of age. [That's about $700 - EoZ]

Statistics show that some SR100 million are spent on misfar marriages, which last for not more than a month, with 90 percent of Saudi fathers leaving behind children born out of such relationships.

However, Najeeb Al-Zamil, founder of the Back to the Roots Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that helps Saudi children abroad, said that although there are many such children in Arab countries, their suffering is less than that experienced by children born in non-Arab countries.

He added that these men abandon their families and children, as they fear what their relatives in the Kingdom will think.
(h/t Arthur)