Faris and Nancy are just the latest of many cases of child marriage in Daqahliyah.
Egypt has just racked up another record-breaking calamity with the marriage of a 12-year-old boy, Faris, and a 10-year-old girl, Nancy, making them one of the world’s youngest married couples. The nuptials took place in the village of Maassara in Belqas, Daqahliyah according to Al Masry Al Youm.
According to eyewitness accounts, the bride wore a pink dress rather than a white one so no one would report her parents to the police. The newspaper quoted the father of the groom as saying, “I decided to marry my son early because I longed to see him in the wedding dais, and to celebrate him and his children early. I threw the big wedding party in the village to share the joy of celebrating my son and his bride with my loved ones.”
A resident of Maassara told the newspaper that the wedding was a marriage not an engagement as the couple’s parents claim, and that an urfi marriage contract was signed by both parties until the bride and groom reach the legal age of marriage. The source also revealed that these kinds of unofficial nuptials are very common in the village but usually the bride and the groom are only one or two years younger than the legal age of marriage which makes this case different even by Maassara’s standards.
Lawyer Mahmoud Shabana told the newspaper that such proceedings constitute a crime both morally and legally speaking and that they complicate the registration process if a child was to result from such a union. Shabana also added that child marriages are very commonplace in Dakhaliyya and that the authorities aren’t doing anything to prevent them which explains why parents carry on marrying their children at such a young age.