Saturday, May 03, 2008

Lovers too poor to wed catch breeze on Nile bridges

Most visitors to Cairo would have definitely noticed those couple hand in hand with their backs to the traffic gazing into each others eyes or out onto the Nile.

Will Rasmussen of Reuters has written an article delving into this phenomenon.

Photo

CAIRO (Reuters) - For a prime spot on Qasr el-Nil bridge, spanning the River Nile near the heart of central Cairo, it's best to arrive well before sunset.

On warm spring nights, the bridge is the place to be for courting couples in the capital of the most populous Arab country, where poverty, crowds and a conservative culture leave few other meeting places.

"We know how to be in love in a place like this," says Ibrahim, 19, a student and part-time DJ in Cairo. "We come for the breeze, the view, and to be far from the pollution," he said, resting on the bridge's iron railing with his fiancee, Marwa, an 18-year-old technology student.

The high cost of getting married -- from gold jewellery for the bride to the ceremony itself and a place to live -- and the poverty of many residents of Cairo, means engagements can last years.

On Thursday nights on the eve of the Muslim weekend, couples line the bridge, each pair a few meters apart. They face outward to enjoy the view and avoid being seen by relatives. . . . . . .

Read the Entire Article here

1 comment:

Positive Ignorant said...

I disagree with your conclusion about this phenomenon. It's not a sign of poverty as much as it is a sign of a generation that is too weak and that has too many insecurities to revolutionize a society's views about marriage. It's a sign of rampant sexual repression and brainwashed people who are too lazy to voice their opinions and would rather spend their time in front of the telly, memorize some stupid lecture notes, or use cloying romance to in a vain attempt to silence their instincts.

The wedding gifts, the dowry, and the customs are a sign of a woman's place in a patriarchal society that still treats her as a property and brainwashes her to believe that this is what her existence is for.(A baby machine that offers free sex for the highest bidder)

A woman's "honor" (Translation: Seal of Quality) lies in a useless membrane and a complete ignorance about her body. The last time I checked personality was a result of chemical interactions in the brain, not in cells that constitute a woman's genitalia.

Let's calculate the costs of a humble marriage:
1- An apartment = 150,000 L.E.

Can be paid in installments or they can live together in a rented apartment, there's no need to live in a fancy place. Their parents didn't start big.

2- A dowry = 0.25 L.E.
3- Furniture = 30,000 L.E.
4- Wedding = 20,000 L.E.
5- Jewelry = 10,000-15,000 L.E.
Total cost: 200,000+ & debts.

The costs of a revolutionized marriage(average salary = 1000 L.E. total income = 1000 * 2 = 2,000 L.E.):
1- Rent: 600-1200 L.E.
2- Furniture: 4000 L.E.
3- Refrigerator & Mis.: 4000 L.E.
Total cost: 1000*8000 : 9000 L.E.

Most people have that amount in their bank accounts that their parents started for them when they were born.

You also completely ignored the "cool" aspect of "being in love" with a girl(the Egyptian males who's reading this probably know what I am talking about). Those relationships aren't that genuine, it's just a teenagers' try to feel that they will make good mates when they can't have sex(Females, some males probably had a sexual experience with a prostitute)

It's the sign of an ignorant society that doesn't respect its female members or their individuality. A female's purpose of existence is to make a good bride, she rarely has the same unrestricted lifestyle that an ordinary male has, most of them find solace in religion(the opium of the people(TM)) or spend their time doing useless things. A few years from now the same generation will start whining about how their children are emotionally disturbed and how their lives are miserable.

It's the result of years of a reward and punishment(bribery) way of child care and a generation that miserably failed at achieving what has been handed down to it. A generation that took ignorance and stable jobs for granted and stopped building a sound economy for the generation that was to come after it, a generation blinded by greed and anti-Semitism(Dude! There's a cool peace treaty now, so chill out. The real enemy is under the nearest spire), a generation that happily succumbed to conspiracy theories and started using them as a way to explain its own failures.

I remember writing at school a composition passage with the title of "Tourism is the backbone of the Egyptian economy". Tourism = easy money, Easy money = lazy people, lazy people = worthless parasites on this planet.

Funny that we get our money from foreigners and give it back to them by buying their products(who treats the foreigners better at public places? you know what I mean if you're Egyptian. We're always that stupid guy who sits and says "yoo zepek anglish" while perversely staring at the foreigner woman sitting next to him, the boy who says "geeve me owan doller", or the guy who gets the strange stares and the crappy treatment in places where books are available or when she starts to read in public, the guy who's treated as if he's a thief at foreign institutions - I never felt comfortable at the British Council's KLC, not with all those stares and the thorough inspection of my rucksack everytime I go there..hello what are those two stupid towers that you pass through for? AFAIK, they're not the two WTC's). I mean Turkish candy? C'mon! we can do better than that.

"Oh! don't blame me. The officials are corrupt."

Aren't those officials Egyptian? They are every one of us. You're as corrupt as a government official. Who's using an illegitimate cable instead of paying the regular subscription to your cable TV provider? Who puts all those chains on the streets(free parking space) as if the streets are now a private property?

Who goes to work to spend the day trying not to work? Who makes long distance calls from work or uses her work celly to talk to her friends(Hey! it's free)?

The list can go on forever.

If you know someone who's corrupt(yourself?) and you don't report them(admit it) then you're as corrupt as they are(Eureka!), it's as simple as that. Don't come and whine about it afterwards, it makes the few who consider themselves sane feel sick.

There are plenty of good jobs in Egypt, it's just that most of the people are under-qualified and aren't willing to change that. You aren't going to earn 4,000 L.E. when a 5th grader can effortlessly do what you're doing.

You are not better than Westerners: you don't produce anything that's very useful, your pathetic religion doesn't make you "morally superior", and your "ancient Egyptian heritage"(how do you know that you're Egyptian? You can be a Greek, a Turk, or an Arab.) I know that if Ancient Egyptians were alive today they would curse you till they die again and will then ask you to place their mummies in a German museum that will respect them.

You have everything that every other human being has, it's in your DNA. You just aren't willing to use it to change your future. There's no Batman in real life, so take control of your life. Don't squander your energy sobbing on that beach when you're marooned on an island, start building a hut for yourself and explore the edible fruits. To put it gently, no one cares about you.

And no, "Western" women don't like Middle Eastern men unless they're fooled into becoming Muslims(undergoing an inspection to get a new seal of quality), and even then they're treated as a trophy. Western women aren't more beautiful, they just are more liberated. It's the result of a freedom that they fought for and deserve, the same freedom that you're denying yourself and your females. There's more to intimacy and love than blond hair and sunburned white skin, ask those who physically abuse their "western" women after marrying them.

On the bright side, it seems that your genes aren't that worthy of being passed down to another generation. *Shimmering eyes* It's natural selection at work.

It's not poverty, it's just what happens when a primate places itself in a big cage of hypocrisy and happily throws the key away. She won't get out unless she takes control of her destiny and her life.

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