Cairo- The aftermath of the Egyptian pound’s continued decline against the dollar has cast a shadow over the cost of marriage, in a country that annually witnesses about one million marriage contracts, as prices for gold, furniture, power tools and marriage demands rose by 30% and 40%, in addition to housing, which made most Egyptian families continue to adhere to customs And marriage traditions are difficult in light of this high.
Newlyweds in Egypt share the costs of marriage, but there is a big difference between regions, whether in Upper Egypt (south of the country) or Delta (north) or even in the largest capital, which includes the governments of Cairo , Giza and Qalyubia, for details of this partnership, its percentage and the share of each party.
The price of a gram of 21 carat gold, the most common in the “bride network”, marked the highest point in Egypt, after reaching 1100 pounds (59.5 dollars), without works and the price of furniture rose more than 30 .% of all types, and the prices of electrical, household and kitchen utensils increased and other needs for home furnishing for almost the same.
Egypt was forced to devalue the pound last March by 14%, before continuing to fall to 19%, to fall to around 18.75 pounds per dollar from the level of 15.75 pounds; As a result of the consequences of the Russian war in Ukraine and the cessation of primary markets and goods and supply chains.
Azhar Awareness Campaign
Al-Azhar was aware of this problem in early 2020, that is, before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in Egypt and the world and the emergence of its economic consequences, and the Al-Azhar International Center for Electronic Fatwas launched an awareness campaign. campaign to afford high dowry prices and wedding costs, under the heading “Most Blessed”; The resurrection of the guidance of our Lord Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him, in this regard.
Since then, the campaign has not stopped and Al-Azhar has launched similar campaigns, the most recent of which was the launch of the “Welcome to Marriage” rehabilitation program, giving lectures to several governors to raise awareness of the need face the phenomenon of high dowries and marriage costs.
Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, had earlier called for launching an awareness campaign in this regard; Because this exaggeration destroys the family before it is built, and causes the inability of some young people and families to pay these expenses, and thus delays the marriage and increases the stunt rates.
Al-Azhar dismissed the opinion of some families about the high price of dowries and the high value of the list of movables, as insurance for the daughter from the betrayal of the husband, explaining that the first of this is the interest of the guardian in some matters. which should be taken into account when marriage, which is the good choice of the husband, i.e. what is the use of securing the daughter if she marries a man without honor and morals, or who bears no responsibility or honesty.
How have marriage costs increased?
The question now is for millions of Egyptian families, how will they adapt to the rising costs of marriage in light of the ever-increasing high prices every day, will they give up some of their demands regarding equipping the marriage nest with a certain number of rooms and economy in the size and number of electrical and household appliances, reducing the value of dowries, and turning to Popular markets and away from major fairs?
Jeweler George Rizkallah, who owns a gold shop in one of the Giza neighborhoods, the second largest governor in the country after Cairo with a population of about 9.5 million, says “the demand for gold is weak, because the high price of grams of gold, even from the young people who come. ” At the wedding, and in some cases like Mother’s Day and others.
And he explained in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, that some families turned to many alternatives to overcome the obstacle of the high cost of the bride network, such as writing its face value in the list of movable items and to buy a limited quantity, or by agreeing on money and not on the number of fines, or to choose lighter weights, the more so that the gold jewelery is for the bride, can not be bypassed.
The same goes for furniture, electrical and household appliances and others that have been affected by high prices, which have pushed Egyptian families to think of many alternatives, including reducing the number and quantity and bypassing the less expensive types. while maintaining a minimum quality. according to the abilities of each family, according to the traders and owners of the exhibition who spoke to the Al-Jazeera Net reporter.
Teacher Abu Ahmed al-Suri, who owns an exhibition and a furniture factory on the outskirts of Giza, said: “The prices of wood of all kinds have risen by more than 30%, and sometimes we do not find the materials we need. for production due to their lack in the markets, and for this reason the price of the bedroom or kitchen increases day by day, and now deals with informing the customer about the new price throughout the production period. ”
He added for Al Jazeera Net that some prefer ready-made furniture to avoid daily increases, and others use the lowest priced and lowest quality types of wood as “counter” wood, and others do not have one or two the room or dining room and its accessories, as well as the furniture is characterized by great flexibility in prices according to the required and physical possibilities.
Regarding household appliances, one of the vendors in one of the famous shopping complexes in Giza said: “Household items that fall on the bride’s shoulders are expensive tools, but some of them prefer local and less expensive household items, and there are from those who are inclined to buy expensive tools because they are of better quality and have a longer lifespan ”.
He noted, in his speech to Al Jazeera Net, that the discount season, which is repeated in most cases throughout the year; Like Mother’s Day, the end of the year, or Black Friday, it is a golden opportunity for those looking to save money and buy other things and lower the bill.
Divorce is on the rise
Egypt’s population is 103 million and the number of women is 48.5 million, which means that there are 106 men for every 100 women, by the end of last February, according to its Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (government). report on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The number of marriage contracts in 2021 has increased to 948,222 contracts, compared to 2020, when it was 876,015 contracts, an increase of about 12.3%, according to preliminary data from the Marriage and Divorce Bulletin.
The number of divorce certificates increased to 255.04 in 2021, compared to 2020, when it was 222,036, an increase of about 15%.
When comparing these figures with the statistics of 2016, before the consequences of the pound flotation crisis appeared in November of the same year, some figures seem disturbing, as the number of marriage contracts at that time reached 938,000, compared to about 948,000, pak. increase, taking into account the population was less by about 10 million persons, and the number of divorce certificates in 2016 was only 198 thousand cases, compared to about 255 thousand cases, an increase of 28.7%.
Treat marriage as a commodity
Al-Jazeera Net correspondent spoke to one of the young men who would be getting married – named Mustafa – about his plans to complete the life project, but he stressed that “the project was not completed unfortunately, despite the big deal between me and Tim. The fiancé and the deal for wide lines such as nets, furniture, home and electrical appliances, curtains, carpets and najafi. ” .
He explained that the bride’s father told her the decision to increase the list of movables and change it and “asked for things we did not agree on, claiming that prices had risen too much and that the current list was not worthy. “His daughter and unfortunately all the family’s efforts to change his mind were in vain and I had to terminate the engagement for that reason. Prices went up.”
Inheritance and customs leading to imprisonment
“As a result of some social legacies, customs and traditions, some Egyptian families are burdened with the issue of preparing their children, whether young or young, and some exaggerated expenses, which has led to the existence of negative phenomena such as” debtor phenomena ”.
The number of fines is about 30,000, according to local newspapers, representing 30% of the number of female inmates inside Egyptian prisons. struggle to pay. years.
The marriage was returned to auction
Family and social counselor, Dr. Manal Khader, believes that the crisis is in exaggeration, not in high prices, saying: “The origin in Islam is the facilitation of marriage,” the smallest of them in the dowry is the greatest blessing. ” Families with the phrase “the best of justice is urgent”, and was the title of Egyptian families.
In her speech to Al-Jazeera Net, she blamed the media, especially the drama that promoted exaggeration and changed the customs and habits of the Egyptians, so that mansions, villas, cars and luxury jewelry were released, and some half-men calibrated their wives. that they were free and that her family married him pricelessly and became one of the means of losing the woman’s dignity in the time of the disputes, the families began to burden the groom and, in return, charge them the bride’s burden and marriage turned into an auction between Egyptian families.
Khader believed that because of the high prices, it became necessary for newlyweds and their families to be gentle and facilitate marriage for young people to solve the problem of young people getting divorced and reluctant to get married because of high and low prices. income, and from “my position as a family counselor, I see that young people have become more mature and more realistic and have been relieved of many burdens and burdens. And fathers and mothers will follow their children.”
To cope with the phenomenon of high dowry and marriage costs, Samia Khader, professor of sociology at Ain Shams University, called for raising awareness of Egyptian families in rural and urban areas not to exaggerate in marriage claims.
In press releases, she criticized the unprecedented exaggeration in Egyptian society in preparing brides, noting that what some families do is not commensurate with their income, so they fall into the trap of borrowing and signing trust bills. that cost them their freedom.