To comprehend the mysterious soul of the East is difficult, almost impossible. For many people, the concept of an Arab family is based on such stereotyped phenomena as burqa, polygamy and Islam. However, if you look deep into the family way of life in the Arab countries, a very traditional and to some extent a logical picture emerges.
Legislation of the United Arab Emirates in everything relies on the state religion – Islam. Any UAE in its life philosophy obeys the main body of laws – the Sharia, which, in turn, is based on the main prescriptions and prohibitions of the holy book of the Koran.
Arabs, like other nomadic tribes, have lived their long history with large families, or so-called clans. The concept of kinship in the Arab countries is holy and unshakable. Therefore, the UAE is not only children and grandchildren, but also the most distant relatives, in a word, the seventh water on a kissel.
Although other religions are allowed in the UAE, almost 100% of the population is Muslim. Such religious unity for hundreds of years has led to strict adherence to the Shari’a covenants. However, some of the “laws” may seem wild and really shock an unprepared European.
For example, in most Islamic countries, a clitoris removal in girls is accepted. Such blasphemy occurs mainly in rural families and is motivated by the fact that a woman should not enjoy sexual intercourse with a man.
“Operations” occur in unsanitary conditions, using an ordinary razor. And in the role of surgeons are the older relatives of the “patient”. For boys of all social classes, a ritual of circumcision is necessary, which, according to painful sensations, is not much inferior to that of clitorotemia, since it takes place at a fairly conscious age, 3-6 years.
Today, not every Arab can afford polygamy. Although Islam allows to have up to four wives, the main reason for this monogamy is the lack of funds for maintaining a harem. Therefore, the classical UAE, consisting of one husband, several wives and a harem – the privilege of the sheikhs and wealthy people.
The groom’s family takes the decision to marry. The rights of women in Muslim countries are tantamount to masculine, so the potential bride has the right to refuse the offer if the bridegroom does not like her.
If for a European newlywed couple the marriage contract is only now beginning to become fashionable, then for Arab countries such a treaty is an obligatory element of the wedding. The marriage contract is signed by two of her relatives instead of the bride.
The very same wedding celebration after signing can take place within a year – before that the groom can see his future wife only in the presence of her relatives. For the bride the groom’s family pays the bride, which can reach several hundred thousand dollars, so it’s profitable to give birth to the girls.
Arab wedding – the spectacle is truly grandiose. The table is bursting with treats, which are constantly updated to show the guests their hospitality and abundance. Since Islam prohibits alcohol, there is nothing on the festive table, stronger than coffee. But this does not prohibit a wedding for up to seven days!
The bride on the most important day of her life simply must look beautiful and, most importantly, expensive. As a rule, her “outfit” departs to 7-8 kilograms of gold, not counting the chic outfits that she changes several times a day.
If an Arab man has more than one wife, he must build each of them his own house, the costs should be the same, and the share of attention is equal for each of the “favorite” women.
The conventional wisdom about discrimination against Arab women is in fact somewhat exaggerated. In any Arab family, a woman must obey her husband, but she always takes part in solving important issues.
According to Muslim customs, women wear black capes – agaia, and their face is covered with a mask – a burka.As the Arabs say, a woman is the shadow of a husband, so clothes are mostly black.
According to statistics, divorce in the Arab world is a relative rarity. Perhaps it depends on the temperament of the Arab men, because all the rights to divorce belong to her husband. After uttering a special oath of divorce three times, the woman leaves the house only in what she married, leaving her children to her husband.
But, nevertheless, kindred support in the Arab family is very powerful. For example, if a woman is widowed, her husband’s brother will consider it his duty, marry and protect her.
Life, the way of life and the marriage of Muslims are complex and incomprehensible to the Western man, and traditions that take their origins in antiquity are like “one thousand and one” riddles of the subtle eastern soul.