A Pow­er­ful So­cial Ex­per­i­ment De­nounc­ing Child Mar­riage in Le­banon.

ArabAd - - CAMPAIGNS -

A video was re­cently posted on the Face­book page of NGO Kafa ad­dress­ing violence and ex­ploita­tion. The scene takes place by the sea at Ein-el-mreiseh in Beirut and opens with a num­ber of passersby con­grat­u­lat­ing an old white-haired man wear­ing a suit with a very young-look­ing girl in a wed­ding dress stand­ing at his side.

The story starts to un­ravel as a man asks the pho­tog­ra­pher present how he feels about tak­ing pic­tures of such an odd couple, given the fact that the bride clearly is a mi­nor. The groom, who over­hears the con­ver­sa­tion rudely re­sponds telling the man to mind his busi­ness.

Other com­ments ex­press­ing out­rage at such a sit­u­a­tion fol­low as the crowd be­gins to grow in size. Un­able to con­tain her­self and feel­ing guilty at such a sight, a woman ap­proaches the bride and in­quires where her par­ents are. The groom, who now had grown im­pa­tient in­ter­jects and ex­plains that he is not do­ing any­thing wrong as the Le­banese laws per­mit such a union.

The film con­cludes with the sen­tence that an ‘old’ law should not be taken se­ri­ously. Though the en­tire mat­ter was staged, peo­ple’s re­ac­tions were quite gen­uine and the en­tire sham was de­signed to shed light on the mar­riage of mi­nors in Le­banon. KAFA aims to change th­ese ob­so­lete laws by set­ting a min­i­mum age for girls who wish to tie the knot in hope of giv­ing civil au­thor­i­ties a say in the mat­ter in­stead of leav­ing the is­sue for the cler­ics to de­cide.

Sadly, re­li­gious tri­bunals han­dle all so-called per­sonal sta­tus is­sues re­lated to Le­banon’s 18 of­fi­cially recog­nised sects, in­clud­ing set­ting the age of con­sent, di­vorce and in­her­i­tance. How­ever, with this video, KAFA aims to change all that be­gin­ning with ac­quir­ing of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics on child mar­riage in Le­banon.

Though the laws may prove quite prob­lem­atic and dif­fi­cult to change, the fact re­mains that this is one mat­ter that has al­ready been deemed as un­ac­cept­able and will, with time and ef­forts of this na­ture, change.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.