Dating and marriage in the middle east
He asked about the concept of casual dating and what purpose it serves.
Among the Bedouin it can happen that a paternal male cousin can lodge a complaint after the marriage has taken place, compelling the father to reimburse the bride price or have the marriage annulled.I understand how the concept of a quick engagement or an arranged marriage is not quite fitting in Western society, but neither is a selfish, apathetic dating culture in which having feelings is considered taboo and wanting a more serious relationship is strange.Yes, focusing on yourself and your career path is absolutely amazing, but maybe as a society, we can learn to also appreciate the beauty of lasting relationships and wipe away the apathy and lack of communication that surrounds our dating culture as well.Historically, Eastern cultures are known to be collectivist and family oriented. Survival of the tribe or family is always the essential goal, even if it involves sacrificing one’s personal preferences every once in awhile.Western cultures, on the other hand, tend to be centered around the individual. Each culture is praised in its own way: the first, lays emphasis on synergy and strong kinships, whereas the second lauds personal happiness and success over all else. Many Easterners have immigrated to the United States with the hope to have a better life and live the American dream.Imagine meeting a boy or girl you really like and wanting to get to know them better.
Everything goes exactly as planned: no playing games, no “talking” phase, no constant confusion, and no need to ever have the “what are we” conversation because you already have utter assurance that you are going to spend the rest of your life with this wonderful person.
If the paternal male cousin cannot marry his paternal female cousin immediately due to financial or other considerations, the paternal male cousin can also "reserve" her by making a public and formal statement of his intentions to marry her at a future date.
A more distant relative acquires priority to marry a girl over her paternal male cousin by reserving her soon after her birth... The custom is however less frequent in big cities such as Damascus and Aleppo.
Anthropologists have debated the significance of the practice; some view it as the defining feature of the Middle Eastern kinship system while others note that overall rates of cousin marriage have varied sharply between different Middle Eastern communities.
There is very little numerical evidence of rates of cousin marriage in the past.
However, their cultural identity sticks with them as they enter an entirely different community with a unique set of rules and priorities.