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Seeking Happily-Ever-Afters: Arranged Marriages in Egypt

April 20, 2022
Photo via CNN

“You’re not going to leave this wedding without a bride,” was how Mohamed Saeed was greeted upon his arrival at his best friend’s wedding. As he danced the night away, he kept an eye out on all the single attendees, keen on soon celebrating his own wedding, and achieving the prophecy he was told. Like any young Egyptian man, Saeed, a 32-year-old banker, entered some relationships-turned engagements in his 20s. Yet, none of these engagements led to marriage. When he was 25, an arranged marriage had been an option many Egyptians, particularly older generations, were fond of. Nonetheless, Saeed wished to live a romantic love story that would end in a fairytale marriage, with hopes of living happily ever after. “It was definitely not my favorite option, but I did not despise it or completely disregard it because I thought it resulted in many successful marriages. So, after multiple trials with love-based relationships, I was open to the possibility of an arrangement, and thought why not,” Saeed tells Egyptian Streets. Saeed met his now-wife, Noha, at his best friend’s wedding. Upon seeing her, he felt inclined to get to know…

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