During the inauguration of several industrial power plants in Abu Rawash on 27 December, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated that a support fund will be established for Egyptian families, financed by both couples intending to marry and the government itself.
Al-Sisi stated that the amount paid by couples will be affordable for anyone with the funds to get married, adding that the government will mirror the amount paid by citizens. “If people pay a billion,” he insisted, “the government will pay a billion, and if the people pay two billion, we will [do the same].”
The minimum amount for the fund was not stated.
The fund, al-Sisi reasoned, is safety-valve for families at risk of divorce and financial strife, with children who are then subject to instability. In essence, the Family Support Fund becomes a way to preserve the rights of all parties involved.
“Why are we going forward with this idea?” the president asked, rhetorically. “Because families can face conflict, it is inevitable. But then, who will take care of the children? […] These are the children of Egypt. This fund comes during critical times.”
Dar al-Iftaa, Egypt’s religious body for inquiries pertaining to Islam, has also announced earlier in November that it will be offering training courses to aid and educate those who are about to get married. This comes in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity and Al-Azhar in an attempt to combat divorce and domestic instabilities.
Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shawky Allam, stressed the importance of the Egyptian family and the need to conserve it.
“We were alerted at Dar al-Iftaa to the dangers of early divorce, and so we’ve carried out a number of initiatives to treat this phenomenon,” explained his Eminence, “including courses for those about to get married, and these courses do not cover the legal aspect only, but also include the psychological and social aspect.”
In addition to courses such as stress and anger management, and the skill of marital dialogue, the Grand Mufti has also announced the opening of a Marriage Counseling Centre, with a committee of psychiatrists specialising in Shari’a law.