Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
8 - 14 October 1998
Issue No.398
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Current issue | Previous issue | Site map

Anniversary wedding

By Nadia Abou El-Magd

Wedding (FARAH)
ABOUT 500 couples received a special tribute as part of this year's October War celebrations -- the government married them off!

With the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx providing a dramatic backdrop to the festivities, a theatre was set up in Pharaonic style to complete the ambience. No detail was overlooked by the Giza governorate which organised the event.

Some 250 girls participated in the traditional zaffa (wedding procession) that led the couples to the party venue. Hundreds of relatives and guests of the brides and grooms attended; a huge wedding cake was provided and a band was on hand to provide entertainment.

In keeping with the spirit of things, several businessmen made generous contributions while singer Aida El-Sha'ir sang for free at the event which was broadcast live on Egyptian TV.

Although primarily intended for those born in 1973, the governorate graciously extended the service to the many other couples who applied but did not meet this particular criterion. And although the original plan called for a bride born on 6 October to cut the cake, the daughter of a war martyr did the honours instead.

Before the event, governorate officials announced that they would not turn down any of the applications and that assistance ranging from the provision of wedding dresses and make-up services to free electrical appliances would be readily provided. The happy faces of couples, friends and relatives dancing on national TV were an indication that the efforts had not gone to waste.

This week's event is the second of its kind this year. The idea has gained popularity in view of the difficulty many couples face in tying the knot as a result of the high cost of wedding celebrations.