Posts Tagged ‘Rahsa Jasim’

ESL student talks of two marriage types in Iraq

By Rasha Jasim

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Getting married in Iraq is a long process. It takes a lot of time and many steps to get done. Some of these steps are interesting and some of them are complicated and boring. There are two main different types of marriage in Iraqi society, the traditional marriage and being-in-love-before marriage.

The traditional marriage is more common in Iraqi society. That’s how my father and mother got married. I’ve heard the same story from both of them many times, though with some differences. My mum was working as a teacher in one of Baghdad’s schools. She was a beautiful, intelligent, funny and very nice young lady, from an educated family. A girl like her was the perfect bride for a man like my father. He was a handsome, successful businessman and wanted to settle down with his soul mate.

Since they were complete strangers, their friends helped them. Saadia was a common friend for both of their families and she arranged a “non intent” meeting for them, so they could see each other before having a formal step. The mission was successfully completed and there was a spark between them. After that, my father and his family went to my mother’s house for a visit in order to get acquainted with each other. Then there was another visit to make everything clear, such as when they were going to get married, where they were going to live and the most important thing was the “nishan”. That was the jewelry that the groom had to buy including the wedding ring, necklace , bracelet and earrings. And the second thing was the “mahar” which was the amount of money that he was going to spend on the wedding and the “jehaz” which was buying clothes and makeup products for the bride. All of that and more, the two families had to agree on.

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