So you decided to get married in Beirut. Congrats Guys! (come here give me a virtual hug). You found your other half (sigh). You cant live without each others (sigh). You were made for one another (double sigh). There are tons of reasons that made you take this decision, and although temporary insanity is a major one, my responsibility as a friend is not to discourage you (God Forbids *cough* *cough*) but to highlight some minor issues you might face when you tie the knots in this lovely country.
Mothers-in-law. The word alone brings to mind images of such severe agony that it is hard for me to write about.
Forgive me guys, I blacked out and my fingers typed the previous sentence unconsciously. What I wanted to discuss is Civil Marriage. I promise I wont derail.
Civil Marriage falls under the same legal category as Nude Beaches in Lebanon. In simple English: It’s forbidden. Although when we were still under the French regime in 1935, Civil marriage was perfectly fine. But after we took our independence, some financial accountants working at top religious institutions must have reported a decline in revenues at the end of the fiscal year and a sharp drop in Earnings per share, so the board of directors along with the CEO decided to look for some additional source of revenues. And since selling burgers was not an option at the time, religious marriage was imposed as de facto.
Now for all the people supporting religious marriage, because of the 100s of reasons; I totally understand. Personally, in case I get kidnapped and placed under the threat of a gun, or I meet a playboy playmate with a Harvard degree, I will surrender to my fate and get married. And if so, I would like to have a religious blessing ceremony in a small place on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea at sunset (just to prove that im romantic)
However I would like to register my marriage as Civil to give the same amount of rights to my future spouse (and soon-to-be-ex-wife afterwards)
Seriously, if you love someone and consider him as your “other half”, wouldn’t you want both halves to be equal? The whole point of marriage is to complete each others and become one. Mathematically speaking if one half is less than the other then the sum of both would be less than One. Unless you have a pet and a spouse and you consider both as quarters, then I bow to u Master Pythagoras!
Civil marriage is the minimum civil right that a free man and woman should have in this 21st century. We are willing to live without 24/7 electricity, fast internet, good roads, cheap schooling system, free healthcare…but we re not willing to live without our civic rights….oh wait! we have none of these. Snap!!
Recently our head of State Michel Suleiman tweeted that he was Pro Civil marriage. So like many ecstatic Lebanese, I hit the pub and had a toast for it. Hell, the full house had a couple of drinking rounds on me. Then as I woke up from my hangover, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani ripped Civil marriage into pieces. He was REALLY REALLY angry about it. So he issued a religious edict (fatwa) as follows:
“Every Muslim official, whether a deputy or a minister, who supports the legalization of civil marriage, even if it is optional, is an apostate and outside the Islamic religion.
Such officials would not be washed, would not be wrapped in a [burial] shroud, would not have prayers for their soul in line with Islamic rules, and would not be buried in a Muslim cemetery”
To my non Muslim readers, this statement translation into the street language would be:
“Fate is gonna fuck you dry in the ass if you approve this law then throw you down in a hell which only serves warm piss tasting beer and plays Myriam Klink’s songs 24/7. ”
From that statement on, most of the deputies will start approaching civil marriage legislation with the same enthusiasm of a swimmer approaching a shark infested sea.
Our prime minister Najib Mikati has already tagged along the Grand Mufti, turned his deaf ear to the entire civil marriage debate and dubbed it as useless.
In fact, I believe after such edict, our chances of getting a nude beach on one of the shores in south of Lebanon is higher than getting civil marriage. High Five for that!!!
I am not particularly a big fan of Cypriot cuisine, but given that in 30 minute bird fly I can teleport myself from stone age to modern age civil right environment, im willing to taste it, once I find my other half (the Harvard playmate didn’t graduate yet, so I need to wait a bit)
But you guys, go ahead and book your seats to Cyprus. I heard the Cypriot Government is cashing gold on the booming civil marriage industry . It also seems the nude beaches are fabulous (ohh the luck!).
If only the religious financial accountant knew about this back in the 40s!
Beirut you know how much I love you and one day im gonna marry you, but given that civil marriage is not an option yet, our relationship will be a bit tricky..I cannot forgive you for the time being.