It began with rumors of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in Jordan and has spread across the Arab world. Syrian refugees, particularly those of the young and female variety, are becoming a commodity for Arab men, with many offering to marry those in need.
But don’t be fooled: this is not a purely altruistic gesture. Syrian women are known as the beauties of the region and having run away from the massacres of their own country they are left vulnerable and needy. Men who would otherwise have no chance with these highly sought after ladies have been opportunistically taking their chances.
Now the backlash has begun and Syrian activists have launched a campaign on social media networks calling for the marriage proposals to come to a halt. The campaign, established by Syrian activist Miznah Duraid, under the name ‘Refugee Captives’, aims to educate Syrian parents to stop them marrying off their daughters for the sake of a stable home.
Left in terrible financial circumstances, these refugees are also more likely to agree to a disagreeable marriage in exchange for a ‘bride price’ paid by the groom to the family. Duraid says he is not only blaming the Syrians for the situation and is also trying to educate Arab men about "the pitfalls of marrying a Syrian woman".
The activist said that although these men think they are being ‘helpful’ by marrying a refugee, these shotgun weddings don’t make the basis for a happy family life.
“It is also not guaranteed that the husband won't repeat his "helpfulness" by seeking marriage from another female refugee,” he added.
Others have pointed out that no other refugee crisis in the Arab world has had this effect on the Middle East’s men. Moayad Eskeef is another Syrian campaigner keen to highlight the issue. Tongue-in-cheek he pointed out - if these men are so keen to marry a refugee why aren’t there a deluge of Sudanese-Arab marriages?
Do you think these men are being helpful? Or is it just men taking advantage under the mask of Islamic duty? Tell us what you think below.
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