Couples Marry in Mass Wedding in Jordan
Jul. 26, 2003
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Fifty-two Jordanian couples _ in veiled, white gowns and donated suits _ married Friday in a mass Muslim wedding organized by a charitable group encouraging young, low-income people to marry.
The brides and grooms crammed into two huge tents in a school courtyard separating the couples and their relatives according to strict Islamic tradition barring men and women from celebrating under the same roof.
Most of the newlyweds belong to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood movement.
``Our aim is to encourage and facilitate the weddings of young couples, as most of the Jordanians cannot afford luxurious weddings,'' said Mufeed Sarhan, the director of an Islamic charitable group, Al-Afaf, or The Virtue, that organized the wedding.
Some 580 other couples have married in nine similar mass, free weddings organized by the group since 1995, Sahran said. The organization provides couples with interest-free loans, clothing and furniture and urges other Jordanians to assist the newlyweds with money, housing and clothing. Jordan's per capita income is $1,219.
One new husband, Ayman Al-Daqesh, 29, said the mass wedding enabled him to invite all his friends and relatives to a ceremony that he would have found difficult to afford out of his own finances.
``Al-Afaf provided me and my bride with our wedding costumes, clothing, the invitation cards, the wedding cake and some of the furniture for our house, we also received lots of presents,'' Al-Daqesh, a Quranic teacher, told The Associated Press.