At the end of the very long discussion the girl’s father concluded by simply saying for marriage until they’re well into their mid-thirties.
As I’ve already said above, men are judged quite harshly on what they own and what their status is.
A man is even judged on how much gold he gives his bride at the wedding.
This carried the expectation that we intended to get married.
I had to make a serious choice then and there, without even knowing this girl properly, about whether or not I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
That was until a bunch of came our way that threw a spanner in the works and brought the whole thing to a halt. It was a heartbreaking end and one that neither of us wanted but in the end it wasn’t our decision to make.
Today I’ve decided to share a few lessons with you that I learned from the whole experience. Some guys in the West still have the decency to talk to the girl’s father before asking her to marry him. In Egypt (and I suspect all over the Arab world) this is something that needs to be done right at the start when you start dating.I was fortunate that I had these people to back me up.I’m not sure how somebody else with no ties to an Arabic-speaking community could get around this.For Muslims especially there’s the issue of a dowry which can be money, gold and assets.Because I didn’t have family with me and no one present to confirm who I was or if I could be trusted, the father had to contact Egyptians who knew me back in Australia to verify everything.Even then he was hesitant and had to phone an Egyptian friend of mine in Australia (the woman who taught me Arabic who I also call my second mother) to verify that I was telling the truth. It can be taken as really rude if you say it to a girl who doesn’t have a playful nature or the right sense of humor.