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Comprehending the mysterious soul of the East is difficult, almost impossible. For many people, the concept of the Arab family is based on such stereotypical phenomena as the burqa, polygamy and Islam. However, if you look deep into the family structure in the Arab countries, a very traditional and to some extent logical picture emerges.
The legislation of the United Arab Emirates is based in everything on the state religion - Islam. Any UAE in its philosophy of life obeys the main body of laws - Sharia, which, in turn, is based on the main prescriptions and prohibitions of the holy book of the Koran.
The Arabs, like other nomadic tribes, throughout their long history lived in large families, or so-called clans. The concept of kinship in Arab countries is sacred and unshakable. Therefore, the UAE is not only children and grandchildren, but also the most distant relatives, in a word, the seventh water on jelly.
Although other religions are allowed in the UAE, almost 100% of the population is Muslim. Such religious unity over hundreds of years has given rise to strict adherence to the precepts of the Sharia. However, some of the "laws" may seem wild and really shock an unprepared European.
For example, in most Islamic countries, it is customary to remove the clitoris from girls. Such blasphemy occurs mainly in rural families and is motivated by the fact that a woman should not feel pleasure from sexual intercourse with a man.
"Operations" take place in unsanitary conditions, using a regular razor. And in the role of surgeons are the older relatives of the "patient". For boys of all social classes, a circumcision ritual is required, which, in terms of painful sensations, is not much inferior to cliteroctaemia, since it is carried out at a fairly conscious age - 3-6 years.
Today, not every Arab can afford polygamy. Although Islam permits up to four wives, the main reason for this monogamy is the lack of funds to maintain a harem. Therefore, the classic UAE, consisting of one husband, several wives and a harem is the privilege of sheikhs and wealthy people.
The decision to marry is made primarily by the groom's family. The rights of women in Muslim countries are equivalent to those of men, so a potential bride has the right to refuse an offer if she doesn't like the groom.
If for European newlyweds a marriage contract is only now beginning to come into vogue, then for Arab countries such an agreement is an obligatory element of a wedding. Instead of the bride, two of her relatives sign a marriage contract.
The very same wedding celebration after signing can take place within a year - before that the groom can see his future wife only in the presence of her relatives. For the bride, the groom's family pays kalym, which can reach several hundred thousand dollars, so giving birth to girls is beneficial.
An Arab wedding is truly a grand spectacle. The table is bursting with treats that are constantly being updated to show the guests their hospitality and abundance. Since Islam prohibits alcohol, there is nothing on the festive table stronger than coffee. But this does not prohibit the wedding to walk up to seven days!
The bride on the most important day in her life simply must look beautiful and, most importantly, expensive. As a rule, it takes up to 7-8 kilograms of gold for her "outfit", not counting the chic outfits, which she changes several times a day.
If an Arab man has more than one wife, he must build his own house for each of them, the costs must be the same, and the share of attention must be equal for each of the "beloved" women.
The conventional wisdom about discrimination against Arab women is actually somewhat exaggerated. In any Arab family, a woman should obey her husband, but she always takes part in deciding important issues.
According to Muslim customs, women wear black capes - agaya, and their faces are covered with a kind of mask - a burka. As the Arabs say - a woman is the shadow of her husband, so the clothes are mostly black.
According to statistics, divorce is relatively rare in the Arab world. Perhaps it depends on the temperament of Arab men, because all rights to divorce belong to the husband. Having taken the special oath of divorce three times, the woman leaves the house only in what she entered into marriage, leaving her children to her husband.
But, nevertheless, kinship support in the Arab family is immensely powerful. For example, if a woman is widowed, the husband's brother will consider it his duty, marry her and protect her.
The way of life, the way of life and the marriage union of Muslims is complex and incomprehensible for a Western person, and the traditions that originate in ancient times resemble the "one thousand and one" riddle of the subtle eastern soul.