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.
Even in a country like Egypt where religion and family are number 1, possessions and status can still be a huge factor. You have to accept the fact that this is not about two – and this includes all the extended relatives as well.
It’d be an opportunity to make a verbal contract of sorts between the father and myself. Traditionally, this kind of over a bride-to-be is done with both peoples’ parents there and I suspect in a lot of areas (especially rural places) it’s almost like a business transaction.
He asked me questions about everything – particularly finances.
We put pen to paper about my present and future financial situation including debts and assets, details about how much the engagement ring and ceremony would cost, the wedding and gold, the honeymoon and then of course, where we’d be living and how much that would cost.
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.