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Introduction <ul><li>Weddings in Egypt are always cheerful family affairs. </li></ul><ul><li>Whether the couple is of modest means or wealthy, city- or country-bred, Egyptian wedding parties are filled with enough food, music, performance and ceremony to create what is always a spectacular and joyous social event. </li></ul><ul><li>For most people, time-honored customs and symbols are essential to the celebration. </li></ul>
The Different Ceremonies of Marriage <ul><li>Al-Fatihah </li></ul><ul><li>First the man makes an appointment with the woman's family to meet her father or guardian for the formal proposal. </li></ul>
The Different Ceremonies of Marriage <ul><li>Should this meeting lead to initial acceptance, the suitor then reveals his finances, the sum he will spend on the dowry and the jewelry he will give his bride. </li></ul><ul><li>If the two families agree, they seal their understanding by reading together al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Qur'an, and setting an engagement date. </li></ul>
The Engagement <ul><li>An engagement party is a festive warm-up for the wedding itself, and here couples exchange rings that they will wear on their right hands until the wedding, when each will switch the ring to the left hand. </li></ul>
Katb-El-Ketab <ul><li>Though her personal consent to the marriage is essential, the bride's father customarily stands in for his daughter at this ceremony. </li></ul>
Katb-El-Ketab <ul><li>Following Egyptian tradition, the groom and the bride's father put their hands together. The shaykh(A Religious Official Man) covers their hands with a clean, white handkerchief. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewing the Marriage document, and reading a passage from the Qur'an, he confirms the commitment of the parties. Then the handkerchief is removed by the shaykh. </li></ul>
Laylat Al-Hinna <ul><li>For some families—especially in Upper Egypt— laylat al-hinna, the henna party, is still an important custom. On the evening before the wedding, the bride is joined by her sisters, cousins and close friends—all female. </li></ul><ul><li>Powdered henna is mixed with water into a paste and, is applied to her feet and hands in complex designs. Henna is believed to be good for the skin, but the beautiful patterns, are intended to bring good luck in the bride's new life </li></ul>
The Wedding Ceremony <ul><li>The casual visitor to downtown Cairo can often see the most public part of a wedding late on a Thursday evening. A decorated automobile, escorted by a honking entourage of cars driven by family and friends, weaves through the city streets, perhaps with a stop on a Nile bridge for photographs, and finally arrives outside the family home or reception hall. </li></ul>
The Wedding Ceremony <ul><li>The couple is met with rhythms from trumpets, drums and tambourines. The beat of traditional wedding songs— sometimes at very high volume—is punctuated by joyful, trilling ululations from the women, the famous zaghareet. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Al-farah, the wedding celebration, is now on. </li></ul><ul><li>A crowd of family and friends of all ages envelops the couple for al-zaffah, the slow procession, accompanied by music, into the reception room. </li></ul><ul><li>Music swells as bride and groom slowly made their way to the kushah, the flower-decked stage set with two chairs from which the pair would greet their guests. Here, customarily, the new bride accepts nuqtah, a gift of money that is slipped discreetly into a purse she carries with her. The bride's single girlfriends may also pinch her knee for good luck in their own hopes to be the next to marry. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Whether Muslim or Christian, whether in a decorated city alley, a lavish Cairo hotel or a neighborhood garden, whether the music is Western, traditional Egyptian or that of a Nubian band, Egyptian weddings are celebrated with an intensity that stems from the respect of family bonds and hope for happy endings. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Presentation created by </li></ul><ul><li>Waleed El Attar </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Community College for International Development </li></ul><ul><li>Egypt Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Class of 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Richland College </li></ul>