x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Hundreds of Yemeni orphans tie the knot

The Orphan Development Foundation yesterday organised a mass wedding for 1,600 couples in Sana'a.

SANA'A // The Orphan Development Foundation yesterday organised a mass wedding for 1,600 couples in Sana'a.

"Mass weddings have become a tradition in Yemen as they help lighten the financial burdens on poor people. It is very important to help young people get married and protect them [from] doing immoral acts," said Hamid Zyad, the secretary general of the Orphan Development Group, of which the foundation is a part.

"I think this is the biggest mass wedding in the Middle East. This is the second time that we have run such mass weddings for orphans and it is funded by [Saudi] Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz," Mr Zyad said.

The 1,600 grooms, from across Yemen, wore traditional wedding attire decorated with flowers and held aloft swords as they gathered at the 22 May Supreme Hall in Sana'a for the ceremony.

Their brides were waiting for them at home as it is not common in conservative Yemen to have mixed wedding parties. Women hold their own celebration separately.

"The idea of mass wedding is thus supportive. I have paid 450,000 rials as a dowry and so the foundation contribution is good," said Adel al Mazlam, one of the grooms.

 

malqadhi@thenational.ae