100 Pounds of Love

Hisham and his new wife sit in front of a crowd of woman for hours in their wedding seat, occasionally getting up to hug a friend or breaking into a smile for the numerous photographs.
The couple was married within the Southern Cemetery in the eastern section of Cairo, where a huge tent was set up and hundreds attended. The wedding was much less formal and stuffy than the Christian wedding I was invited to in Amman, Jordan, and the traditions were much different from those of a wedding in the United States.
One of the most interesting traditions of the wedding was throughout the whole evening a man would go among the crowds of hundreds of people collecting money from whoever was feeling generous at the moment. The man who retrieved the money would then make his way to the stage where the band made a perfect transition into a quieter background music and the announcer shouted out the amount of money given by a particular person in the crowd: “Mohammed Abu Jaber gives 100 pounds to the bride and groom and wishes them happiness!” This would go on all night long. A large bag would sat beneath a man on the stage who constantly stuffed the bills into it. There was a feeling in the air that one needed to give as much as all the others.

Posted May 2nd, 2006 in Uncategorized.

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