That prompted Reda Eldanbouki, the head of the Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness, to report the incident to the National Center for Childhood and Motherhood, a government agency. He also filed a complaint with the attorney general to investigate the incident and hold the parents accountable for this “crime,” he said in a statement.
The engagement of Omar and Gharam “will only lead to an early marriage in which the girl will be deprived of equal chances to education, growth, and will isolate her from social spheres,” he said.
But if history is any indication, it’s unlikely the complaints will stop Egypt’s child marriages, a practice that is also prevalent in many nations in the Middle East, Asia and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dar al-Ifta, Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, has repeatedly urged state institutions to make concerted efforts to stop marriages among minors.
He defended the engagement, saying that “Omar has always loved Gharam so much that he used to say he will marry her when they grow up.” He added that both children acted “beyond their years” and developed “strong feelings for each other” through Facebook and other social media and “wanted to get engaged.”
That’s why, Omar’s father said, he decided to announce their engagement now “before any other man asks for her hand in marriage when she is older”.
“They will get married when they reach the legal age,” he insisted.
This wasn’t the first child marriage in the province this year. In June, a 10-year-old bride in a pink dress sat next to her 12-year-old groom, celebrating their wedding. The National Center for Motherhood and Childhood deemed the marriage “an assassination of childhood.”
Unfortunately the poor children don’t have an idea of what they are being led into. it may sound and appear fantastic but if they finally come together and the said appropriate age, they are likely going to be living in hell as most have testified especially the females. Moreover, the men hardly stay faithful throughout marriage; of course it’s a situation common not only in Egypt but worldwide. It’s important that they get over the teenage age at least and pick their own choices not being forced into. In more than 80% of the cases it always turns out ugly.