A Wedding In Qatar

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bride-hands-with-henna
A Western woman witnesses a traditional Muslim wedding in Qatar.

"They are," she said quickly. "He’s only here for a minute for pictures. Then they leave. And of course we cover when they come in."

I was confused. Qatari women wouldn’t allow their picture to be taken. It was haram, forbidden according to the Quran.  

 

"They take pictures?" I asked now in disbelief.

Hend gave me an odd look. "They’re already married, you know," she said. I didn’t.

"Where is the groom?" my boss asked. "He’s probably drinking tea," she said. "Or dancing with a sword. He’ll show up around midnight." Suddenly Hend broke into a beatific smile and began to wave. "Ugh," she said through her teeth, still waving and smiling and looking across the room. "It’s Aunt Fatma." I followed her gaze to a woman who was giving her the palms down hand gesture. Come! Come! "She wants to talk to me about Abdul Azziz," she went on, smiling in one direction, dishing in the other. "It’s not like I don’t know who he is already, we grew up together. My mother better tell her soon I’m going to grad school." 

She turned to us, dropping the wave and the smile for an instant. "I have to go talk to her,” she said before disappearing. I looked at my boss. "Can you believe it?" I said. "These weddings are totally constructed to set up new marriages."

I had come to this country to learn more about my Muslim sisters and I was now more confused than ever. What My Time In Qatar Taught Me About Love