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Iraqi Government Offers Cash To Couples That Wed Across Partisan Lines

From The Scotsman
By Aseel Kami

IRAQ is offering a cash bonus to married couples from different sectarian groups in a drive to heal rifts between communities.

At a ceremony in Baghdad yesterday to launch the initiative, 250 recently married couples from across the country accepted awards from Sunni Arab vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi. Those in mixed marriages received £750.

Mr Hashemi did not specify whether all couples getting married in the future would qualify for the bonuses, but said there would be a programme of ceremonies to celebrate mixed marriages.

Tango’s Take
This is not a bad idea. Not a great idea, mind you. But we’re glad that someone is thinking outside the box. It seems had Romeo and Juliet not swallowed poison and a dagger, respectively, that fair Verona would have been made more peaceful by their union. Can the same be said of fair Baghdad? We’ll see. Before the fall of Saddam, there were mixed families and neighborhoods even if the majority of the Arabs (Shiites) were limited by apartheid. This probably is not going to be a massive help (hey, who doesn’t want to kill their idiot brother in-law?), but someone, somewhere has to keep thinking of ways to reconcile this mess. It’s probably not going to be one sweeping plan, but small gestures to remind Iraqis that they are in this together.

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