Sep 13, 2012

Duhok: A unique wedding party for 100 couples

Brides and grooms walking in the Group wedding party held in Azadi Park - Duhok /GLOBE PHOTO/ShvanGoran

The Kurdish Globe
Shvan Goran-Duhok

Low income young people share their special celebration with support from the KRG and private sectors
As prices increase, it's getting more and more difficult for the limited-income young to plan their futures and get married. For this reason some NGOs in Duhok Province have taken steps towards helping them. The most recent example was a group wedding party held in Azadi Park in Duhok city. This party allowed 100 couples to conduct their wedding celebration in a unique, special way.

Azher Mihiyadeen, unemployed, was one of the newly married youths who participated in the group wedding party held in Duhok several days ago. He told the Globe that due to financial issues he had to participate in this kind of party. "It had been more than 3 months since we were engaged, but because of financial issues and high prices, we couldn't conduct our wedding party" Azher said.

Several days ago, a group wedding party was held for 100 engaged boys and girls from Duhok province and surrounding areas. "The low income couples from districts around Duhok and disputed areas were mainly focused on and taken into our consideration" said Hersh Rasheed, head of Mand Organization for Equality, one of the two main organizers of the party. He told The Kurdish Globe that the couples were of various ethnicities and religions, and 45 of them were from bordering areas.

This sort of wedding party has its advantages, not only because it supports the young financially and thus encourages them to marry, but also as it breaks away from tribal restrictions. However, traditional and private weddings also have their benefits such as being able to have your own archive of photos and videos and invite an unlimited number of friends and relatives, unlike the group wedding in which the invitation was limited to only 25 people per couple.

Parallel with the anniversary of the Anfal of Badinan, the party was organized jointly by Mand Organization for Equality and Alind Organization for Youth Democratization, two NGOs in Duhok, under the auspices of KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. The party was financially supported by The KRG and sponsored by several private sectors in Duhok.

The new married couples are provided with some furniture and other necessities costing $5000 "about 6,250,000 IQD" in addition to other presents given to them by the sponsors. Half of the costs were paid by KRG and the other by the sponsors.

The 100 couples, ranged from being Arabs, Turkmen, Kurdish Shabaks and Ezidiez "We wanted to prove that Duhok is the city of coexistence." Said Hersh Rasheed.

This party was the first of its type in Kurdistan Region and Iraq and with the continued support and help from the government and private sectors, there is the hope that this kind of wedding will become an annual event.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

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