100%(2)2 out of 2 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 10 - 12 out of 43 pages.
another. Such relationships and expectations are not severely damaged by emigration or by forced separationresulting from war or political upheavals. Palestinians are a case in point. Members of Palestinian families whohave been dispersed as a result of the establishment of Israel and the subsequent wars continue to beinterdependent and committed to one another. Special radio programs enable scattered Palestinian families toexchange greetings and information. A novel by Emile Habiby has described a striking encounter amongdispersed Palestinian family members during the aftermath of the 1967 war. When a character who has livedunder Israeli rule since 1949 meets his uncle and cousins, who have lived under Jordanian rule, he feels that "heis no longer a stranger without roots." The extended character of the Arab family is interrelated with its other characteristic features, and particularlywith its functioning as a socioeconomic unit. This arrangement renders family members symbioticallyinterdependent. Thus, the tribe dominates among the bedouin in the desert, the extended family in villages andurban working neighborhoods, and the nuclear family in the city and among the bourgeoisie. Marriage and Divorce Patterns Marriage Patterns Traditionally, marriage has been seen as a family and communal or societal affair more than an individual one.Officially, it has been perceived as a mechanism for reproduction, human survival, the reinforcement of familyties and interests, the preservation of private property through inheritance, socialization, and the achievement ofother goals that transcend the happiness of the individual to guarantee communal interests. This principle is seenin most patterns related to marriage, including arranged marriage, endogamy, polygamy, age of marriage, themahr (dowry), and the absence of civil marriage. The system of arranged marriage, for example, has been directly related to the segregation of the sexes and theconception of marriage as a family or communal affair. Consequently, it has declined as a result of the mixing ofthe sexes in school and public life. Increasingly, marriage is seen as an individual choice that does not depend onparental approval. Love, which could serve as a reason for opposing a marriage in traditional communities, isincreasingly becoming a prerequisite in the minds of young Arabs. Custom requires parents to seek the consent of their daughter before they promise to give her in marriage, butthat does not mean that they will abide by her expressed wishes. Traditionally, the daughter is expected to shyaway from expressing her wishes, leaving them to decide for her. "As you wish" is the expected response fromher. "You know what is best for me," she may add. According to the Egyptian religious scholar Ahmed Shalabi,"if the girl insists on her own choice without the consent of her father, Islam gives her this right as long as she
makes a good choice and she is not deceived by false appearances. If she errs in her choice and marries a personwho is not of her status [kif ] . . . then the father has the right to object because of . . . the effect on the family and