Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Syria, October 25, 2010

Boy, 5, engaged to girl, 3, in arranged marriage in Syria

Original source

The New York Daily News

There's young love ... and then there's ridiculously young love.

A pair of children in Syria has reportedly gotten engaged. He is 5 years old, and she is only 3.

The kids' parents claim the barely-out-of-diapers pair -- refered to in reports only by their first names -- has consented to the union, which won't actually take place for a decade.

"I vowed to have my child engaged at the age of 5 if he was a boy and to marry him to a woman of his choice at the age of 15," the boy's father, Juma, told Gulf News.

He claimed his son fell in love with the toddler during a family trip.

"Khalid told me and his mother that he would like to have stayed with Hala or bring her home," Juma said, saying that both his boy and the girl suffered "loneliness" while they were apart.

"At that moment I remembered the vow I'd made before Khalid's birth, and decided to buy the couple rings. The family moved back to Lattakia to celebrate the engagement," he said.

Of course, it is possible the two lovebirds will change their minds at some point.

"But what we do know at this stage is that they are very happy and talk to each other every day," Juma said.

Arranged marriages in the Mideast are not uncommon, and they are also practiced in Asia and Africa. They often involve negotiations between parents and include an exchange of money or favors.