This is child marriage at its highest level you’ll say.
An Egyptian man, Nasser Hassan, has announced that his 12-year-old son Omar would marry his 11-year-old cousin Gharam.
The announcement was made at the wedding celebration of Omar’s eldest brother, held in a province about 75 miles north of Cairo, the capital of Egypt, reports local newspaper, Al Watan.
It was an engagement, not a marriage, guests at the party said without any surprise at all.
Hassan’s announcement of Omar and Gharam’s engagement sparked outrage, particularly among child and women’s rights activists. The photos of the young couple – Omar in a blue suit, heavily made-up Gharam in a white dress, high heels, and wearing a tiara – splashed across newspapers in the country and heightened the anger, reports washingtonpost.com.
That prompted Reda Eldanbouki, the head of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, to report the incident to the National Center for Childhood and Motherhood, a government agency. He also filed a complaint with the attorney general to investigate the incident and hold the parents accountable for this “crime,” he said in a statement.
The engagement of Omar and Gharam “will only lead to an early marriage in which the girl will be deprived of equal chances to education, growth, and will isolate her from social spheres,” he said.
But Omar’s father said his decision was meant to shield Omar and Gharam. “We have to protect them in their early years before they reach the age of deviation,” he told local newspapers.