|Arab men with their child brides [National Geographic]|
Underage Girls Are Summer Rentals for Gulf Arabs - Cam McGrath
Each summer, wealthy male tourists from Gulf Arab states flock to Egypt from the Arabian Peninsula. In El Hawamdia, a poor town 20 km. south of Cairo, they are easy to spot in their luxury cars and SUVs. Egyptian fixers run alongside their vehicles, offering short-term flats and the town's most sought-after commodity - underage girls. Each year, in impoverished rural communities across Egypt, thousands of girls between the ages of 11 and 18 are sold by their parents to wealthy, much older Gulf Arab men under the pretext of marriage. The sham nuptials may last from a couple of hours to years, depending on the arrangement.
"It's a form of child prostitution in the guise of marriage," said Azza El-Ashmawy, director of the Child Anti-Trafficking Unit at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). The girl is returned to her family when the marriage ends, usually to be married off again. "Some girls have been married 60 times by the time they turn 18," says El-Ashmawy.
A NCCM-commissioned survey of 2,000 families in three towns near Cairo found that 75% knew girls involved in the trade, and most believed the number of marriages was increasing. The 2009 survey indicated that 81% of the "spouses" were from Saudi Arabia, 10% from the UAE, and 4% from Kuwait.
(Inter Press Service)
Temporary Marriage in the Arab World - Max Fisher
Egypt's economy has been in free-fall since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, with unemployment rising and public services declining. Rural families, driven apparently by a sense that the practice is socially acceptable and a desperate need for income, pressure daughters to enter the trade at puberty, according to the government study. "The girls know their families have exploited them," the Egyptian official told Inter Press Service. "They can understand that their parents sold them."
Muslim Persecution of Christians: Summer of Horror for Women
- Raymond Ibrahim
The degradation of Christian women living in the Islamic world continued in the month of June. In Syria, after the al-Qaeda linked rebel group conquered Qusair, a city of the governate of Homs, 15-year-old Mariam was kidnapped, repeatedly gang raped according to a fatwa legitimizing the rape of non-Sunni women by any Muslim waging jihad against Syria's government, and then executed.