Morning weddings outsmart Egypt curfew

Firmly enforced by the police and the army, the curfew has disrupted the life of many Egyptians, especially in the nocturnal capital.

Morning weddings outsmart Egypt curfew

Amid Cairo's stifling midday traffic, a wedding parade consisting of a small sedan, a pickup truck full of cheering girls and a swarm of teenagers on motorcycles honked its way through the commotion -- a rare daytime sight in the city that had never slept before being forced to bed by an army-imposed dusk-to-dawn curfew.

For the past ten days, the country's new army-installed rulers have attempted to contain defiant opponents of the July 3 ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi with a 7 pm-6 am daily curfew.

"Who in his right mind would want to have a wedding party in this heat?" the bride's father told his son-in-law Karim playfully as they waited outside the hairdresser's on Saturday afternoon standing next to a flower-adorned Mercedes waiting to take the couple on a shortened wedding parade.

"The photographer closes at 4 because of the curfew; we're going to be late," says Karim, 28, checking his watch almost every other second.

"Is the hairdresser detaining Noha upstairs or what?" he jokingly asked his groomsmen to change the subject after political debates inevitably came up.

Egypt has been gripped by violence since August 14, when security forces violently dispersed two major anti-coup sit-ins in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square and Giza's Nahda Squares.

The heavy-handed security crackdown, which lasted for several hours, resulted in hundreds of fatalities.

On Friday, defiant anti-coup protesters have staged marches in several cities across the country in their continued rallying following the dispersal of the sit-ins.

The army-backed government immediately ordered a strict nighttime curfew in an attempt to dampen mass countrywide protests against the bloody sit-in dispersals.

Eman, a twenty-four-year-old bride, is worried about clashes flaring up before her big day.

"Violence can erupt at any moment these days," she told the Anadolu Agency, on the eve of her wedding.

"I was depressed when the latest events erupted, but it was too late to cancel the arrangements we made," she added.

"It's enough that my best friend, who was flying in from Dubai just to be with me, had to cancel her trip."

Daytime weddings

Firmly enforced by the police and the army, the curfew has disrupted the life of many Egyptians, especially in the nocturnal capital.

 "Around 60 percent of our clients have changed their bookings to morning," Kariman Maher, a booking executive for a wedding hall complex overlooking the Nile in Giza, told the AA.

"We normally accept morning wedding bookings, but before the curfew was imposed, we would only have once such wedding every once in a while," she noted.

"It's still not popular here because people are used to traditional Egyptian weddings, where they stay up all night celebrating," she added.

Maher went on to point out that, throughout the turmoil that has rocked Egypt since the 2011 revolution, she had not seen the large number of wedding postponements she is seeing now.

"Many couples couldn't postpone their weddings due to fixed honeymoon plans," she said.

At only 5 pm on Friday, the first day of Egypt's weekend, 25-year-old Menna had already returned from a friend's wedding.

"I feel horrible because of everything that's happening in the country. I only went to the wedding for my friend's sake," she told the AA.

"Many of our girlfriends still couldn't make it, though," she added. "Their parents were too worried to let them leave the house."

But bride-to-be Eman remains determined to go ahead with her wedding party, despite the country's precarious political circumstances.

"My fiancé wanted us to cancel the wedding and just go on our honeymoon," she said. "But I couldn't. It's the most important day of my life."

AA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2013, 14:14
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