Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous Post | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next Post »

EGYPT: Broken marriage and globalization

March 10, 2008 |  4:21 am

The happy, sprawling Egyptian family is splintering. The divorce rate is on the rise, jumping from 33% a few years ago to 46% today, according to Khaled Al Khamissi, a social commentator writing in the Daily News Egypt. Nearly half of all divorces occur within the first four years of marriage. The reasons are many: poverty, sexual problems and the other usual suspects. But Khamissi sees something deeper: a lack of identity and a loss of faith in nation, shared beliefs and institutions.

Egypt, he fears, has become part of the disposable world, where allegiances are as fleeting as YouTube snippets, and where the sacred has become the violated.

"The prevalent fast food culture has made caution a thing of the past," he writes. "Globalization, the information revolution and the satellite revolution, which shower us with a barrage of images and poisoned values, have all nipped marriage in the bud. When I look at my children, I wonder how long their marriages will last. Will it be years, months or hours?"

Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo