Wednesday, March 03, 2004

In the past few weeks there has been a resurgence in weddings as young couples who were forced to wait out the most turbulent moments of the war are now getting married.

The surroundings are still a bit hectic, with streamer-covered cars stuck in traffic behind 70-ton tanks, and brides in poufy dresses tiptoeing through coils of razor wire.

But the young couples are adding a speck of hope on a horizon that desperately needs it.

Raed Elia, a wedding photographer, says business has tripled since last fall.

"There was fighting before and no electricity, so it was really slow," he said. "But today, so many brides, so little time."
A little further down in the story I came across something I never knew...perhaps this explains things just a bit:
"Cousins, cousins, cousins," Ali lamented. "Everybody here is supposed to marry their cousin. Me, I wanted a dream girl. A choice. A love. What's so wrong with that?"...

Twice, his father tried to fix him up with cousins. That is how most of his 15 brothers were married. It is a custom in Iraq.

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