Two-riyal dowry: A centuries-old custom to fight spinsterhood

Updated 05 June 2013
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Two-riyal dowry: A centuries-old custom to fight spinsterhood

Spinsterhood is a growing problem in Saudi Arabia for many young women who are unable to marry as a result of the extravagant dowries and other costly marriage requirements.
Members of the Bani Thabit tribe in Namas governorate in Asir province pride themselves in having almost no spinsters.
Bani Thabit tribesmen offer the families of brides only SR 2 as a dowry as part of a more than 300-year-old tradition.
The tribe boasts its dowry custom, which reduces the financial burden of marriage on young people.
The custom has nothing to do with poverty or avarice. The Bani Thabit tribe started their dowry custom with the French riyal in the past, and then Saudi riyals. The tribe’s population consists of 10,000 people spread over six villages in Namas governorate.
According to Al-Arabiya channel, the tribe doesn’t suffer from a soaring divorce or spinsterhood rates, even though their dowry rate is much less than the customary dowry in Saudi Arabia and Gulf region, and may even be the lowest in the world.
The dowry problem has become a major obstacle to marriage in the Kingdom and has forced young men to delay marriage plans.
The amount of dowry varies from region to region, and many families boast of the huge amount of dowry they receive for their girls. However, there are parents who demand only a token amount from the grooms and they even help the men financially to set up a family.
Saudi Arabia has nearly 1.5 million spinsters and the number could soar to more than four million by 2015.


Singer Souad Massi to hold concert at Mawazine festival in Morocco this year

Updated 24 April 2018
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Singer Souad Massi to hold concert at Mawazine festival in Morocco this year

CAIRO: Algerian Singer Souad Massi will hold a concert at the annual Mawazine Music Festival in Morocco.
The Moroccan audience are awaiting to be thrilled to attend the concert by the talented musician who has been away from the festival since four years.
Masai began her career as a singer, composer and songwriter in the 1990s.
She will be joining famous Arab singers such as Kathem El-Saher, Nancy Ajram, Mohamad Hamaki and Wael Jassar.