Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's so civil about this marriage?

As usual for Beirut/NTSC, everything gets sparked by an ad.... In this case, it is the ad of Nadia travel specialy tailored for couples who want to have a civil marriage in Cyprus as civil marriage is not allowed in Lebanon (Not even when it was an "option" - the clergy had the most furious of replies to politicians who dared dread their livelihoods and authority over their "desciples.")...
Naturally, I have nothing against civil marriage, because both of my brothers had one for different reasons (Sparing me the costs that usually the best man - who is often the brother - has to incur in the traditional Maronite wedding... (If I inderstand correctly, renting the car, paying for the bachelor party, the flowers, etc...)).
However when MP Nayla Tueni - the youngest female MP or maybe the youngest altogether at 23 years old - (But not the foxiest female MP, the award goes to Setrida Geagea) gets married in a civil ceremony in Cyprus to TV presenter Malek Maktabi (Whose program "Ahmar bel khat el arid" (Red in bold letterings) was so controversial it is rumored that the new season has been self-banned by LBC) I am left fuming in rage!
Why? Because instead of Tueni having the balls (Sorry, she is a female, so no balls there!) to bring the issue to the floor of the parliament to be married in her own land, she ends up "eloping" to Cyprus like any other Lebanese female who wants to have a civil marriage (Because she is Greek Orthodox and he is Moslem Shiite - an interconfessional church wedding forbidden here and a Moslem one too unless one of the two converts) instead of using her political power and all the hopes of change "because of the voice of the youth" (As Greek Orthodox Archbishop Audi has put it when he backed her up) are found shattered.
I can understand why she doesn't want to convert to being a Shiite because this would upset the already very frail confessional system in the parliament (She was elected on the Orthodox seat in Achrafieh, so she has to stick to her guns), but frankly, I am hugely disappointed. Truly, if anyone could have brought the issue of civil marriage in Lebanon (Which thousands and thousands of couples are doing anyway in Cyprus) to the forefront for a sensible debate and eventually a new law, it could have been Nayla Tueni - Mrs. Maktabi from here on.
As Beirut/NTSC wishes the bride and groom all the happiness, it only wonders what kind of an MP Tueni-Maktabi would make if - when the issue was so personal to her - she did not dare attack it head-on, so what to leave when the issues have to do with something she did not experience herself.
On the bride side - sorry, the bright side - Tueni-Maktabi might stop calling every Shiite as "running in the Iranian orbit" (Her words on so many issues and parties - from Hizbullah to the Tashnag) since she now in bed with one - litterally (Malek Maktabi is not only Shiite, but also his ancestors hail from Iran!)....
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