A recent study by Menf Association for Development, an Egyptian non-governmental organisation, found that 40,000 underage and young girls
have been “wed” in tourism marriages in Egypt since 2006, which has
resulted in the birth of 150,000 children.
Mr Wael Karam, chairman of the Menf board, cited one case he found particularly shocking: “A father of
a girl named Iman, 17, has made her marry 10 rich Arab men already. He
didn’t mind her moving from one man to the other as long as he was
being paid in advance for each of these ‘marriages’, which is done
under the pretence of keeping with law and religion.”
Moushira Khattab, the new minister of family and population, said the
“husbands” rarely recognise the children from these marriages and more
often than not return to their home countries, never to see the girl or
the child again.
“This is so disgraceful to Egyptian women and
Egypt,” Magdi Afify, a member of the Shura Council, parliament’s upper
house, said at a press conference held by Menf on Saturday to launch a
parallel campaign against the “dangers of touristic marriage in Egypt”.