EGYPT: Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif’s marriage has Facebook detractors
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The announcement of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif’s second marriage was not taken lightly by many young Egyptians, especially those in their mid-twenties, whose financial burdens are denying them from fulfilling their dream of tying the knot.
Word that the 57-year-old minister will marry the deputy head of the Egyptian Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) was announced by the government Saturday before state-run and private newspapers circulated the news.
While some were glad to know that Nazif will walk down the aisle after the death of his first wife last year, others started a Facebook group under the name ‘why Nazif gets married while we can’t?’
Marriage costs in Egypt have become too expensive for many, and with roughly 40% of the country’s population living on less than $2 a month and unemployment high, millions are not able to get married as a result of tough living.
‘Egypt’s youth, both males and females are crushed by economic crisis, and we wonder why Nazif can get married twice while we can’t even afford buying a wedding ring,’ wrote the Facebook group’s creator.
‘I’m 28 years old and I can’t find a proper job and get married. Did you (Nazif) ask yourself how many Egyptian under the age of thirty can’t get married before you decide to wed for the second time?’ he added.
Youth were not the only ones provoked by Nazif’s remarriage news, as some believe such an announcement wasn’t appropriate amid sectarian violence between Copts and Muslims that left seven dead earlier in January, as well as last week’s floods that killed several people and left hundreds of others homeless in the Sinai peninsula and south of Egypt.
Despite congratulating Nazif, Mostafa Bakri, a member of Parliament, submitted an official inquiry in the Egyptian parliament against the announcement of the marriage, saying that issues like these should be personal, and that Egyptians have much more critical issues like poverty and corruption to be concerned about.
Nazif became the youngest serving prime minister in Egypt’s history when he was invited by President Hosni Mubarak to form a government in July 2004.
-- Amro Hassan in Cairo