Ministry: 170 Egyptians married Syrian women since January 2012

Official Justice Ministry statistics issued Tuesday revealed that 113 Egyptians married Syrian women in 2012, and 57 in the first quarter of 2013, totaling 170 marriages.

“Procedures require that the Syrian Embassy approves the marriage, and that the wife has residence in Egypt,” said ministry spokesperson Ahmed Sallam, adding that the ministry has no statistics about informal customary marriages.

The National Council for Women in Egypt estimates that over 12,000 such marriages occurred in the past year alone. The council said Friday it has petitioned Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and Justice Minister Ahmed Mekky to ban the marriage of Egyptian men to Syrian refugees.

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, women from the war-torn nation have fled to Egypt, with some marrying Egyptians to secure their residency. Some men justified their actions by saying the marriage was an altruistic gesture saving the women from the burden of refugee status.

However, the council claims that dowries for such marriages usually do not exceed LE500, forcing the women to be completely dependent on their Egyptian husbands financially and legally.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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