In spite of the “ban” of civil marriage, Lebanese finds a way out of the marriage contract abroad

A marriage contract caught the attention of the Lebanese a few days ago, and social networking sites buzzed with the news of the marriage of Omar Abdel Baqi and Najwa Sbeity, both civil and “electronic”, as an authorized US official of the US state of Utah named Christopher Scuderi has appeared on a screen to complete the marriage ceremonies of the newlyweds in Lebanon. .

The spotlight was cast on the wedding, which was held in the town of Dhour El-Shwer, because many believed it was the first time an “online” marriage had been held in Lebanon, but it turned out that several contracts had been concluded in the same way, the first of which dates from November last year, when Khalil Rizkallah and his wife Nada opened the door to this type of marriage in Lebanon.

An authorized US official is holding the wedding of the Lebanese, Khalil and Nada, via the internet.

Since the fifties of the last century, the requirement to enact a civil marriage law has caused controversy in Lebanon. While several Lebanese associations and organizations are demanding that the Lebanese be given the right to choose the type of their marriage contract, whether civil or religious, religious authorities strongly reject this matter. As far as the Lebanese authorities are concerned, civil marriage contracts are recognized as closed abroad, and allows it to be registered with the competent official departments.

The Lebanese who want to marry civilized through the internet have found a way to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from traveling abroad to get married, and on top of these obstacles are the difficult economic conditions resulting from the record depreciation of the national currency against the dollar, high unemployment and poverty rates, in addition to the passport crisis Travel, which started last year and worsened this year due to the postponement of the company that contracted with the General Security to deliver the required amount of passports because they do not have the value of the signed contract.

The benefits of “online”

The love story of maths professor Omar and English teacher Najwa, who got to know each other about two years ago, was brought together to decide to hold their civil marriage outside Lebanon, but after hitting an obstacle that Najwa was unable to was to renew her passport in a short time they started looking for a solution to the dilemma.

The duo turned to the internet, and according to Omar, “since we are teachers who spend most of our time teaching online, we used this method, which led to us meeting someone named Khalil. “has the ability to help us get it done in America without leaving our country.”

Omar and Najwa tie the knot online.

Omar and Najwa tie the knot online.

Omar did not take this step until he had verified the legality of the contract and the need to register it in Lebanon. He then told Al-Hurra, “The Saada Foundation for Culture has taken the initiative and taken up the costs and followed up on the completion of the deal with Khalil.”

Omar emphasizes that “Ibn Chouf and Druze on paper, my wife is also a daughter of the South and a Shiite on paper, and we are in favor of separating religion from the state. Every person has the right to decide how to conclude his marriage without forcing him to do so.We religiously concluded our marriage after each of us had a previous marriage experience with a religious contract the mother of two girls.

There are many benefits, which the duo sums up, for “online” marriages, in addition to the financial aspect represented by the lower cost compared to traveling abroad to complete the contract, since the amount of the marriage contract and the completion of transactions is estimated at only $ 800, there is the most important social aspect, as they say “We were very happy that family, relatives and friends shared our joy, and it would not have happened if we had our marriage in a foreign country did not close.

The Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, previously confirmed that “the House of Fatwa entrusted with the existence, history and faith for the benefit of Muslims and all Lebanese, its positions are firm and steadfast through challenges, and it will face all suspicious ideas and proposals and suspicious projects that undermine tolerant Islamic Sharia with violence and firmness. ” .

He stressed that Dar al-Fatwa “will not allow the passage of a civil marriage project that is contrary to the Islamic religion and all laws, and that also violates the provisions of the Lebanese Constitution with regard to the obligation of the personal status law. “Applicable in religious courts belonging to the Lebanese in Article 9 thereof. These are constants.” Dar Al-Fatwa and all Muslims in Lebanon.

The online civil marriage contract was seen by lawyer Diala Shehadeh as “the most important challenge for those who reject voluntary civil marriage,” and describes it as “a wonderful and simple thing that ridicules all the sterile controversy taking place in Lebanon. To me opinion, there is no longer an urgent need to introduce a civil marriage law. ”

She added, “Thanks to the communication technology with which the West and Arabs keep more pace than Lebanon, it has become easier for the Lebanese whose financial circumstances, or obtaining a visa or even a passport, without a civil marriage to have abroad, the Internet, provided that the local authority in The state to which the civil marriage law is subject to the validity of the contract.

Attorney Laila Awada, head of the Family Violence Unit at KAFA, believes that “internet marriage is like any civil marriage that takes place outside Lebanon, subject to the law of the state that sponsored it, and the only difference is that the spouses do it. do not attend personally, “and note that” civil marriage has become to some extent a reality in Lebanon, where it only needs to make a law to control it, which is rejected by religious authorities for fear of their authority and powers.

Awada stressed that the demand for “enough” goes beyond civil marriage, explaining that “a civil marriage contract improves some conditions for women, but does not improve her position within the family, nor does it make her a partner in legal responsibility.a unified personal status law approved by the state and equal between men and women Equality begins By changing the records of souls as a woman has hitherto moved from her father’s field to her husband’s box transferred, even if she has a civil marriage, and her child is also registered on his father’s box and bears his family name and sect if he has not broken the sectarian record.

legal contract

Khalil and his wife, Nada, are recorded as the first to use the option of their marriage contract “online”, after conducting research to select the country that will witness their engagement with civil decrees, and when they discovered, as Khalil to the “Al-Hurra” website, that it is possible through electronic applications, and after we made sure that The legality of this step we took. ”

Khalil

Omar and Najwa during their marriage contract via the internet, in the presence of parents and family.

Khalil has become a reference for the Lebanese who want to get married via the internet. From here he created a website to provide assistance, and so far he has been able, according to what he confirms, “the transactions of a follow-up number of grooms.” He emphasizes that “the online marriage contract does not differ from civil marriages that take place in Cyprus or Turkey, for example, and the evidence is that I registered my marriage in the Department of Souls and obtained a family record extract.”

On the steps of the “online” marriage contract, Khalil explains: “First, a marriage license must be obtained from the U.S. state in which it will be held, and after the U.S. official authorized to enter into the marriage receives it, he does it through the Zoom application, and register it in the state to issue the marriage document in which a copy is sent.This to Lebanon, and in turn we send it to the Lebanese Embassy in America along with the rest of the required documents, where the document is certified before being sent by diplomatic bag to the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from there to the Ministry of Home Affairs to then be registered in the Soul Department.

The Maronite Patriarch, Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi, previously confirmed that “ecclesiastical marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Church. As far as civil marriage is concerned, it is a social contract that has nothing to do with the sacred sacraments. , neither with God, nor with the Holy Spirit.As a Christian, by adopting a civil marriage, I set God aside, for I have decided to enter into this sacred sacrament in a mere social contract alter.” He added: “Yes, civil marriage is a sin against the sacrament, but it is not cohabitation and it is not a case of adultery. It is rather a civil contract whose sin is against the sacred secret. ”

Last April, Mazen Jaber and Donna Maria Nammour untied the knot in Cyprus and crowned a love story that brought them together for a year, as they chose to travel on the “online” option because they feared, like Donna Maria says, “of its illegality, so far the transactions of the registration of our marriage have not been completed on Although we have followed it up personally, what would it be like if we kept our marriage online, so I think we have the safest way chosen?

Dona Maria and her husband’s trip to Cyprus lasted two days, and between a plane ticket and a “modest” room in a hotel and personal expenses, they paid about three thousand dollars. Including, says Donna Maria, “about $ 300 per travel ticket per person, $ 100 room allowance for each day, and 600 euros for wedding ceremonies in the municipality, in addition to a new $ 40 for the Lebanese embassy,” while the cost of wedding ceremonies does not exceed online, as Khalil says, a thousand dollars.

Donna Maria and her husband refuse to submit to the authority of religious courts, and they happen to be from two different religions, and she says: “My family is from the Catholic sect and Mazen’s family is from the Unitarian Druze sect.

She emphasizes: “The civil marriage law and a unified personal status law must be adopted. If we could get married in our country, I would not have been deprived of my family’s presence in the happiest moments of my life, and I would not have to incurring additional costs that were indispensable in light of the difficult circumstances in which Lebanon is going. ”

Since the former minister, Nouhad Machnouk, took over the Interior Ministry, successive ministers in this ministry have refused, as Shehadeh claims, “to register any civil marriage that takes place with a notary in Lebanon, but the Lebanese authorities have no apology for refusing to certify the marriage online, as it is concluded and registered in a country. ” foreign. ”

The main reason for the rejection of voluntary civil marriages in Lebanon, according to Shehadeh, is “a policy par excellence aimed at continuing the sectarian system based on the control of sect leaders over the members of their sect by the religious courts that follow them and the politicians who are associated with them. ”

While Awada believes that “it is shameful for the Lebanese state to force its citizens to go to other countries to get married, and the reason behind this is the common interests that bring politicians and clergy together, which stand in the way Of the adoption of a unified personal status law that includes optional civil marriage. ”

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