Enab Baladi – Hussam al-Mahmoud
Talks about the high willingness to marry in Syria have escalated in recent weeks. On September 7, Russia’s Sputnik news agency cited statistics it obtained from private sources at the Syrian regime’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor that more than three million single girls were over the age of 30.
These figures, which the ministry has not released, agree with lawyer Sameh Makhlouf, via local radio station Melody FM, who confirms Syria’s third Arab position with the “virgin rate” and states that the percentage has reached 65% since 2019 .
The situation is accompanied by a wave of circumstances that, in addition to the social structure in Syria, also show their effects on the economy and society, i.e. on the vitality and purchasing power of the citizens and the general mood.
Enab Baladi contacted a group of Syrians in and outside the regime-controlled areas who unanimously agreed on the role of the economic factor in avoiding marriage, but she believes this is not the only reason.
Ammar, who graduated from university ten years ago but works as a taxi driver because there is no work, says travel is a priority for young people who want to leave the country without emotional ties or responsibilities because of the security and economic conditions.
In addition, some young women have begun to make the “husband-to-be” a condition of travel before agreeing to marry in order to leave and emigrate, which has become a dream, albeit only postponed for some will because it is not available selection.
At the age of 40, Ammar (unmarried) focuses on the fact that the issue not only ends with marriage, but opens the door to broader responsibilities in a country where it is difficult to have a child and for its needs to care. All kinds of education and care.
“Today it’s all about earning a living and nothing else,” as he put it.
Reem from Damascus felt that the problem was not just the economic skills of young men. Women have also greatly raised the ceiling of their ambitions at the level of demands and conditions that burden young men, with the presence of some girls who “accept anyone who asks them to marry to escape virginity”.
Reem pointed to the impact or variables that a problem of this kind leaves behind, namely the transformation of society into an unbalanced society, and the difference in moral standards from what it was, and pointed to the proliferation of relationships outside of marriage institution.
“There are men who spend money on girls outside of marriage in cases closer to cohabitation.” This point of view is relatively consistent with Ammar, but with slightly different interpretations.
Ammar believes that this type of relationship was initially desirable for the younger generations, but what has become evident in recent years is the state of liberation from responsibility and self-expression.
“The cases that follow the wars bring with them some liberation rituals which, of course, will not be satisfactory for all sections of society, since in one way or another they carry in their essence rebellion against an authority that may be the authority which Family or the authority of society,” adds Ammar.
The material condition is convincing
At least 96 migrants, mostly Syrians and Lebanese, died after the boat they were traveling in sank off the Syrian coast on September 22.
The mass extinction was a translation of the desperation experienced by the Syrians, which led them to search for new life, stability and the resumption of life where its manifestations left off.
This situation was created by the overall deteriorating economic conditions in the regime-controlled areas, which reached a stage that required international warnings about the dire situation there, as 90% of Syrians live below the poverty line, of which 60% suffer.” Food insecurity,” says a 19-page report that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presented to the Security Council last January.
A report released on June 6 by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) calls for urgent humanitarian action in 20 “hunger hotspots”, including Syria.
Several circumstances were discouraging factors and disrupted any quest for stability and raising a family in Syria, the most important of which are the lack of rewarding job opportunities and low wage levels, many of which do not exceed US$30 per month, the devaluation of the Syrian Pounds against the dollar, which hit SYP 4,850, and the power shortages, lack of services, lack of fuel and transportation crises.
In general, given the situation of Syrians outside their country, the problem of delaying marriage due to moral obligations also has economic dimensions, which in turn impose other obligations on the refugee, some of which are financial.
Iyad, a 35-year-old Syrian refugee from Turkey, tells the story Enab Baladi that delay in marriage is not just related to age, as some women see young men as their “dream knights,” provoking a reaction that discourages young men from the idea.
Iyad pointed out that young women’s requirements for marriage are high, which burdens the “future groom” with many financial obligations, in addition to others that already exist, such as marriage. B. The requirements of living abroad, providing for the family and helping them financially in Syria, with a salary barely reaching the minimum wage in Turkey, which is 5,500 lire, while the value of the dollar is about 19 TL.
“I am trying to balance my life with my needs and the dignity of my family living in Syria. I cannot ignore their needs and what they lack. You are the priority.”
Society is no longer young
The social researcher Talal Mustafa dislikes the use of the term ‘bachelorette’ as it is scientifically and idiomatically inaccurate, and it is preferable to use alternative concepts such as unmarried and single women and delaying the age of marriage since ‘bachelorette’. ‘ as a term carries moral violence suggesting that the woman is undesirable for marriage at a time when she may not be willing to marry voluntarily for any reason or conviction.
In conversation with Enab BaladiMustafa acknowledged that there is a kind of stigma attached to the term as it is not used in the same way to describe a man who is not ready to marry.
The law allows marriage at the age of 18, but there is nothing wrong with adding more years until emotional, psychological, mental and emotional maturity is reached, and this is within the general standard that local Syrian communities do not is applied. Some of them see that a girl who turns 20 turns into a “virgin”. While other societies believe that women do not marry too late until the age of 35, the researcher says.
He explained that the matter could depend on the woman’s child-bearing age and that ‘bachelorette’ was therefore a value bound by customs and customs and had become a socially unacceptable stigma.
Marriage ages in general were different not only inside and outside of Syria as the state of war creates an imbalance in the numbers of men and women as it is a gateway to male attrition on the one hand, in addition to their exhaustion from migration and asylum.
There is also an escalation in immigration cases after the war, which is currently happening in Syria for economic reasons, and most of those who remain are middle-aged and elderly, after Syrian society was young, which after ten years threatens that Syrian society will become an aging society if it does not bring back some of the refugees.