Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

In Morocco, unmarried couples brave cohabitation taboo  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 13/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) When Moroccan divorcee Soumaya moved in with her new French boyfriend she was hoping to forget the unhappiness of her marriage. Instead, she lost her children.It's a crime in Muslim Morocco to live together out of wedlock, and unmarried couples not only face police harassment but also the prying eyes of disapproving neighbours.Soumaya, a mother of two, says her jealous ex-husband ratted on her to the police when she started living with her boyfriend in Marrakesh, accusing her of prostitution and finding 12 witnesses to support his story."I didn't want to make the same mistake twice," she said of her decision not to re-marry.But the boyfriend eventually left her and she lost custody of the kids.Cohabitation may be relatively common in Morocco's swish urban districts, but conservative religious attitudes can be stifling, especially for young couples living in downscale, traditional neighbourhoods.Ibtissam Lachgar, an activist and co-founder of a campaign group to promote individual liberties, says she lives happily with her boyfriend in her apartment in the centre of the capital, Rabat."I don't feel my sexual freedom is restricted, even though we're not married. The neighbours don't bother me, probably because I own my apartment," she says.The problem begins, she says, when they travel to the country's hinterland and try to stay in a hotel."It's impossible; the law forbids it. They ask to see a marriage certificate. So we're forced to seek alternative arrangements, like staying with friends."Last October, social sensibilities were put to the test when activists staged a symbolic "kiss-in" outside parliament.They did that to show their solidarity with three teenagers arrested for posting pictures on Facebook of two of them smooching -- a case that sparked an online uproar.Around a dozen couples took part in the event, which was swiftly disrupted by a small group of counter-protesters who accused the couples of "atheism," shoving them and throwing chairs at them.The court acquitted the teenagers, who had been accused of public indecency, but the offending couple, aged 14 and 15, were reprimanded by the judge.Lachgar's boyfriend Soufiane Fares, who studies law in Rabat's twin city of Sale, said "consnsual sex between adults is a personal decision which others have no right to interfere with.

"But living together outside of marriage is very difficult in a conservative society."Hostile looks and prejudicesGhassan Hakam, in his 30s, has his own experience of this, living in Casablanca with his French girlfriend for three years.Originally from Fez, the theatre director says that even in Morocco's largest city, they are constantly aware of their neighbours' displeasure.

"I try to be discreet, avoiding kissing or touching my girlfriend in the area where we live. But I feel we are being watched, even if they don't say anything," he notes.His girlfriend Fanny is sure that her life would be a lot more difficult if she were Moroccan."I would definitely have suffered even more from the hostile looks and prejudices I encounter," she says.Hakam, who lived in Paris for six years, doesn't believe he needs to get married to prove his love, and questions the reason for criminalising cohabitation."Are two people who love each other harming society or committing a crime by living together under one roof," he asks.Article 490 of Morocco's penal code states that sex outside marriage is punishable by up to one year in jail. In December 2012, 22 feminist organisations called for it to be repealed.Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid, who belongs to Morocco's ruling Islamist party, declared his opposition to that. "These sexual relationships undermine the foundations of our society," he insisted.Karim, a young entrepreneur who recently moved into a crowded neighbourhood of Rabat, no longer lives with his girlfriend."She used to come round to my house, but she couldn't stand the looks of the neighbours, especially the men sitting in the cafe opposite.""Sometimes we were forced to return late at night to avoid the intrusive looks, which made us feel we'd committed a crime."A study conducted by the health ministry in 2007 indicated that 36 percent of young Moroccan men had had sex outside marriage, while the proportion of unmarried young women who had lost their virginity was much lower, at 15 percent.

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Apr 30 2016 - Qatar's MPHC net profit up 83 percent in Q1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Co. posted net profit of USD 58.28mn for the first quarter of this year, an increase of 83 percent.Furthermore, the increase was attributed to growth sales ...

 Apr 30 2016 - Aaml Co. net profit jumps 33.7 percent in Q1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Aamal firm, one of the GCC's fastest growing firms, proclaimed net profit of USD 42.18mn for Q1 of this year, a jump of 33.7 percent.Additionally, group profit were up 6.9 percent to USD ...

 Apr 30 2016 - Egypt, UAE to discuss relations in real estate projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN)Egypt and UAE will discuss real estate investment projects that UAE seeks to participate in.Moreover, these projects involve the New Administrative Capital, as well as housing projects in ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Omani power firm to build vital power facilityMENAFN
(MENAFN) Omani Musandam Power Company SAOC (MPC) will construct the Musandam Independent Power Plant (Musandam IPP) in the Musandam Governorate.As a high level official stated, the firm's strategy ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Saudi, French bilateral trade to reach USD13.6bMENAFN
(MENAFN) The Saudi-French Business Opportunities Forum taking place in Saudi Arabia delivers the finest stage to advance parts of mutual collaboration in many new areas.The two countries enjoy great ...

 Apr 29 2016 - KSA continues to prioritize low spendingMENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi plans to return unspent money which was allocated in this year's budget for the purpose of cutting waste as state revenues weakens due to low oil prices.In the recent past, government ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- El Jaish aim to dethrone LekhwiyaThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Lekhwiya players lift the Qatar Cup trophy in this May 2 2015 file picture. Doha: El Jaish will be looking for a repeat of their 2014 Qatar Cup success when they ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar Cup Trophy Tour stops at OoredooThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: The Qatar Cup tour made its final stop at Ooredoo the official telecom partner of the Qatar Cup 2016. Staff and management took an opportunity to take photos and ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Al Rayyan rally to win Qatar Cup titleThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Al Rayyan SC players and officials celebrate while receiving the Qatar Cup after they beat El Jaish SC 21-25 25-18 25-17 32-34 18-16 in the final played at Ali Bin Hamad Al ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Emir Cup: Al Kharaitiyat Al Gharafa earn thrilling wins to advanceThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Al Sailiya’s Abdurahman Al Harazi (left) celebrates after scoring the first goal for his team during their Emir Cup third round match against Al Wakrah SC at Al Arabi ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Steinmeier doubts Trump's 'America first' planThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gestures during a joint press conference with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva (not seen) after their meeting ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Met predicts a hot day with some cloudsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: The weather forecast for Qatar valid until 6pm Thursday inshore will be hot during the day with some clouds offshore will be hazy to misty at places and partly ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar key to boosting Turkey-GCC tiesThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Turkey’s Prime Minister Dr Ahmet Davutoglu and his delegation at the Emiri Diwan yesterday. They discussed relations ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Emir welcomes King Mohammed of MoroccoThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani welcomes King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco and his delegation at Hamad International Airport. Doha: Emir H H Sheikh ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar eyes 'best of the best' turf for 2022The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) A worker tends to grass being grown at a research and development centre in Murakh to find the best playing surface for FIFA 2022 yesterday. Doha: Watching grass grow ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar discusses WTD eventsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) yesterday held a meeting with UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to discuss Qatar’s preparations to host World Tourism Day 2017. ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- Premier meets EU Counterterrorism CoordinatorThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha: Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani yesterday met European Union Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- QU University of Illinois sign dealThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA: An agreement signed between Qatar University College of Medicine (QU-CMED) and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has established ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- AZF Ramadan Sports Festival from June 10The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA: Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) has added cricket and rugby to its annual Ramadan Sports Festival which starts on June 10. The two-week event will end on June 24 (5-19 ...

 Apr 29 2016 - Qatar- First phase of mapping genetic code of citizens in final stageThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Fazeena Saleem DOHA: The initial phase of an initiative to map the genetic code of citizens for better diagnoses and treatment of diseases in Qatar has reached the ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help