Today, the LA Times has a story that sounds very familiar. It’s about the single scene in Egypt, but really, this could be anywhere in the Muslim world:
The single, professional woman is “a phenomenon that’s definitely been increasing” across the Middle East, said Madiha El Safty, a sociology professor at the American University in Cairo. “These women feel they have a number of things to offer, and to give up, so they’ve become selective and very choosy. This is especially true among the upper class, but there is still great pressure on women in the lower and middle classes to marry young.”
“I was engaged twice; both were arranged by our families,” she says. “The first time was to a policeman with the state security services. He was very well-educated, but carried too much pressure from his job. He wanted someone pretty and quiet. It lasted a month.
“The second was to an engineer from a lower social level and we agreed he would not pay the traditional money the groom pays the bride. We had planned to temporarily move to America and he wanted my parents to deposit money to buy furniture for our house when we returned to Egypt. It was very strange. He also wanted it a condition that he’d take 50% of my salary. I would have given it naturally, but to make it a demand, I didn’t like that. He was jealous of my success. The relationship lasted six months.”
She gave the dude six months of her time…now, that is a generous woman! It is nice to be in a position where we can afford to be picky…I look around me, and all the women of high caliber and much quality are still single…it would be baffling, but then I remember that our parents instilled in us the value of our own worth for a reason: so that we don’t have to settle just because we settle down. This article made me feel a little less crazy; maybe some would say that it’s a case of misery loves company, but I’m more inclined to quoting “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” 😉