Online marriages in Syria have risen in popularity significantly in the past few years, largely due to the Syrian civil war and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) attempting to spread their “Caliphate” across the area. The website Syria Deeply spoke with couples who told the stories of how they married after meeting online.
Omar, a Syrian fleeing the wrath of President Bashar al-Assad, told the paper that he met Jordanian student Faten online. He and Faten spoke over Facebook and Skype about distributing aid in Syria. After a year, both acknowledged their attraction and wanted to get married. His family proposed to her for him over Skype. Their ceremony and discussions about the marriage contract also occurred over Skype. A cease-fire in February 2014 in his area allowed Omar to finally make plans to be with Faten.
“I wasn’t able to leave until five months after the agreement,” he said. “In August, I made arrangements with some men in the security forces to smuggle some wanted people and medical materials through the regime checkpoints, and he got me out of the area by bringing me the false ID of someone who looked like me. I passed through many checkpoints until I got to Qalamoun, and from there I went to western Ghouta, then to Daraa, and then managed to enter Jordan illegally.”
He reached Faten in Jordan. He could not describe the amount of happiness, “especially after a year’s engagement, which was from September 2013 – September 2014.”
Omar said the pair will soon be officially married in Jordan. He is happy about the way they met since it “eliminated all the unimportant social formalities.” The feelings between the two, he says, grow stronger everyday.
Not all online relationships end successfully in the Middle East, however. Majed, 30, a journalist in Dubai, met Laila, 24, in his hometown of Homs through his mother. They conversed on Skype for three months before Majed decided to formally propose to Laila. The families agreed on a marriage contract before the two met each other in person in Lebanon. Majed decided to end the relationship when the two realized they were not “compatible in person.”