Skip to main content

Debate on polygamy heats up in Egypt

Some Egyptian women strongly advocate polygamy, citing a large number of unmarried women, but others point out that a lack of men is not the problem and that a large percentage of second marriages end up in divorce.

At 42, Amani had almost given up hope of finding a husband. Then she met Ali, an architect who is five years her senior. It was love at first sight and six months after their first encounter, they got married. Instead of the lavish wedding she had always dreamed of having, Amani settled for a small, quiet ceremony with only her mother and sisters attending. None of the couple’s friends were invited as Ali wished to keep the marriage a well-guarded secret. He feared his first wife and mother of his three children would find out that he was taking a second wife and cause a scene at the wedding. Amani acquiesced to his decision.

“I was totally blinded by love,” she told Al-Monitor. “Besides, I didn’t want to be a home-wrecker. If his first wife had learned we were getting married, she would probably have insisted on getting a divorce,” she said.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.