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Can Al-Azhar persuade Egyptians to stay married?

Al-Azhar has launched a unit to research the causes behind Egypt's exploding divorce rate and to counsel people considering divorce to reconsider.

CAIRO — A family reunification unit established by Al-Azhar's Fatwa Global Center to prevent divorce receives about 400 questions a week, most of them from women. The unit is still in its first month, so it is too early to tell whether it truly has a chance to foster familial harmony where it is lacking or whether it will merely serve to encourage women to remain married regardless of their situation.

The aim of the 28-member reunification unit, inaugurated April 19, is to “protect the Egyptian family from breaking up,” said Sheikh Osama al-Hadidy, the center's general coordinator. It is not to assist with divorce. Hadidy told Al-Monitor that the unit conducts research on the causes driving Egypt's rising divorce rate and develops strategies to overcome whatever is standing in the way of domestic bliss. It also offers telephone, email and face-to-face counseling to mediate between couples contemplating divorce.

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