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Libyan government's push to promote marriages faces backlash

In the space of a few months, Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh has managed to anger many Libyan women.
Libyan men in traditional outfits arrive on their horses during a group wedding ceremony held in the western port city of Misurata, Libya, Sept. 5, 2006.

Mass marriages are not unusual in conservative Libya as a way to help young couples tie the knot in a country where wedding expenses are often higher than many can afford.

Milad Said, economics lecturer at Bani Walid University, southwest of Tripoli, told Al-Monitor that a decade ago group weddings, in which dozens of couples would take part, are usually “donation-funded and organized by nonprofit organizations” with minimum financial support from the government. He said that such activities have never been a “government policy funded by public money.” However, he pointed out that back then money was put into better use like subsidized housing projects. A typical young Libyan is likely to be concerned about having a house before considering starting a family.

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