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Child marriage raises controversy once again in Egypt

Child marriage is in the public spotlight again in Egypt, after two children were engaged in Sharqia governorate in northern Egypt.
Young Lebanese girls disguised as brides hold a placard as they participate in a march against marriage before the age of 18, in the capital Beirut on March 2, 2019. The placard in Arabic reads "The end of child marriage begins by educating them".  (ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

CAIRO — The recent announcement of two children — a 10-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy — getting engaged has renewed the debate about child marriage in Egypt.

The news of the engagement in a village in Sharqia governorate emerged in December, including photos of the two children at the ceremony. While the family insisted the engagement was part of a "tradition" aimed at unifying the families, and that the wedding would only take place after they had reached legal marriage age, it sparked an outcry over the all-too-common custom of child marriage in the country.

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