Wedding that has caused pain in Somalia!
Posted by African Press International on December 23, 2006
Sahal Abdi-kafi has lost his family trust. His family no longer associate themselves with him after he wedded his girlfriend ZamZam Ahmed, regarded as a member of Somalia’s lower caste – the Yahar community.
The family had refused him to marry from the Yahar community but he ignored them, saying he was, “encouraged by an edict from the Islamist group which has taken control of the capital, Mogadishu, and much of southern Somalia this year after 15 years of lawlessness.”
The two, Sahal and Zamzam, had been in love and met often secretly. And the more they met their love blossomed after five years love affair which has now ended in marriage.
BBC quotes Sahal saying, “We were very different – in lifestyle, in thinking, in tastes,” said Sahal, who runs a big electronics shop in Mogadishu’s main Bakara Market and who comes from a prominent family of merchants.”
Communities look at each other in many ways and make conclussions on their social status. BBC reports that, ”Zamzam’s father has died and her mother sells the popular stimulant khat.”
It is believed that Sahal’s parents may have disapproved of the relationship because of Zamzam’s status. Sahal has told BBC, that they fell in love, adding, “we expected the heavens to fall when my parents would come to know of our affair, we expected the worst and were prepared for the worst.”
Social status is very important for many communities but, “after centuries of deep divisions, cross caste weddings like Sahal and Zamzam’s are now becoming more common.”
According to media reports, “Union of Islamic Courts leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed recently said Somalis should marry good Muslims, whatever caste they were from, in an effort to break down centuries of prejudice.”
Now after the Islamic Courts have taken power in the capital they have started to allow marriages between communities saying, “Islam recommends choosing your partner according to whether they follow their religion and whether they are of good character but not because of their social level.”
By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN