Afghanistan witnessed the country's first mass marriage, yesterday. Thanks to the Islamic charity Comfort Aid International, 50 couples got hitched in the city of Herat.
The charity of love covered the big cost of weddings in Afghanistan, which includes dowries and lavish parties with hundreds of guests. The marriages 50 cost $30,000 total, and each set of newly weds walked out with a $600 gift. About 1,500 guests attended, and the brides and grooms were separated for the ceremonies, according to the conservative tradition.
While the disadvantaged turn to charity, affluent Afghan couples increasingly enjoy Vegas-style weddings on their own dime, which some signaled as a sign of changing times. Popular Hindi music and neon lights come from wedding halls with names like Kabul-Paris Wedding Hall or Wedding Hall of the Evening Star. Limousines fill their parking lots. During its rule, the Taliban forbid lavish weddings and music. But the industry of lovebirds has made a comeback — there are more than 80 wedding halls in Kabul, compared to four in 2001.
Would you give to a charity that helps disadvantaged couples tie the knot? Can a Vegas-style wedding be a sign that better times have come?