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article imageSaudi groom divorces bride after she removes veil, shows her face

By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 18, 2014 in Odd News
Medina - A Saudi Arabian groom divorced his bride on their wedding day after seeing her face for the first time. The groom saw his bride's face for the first time when she lifted her veil in preparation for photographs to be taken.
The incident comes soon after another Saudi man reportedly divorced his wife because she failed to respond to his WhatsApp message.
Gulf News reports that the unnamed man divorced his bride "at first look," immediately after the formal marriage ceremony, when the bride lifted her veil to pose and smile for the camera at a wedding hall in the Western Saudi Arabian town of Medinah.
The couple never met each other after they agreed to marry. Although, it is the custom in Saudi Arabia for families to arrange marriages on behalf of partners, they are allowed to meet and see each other before their wedding day. But occasionally, a few trust the judgment of their parents so much that they fail to avail themselves of the opportunity to meet their prospective partners before the wedding day.
According to the Saudi daily newspaper Okaz, after the groom looked at his bride's face for the first time, he jumped to his feet and declared that he had not seen his wife's face before their marriage and that she was not what he had expected.
The groom said, "You are not the girl I want to marry. You are not the one I had imagined. I am sorry, but I divorce you."
The bride collapsed in a fit of hysterics, drawing the attention of female guests who were celebrating after the formal marriage ceremony. The bride, who was rushed to the hospital, said she agreed to marry to man under pressure from her family.
Although, it was not possible to independently verify the story because the names of the groom and bride were not mentioned, the incident was reported in several Middle East news outlets, including reputable news sources such as Emirates 24/7 and Gulf News.
The news site Al Bawaba reports that Middle East social media users have condemned the groom, describing his behavior as "irresponsible" and "insensitive."
A social media user writes: "He caused her great pain through his irresponsible attitude and he deserves to suffer. He should appreciate that beauty is in the character, not the face. Unfortunately many young people today are interested only in looks and ignore values and morals. May God give her a better husband who will appreciate her for who and what she is."
Readers on Middle East news site have also expressed shock.
A reader, Osman, from Dubai, UAE, comments on Gulf News: "Unbelievable what he does. I swear... this guy is sick."
Ali, also from Dubai, writes: "This isn't a custom issue as the article clearly states that the couple were allowed to see each other but unfortunately didn't use this privilege, hence the result."
A third reader, Abidha Basheer, writes: "This is really pathetic!! People are becoming so insensitive towards feelings and relationships. It is important [couples] see each other before the whole wedding is set - why did both families ignore this custom? Why did [they] not insist on seeing each other? Fault is on both sides! Parents often think they should decide everything and their children should just follow. This is what happens for raising children without giving them chance to make decisions in life!"
But the man was able to divorce his bride on the spot only because Saudi Arabian Islamic law allows a man to unilaterally divorce his wife without having to provide any legal justification for the act. The man is under obligation to provide support for the woman for only four months and ten days after divorce.
But a wife must prove that she has suffered harm to obtain a divorce.
WhatsApp divorce
In a separate incident, a Saudi man who married his wife only two years ago reportedly divorced her because she failed to respond to his WhatsApp text message after she read it.
Concerned that his wife failed to respond to his message, the man rushed home from office to find his wife watching television. When he asked her why she failed to respond to his message, she told him that she delayed her response because she was chatting with her friends on WhatsApp at the time.
The man, who accused his wife of spending too much time chatting with friends on her phone, said, "I sent her messages on WhatsApp and knew she had read them because of the latest update on the application but still she didn't answer me or acknowledged my messages."
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