Dad demands Facebook likes for Dowry
by FFE News Staff
In a surprising twist to a very traditional ritual in Yemen, Taiz city poet and father Salem Ayash has demanded one million Facebook likes from his daughter’s husband-to-be as payment for her dowry.
Al-Ayyam newspaper journalist Bashraheel Bashraheel said ‘It’s the first time we’ve heard of something like this.’ So far, the page has received 30,000 likes and has been getting support from the social media and blogging community in Yemen: a country of just 25 million people and limited internet access.
Ayash said he asked for a digital dowry because ‘No-one in Yemen can afford dowries anymore.’ Dowries are a hot topic in Yemen. Earlier in the year, protesters sought a radical solution to dowries by calling for parents to lower the amount to $1,000. Young men who cannot afford the dowry are often helped by neighbours and friends. Mass marriages are also becoming a popular solution to reduce marriage costs.
Many people have thanked Ayash for raising the issue of marriage dowries. But not everyone was impressed with his tactic. One Facebook user said ‘All you want is to use your daughter to seek fame’, commenting on the fact that the likes should be made on Ayash’s page.
Meanwhile, Ayash said he wanted to see that his future son-in-law was really putting an effort to complete the dowry. But he won’t be rigid: ‘If I see that he’s worked hard, I’m willing to be flexible to see them happily married.’