Kholoud and Nidal, Lebanon’s civil marriage pioneers

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Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish signing their civil marriage contract
Photo courtesy of NOW

Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being. -Khalil Gibran

Although the image of progressiveness is usually affiliated with a modern, intellectual, somewhat bohemian, funky-styled girl; Kholoud broke all the rules in terms of image and stereotypes.

A veiled Muslim, Kholoud has become the first female adventurer climbing the steep slopes of Lebanon’s administrative and religious conventions.

Although civil marriage is not yet legal in Lebanon, both Kholoud and now husband Nidal based their marital contract on Decree No. 60 L.R. – a numeration of decrees adopted by the High Commissioner [during the French Mandate in Lebanon] – of 1936, which organizes and recognizes sects and grants them rights, said Lawyer Talal Husseini, who authored the draft.

But first they had to remove the reference of their sects from their respective IDs to prove before the law that they are not affiliated with a sect that forces them to marry before a religious court, thus obtaining the right to hold a civil marriage according to the aforementioned article.

After a few snags in obtaining the necessary paperwork, Kholoud and Nidal signed their civil marriage contract on November 10, 2012, thus making them the first Lebanese couple to be wedded by civil marriage in Lebanon. The request is now in the hands of the Consultations Committee at the Ministry of the Interior pending its official announcement ,”- .

A link to the article will give you insight on the sort of reaction this move is now attracting. While many are congratulating the bold move on the part of this couple, others are slandering them with demeaning remarks, especially on the part of Kholoud.

It is by no chance that the negative comments depicting the now VERY MARRIED LADY come within the context of bewitching her with expressions ranging from “abnormal”, to “infidel”, to even being affiliated with the Assad regime for an alleged familial support for the Baath party…the latter being the MOST ridiculous.

For my part I bow down to this woman for being a pioneer in both civil and women’s rights in Lebanon .

Congratulations to both Nidal and Kholoud, from a daughter of a civil marriage [who also plans on having one] …and should ever a history book be agreed upon depicting Lebanon’s modern history post 1943, Nidal and Kholoud should have a chapter written in their honor.

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