Have you ever been to an Egyptian wedding???
I HAVE!!! :))
Was quite an experince, I should say. Though quite a few years have passed since that evening, some memories are still vivid and I'll try to describe the ceremony to you.
How it all happened? Well, our group had a guide in Egypt and in Cairo in particular, he was a nice guy, who, to our amasement, spoke very good Russian without even a slight accent, however he didn't look very arabic either, later on I figured out that he was from one of the asian republics of the former Soviet Union, his family immigrated several years before dissolution of the Union and eventually settled down in Cairo. The guy attended Cairo University and had a friend whos elder brother managed several gold shops around the town. For majority of pakage tourists visits to parfume, papyrus and gold shops are a must, so once in a gold shop our guide acquinted me with the son of the owner, who happened to be that elder brother.
The poor pal seemed to fall seriously in love with me and even proposed marriage :)), but before that he decided to get me introduced to his parents and the occation, that seemed to him the best, was the wedding ceremony of his cousin, to which he invited me.....
The ceremony took place in the inner yard surrounded by 4-5 story living apartment blocks from the four sides. The houses walls and rare trees in the yard were decorated with clored peices of fabric, baloons and rugs. The yard rectangle was devided into 1/3 and 2/3 by a rather high wooden fence which was covered in numerous rugs in order to prevent transparency. Both parts had about 15-20 rows of benches for guests to be seated. As you probably have guessed the 1/3 part was for female guests and 2/3 part was for male, for accidential Europeans as were my friend and myself and "free spirited" local women :)))
At the far side of the yard rectagle was a stage where in the left corner two huge armchares were put for bride and groom with a shining neon sign with some incriptions in arabic above them. The right side of the stage was occupied by a band which looked very contmporary - men wore black and white suites, had keyboard and electric guitars. Later I was told that it was one of the famous bands in Cairo. Three rows of benches/chairs just before the stage were put without any "separator" for male and female parts, those were for relatives of bride and groom, who sat there mixed from the gender poin of view.
When we entered the yard the ceremony had been on for quite some time already.
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