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Child bride of 12 "became 17" to enable marriage, says old Palestinian recalling their wedding

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
Old Palestinian relates how in 1940s
his child bride of 12 "became 17"
to enable their marriage 
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

An interview with a Palestinian couple, Abu Wajdi and Sara Al-Qassem, who have been married for 75 years, provided a glimpse of Islamic marriage traditions in British Palestine in the 1940s before the establishment of the State of Israel: 

Official PA TV host: "Tell us how did you meet your wife?"
Palestinian man Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem: "She is my cousin. She was born abroad and lived [there] with her family. At the time, her father said to everyone: 'When we come to Palestine, this girl is intended for Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem.'"
(PA TV host): "How old was she?"
Palestinian man Abu Wajdi Al-Qassem: "Right when she was born she was given to me in my absence, but when she came she was 12. (Laughing) She was 12. However, in Islam it is permissible to add years to one's age, so the sheikh at the time gave her 5 years, and she became 17."
[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Oct. 14, 2017]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented a range of issues related to women's conditions and their welfare in the PA:

PA TV instructs viewers who "use beatings and violence to solve marital problems" to "obey" the Quran's "religious rules for beatings"

PA Mufti - A Muslim wife "should obey her husband" and "has no right to deny him his right [to sex]" 

PA TV highlights problem of devaluing girls and women in Palestinian society

Satire on PA TV voices call for equality for women

PA TV advertises equality for women in public service spot