Legal Marriage in Egypt between an Egyptian and a non-Egyptian

If you need an attorney in Egypt (for any purpose), please call
Attorney At Law: Mohamed Mohamed Konsouh

Home in Cairo: (011) (20) (2) 2275-2783 If you speak only English please call his home and ask to speak with Miss Rakiah.
Email: mohamedkonsouh@yahoo.com

Cell in Egypt: (011) (20) (2) (10) 143-0402 Arabic Language.
Office in Cairo: (011) (20) (2) 2271-8526 Arabic Language.

Please send One Hundred US dollars ($100) for Consultation fee after the first call. Thanks.


Marriage Age: 18 for males and 16 for females (lunar calendar)
Marriage Guardianship: governed by Civil Code; wali cannot prevent ward from marrying for reasons of status, amount of dower, etc.; judge may authorise marriage if wali refuses
Marriage Registration: obligatory registration a legal requirement though it does not determine validity of marriage, thus judges shall not hear cases in which parties have not reached minimum marriage age or in which matrimony is denied and parties have no documentation
Polygamy: notification of existing and intended wives required; existing wife can petition for divorce if she sustains such harm as makes cohabitation as husband and wife impossible (up to one year from date of her knowledge of the polygamous marriage)
Obedience/Maintenance: deviation from classical Hanafi law relating to arrears of maintenance which are deemed a debt against husband from the date he fails to maintain until debt is paid or excused; claims for maintenance not to be heard for past period exceeding one year from date of claim; wife?s leaving the home for lawful work not deemed disobedience so long as she does not abuse this right or it is not contrary to interests of her family, with proviso that husband has not a sked her to refrain from exercising right to work
Talaq: talaq expressed indirectly, while intoxicated or under coercion, or conditionally with coercive intent is ineffective; repudiation to which a number is added verbally or by gesture effective only as single revocable talaq (except third of three); written and notarised certification of talaq must be obtained within 30 days of repudiation and notary must forward copy of certificate to wife; certain financial effects of talaq suspended on her knowledge thereof if husband is found to have concealed it
Judicial Divorce: wife may obtain judicial divorce on following grounds: serious or incurable defect of the husband (unless woman married in full knowledge of such defect or defect occurred after the contract and she implicitly/explicitly accepted it), harm making cohabitation as husband and wife impossible, if harm is proved and reconciliation efforts fail, material or moral harm if husband marries polygamously and such harm makes cohabitation as husband and wife impossible (up to one year from date of her knowledge of the polygamous union), husband?s absence for a year or more without reasonable justification; husband?s imprisonment for three years or more, after one year of sentence has passed, non-payment of maintenance; and discord if reconciliation efforts fail, with financial settlement proportionate to allocation of blame as determined by arbitrators; wife may also obtain a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, but will not lose all financial claims against her husband; a divorce requested by wife on the grounds of incompatibility must be granted within six months
Post-Divorce Maintenance/Financial Arrangements: divorc repudiated by husband without cause or consent on her part entitled to compensation (mut?a al-talaq) of at least two years? maintenance (no maximum stipulated); maintenance claims for ?idda not to be heard after one year from date of divorce; divorcing husband required to provide independent accommodation for former wife having custody of their minor children
Child Custody and Guardianship: divorced mother?s custody ends at 10 years for boys and 12 years for girls; judge may extend custody to 15 years for boys or until marriage for girls if ward?s interests so require
Succession: 1946 Law introduced ?obligatory bequest? (wasiyya wajiba) for descendants of predeceased sons (how low soever) and daughters, as well legalised bequests to heirs, and extended doctrine of radd (return) to allow spouse relict to share in residue of estate

Notable Cases
Case no. 29/1980 Badari Court of Summary Justice for Guardianship of the Person (Mahkama Juz?iyya li?l-Wilaya ?ala?l-Nafs) precipitated 1985 decision of High Constitutional Court (al-Mahkama al-Dusturiyya al-?Ulya) that implementing resolution of Law no. 44/1979 (?Jihan?s Law?) was unconstitutional on technical grounds as initial emergency decree by which Sadat implemented the legislation was issued in absence of true state of emergency, and so was invalid. Hisba suit against Professor Abu Zayd to divorce him from his wife on basis of his alleged apostasy, ultimately upheld by Supreme Court; led to passage of Law no. 3/1996 preventing claims by private individuals on basis of hisba.


What would be needed to marry in Egypt as of January 2, 2007 from an American woman's experience?

I read through many sites to find out what would be needed to marry in Egypt. There is not much on the US Embassy site except for mention of Authentication of previous divorce documents. Other countrys sites mention bringing certified birth certificate and proof of name changes like copies of previous marriage license so I will be bringing all with me. It is better to have too many documents than not enough. I hope the below information is helpful.

Total timeline for the certification of my divorce decrees was December 8, 2006 to January 2, 2007. The divorce decrees traveled from the County and State level for certification to Federal level for authentication. Christmas and New Years holidays causing a little delay, was about a month even with using overnight mail.

1. I went to my Circuit Clerks Office at the County Courthouse where my divorce was official and purchased notarized and certified copies of the divorced decrees. The papers with the seals cost $9.00 for everything and I got them within minutes. Also while I was at the courthouse, I purchased a certified copy of my birth certificate for another $10 at the courthouse while I was there for my records.

2. I mailed the certified copies of the divorce decrees to the Illinois Secretary of State Indexing Department via USPS Express Overnight mail for $14 on December 8, 2006. I enclosed a USPS Express Overnight envelope postage paid ($14) mailer to inside the package for the return of my mail. I enclosed a check for the $4 per document for the Certification at the Secretary of State along with a cover letter. The cover letter contained my name, address, phone, email, country documents would be going to and reason for certification. The documents were returned to me certified via my postage paid envelope in a week on December 16, 2006.

The address I sent my County certified divorce decrees to for the State level certification was:
Department of Index
111 E. Monroe Springfield,
Illinois 62756

3. I then sent the State certified divorce documents to the US Department of State in Washington, D.C. for Authentication on Monday, December 18. Authentication cost $7.00 per document. I mailed the documents via USPS Express Overnight Mail for $14 and enclosed the same postage paid in the envelope for USPS Express Overnight return.
The address to send the certified Secretary of State documents to was:
US Department of State
Authentications Office
518 23rd St., N.W., SA-1
Washington D.C. 20520

The below link gives all information, costs, address, contact information and example cover letter.
http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/

At this link, you can go under Contact Info and send email requesting followup on status. I received a response within the hour and the case was completed and closed that afternoon. I advised them this was destination wedding, I was on a tight timeline in the email and it was rushed. They will send you an email when they receive the documents through their mail service and send you an email when they are finished. It takes a couple days after you get this email for the documents to be mailed back to you.

4. I received email from the Department of State Authentications on status on Thursday December 21. The email sender name was DARTS. The email stated - Your authentication request was received on 12/21/2006 by the Office of Authentication at the US Department of State.

5. Then on Thursday, December 28, I received another email from DARTS stating - Your authentication request was closed on 12/28/2006 by the Office of Authentication at the US Department of State.

6. I received the Authenticated divorce documents on January 2, 2007 from the Department of State, Washington, D.C..

7. I have made several phone calls about translation services and did not feel comfortable with anyones responses so I will have this done through the US Consulars office or Ministry of Justice office in Cairo.

8. I will get my visa at the Cairo Airport upon arrival.

I do not know of any other documents required at this time. I will followup when I return from Cairo with information on what other documents were requested, what translation services used, and procedures leading up to the marriage contract signing.



I am writing to give you and your readers some hopefully helpful information. I don't know if you remember my situation with my husband, so I will give you a brief re-cap. Ahmed and I were married in Cairo in June 2006. We petitioned for his Immigrant Visa before I came back. At that time the Embassy would not give us any information, only that a situation (which they created) had to be researched and so our case was sent to Homeland Security. End of August we passed Homeland Security and were sent our packet for the second interview. October 3, we were informed that they had our completed documents and we'd hear from them by the end of the month on an appointment date. As of yet, we have no appointment and we are only told that our case is in Administrative Processing. Try as we may, we could not find out what this processing was. Finally, today I found a site that had some information. This is what I'd like to share. It gives some insight to the mystery "Admin istrative Process". I don't know about anyone else, but I hate not knowing what's going on. Here is the site:
Admin istrative Process - Want an idea of how long it will take us to process your case?

I had also said I would let you know what is involved in the second interview when it came around. So far we have been told that it's basically going over the papers we sent in for the interview (financial papers, addresses, our personal information) and verifying that Ahmed is the Ahmed who was petitioned for. Within days he should have his Visa. I will be able to tell you for sure once it happens.

I hope this is able to help someone, or a site you feel comfortable referencing. Our government doesn't make it easy to figure this stuff out and a lot of it has to be discovered by those who are diligent. If you marry in Egypt, petition in Egypt before you leave. Don't wait until you come home. If you petition in Egypt, the USA side of Immigration can/will not help.

Filing for a Fiance Visa (K-1 or K-3): is supposed to be a much quicker process but you have more chance of getting rejected.
I might add here that filing for a fiance visa (K-1 or K-3) is supposed to be a much quicker process than the spouse immigrant visa (wish we had known). Anyone looking into either should research to know more about it and the difference in both processes. I may have been able to bring him here with me last summer. Sorry this is so long!
Many regards, Txxx


Divorce in Egypt - Women’s Unequal Access to Divorce in Egypt .

Cairo, Egypt - US Consular - Requirements - A nice woman’s experience.


Getting Married in Egypt from US Consular Section in Cairo as of March 03, 2004.

The only legal marriage in Egypt is a civil ceremony performed at the local marriage court, which is in accordance with Islamic practice. Persons wishing a religious ceremony may arrange for one separately, but it is the civil ceremony that establishes the legality of the marriage.
It is possible for foreigners to marry in Egypt.

The following documents are required:

1. Proof of identity (a passport).
2. Proof of termination of any previous marriages. The original or certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate must be authenticated at an Egyptian Embassy or Consulate in the United States and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo. Alternatively, the divorce decree can be authenticated by the Secretary of State of the state where the decree was issued, this is then authenticated by the Department of State, Authentications Office (A/OPR/GSM/AUTH), 518 23rd Street, NW, SA-1 Columbia Plaza Washington, D.C. 20520.
3. Sworn statements of the parties involved that they are free to marry, and that they are of the Moslem, Christian, or Jewish faith. Interfaith marriages are permitted except in the case of a Moslem woman and a non-Moslem man.
4. A no-objection statement from the Embassy. NOTE: This is a formality required by the Egyptian government. It does not guarantee that the U.S. Embassy will issue an immigrant visa to an alien spouse.
The Embassy has devised an affidavit combining both the sworn statement of the party (no. 3 above) and the Embassy’s no-objection statement (no. 4 above). This affidavit is available from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo (Sunday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon), and must be notarized by a U.S. Consul.
(Notarial fees are listed on the Fees for Selected Consular Services).
The affidavit must then be certified at one of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Authentication offices before being taken to the Department of Justice’s marriage office.
5. Forms and questionnaires to be completed at the marriage court. These can only be obtained on the spot at the Department of Justice’s office of marriage on the wedding day or the day before. Applicants should have original versions and photocopies of all documents, as well as notarized Arabic translations for all documents not in the Arabic language. (Translation of documents from English into Arabic cannot be authenticated unless the originals were authenticated in the way described in item 2).
Any two male witnesses with identification documents (passport or I.D. card) must be present to sign the marriage documents. It might be better to have your own witnesses, such as a travel agent or a friend.
A woman is temporarily barred from marriage when she is in idda, the waiting period following divorce or death of the husband. Idda lasts four months and ten days for a widow, and approximately three months for a divorcee. After the idda the woman may remarry. This period is designed to ensure that she is not pregnant from her previous marriage.
A routine physical performed by an Egyptian doctor is sometimes required.
In addition to the notarial fee, fees to complete the marriage at the Ministry of Justice:
If both parties are Moslems, the fee is two percent of the dowry (not less than 40LE).
If both parties are Christians, a dowry is not required, and they will pay only 40-45LE.
Additional fees:
Translation fees, plus authentication fees if required.
The marriage certificate is recognized as a legal document in the United States and many other countries.
NOTE
To use the Egyptian marriage certificate in the U.S., it should be translated into English by the Translation Office in the Egyptian Ministry of Justice, then authenticated by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also certified by a U.S. Consul.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Authentication Offices: Gameit el Dowal el Arabia Street, Mohandessin, Giza; Ahmed Said Street, Abbassia; or Sabak Street next to the Maryland Gardens in Heliopolis.
Civil Marriage Registration Office: Ministry of Justice Annex (Office of Marriage of Foreigners), 4th floor, Lazoughly Square, Abdin, Cairo. Open Saturday to Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Ministry of Justice's translation office: Ministry of Justice Building, 13th floor, Lazoughly Square, Abdin, Cairo.
** It will take at least one week for a marriage certificate to be issued. This does not include translation.
** Marriage certificates should be picked up in person.

Embassy of the United States – Egypt: (Hours of service 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM)
http://egypt.usembassy.gov/
Contact: ConsularCairo@state.gov


Select Visa & Consular Affairs, select American Citizen Services
To go to “Embassy of the United States – Egypt (US Consular Section) – Visas to the USA” : http://egypt.usembassy.gov/consular/acs.htm


Immigrant Visas:
http://egypt.usembassy.gov/consular/iv.htm


Important IV Forms: http://egypt.usembassy.gov/consular/iv007.htm



Fact: A Moslem woman can only marry a Moslem man.

My opinion on a married American female who wants to travel to Egypt with her Egyptian husband:
I think a naturalized American female will be safe on a trip to Egypt.
She may like Egypt and stay there. I advice her:
1) Not to take with strangers without her husband present. Some Egyptian Taxi drivers will raise the fare when they hear her speaking English.
2) To dress proper when she is among Egyptians.
3) The Egyptian Muslim culture requires the wife to obey her husband.
4) She should not talk politics with strangers.
5) If she finds herself in a dangerous situation over there. She should contact the American Consul in Cairo.
6) Drink only bottled water. Drink a lot of water in summer.
7) Because Egyptian food is prepared different, she may get sick (Diariha). Take some medicine with her.
8) Eat “Koshary” which is Egyptian, it not expensive food.
9) If she decided on divorce, then, it is better to do it in the USA or in both countries.
Good Luck.

There are two types of marriage for a Moslem man in Egypt:
1) Legally married. I recommend it.
2) Non- Legally married. I do not recommend it.

For a non-Egyptian women if they want to get legally married to an Egyptian in Egypt the only one way I recommend is at the ministry of justice at Lazoughly Square in Cairo.

A non-Egyptian woman should have a lawyer represent her. If you wishs to have additional conditions added to the standard marriage contract drawn up by the Mazoon at the marriage court, you can do so.

In Islam, it is easy for a man to divorce. Why? Because when you marry, you make a contract. You should specify in the marriage contract what you agreed to. You should specify who has the (Asma) in his or her hand. Asma means who is the leader and has the right to divorce. Usually it is given to the man, but a woman could ask (and insist) on it.
You can ask for (Asma) in both types of marriage:
Legal marriage or Non- Legal marriage.

Many Orfi marriage papers to non-Egyptians that I have seen also make no mention of a dowry, if there is no dowry there cannot be a legal marriage as this is essential in Egypt under the marriage laws.

A non-Egyptian woman must ask and insist on a dowry even if it is a simple dowry. Also, in case the husband divorces her or he dies, she must write in the marriage contract (Moakhar) the sum of money she gets.

Under Egyptian law fornication (sex without marriage)can lead to six months in prison and adultery to three years in prison.


Paternity scandal divides Egypt

(By Heba Saleh - BBC News, Cairo - February 14, 2005)

The suit was filed by Hend el-Henawy, a set designer who says her four-month-old baby is the result of a brief, secret marriage between her and the actor.
But Mr Fishawy denies the relationship and says he only knew her as a colleague.
It is a story which has riveted Egyptians, arousing much sympathy for Ms Henawy's plight, but also condemnation from those shocked by her decision to go public.
Refusing to terminate her pregnancy, she went to court to prove the legitimacy of her baby girl and obtain a birth certificate for her.
It was an unusual move in a conservative society where the preferred course for most women in her situation would have been an abortion carried out in silence.
"I can be a first step towards change," says Ms Henawy. "I can show other people and I can tell girls that I took my right, so you can take your right too.
"And I am telling men as well, you're not always going to have a relation and run away."

Unprotected

She says that she had with Mr Fishawy what is known in Egypt as "orfy" or common law marriage.
It is a kind of union in which the state is not involved.
The partners write their own marriage contract, get two people to sign it as witnesses and the document is not registered at a government office.
Ms Henawy says she cannot produce her marriage contract because Mr Fishawy has it.
Common-law marriages are legal under Islamic law, even if frowned upon by society, because generally those who resort to them have reasons to keep their relationships secret, often because their families disapprove or the man is already married and he does not want his first wife to find out that he has taken another.
Orfy unions have become widespread among university students because they provide a legitimate means to have sex in a society where there are strict taboos about premarital relations.
But it is invariably the women who suffer when such marriages go wrong.
Not only do they lack the legal protection afforded by a registered marriage contract, but they also have to face the anger of society.
"Here most of society looks at the boy as if he has committed no wrong," says Hoda Badran, chairwoman of the Alliance of Arab Women.
"Even to the extent to say that that girl, she got him to that relationship and she got him to get that child and get herself pregnant."
Hend El Henawy said she was thrilled with the court decision to order a DNA test.
"I want this to end as fast as possible because this is the birth certificate of my baby. It is still something emotional that I might not need right now - she's not going to school right now - but it is important because without it is as if my baby doesn't exist."


Here are different opinions about Orfi marriage:

The police in Luxor will stop hassling you if you have a paper from a lawyer, not because they accept it as legal but merely because if you have this paper it is evidence to them that you are with your man through choice and that you are presumably not being harassed by this man and therefore not in need of the interference of the local police.

My only purpose in initiating this topic was merely for the information of non-Egyptian women who may be duped into believing that marriage at a lawyers office is a true and legal commitment, it is not. I know of many Egyptian men who have lawyers papers for many non-Egyptian women each of whom they see at regular intervals when they visit Egypt. Each of these women believes that they are married and that they are the only one.


Defense of Orfi marriage: I think most foreign women who have Orfi marriages in Luxor are fully aware that it gives them no marital rights. It is not a marriage and they have no illusions that it is. They may call themselves husband and wife, but in reality it is only in Egypt that they can use those titles. It is not a legal document in this country for sure. But it does allow a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife without constant hassle from the local police in Luxor. And one of the questions asked of the woman in the presence of lawyers and witnesses is.... Do you wish to marry this man? Thereby making the document real evidence that the woman is in the relationship out of her own choice.
Moral standards, on the surface, are different in western countries, a couple can and do live together without legalizing their union. In Egypt this is not the done thing. So Orfi was created. It satisfies the Egyptian authorities and does not create a union, which is difficult to get out of when it goes wrong.
As for children of these marriages. I think you will find that many Orfi marriages involve women who are older, therefore have already had their families and have no desire for more babies, or they are past childbearing age.
Orfi has its place as long as both parties are fully aware that it actually means no more than a commitment to each other whilst in Egypt.


There is only one way that a non-Egyptian can get legally married to an Egyptian in Egypt and that is at the ministry of justice at Lazoughly Square in Cairo. There is a prevalent practice in Egypt, particularly Luxor, of Egyptian men taking their foreign girlfriends to a lawyer’s office and 'getting married'. The papers they give you will satisfy the police if you are challenged when out together in the evenings and will satisfy the landlord of any flat that you rent so that you can live together, but this is not a legal marriage.


Many people in Egypt seem to be of the general opinion that European people have what they would regard as low sexual morality and that it is common for people in the west to live together and have children together without the benefit of marriage. They therefore probably don’t care if foreign women are sleeping with their men without the benefit of marriage as long as it is not legal and as long as some of the money is coming their way. I think that this situation in Luxor is a disgraceful scandal which the authorities are happy to ignore possibly because they don’t want to upset the rich middle aged woman coming to Luxor to have sex with young men or indeed the many men that go to Luxor also to have sex with young Egyptian men - for a price. These men should be prosecuted under Egyptian law; they would be if they were having extramarital sex with Egyptian women or homosexual sex with Egyptian men. I even know women who are legally married in their own country and still contract an Orfi marriage with one or more Egyptian men thereby they are both committing adultery, which under Islam is punishable by death. Under Egyptian law fornication can lead to six months in prison and adultery to three years in prison. These men get away with it because they are doing it to foreign women not Egyptian women. If women go into these Orfi marriages knowing them for exactly what they are-an unofficial license to have sex without any responsibilities then fair enough. What I object to is where the woman believes that she is really married and that the man has made a real and lasting commitment to their relationship. In any kind of relationship any kind of deception as to the participants true intentions is disgraceful. The reasons why this is ignored by the authorities are purely economic in my opinion-keep the tourists coming and keep them happy-who cares if there are illegitimate children and women whose hearts get broken-as long as the money keeps coming in to Egypt.


You said “The papers they give you will satisfy the police if you are challenged when out together in the evenings and will satisfy the landlord of any flat that you rent so that you can live together, but this is not a legal marriage.”
The fact that the police recognize this paper means that it is legal from their point of view. Which leads me to think that this paper has some legal and even social value. The paper may or may not be legal in the country of the foreign spouse. Several members of this forum have good experience with this sort of thing. It seems that in Egypt there are several forms of marriage, not all of which are recognized by all parties. Then there is the issue of rights.
When two people are living together, committed to each other and this relationship is known within their community (i.e. it is not secretive), then in my world this marriage. Other things are merely contractual arrangements to protect the rights of each party to the marriage. It is interesting to note that a common-law spouse in one country has far more rights that a female spouse who is married legally in Egypt and her marriage is fully recognized by all parties if the relationship ends.


This paper is legally accepted coz the law has issued this paper to ease the marriage. "I don know the full story of this paper"...so legally it is accepted....
yes may be in ur country just when u live with someone and share him in everything, this is considered as marriage...
So the paper is Legally and Logically accepted....
BUT here in Egypt we have customs and traditions which this paper doesn't claim the women's rights coz of some evil men. Who marry and divorce without even telling their wives, also if there r kids have been borne this bad guys may not admit this kids.... so here many people don't accept to admit this paper, just to save the girls and women from bad men,,,
in addition to our religion which recommend that marriage should be declared to people and families which this paper may lack.

A true marriage for a non-Egyptian to an Egyptian in Egypt is at the Ministry of Justice, by a Maazum there. So, it is not just that it has to be done before a notary public. Secondly, the simple paperwork that can be drawn up in a lawyer’s office represents the Orfi marriage. It is legal, as someone says that the police will recognize it, but marriage is more than legalizing the union. In Egypt, there are rights and obligations of the parties and this Orfi-form of marriage allows the husband (mainly) to ignore his obligation to the wife, such as notifying his wife his intent to marry. In Egypt, the wife has the right to divorce her husband if he wants to take on another wife. Under Orfi, he can have many wives in secret of one another. Then, of course, the Orfi paper can be ripped up and the foreign wife will never be able to prove her status.

Women in love or in lust or who are desperate may rationalize this very selfish form of "marriage" to an unbelievable degree. In my opinion, a good and honest man is worth waiting for.


Orfi marriage is used only to escape from rights and obligations to the wives. And I would like to add to the negatives of Orfi marriage that its not only ignoring rights and obligations to the wives its also being able to deny the children if this marriage ended up with children. The husband can just deny having anything to do with those children and he doesn’t have to support them or their mother then... "In my opinion, a good and honest man is worth waiting for." and I would add to these words that In my opinion, a good and honest man would not offer that type of marriage. Just ask him Why not formal marriage?


I would like to clarify the point I made when I started this topic, that is that any marriage between an Egyptian and a non-Egyptian must take place at the ministry of justice in Cairo. Anything other than that is not in any way legal. Anyone who doubts this should contact the British embassy in Cairo or read the guidance on this subject on their website. The police in Luxor will stop hassling you if you have a paper from a lawyer, not because they accept it as legal but merely because if you have this paper it is evidence to them that you are with your man through choice and that you are presumably not being harassed by this man and therefore not in need of the interference of the local police. If any of them do believe it to be legal then they are in ignorance of the law. I can assure anyone that there are no legal or other obligations of any kind that can be brought to bear on either party unless they were married at the ministry of justice in Cairo because as far as the legal system in Egypt is concerned you are not married. My only purpose in initiating this topic was merely for the information of non-Egyptian women who may be duped into believing that marriage at a lawyers office is a true and legal commitment, it is not. I know of many Egyptian men who have lawyers papers for many non-Egyptian women each of whom they see at regular intervals when they visit Egypt. Each of these women believes that they are married and that they are the only one. Meanwhile they often have an Egyptian legal wife who also may know nothing of her husband’s activities. When his foreign women visit he may tell his Egyptian wife that he has found some temporary work in another town to explain his absence, she will expect him to return with money, which of course he does because these foreign women are duped into giving him money. He will tell them that he is the eldest son and that his father is too old to work and that he is the sole support of his parents and his six brothers and sisters. He may say that he needs money to pay for an operation for his father or that his father invested in a bad business deal and will go to prison if he does not find a substantial sum of money. If your man wants to marry you tell him to take you to the ministry of justice in Cairo. He may take you to a lawyer in Luxor who will tell you if you challenge him that this is a legal marriage, he is a liar. Tell him that the British embassy in Cairo have told you that you can only get married there. The lawyer, upon the instruction of your man may not give you a copy of the paper you sign, however if you have one, take it to the British embassy in Cairo and they will promptly tell you that you are not married.


In answer to your questions.... I knew exactly what Orfi marriage was long before I went into it. I knew from friends in Luxor and from friends here in England. I also knew the dangers.... extremely well. I have friends who have lost everything and friends who have been severely beaten. All of who went into Orfi without realizing it wasn’t a true marriage. My last trip to Luxor was particularly bad. My friend who traveled with me to stay with her "husband" was very badly beaten while we were there. I guess I have been lucky. I know of many many horror stories. I hope that answers your questions. Basically I had been visiting Luxor for a long time before I even met the man I "married". And I knew him for 2 years before I succumbed. Unfortunately.. . it did not last very long. He did nothing wrong other than ask me for money, but it was enough for me to end it. Long story.... and I am not prepared to expand on it here. But I know it was only the beginning. So it was better to end it sooner rather than later. I have yet to find out what the repercussions are.

As for stud’s..... I agree that the biggest problem is that they seem to think that they are at a bigger risk from us than we ever would be from them. Safe sex is vital! Who knows who is right or wrong.. but whichever way it goes..... keep it safe. I guess because my own experience of Orfi has been good by most standards, I defend it.. but as I have said before, only if the woman about to embark on the "adventure" is fully and completely aware of the pitfalls.
I think if there are cases of Aids in Luxor, and I do not profess to know whether there are or not.... it is not because of the permissive behavior of foreign women, but because of the permissive behavior of the Egyptian men, with both men and women. We are all fully aware of the "gay" faction, which visit regularly. My first knowledge of this was on my very first trip to Egypt. A Nile cruises with some interesting discussions with a couple on the same holiday. Certainly opened my eyes! Wife on the sundeck while hubby was in the cabin with..... ?????
As for Orfi being illegal, I cannot comment one way or another. All I know is I signed a paper drawn up by a lawyer, in front of witnesses, translated for me by an English friend. It looked legal enough for me.


It saddens and angers me when I hear of women being badly treated by men. Whilst like yourself I wasn’t as naive as many women that I have met and heard about since my first trip to Egypt, if I had known what I know now I doubt if I would ever have considered marriage to an Egyptian and I would have missed out on the last two years which have been the happiest of my life. I absolutely adore my husband and could not even imagine what life would be like without him. I realize that I have been extremely lucky, he could have turned out to be rotten like many others - he still could - there’s time yet I suppose. Why are men such bastards, is it something in their Y chromosome or what?
As for whether Orfi marriage between Egyptians and non-Egyptians is legal I have absolutely no doubt that it is of no legal value whatsoever. One reason that I am so sure is that I have it on the authority of the Egyptian embassy in London and the British embassy in Cairo that the only way to get a legal marriage is at the ministry of justice in Cairo and that Orfi marriage is not legal at all either in Egypt or the country of the non-Egyptian spouse. However Orfi marriage between two Egyptians in some cases may have some legal value but never between Egyptians and non-Egyptians. The main reason for this is that the non-Egyptian has to have a document from their embassy to prove that they are free to marry and this is not requested in Orfi marriage so Orfi marriage to non-Egyptians can never be legal. I know of women who are legally married in England but have Orfi marriages in Egypt, how can this be legal, a woman can have only one husband at a time, why do lawyers not ask for proof of divorce if the woman has been married before? Because they know it isn’t legal anyway so they don’t have to bother and they don’t care, all they want is your 200LE or whatever they have managed to screw you for. Many Orfi marriage papers to non-Egyptians that I have seen also make no mention of a dowry, if there is no dowry there cannot be a legal marriage as this is essential in Egypt under the marriage laws. Anyone who doubts this can easily verify this for them selves by contacting the Egyptian embassy in their own country and their own embassy in Egypt. The reason why lawyers get away with it is because if any couple planning to marry wishes to have a lawyers contract to have additional conditions added to the standard marriage contract drawn up by the Mazoon at the marriage court, they can do so. This is the case whether both or only one of the parties are Egyptian. Lawyers if challenged will simply claim that this is all they did and that it was not their responsibility or business whether the couple then used that paper to add to the paper at the marriage court or whether they even went to the marriage court. The lawyer will claim that he drew up the contract in good faith and that if the couple didn’t go ahead with the marriage at the marriage court then this is not his problem, that he has done nothing wrong. The British embassy in Cairo has a pro-forma marriage contract that they had prepared by an Egyptian female lawyer based in Cairo and will give you a copy of it free of charge. This contract takes advantage of many recent changes in the marriage laws that can give women more rights if the man agrees to sign the contract. This contract has to be taken to a lawyer for both parties and witnesses to sign. This is not a marriage paper, it is a kind of pre-nuptial contract that is only enforceable if the marriage takes place and the contract is presented to the Mazoon at the time of the marriage. You then take this to the ministry of justice, they will ask if you want to add anything to the standard contract, you then give them this other contract and they will add the conditions to the standard contract as long as the conditions are valid in law and agreed by both parties. So what you have from the lawyer is not a marriage contract but merely a pre-nuptial agreement that has no validity unless the marriage actually takes place. I can therefore assure you and anyone else that has this kind of paper that you are not married so you need have no fear of any legal repercussions regarding this paper.





1 or 2 parts from Al Ahram News Paper December, 10,2004 - Arabic Language only:
Orfi marriage between Al-shara (Islamic Law) and Legal Law by Rania Hfny.






2 or 2 parts from Al Ahram News Paper December, 10,2004 - Arabic Language only:
Orfi marriage between Al-shara (Islamic Law) and Legal Law by Rania Hfny.


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