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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Second Wives

"I need another wife,' a Qatari gentleman told me glumly. "My wife is old now. But she won't let me have another one."

That was the beginning of a fascinating conversation!

"Every time I mention it she gets angry," he added. "She doesn't understand me!"

It's perfectly legal in Qatar to have a second wife, although it is not particularly common.

"How many men have second wives?" I wanted to know.

His friend shrugged.

"I don't know - maybe 15%? It's not a big deal."

I wanted to know if they needed a wife's permission. Rather than answering me directly they told me that a man would get married without his first wife knowing about.

"You only know about it when the man dies, and suddenly a woman turns up looking for her share of the money."

The problem, they both agreed, was money.

"You need 300,000 riyals to get married, what with paying for the party, finding a house, providing a servant for the house and so on."

It was a lot cheaper, they told me, to get an Egyptian or Asian wife.

The first gentleman cheered up remembering his friend who had forked out for a second wife - and regretted it.

"Big problems, my friend says. They are always fighting - and nagging him. If one has a car the other one must have a car just as good."

"If you have a second wife," his friend added, "you must keep her a long way from the first wife. If the first wife is in Doha, it is better that the second wife is in Al Khor!"

Also see our website article: Qatar Weddings

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