Summer marks the start of mass weddings in several Moroccan cities which are organized by charitable organizations and associations wanting to see the marriage of young men and women who can otherwise not afford to marry.
A scientific council last week organized the wedding of 76 couples in Al-Nazour city, north of the country, and also gifted them with money and home appliances.
Maymoun Brissol, director of the scientific council in the city of Nazour, said that organizing the recent ceremony was to aid those who cannot afford to pay the high costs of a wedding and also give incentive to those who took a vow of chastity.
Brissol said these marriage ceremonies are organized in a bid to spread awareness on the virtues of chastity. It also hopes to free the poor from traditional norms that see people incurring debt to pay for high costs of weddings and dowries.
The average wedding in Morocco starts at 10,000 dirhams ($1,125). The cost might soar to unlimited levels if the couple chooses to host an expensive wedding party which sometimes pushes some young men into debt.
Some mass wedding planners give young men on limited income furniture and home appliances like refrigerators and television sets in addition to a small amount of money to help the couple start a new life free from debt.
Mass wedding ceremonies are held every summer in Morocco, namely in Tangier, Fez, Meknes, Rabat and Khenifra. Young women who have been orphaned or come from poor families and have not been able to afford marriage are given a chance of happily married life.
Mass weddings are seen as a way to fight the large number of women who are single.
According to official statistics, the average age of marriage increased to 26.2 years old for women and 31.4 years old for men, which reflects a nine year delay for women and 5 year delay for men from statistics taken from the 1990s.
(Translated from Arabic by Stanela Khalil)