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Demographers have drawn our attention to the increase of celibacy, the reduction of the age difference between the partners and the fluctuations in divorce rates in the contemporary Middle East.
Nevertheless, few anthropologists have focused on these changes and on the implications of these changes on social relationships and on marriage in particular.
mainly focusing on the US and Europe.1 In studies focusing on the Middle East there is still a strong tendency to approach the subject from the perspective of gender relations and patriarchy, often shaped and redefined under the influence of feminist perspectives and women studies.
The main focus, however, remains on power relations, on social hierarchy and ranking, on reproduction of gender roles and gender ideology.2 For Lebanon, interest in these subjects has come mainly from sociologists who adopted the feminist perspective.
Once both parties are in agreement, a proposal party () is held at the bride's home, where the groom's parents and family elders formally ask the bride's parents for her hand in marriage.
In semi-arranged marriages, the first or second visit may include a formal proposal, since both the man and woman have already agreed to marriage prior - the proposal is more or less a formality.
These women tend to be community and family oriented, Christian (Maronite Catholic 22% and Greek 8%), educated and well versed about the world.
Most Lebanese girls are Muslim (Shia and Sunni both 28%) now as the demographics have changed but the expatriated in the west are usually not.
In love marriages, the man directly proposes to the woman.
Once the wedding proposal is accepted, beverages and refreshments are served.
This is based on my friendship with many, even though I did not marry them.