Houthi mass wedding for hundreds in Sanaa (video)

SANAA, 1 Nov 2022:

Hundreds of couples tied the knot during an annual mass wedding arranged by Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement in Sanaa yesterday.

Around 1,500 grooms participated in the gender-separate celebration held by the Zakat Authority, a Houthi-run charity organisation aiming to help young people caught up in the conflict raging in Yemen since 2014.

The ceremony took place in the courtyard of al-Shaab Mosque, the capital’s largest.

Grooms were dressed in traditional white attire, known as thoob, with green, red and blue shawls wrapped around their heads.

Badr Ghallab, one of the grooms, said this was his only chance to get married amid the economic difficulties the war-ravaged country has been experiencing.

“I couldn’t get married due to lack of financial ability. I work as a security guard, and my income is sufficient only for my daily expenses,” Ghallab said.

Organisers paid him the cost of his clothes and part of the dowry money he needs to pay to his bride’s family, the 41-year-old groom explained.

“This is beneficial for the lower class of society, beneficial for the vulnerable who are unable to marry,” Ghallab added.

Among the grooms were injured Houthi fighters, some of whom have lost their limbs during battles in the conflict pitting Houthis against government forces.

The Zakat Authority has been organising mass weddings since 2020, helping some 5,022 brides and grooms get married in Sanaa and other provinces.

This celebration comes four weeks after the UN announced the warring sides had failed to reach an agreement to extend a ceasefire, which has been in force since April.

After eight years of war that intensified after a Saudi-led military intervention in 2015, Yemen is still one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world.