Lavish divorce parties and gifts ring alarm bells

Divorce party cake

Divorce parties are often completed with a funny-themed cake to initiate a new beginning. (Courtesy: Social media)

By NADIA AL-FAWAZ
ArabNews.com

“I’m honored to invite you to my divorce party.” This is the type of invitation now being sent out by increasing numbers of women wanting to celebrate the end of their marriages.

Just like weddings or graduation parties, these events are being held at the fanciest halls, with large amounts of money spent on hosting friends and family. The guests are also obliged to turn up with expensive gifts for the happy woman.

This is a new phenomenon in Saudi society, says Tariq Habib, a professor and psychiatrist, and assistant secretary general of the Union of Arab Psychiatrists.

Divorce clearly results in feelings of sadness and happiness, he said.
Habib, however, said that parents should take their children’s feelings into consideration.

“If these parties negatively influence the children socially and psychologically, then they should be canceled,” he said. “But if the couple don’t have any children then no one can prevent the woman from expressing her joy or having a celebration.”

He said women may want to celebrate because they have left a failed marriage or show their ex-husbands that they do not care about them.

Divorce party slogansSuhaila Zain Al-Abideen, a member of the National Society for Human Rights, said celebrations have been triggered by the difficulty women face in getting divorced.

“Women living under injustice, humiliation and misery are the ones who will celebrate. It is not unreasonable that an absolutely happy person celebrates her divorce under these circumstances,” Al-Abideen said.

Al-Abideen does not believe that children would be affected if their mothers are happy.

“Although separations affect children, they would be happy to see their mothers happy, especially if their fathers had abused their mothers,” she said.

Mohammad Al-Saidi, professor of Islamic law at Umm Al-Qura University, said God hates divorce, as confirmed in Hadith, and that people should not celebrate a social tragedy even if they are happy about it.

Al-Saidi urged the media to raise concerns about these parties, and to encourage people not to attend them. “This will cause future tragedies,” he said.

Sahar Rajjab, a certified physiologist and family counselor at the Arab Council, said Saudi nationals should not imitate the West by having these parties, even if they are extremely angry.

“The divorce parties are increasing in an alarming rate,” she said.

“How can guests celebrate women divorcing when they had previously congratulated them on their wedding days?”

Rajab said there is an industry growing around divorce parties, with cake and sweet shops starting to make products for these occasions. This is an unwelcome development, she said.

Social specialist Haifa Safouk said that some women celebrate simply to seek attention.

“There are many reasons for this behavior, but mostly it is because such women are ignorant and not intellectually mature.”

She said some women celebrate because society does not show them any compassion, so it is a way of releasing their frustration and negative feelings.

In addition, the guests invited to these events turn up because they want to support these divorcees. This is not the proper way to show support, she said.

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Divorce

3 Comments

  1. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I just don’t think divorce is something to celebrate. Even if it was necessary, it still represents the failure of something important – the loving union of two souls.

    What do you think?

    • You are so so right! Most people don’t respect marriage enough to get married for the right reasons anyhow these days. They are so focused on themselves and doing the me me, that they don’t realize marriage is about we/us. No wonder so many marriages fail in the first place. People are so disillusioned about what real love is and what marriage is about that it makes me sick.

  2. If someone died would you happily dance and celebrate their death, throw a party and expect gifts like it’s a good thing? Divorce is the death of a union and not something to be celebrated.

    I’ve heard tales of such events. It really confirms that it’s true, A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED. The person throwing the party’s a fool, all invited who attends and spend their money buying them gifts are fools as well.

    Shame on anyone who thinks this is something good. Marriage or the ending of a marriage is not something that should be taken lightly. No matter what you’ve gone through. This money could be put to better use seeking therapy if it was that bad that it cause emotional scarring to either spouse. As long as there is anyone in this world that is hungry, homeless or in need of medical treatment they can’t afford money should never be wasted on such a foolish thing.

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