Monday, June 20, 2005


The oasis town of Siwa, in the western desert of Egypt, is popular with tourists.

In Siwa, there used to be marriages between boys. The weddings involved lavish ceremonies.

The sheikhs and other top people used to give their sons to each other.

Egypt gained nominal independence from Britain in 1922. However, Britain retained control of defence and communications and remained the power behind the throne.

The custom of legally-contracted homosexual marriages was officially banned by King Fouad in 1928. The British outlawed 'gay' marriages in Egypt in the 1940s.

The marriages continued in secret until about 1950.

In Siwa the minimum age for heterosexual marriage used to be forty for men.

"Sexual relations between older and younger boys are said to be frequent in the Middle East as well as in the Maghreb."

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