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'Divorce Parties' new trend for women in Saudi Arabia
Worried scholars and psychiatrists say as God hates divorce people should not celebrate a social tragedy even if they are happy about it
Sunday March 8, 2015 9:26 AM, News Network

Just like weddings or graduation parties, lavish 'Divorce Parties' have emerged as a new trend for women in Saudi Arabia, and they are being held at the fanciest halls, with large amounts of money spent on hosting friends and family, a media report said.

Saudi Divorce

According to the Arab News, the guests are also obliged to turn up with expensive gifts for the happy woman, and the 'celebrations' are going on and on even though scholars and psychiatrists are warning against the 'dangerous trend'.

"Celebrations have been triggered by the difficulty women face in getting divorced", Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen, a member of the National Society for Human Rights, said.

“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.

Psychiatrists however are not convinced.

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

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 added.

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.

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.

Also not convinced of these views are the religious scholars.

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

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.

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