A total of 143 couples entered into wedlock at a mass marriage ceremony solemnised by some businessmen in this capital city of northern Samangan province on Monday, participants said.
A resident of Aibak city, Haji Abdul Qudos, told Pajhwok Afghan News the ceremony was financially supported by 34 businessmen who belonged to Samangan but currently living abroad.
Around 6,000 guests, relatives of the grooms and the brides took part in the ceremony, he said.
A religious scholar, Mualvi Abdul Jabbar, in his address to the ceremony said such mass marriages were Islamic and prevented expensive weddings. He urged the couples to advance their lives in line with Islamic teachings.
A member of the provincial council, Mohammad Hasham Sarwari, one of the event organizers, said that all the 140 couples were youth from poor family backgrounds and could not afford to arrange their marriages.
The couples hailed from different areas of Samangan, he said, adding that the businessmen besides paying all the expenses also gifted cloths and 10,000 in cash to each couple. The total cost of the ceremony stood at $80,000, he said.
One of the grooms, Sardar Mohammad, a resident of Khuram district, thanked the businessmen who sponsored the ceremony on behalf of other grooms.
“I got engaged three years ago and since then I with my father and a brother worked in our farm fields and saved 350,000 afghanis for the bride’s Mahr, but we still were unable to hold the wedding ceremony due to our poor economic condition,” he said.
A similar ceremony involving 32 couples took place in Aibak City about two months ago.