Divorce by SMS (This Time in Egypt)

In Egypt, there's another way cell phones can give you a big headache: divorce by SMS.

Here's the story of a Cairo woman whose husband divorced her by ... text message!

She and her husband, an Egyptian army officer away on duty, had just hung up after quarreling on the phone. She ignored his return call, not wanting to continue the argument, the woman recounted in an interview this week.

The electronic chirrup of an incoming message signaled his response. "I divorce you," her husband had written. "That will teach you not to answer my calls."

Reconciliation followed, only to be broken by another quarrel, this one over the woman asking her family to mediate the couple's problems. "I divorce you," her husband wrote in another message. "Don't ask other people to interfere in our business."

Another reconciliation. Another argument. And another declaration of divorce from her husband, this time face to face, late last year.

Islamic law can make the act of divorce stunningly simple for men, even if the ensuing financial settlements often are not. A husband has only to declare to his wife, "Inti talaq" -- "You are divorced" -- three times, and mean it, to end their marriage.

The couple wants to reconcile, but it's unclear whether they're actually divorced:

Her husband wants her back, the woman said, but the religious scholars she consulted tell her she is divorced in the eyes of God and would be returning to him out of wedlock.

But if she refuses to return, and the courts rule the text-message declarations invalid and her marriage intact, she risks losing her claim to her young son.

With the text messages, she said, "the doors of hell have opened on my life."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/18/AR2008011803628.html (Photo: John Karakatsanis [Flickr]) - via Textually


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"I divorce you". WOW! That's beyond harsh. I think this is even worse then leaving a divorce message on an answering machine. (which has also happened). I guess as long as there's new technologies, someone will break up with their "special" someone by using it.
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We all say things we don't mean when we are angry or upset. I find it hard to comprehend that all a man has to do is say "I divorce you" three times to his wife and they are divorced. Especially now when the husband has calmed down and wants his wife back, she technically is no longer his wife. Cultural differences are always so hard to wrap your head around. I work for www.firstwivesworld.com and we have a video blogger named Sarah who's in the process of a seperation. She opens up so much it is so touching. The saddest thing is that she and her husband love each other so much, but she is Episcopalian and he is Egyptian. They have been married for 5 years but are seperating mainly because of their cultural differences. It is so hard to understand for me because I have never been in that situation but they obviously love each other, but have decided it is the best thing to do. It really makes you think.
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In case there are any women out there I might have accidentally married the last time I was in Vegas, I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you.
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Could you imagine having to live under a system that believes that God will acknowledge that you uttered "I divorce you" three times and hold you to it?

Mikalika Hai, Mika Heini Ho. Mikalika Hai, Mika Heidi Ho.

If I say that three times out loud, Jambi will banish me from Peewee's Playhouse.

Islamic law = world-class suck.
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I love that quote.

"The doors of hell have opened on my life."

It's easy to see why so many western women are flocking to the Middle East.

If they're truly divorced, why can't they just re-marry?
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