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Afghanistan: Fifty Couples Marry At Joint Wedding In Kabul To Cut Costs

Afghanistan, counted among the world's poorest nations, saw some parts of its economy find stability in 2023, but, poverty continued to increase and now stands at 69 per cent of the population. 

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An Afghan bride and groom participate in a mass wedding ceremony during the International Womens Day in Kabul, Afghanistan (Image for representation)
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KABUL, Afghanistan — On Monday (Dec 25), Kabul witnessed a mass wedding ceremony that joined fifty Afghan couples, a growing choice among those with limited means to avoid the expenses of a traditional wedding.

The event, organised by a charity, not only marked the unions but also provided the newlyweds with basic items like carpets and household appliances to help them start their married life.

An official from the ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice spoke at the modest ceremony. While verses from the Koran were recited, it's worth noting that dancing and music continue to be restricted by the Taliban, who regained power in August 2021.

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The just-married couples were driven away in cars decorated with green ribbons and red plastic roses shaped like hearts.

At the ceremony, hundreds of male guests, wrapped in traditional patu shawls, gathered in a large, chilly hall adorned with garlands.

Roohullah Rezayi, 18, told AFP news agency that he could not have afforded a solo wedding.

"A traditional wedding would have cost us at least 200,000 to 250,000 Afghanis [£2,220 to £2,770; $2,800 to $3,600] but this time it will be between 10,000 and 15,000 Afghanis," he said.

Afghanistan's Economy 

Afghanistan, counted among the world's poorest nations, saw some parts of its economy find stability in 2023, but, poverty continued to increase and now stands at 69 per cent of the population. 

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Afghanistan’s economy was already deteriorating before the Taliban takeover of the country on August 15, 2021.

Factors like severe drought, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, fading confidence in the previous government, reduced international military spending as U.S. and other foreign troops departed, people and money leaving the country, and the Taliban making gains on the battlefield contributed to the decline. 

From March 2022 to March 2023, the Taliban government reportedly earned about US$2.2 billion in revenue, according to the World Bank. This achievement, despite the national economy shrinking and no foreign development aid, is largely attributed to the Taliban's tax collection at Afghanistan's borders.

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