Bilal Houri and his fiancée Rana Al Kadi left to Larnaca, Cyrpus to hold their civil marriage ceremony. The Lebanese couple of different religious backgrounds flew back to Beirut the same day, married.
“Rana and I come from different religions, but not religious people ourselves. I’m Sunni and she’s Druze,” Bilal told Gulf News. The couple didn’t want to change religions and hold a religious wedding in Lebanon, so they decided to go civil.
Despite efforts by non-governmental organisations to legalise civil marriage in Lebanon, it remains off the political agenda, and couples like Bilal and Rana are forced to travel abroad to tie the knot.
This no-choice situation has turned Cyprus into the Las Vegas of the Middle East, where couples fly to get married. It has also opened doors for travel agencies in both countries to make some cash out of religiously mixed couples and those with a double nationality.
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