Wife encourages husband to take Egyptian wife

Pledge hinges on win for Muslim Brotherhood candidate in presidential elections
  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Manama: A Yemeni journalist who was a presidential candidate in her country’s 2006 elections has pledged to encourage her husband to take another wife if the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammad Mursi, becomes the next Egyptian president.
Rasheeda Al Qeeli, an activist who supports the Muslim Brotherhood, said she made the pledge after her husband Abdul Rahman Al Sharif, a poet and a literary figure, kept telling her playfully for 14 years that he wanted to marry an Egyptian woman as well.
“I once read to him a social study issued five years ago which concluded that Egyptian women topped the Arab list of husband beaters, but he flatly rejected the findings,” Rasheeda said in comments published by Kuwaiti Arabic daily Al Rai on Tuesday.
“In all cases, I have pledged that if Mursi wins the presidential elections, I will encourage my husband to take a good Egyptian wife. I am serious about this sacrifice,” the 47-year-old woman said.
The husband said that he was surprised by Rasheeda’s pledge.
Woman yet to be chosen
“Rasheeda is my second wife and I will have to comply with her pledge,” he told the Kuwaiti daily. “I have not decided yet about the identity of the Egyptian wife, but I will travel to Egypt to choose her in case Mursi wins. But, let him win first, and then we will see what we will do.”
Mursi on Monday claimed victory in Egypt’s presidential race even though the rival camp of Ahmad Shafiq, the second candidate, has contested the unofficial results.
Polygamy is common in Yemen, particularly in rural areas.
Study on polygamy
A 2008 study by the Yemen Polling Centre (YPC) on polygamy found that 55 per cent of women agreed that polygamy could solve the issue of spinsterhood in Arab societies.
According to the study published by Yemen Post, polygamy is easily supported when the wife is sterile or when a divorce could cause family damage. Women who are widowed readily accept to marry men who already have wives, the study said.