A Civil Marriage in Lebanon; Absolut-ly Almost!

A civil marriage happened only 22 km off the Lebanese coast Saturday noon, attended by the friends and family of Tarek Mallak (31) and Anastacia El Hajj (29) – and ofcourse the creators: the advertising agency, Interesting Times, and Fawaz Holding as the distributor for Absolut.

CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Husband and Wife.jpg

Instead of traveling to another country to celebrate their wedding, this young couple decided to celebrate its as close as possible to the land where they were born and raised, the land they love – the land that does not accept them falling in love.

The logistics of doing such a wedding is not easily replicable. The boat has to be registered in a separate country that accepts civil marriage, in this case in Cyprus. The minister had to be a Cypriot marriage officer.

CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Female Cypriot Minister_Wedding Ceremony

“When you enter international waters, you can then follow the law of where the boat is registered. This was our way of expressing that we all believe it’s high-time we bring civil marriage to Lebanese shores.” stated Rita from Interesting Times.

Coming from different religious backgrounds, these young love birds are the pioneers of An-Almost-In-Lebanon-Civil Marriage without having to lose their civil rights*. The thing is Lebanese people are getting civil married in other counties both ways and legalizing it is a win-win situation to the state and the couples in love. In addition to it being a way to express that Love should know no race, color, gender, or religion, it creates additional revenue to the Lebanese economy and minimizes the expenses of Lebanese couples.

 CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Birds Eye View of Wedding

‘Civil Love’ is a campaign that represents Absolut’s vision for a better, more open world. A world that celebrates human unity, diversity, champions openness, and promotes self-expression. It suggests that the best way to heal division in Lebanon is for the youth of different backgrounds to fall in love with each other. ‘Civil Love’ is the hope for a unified tomorrow in Lebanon.

 

Amen to that!
Keep falling in #Civillove!
M

 

* In 2013, a legal loophole allowed a few couples to marry civilly, but in order to do this, the couples had to erase all traces of their religion from their National Identities which led to a loss of civic rights. This act not only meant that the couples were criticized but it also cost them their right to vote, work in a public office, and meant that their child would be born with the same civic issues. This doesn’t seem suitable for a celebration of love and commitment and since 2013 there have been no civil marriages in Lebanon.

 

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