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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Handmade Yemeni Daggers, 10,000 Dolla...
Sanaa
By MENA Desk
06 Jan 2015

In Yemen it is rare to see a man in public without a traditional dagger, known as a ‘Jambiya’, on his waist. Although they barely have any practical use, the ceremonial daggers have been an integral part of the male Yemeni identity for centuries. While outsiders perceive the dagger as a type of weapon, Hussein al-Azizi insists that it is solely for decoration and a symbol of power and honor.

  • Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant, (man, Arabic): “I carry a Dagger, because it is an accessory for myself, and a pride for all the Yemenis. It is not a weapon as many consider it to be, it is an accessory for men to wear, it was used as a weapon in the old times when people traveled from one village to another as protection since they did not have guns.”

Some Yemeni men spend fortunes on their jambiya. It is not unheard of for a man to spend over 10,000 dollars on this accessory as Hussein did.

  • Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant, (man, Arabic): “What makes my dagger special is that it is made from the horn of a rhinoceros. I believe it is really special and better than other jambiyas and it is worth $10,000. There are even more luxurious ones but I believe in the old proverb, which says, "My beast is better than the King's horse."

This workshop owned by Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi in the old city in Sanaa, has been producing traditional jambiyas for generations. Today it has adapted and specializes in handles made of bull’s horns, since the more desirable materials of ivory and rhinoceros’ horn have been banned.

  • Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner, (man, Arabic): “There has been a ban on hunting rhinos since 1982, enforced by The United Nations, especially for Yemenis. So we had to rely on Kerk daggers made of bull’s horns, so we can keep selling and not lose our profession and preserve this Yemeni accessory.”

The jambiya consist of the belt, used to keep the dagger on the waist, the blade forged from steel, and most importantly the handle, which determines the quality and price of the jambiya.

The most superior and expensive knives, known as “Seifani”, have handles carved from rhinoceros’ horn. The second best, “Aaji”, have handles made of ivory. Due to hunting regulations, both these types of daggers are now rare. The next level down is made of bull’s horn and called “Kerk”. The lowest have handles made of wood, fiberglass

  • Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner, (man, Arabic): “The best dagger currently at al-Azizi dagger shop is al-Sefani, which dates back 400-600 years. It is made from rhinoceros’ horn. There is a difference between the daggers made from the horn of a rhinoceros and the Kerk dagger made from the horn of bulls, and the Chinese dagger, made out of wood and fiberglass, which overran and ruined the market.”

It is considered shameful if a man pulls out his jambiya in a confrontation, instead it is used in joyous celebrations. The jambiya decorated the waist of the groom at Yemeni weddings and is an essential part of al-Baraa traditional dance.

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'Islam Chipsy' Brings Egyptian Electr...
Beirut
By Joe Lukawski
04 Dec 2014

Egyptian 'shaaby' (pop) music phenomenon Islam Chipsy has begun taking the indie electronic music scene by storm. From the streets of Cairo to international stages, his take on Egyptian wedding-pop, known locally as ‘mahraganat,’ (festival music) combines Arab beats with hardcore drumming and phrenetic electro keyboard melodies that sound like someone's old Nintendo gaming system has been possessed by a flamboyant Egyptian groomsman. Chipsy, however, is a self-taught virtuoso keyboardist and a wonder to watch live.

In December, Islam Chipsy played in Beirut at the Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival while touring in the Middle East and Europe, making stops in France, Germany, Switzerland and in various Scandinavian cities. The global appeal of his music perhaps comes from its proclivity towards all-out partying, however, his stop in Beirut was special.

“People [here] are excited to see us; they have received us well,” he said. “Being in this country is like seeing your brother who wants to know how you are doing. So you feel that you speak with each other through music, not with words.”

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Chinese marriage 14
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
28 Nov 2014

A chauffeur driven car awaits the arrival of the wedding party in Dongsheng Town. Luxury cars line old Chinese villages on wedding days to take guests from the couple's homes to the wedding dinner venue. 20 years ago it would have been a sight to even see a car in these parts of China, let alone a luxury Mercedes.

Dongsheng Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province China.

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Chinese marriage 15
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
28 Nov 2014

Wu Yongyi getting her make up done for her wedding. The bride must rise early on the day of the wedding and can end up spending long periods of time in her bedroom until the groom arrives to take her to his house.

Young women in China face many pressures from their family, like finding a potential husband and also starting a family. These are very traditional values held within China and often put pressure on young women who wish to travel and explore life further before settling down.

Dongsheng Town. Zhongshan City. Guangdong Province China.

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Chinese marriage 18
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
28 Nov 2014

The bridal party are attacked with silly string as the initiation ceremony begins in Dongsheng Town, Zhongshan City. Guangdong Province China.Games and initiations for the groom and his party make up a huge part of any Chinese Wedding ceremony. On the morning of the wedding the groom and his party must prove their worth before the bride will be presented to the groom from her bedroom. Examples of such initiations and games include eating Wasabi sauce or bird food from the floor while doing press ups, getting sprayed with silly string or drinking coke laced with soy sauce.. In modern Chinese society these games and initiations are becoming slightly more rumbustious as Chinese youths are now drawing some influence from Western Society and more traditional practices particularly in larger cities become less prevalent.

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Chinese marriage 8
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
28 Nov 2014

Wu Yongyi follows the instructions of the women on the right, who is known in China as a Meiren. Her father holds a red lucky umbrella over their heads in a wedding ceremony in Dongshen Town, Zhongshan City. Guangdong Province China.

The Meiren or Medium goes to the bride's house on the morning of the wedding and officially starts the ceremony. The Meiren is considered the link between the bride, the wedding party, and the spiritual world. On the wedding day, the Meiren will ask the gods and ancestors of the family for their blessing. She will also instruct the bride to follow the processes that are considered good luck, directing the bride and holding her hand throughout the ceremony.

In modern day China, weddings are becoming much more extravagant and Westernized. Many families will not use or require a Meiren as the idea of a spiritual connection becomes forgotten. However, in small villages the traditions of old are still deeply rooted in each ceremony.

Dongshen Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China.

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New Economy Changing the Face of Chin...
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
11 Nov 2014

Over the past 7 to 10 years Chinese society has undergone rapid transformation socially, economically and politically. The face of this change is best seen in China’s youth. They are the people who are moving China forward. Many youth find themselves caught between tradition and modernity as they try to find their sense of identity and place in an ever changing society. 

Some of the changes in Chinese society can be seen in the weddings and marriage customs of young Chinese newlyweds. Zheng Ying met her husband through a mutual friend and they now live together in their new home in Guangzhou. Old Chinese traditions often saw newly married couples move directly into the groom's home, but now, with China's economic growth, couples are becoming wealthier and more independent and many are buying their own homes and abandoning old traditions.

Modern Chinese wedding ceremonies often infuse Western style opulence alongside ancient Chinese traditions. With a massive surge in the disposable income available to Chinese citizens, no expense is spared in making the ceremonies as lavish as possible. In a country where image and stature are of great importance, the typical Chinese family is spending great amounts of money on their child's wedding.

These photos explore the rapid cultural and economic changes taking place in China through the wedding ceremonies of young Chinese couples. 

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Chinese marriage 9
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

Local men and young distant relatives loiter outside the bridal party's home in Zhongshan City. Like the economy, Chinese youth culture is changing fast, both in fashion and in mindset.

The man on the right wears the early Mao influenced three piece business suit, which is symbolic of the early communist era. While the young man standing slightly to the left opts to go for a more modern punk / rebellious garb.

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Chinese marriage 16
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

Dinner is prepared for a wedding feast in Dongsheng Town. Often migrant workers from Northern Chinese Provinces cook food for wedding parties. Many things have changed in China for many people, but for others, such as migrants from the Northern Provinces, much remains the same.

Dongsheng Town, Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China.

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Chinese marriage 19
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

The bride and groom leave after being adequately protected from the rain from their personal chauffeur and valet in Panyu District, Guangzhou. Guangdong Province China. This type of personal service and elegant touch is now provided by many different companies in China. The wedding business is a booming industry after being non existent in previously poorer generations. Most parents of newly weds could never have imagined such services like the ones provided in todayÕs modern weddings. Many have memories of being transported to their venue by 3 wheel cart and having a dress previously handed down by another family member or another girl who may have married recently living in their village.

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Chinese marriage 21
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

A chauffeur driven car departs for a the wedding party in Zhongshan City. Guangdong Province China. Luxury cars line old Chinese villages on the wedding day to take guests from the couples homes to the wedding dinner venue. 20 years ago it would have been a sight to even see a car in these parts of China, notwithstanding a luxury Mercedes.

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Chinese marriage 2
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

The Happy couple depart ! Zheng Ying and her husband are taken to their ceremonial dinner in a chauffeur driven Porsche with their own personal paparazzi in tow.

Chinese couples can spend upwards of 100,000 RMB ($16,000) on their wedding. Items such as gold jewelry, luxury car rentals, plush hotel venues and fine foods and wines are among some of the purchased items. The Wedding ceremony is often seen as an important day for families to show off their wealth and stature to friends and others in their community.

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Chinese marriage 5
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

An entrance to a wedding party in Guangzhou City. Guangdong Province. China.

Thousands of dollars is spent by couples on putting on a lavish after party or wedding dinner . The more opulent the better, with no expense being spared. Couples can often recuperate the money spent on the dinner as guests are expected to give the couple a red envelope with some cash or gifts. A typical Chinese wedding can cost a couple upwards of 100,000 RMB ($16,000), depending on the extravagance or wealth of the families. It is customary that the groom's party should foot the wedding bill, but in modern China this custom has become dependent on whether the bride's party are interested in halving the costs. Over the past 20 years, the amount of cash that can now be allocated to couples on their wedding day has risen at an extraordinary level. 20 years ago an average Chinese wedding may have only cost around 10,000 RMB ($1,600).

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Chinese marriage 6
Pear River Re
By Phil Behan
04 Nov 2014

Weiyan Lan and her grandson Shen Jiliang watch the departure of the a wedding party in Dongsheng Town. Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, China

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Mass Garbage-Man Wedding in Yemen
By Muatasm Mansor Al-Hitari
16 Jul 2014

June 21, 2014
Sana'a, Yemen

The Yemeni government subsidized a mass wedding for 350 couples, the men of which were all garbage collectors. They were provided with traditional dress, music and the marriage ceremony. Samir Shamal, 25, was one of the grooms who was married. Despite being recently betrothed he still lives at home and is unable to move out with his wife because the wages for garbage collection are too low.

Transcription:
Samir Shamal, 25, Male. Arabic:
"My name is Samir Shamal Abdullah and I work as a garbage-man. The salary is 27,000 (Yemeni rial) but it is not enough to cover our basic needs along with the rent and water bills, and all of that, but thank God. Life is hard, and the salary is only 27,000. I am about to have my own a family, and I do not know if I should live with my siblings or elsewhere. The rent elsewhere is at least 30,000. We were all living together, and we are all men, but now a woman is going to live with me, so I do not know if I can still live here, as it is embarrassing for me and my siblings. The salary is not enough for me to rent outside but I will find a person who is willing to lease a small place and I will take it."

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The Wedding Dress Tailor of Cairo
Cairo, Egypt
By jmontasir
02 Jun 2014

Madame Zeinab is a feisty, 60 year-old tailor who operates a small workshop in Cairo making wedding dresses. As she pieces together the fabric, she reflects on her own love life –and how the dream of marriage is getting harder for many Egyptians to achieve.

Length 3.10 minutes
Location Cairo, Egypt
Film by Jenny Montasir
Prod. Assistant Ghada Fikri
Music C. Filipe Alves

SHOT LIST:

1 WS Giza street from above
2 MS Fruit sellers working
3 WS Busy street with traffic
4 WS Omraneya commercial street
5 MS Exterior sewing shop
6 MS Madame Zeinab entering workshop
7 CS Madame Zeinab hands moving white fabric on work desk
8 TC Madame Zeinab explains workday
9 CS Madame Zeinab hands draws and measures around dress pattern
10 CS Sewing machine
11 CS Sewing needle and hands moving fabric
12 CS Madame Zeinab eyes
13 MS Religious texts on wall
14 CS Black and white thread spools
15 MS Madame Zeinab stretches at sewing table
16 MS Crowded workroom, ironing board
17 CU Scissors and rhinestone trim
18 WS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with wedding dress
19 CU Madame Zeinab hand-sewing rhinestones to collar
20 MS Madame Zeinab flipping through notebook with sketches, speaking to off-camera customers
21 WS Madame Zeinab speaking with two female customers
22 TC Madame Zeinab jokes about why customers want to have their own wedding dress
23 WS Giza neighborhood from above
24 WS Omraneya street, teenage boy walking with baby
25 CU Photo of married couple in shop window
26 MS Wedding dress in shop window, traffic moving in reflection
27 MS Older man in street counts money at shop entrance
28 CU Exterior wedding tent
29 MS Children inside wedding tent
30 WS Bride and groom climb onto elevated platform
31 WS Seated women clapping
32 MS Young girl twirls bouquet, pan to seated bride
33 CS Twinkling lights strung in tent
34 CS Young man hypes crowd on microphone, other young man dances alongside him
35 MS Young men dancing frenetically in crowd
36 MS Bride and groom dance in a circle of guests
37 WS Giza street evening
38 MS Madame Zeinab discusses wedding dress design with her daughter
39 CS Notebook and ruler on workdesk
40 WS Madame Zeinab arranging white fabric on work desk
41 MS Madame Zeinab hobbles into break room
42 CS Colorful spools of thread
43 MS Madame Zeinab drinking tea
44 WS Daughter watching political rally on TV
45 CU Daughter's looking up toward TV
46 TC Madame Zeinab on hope for future
47 MS Madame Zeinab working on dress, reflected in mirror
48 MS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with white fabric, makes joke about getting married

SHOT LIST - Rough Version
1 WS Giza street from above
2 MS Fruit sellers working
3 WS Busy street with traffic
4 WS Omraneya commercial street
5 MS Exterior sewing shop
6 MS Madame Zeinab entering workshop
7 CS Madame Zeinab hands moving white fabric on work desk
8 CS Madame Zeinab hands draws and measures around dress pattern
9 CS Sewing machine
10 CS Sewing needle and hands moving fabric
11 CS Madame Zeinab eyes
12 MS Religious texts on wall
13 CS Black and white thread spools
14 MS Madame Zeinab stretches at sewing table
15 MS Crowded workroom, ironing board
16 CU Scissors and rhinestone trim
17 WS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with wedding dress
18 CU Madame Zeinab hand-sewing rhinestones to collar
19 MS Madame Zeinab flipping through notebook with sketches, speaking to off-camera customers
20 WS Madame Zeinab speaking with two female customers
21 WS Giza neighborhood from above
22 WS Omraneya street, teenage boy walking with baby
23 CU Photo of married couple in shop window
24 MS Wedding dress in shop window, traffic moving in reflection
25 MS Older man in street counts money at shop entrance
26 CU Exterior wedding tent
27 MS Children inside wedding tent
28 WS Bride and groom climb onto elevated platform
29 WS Seated women clapping
30 MS Young girl twirls bouquet, pan to seated bride
31 CS Twinkling lights strung in tent
32 CS Young man hypes crowd on microphone, other young man dances alongside him
33 MS Young men dancing frenetically in crowd
34 MS Bride and groom dance in a circle of guests
35 WS Giza street evening
36 MS Madame Zeinab discusses wedding dress design with her daughter
37 CS Notebook and ruler on work desk
38 WS Madame Zeinab arranging white fabric on work desk
39 MS Madame Zeinab hobbles into break room
40 CS Colorful spools of thread
41 MS Madame Zeinab drinking tea
42 WS Daughter watching political rally on TV
43 CU Daughter's looking up toward TV
44 MS Madame Zeinab working on dress, reflected in mirror
45 TC Madame Zeinab explains workday
46 TC Madame Zeinab jokes about why customers want to have their own wedding dress
47 TC Madame Zeinab on hope for future
48 MS Madame Zeinab at sewing table with white fabric, makes joke about getting married

SCRIPT
01:00:12:19-01:00:15:13
My name is Madame Zeinab.
01:00:15:22-01:00:18:22
I have a shop called Al-Karawan in Omraneya.
01:00:19:13-01:00:22:14
We can sew anything.
01:00:25:06-01:00:29:11
I'm here by 10am and I don't go home until 12 at night.
01:00:32:03-01:00:35:16
I stand and cut.
I sit at the machine, and I iron.
01:00:35:17-01:00:37:17
I do everything by myself.
01:00:41:01-01:00:43:06
I got a sewing machine for my engagement
01:00:43:07-01:00:45:17
so I could help my husband and work.
01:00:47:08-01:00:49:20
He was a primary school teacher in Al-Azhar.
01:00:51:02-01:00:52:17
I have five children,
01:00:52:18-01:00:55:18
and their father has been dead for 30 years.
01:00:59:22-01:01:02:03
Nowadays most people just rent.
01:01:02:10-01:01:05:22
It's hard for a woman to buy when
she can barely afford to get married.
01:01:05:23-01:01:09:18
She can't afford the furnishings.
So why would she buy a dress for 3000 pounds?
01:01:14:20-01:01:16:19
A lot of people say, 'I want to tailor my own dress
01:01:16:20-01:01:19:04
to have as a memory in my wardrobe.'
01:01:19:05-01:01:22:17
Whenever she sees it
she'll remember her wedding day.
01:01:22:18-01:01:24:14
Whatever marital problems happen afterward,
01:01:24:15-01:01:26:17
when she sees the dress, she'll calm down.
01:01:29:07-01:01:33:10
I got married in a time when
people married at 18 years old.
01:01:35:13-01:01:37:22
Of course marriage was much easier back then.
01:01:37:23-01:01:42:05
Life was cheap and things weren't
as scarce as they are now.
01:01:51:20-01:01:54:21
A woman can't stay unmarried.
01:01:54:22-01:01:56:18
If she doesn't get married,
what will people say?
01:01:56:19-01:01:59:20
It's even better to get married and get divorced.
01:01:59:21-01:02:03:03
Then at least she can say, 'Yes, I got married.
But I have bad luck.'
01:02:24:14-01:02:26:16
I have a daughter who's a teacher,
01:02:26:17-01:02:29:04
and I have Ahmed who has a bachelor in commerce.
01:02:29:05-01:02:32:22
Osama has a diploma, and Mohamed
has a bachelor in commerce, too.
01:02:32:23-01:02:36:19
But because there's no work, one of them is
a taxi driver and the others do whatever.
01:02:39:23-01:02:36:18
[On radio] The Egyptian Revolution of January 25th, 01:02:39:22-01:02:42:09
the greatest achievement of which was...
01:02:43:09-01:02:45:03
Because of the conditions of the country,
01:02:45:04-01:02:47:13
the youth can't find apartments.
There's no place to live.
01:02:47:14-01:02:50:01
This is what's stopping life.
01:02:50:02-01:02:54:15
Our hope is that this changes
so that the country gets better.
01:02:54:16-01:02:56:08
Enough with the destruction.
01:02:59:19-01:03:02:09
I'm 60 years old and I want to get married.
01:03:04:12-01:03:06:18
I want to get married.

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Chinese marriage 12
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
23 May 2014

Yang Yi's mother and step father on the stage at her wedding ceremony in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. Hong Kong weddings differ considerably from their neighbors in mainland China. The processes of a wedding in Hong Kong are far more simplistic and less reserved. Many couples in Hong Kong have children before they are married, a practice virtually unheard of on the Chinese mainland.

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Chinese marriage 20
Guangdong
By Phil Behan
23 May 2014

Yang Yi from the Chinese mainland city of Zhongshan and her husband Kingsley Ho getting tea from YangÕs parents at their wedding party in Hong Kong. Yang Yi met her Hong Kong husband Kingsley on-line and after a three year relationship they were engaged to be married. Increasing numbers of Chinese youths are taking to using on-line websites to meet future potential partners. As China becomes modernized the stigma of meeting a partner on-line becomes less of an issue. An increasing number of young Chinese women are taking things one step further by using on-line sites to meet foreign men.