AFP - Feb 13 - Um Sami is a well-established matchmaker from the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Families ready to marry off their offsprings contact her with details about their children and provide pictures which she carries around with her on rounds to match candidates. There are many different types of weddings that can be contracted in Saudi Arabia, from the traditional unions to unconventional ones by Western standards such as the "misyar" marriage. A misyar ("visitor's" marriage) is one in which couples live separately but can meet up when they want, usually for sexual encounters. Misyar is often the marriage of choice for polygamous men as well as divorcees and widows in Saudi Arabia, where extra-marital relations are strictly banned and punishable under rigid Islamic laws.
The full article was originally published at Times of India, but is no longer available.