Friday, March 29, 2013
Underage Daughters of Syrian Refugees Forced into Prostitution
Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon are being 'helped' by their Arab brothers in a particularly horrendous fashion. As in Egypt, the new capitol for Arab sex tourism, young, often underage girls are the prey:
Um Majed sets down small cups of hot Turkish coffee to ease the tension. Nezar is a Syrian refugee and looking for a husband for her daughter. She lists the girl’s qualities.
“She is tall and pretty,” she tells Um Majed. “She finished the seventh grade.”
“There is one available. He is Saudi,” Um Majed answers.
This is what Nezar wants to hear. Saudis, flush with petrodollars, will pay well. She has high hopes for this Saudi.
So does Um Majed who will earn a $287 fee if the two sides agree to the match.
Um Majed, 28, is also a Syrian refugee, a former housewife from Homs. Um Majed isn’t her actual name but a respectable Arab moniker meaning ‘mother of Majed,’ her young son. She doesn’t want her full name published because of her shame about what she does for a living: procuring brides, some as young as 12, for men as old as 70 from all over the Middle East in exchange for money.[...]
“My daughter is willing to sacrifice herself for her family,” Nezar says. “If the war had not happened I would not marry my daughter to a Saudi. But the Syrians here are poor and have no money.”
Nezar’s daughter is 17. The Saudi groom is 70.
And it's a buyer's market. There's a surplus of desperate Syrian refugees with young daughrers to sell, and some grooms offering as little as $100 cash for a bride.
The age of consent in Jordan is 18, but there's no shortage of religious clerics who will marry underage girls for a fee. A number of Um Majed's clients simply want a temporary 'marriage', which sharia allows. It can last a few days, weeks or months, after which there's a 'divorce' and the girl is returned to her parents, sometimes to be sold over and over again in what amounts to religiously sanctified prostitution.
“One of my brides has been married three, four times,” Um Majed says. “She is 15.”
“I have 10 families looking for grooms,” she says. “Their girls are between 12 and 21. The grooms are always in their 40s, 50s, or 70s. They want beautiful girls, the younger the better.”
“The Saudis usually ask for 12-year-olds.”