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Jeddah corniche wedding celebration generates societal debate

Some believe couple has the right to exercise their personal freedom while others say it contradicts societal norms

Gulf News

Manama: A bride and groom celebrating their wedding on the Jeddah Corniche has stirred up debate on social media.

A video of the couple walking on the seafront esplanade has generated massive engagement in the media.

Tariq Al Shami, a lawyer, said the celebration was absolutely legal and there was nothing in the law that prevented couples from celebrating in public.


“What happened at the Corniche does not constitute a violation in Saudi Arabia,” he said, quoted by Al Hayat daily.

“The wedding celebration did not harm others and is not considered an immoral breach of public behaviour. The couple had the right to take snaps at the waterfront in Jeddah.”

Even if the couple’s behaviour was deemed socially unacceptable, there are no specific sanctions that could be taken and any action would be left to the discretion of the judge, he added.

However, another legal expert, Mansoor Al Khanaizan said that the couple’s behaviour at the Corniche clashed with public norms.

“Such attitudes in public places are harmful to public morals and values,” he said.

“They are punishable by Sharia laws. Under public behaviour rules, the couples could be made to pay a fine that ranges from SR300 to SR3,000 or sent to jail for up to three months.”

Social media users also argued about the couple’s public celebration.

Those who opposed them referred to blatant violations of public morals and Saudi Arabia’s social norms while those who supported them hailed their act as personal freedom and a genuine celebration at one of the most scenic places in the city.

 

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