Region | Syria

Five-year-old Khalid pops the question to Hala, three

Two Syrians could be the youngest couple in the world to get engaged of their own free will

  • By Duraid Al Baik, Associate Editor
  • Published: 00:00 October 21, 2010
  • Gulf News

Khalid and Hala exchange rings
  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Khalid and Hala exchange rings. The boy’s father said all the arrangements had gone smoothly and that the two had exchanged rings like adults.
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Dubai: Two Syrians, aged three and five-years-old, could be the youngest couple in the world to get engaged of their own free will.

The parents of Hala, aged three and her fiancee Khalid, aged five, claim the children have consented to the match. Their story was highlighted by the local Syrian website Akes Alser, (meaning Against the Traffic) and has become the talk of the country with the families of both children being congratulated by people, both from their home town Homs, 180 kilometres north of Damascus, and, abroad.

Khalid's father, Juma told Gulf News that his young son is the only child from his marriage which lasted more than 25 years.

"My wife and I got Khalid after 20 years of marriage, in a complicated pregnancy. I vowed to have my child engaged at the age of five if he was a boy and to marry him to a women of his choice at the age of 15," he said.

"Days passed before Khalid fell in love with a three-year-old girl he met during a family trip to the sea town of Lattakia."

Education

He added that the union is likely to interrupt their schooling. "I will bear the education expenses of both the children till they graduate," he said.

Khalid had reportedly been missing his young girlfriend after he returned with his family to Homs. He refused to return to the nursery he was attending if the little girl did not go with him.

"Khalid told me and his mother that he would like to have stayed with Hala or bring her home to Homs. The young bride seems very genuine," Juma said.

"We did not know what to do till my wife called Hala's mother and asked her opinion about the case. She said her daughter had developed similar symptoms of loneliness and the family would be happy to see them engaged."

"At that moment I remembered the vow I'd made before Khalid's birth, and decided to buy the couple rings. The family moved back to Lattakia to celebrate the engagement," he said.

Exchanging rings

Juma said all the arrangements had gone smoothly and that the couple had exchanged rings like adults.

"We know that Khalid or Hala might change their mind in the future, but what we do know at this stage is that they are very happy and talk to each other everyday. Khalid is waiting until he is 15 to marry Hala.

Do you know of any such arrangements? What was the outcome? Tell us at readers@gulfnews.com

Comments (24)

  1. Added 15:37 October 21, 2010

    Childhood days are days of frolic and fun. Parents should focus their attention of developing innate abilities of their children and not infuse these thoughts in their mind.

    Claude Fernandes, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:36 October 21, 2010

    This is ridiculous..first of all Gulf news should not be publishing such a story. I beleive GN is a weel reputed professional newspaper and publishsing just childish stories does not reflect good on the newspaper. Secondly i beleive the parents are behaving in an extremely immature manner. Completely ridisulous story.

    Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:19 October 21, 2010

    This is appalling! It's a form of abuse, letting these children get engaged at such a young age! This is not a game like playing house! and it has consequences that will ring out even in these children's teenage years! If the parents don't want their kids to have boyfriends or girlfriends, they could instill those values in their children and trust them enough to know how to behave. How can they possible think the responsiblity of such a decision can rest easy on those tiny shoulders?

    Salma Ali, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:13 October 21, 2010

    This is really strange and odd in today's modern & educated society. Though there was a time in India almost 30-40 years back when child marriage used to take place with consent of both families. But this was then stopped later by Govt. Of India. I am sure as this youngest couple would grow, there actions are likely going to affect their lifestyles as they will never be able to experience the life living as singles or teenagers.

    Gurpreet Singh, Dubai, Afghanistan

  5. Added 14:05 October 21, 2010

    Its soo sweet to see them loving each other at this age were there is no faults in there love !! They are too innocent to love & care 4 each other . Wishing them good luck !!!!

    MERIN MONI, karama dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:50 October 21, 2010

    Gulf news has big responsibility in publishing this article, it seems that you crossed ethical standard here from the way you report this. Its like publishing all press releases by Bin Laden and glorifying it. Come on your headline sanitizes the situation and pretends that it is Ok...but all knew that close minded people will only agree to this engagement. Some people just live in the Middle ages and will be left there. Some stories need not be published., full stop.

    steve, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:33 October 21, 2010

    This is not correct, does not reflect a good image. We are overlooking the fact that how this will be understood by hundreds of nationalities in UAE and how this will be understood by the highly connected world with diverse civilizations. Current times do not recognize this as a positive act. This may put certain degree of pressure on these two children themselves as they will grow up and face the other non engaged free crowd. On other comments, Id say that if they are free to break this marriage when they grow up, then we are ourselves giving an indication that marriage is a breakable relation. This message is not correct as well. Anyways, God Bless them.

    Gaurav, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:12 October 21, 2010

    I am with You Mr Haider. I agree with your view points. this is todays generation . as long as they are together and will remain intimate for ever then its best we leave it to the children. the parents also do not have an objection too.

    Mathew Litty, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 12:28 October 21, 2010

    awesome.........lets see what they will do when they grow up.......i wish them all the best......at least its a free country......even kids can do whatever they want. go ahead guys ,....FREEDOM

    Nader, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:21 October 21, 2010

    Engagement isn't hide-&-seek! They should be enjoying their childhood... not thinking about engagements or whatsoever, choosing a right life partner comes when the right time comes to it..

    Shaikha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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