By News from Elsewhere
A campaign against the tradition of grooms buying gold gifts for their brides is gaining support in Egypt, it's reported.
Ordinarily, grooms would be expected to shell out for a gift, usually in the form of gold jewellery, depending on their financial resources, a tradition known as "shabka" in Arabic. But soaring gold prices have left betrothed young men with a dilemma.
The price for one gram of 21-carat gold has reached 445 Egyptian pounds ($50; £38) recently, and it's not the only cost involved. A man is also expected to buy an apartment and pay a dowry for his wife-to-be.
Now an initiative to put an end to the pricey gifts is gaining momentum. Residents of a village in Qena Governorate used Friday sermons to call on people to stop buying gold and instead to give symbolic gifts to brides, al-Watan website reports. The idea spread to other northern areas, and has become a social media debate, too.
Some want gold to be replaced with silver as a cheaper alternative, with thousands of people using the hashtag #Bride's_gift_silver or the phrase "Can do without gift" online. Popular songwriter Amir Teima voiced his support, addressing brides directly in a Facebook post: "Work hard and start your lives together. You are not a commodity and the groom is not a merchant."