A Civil Wedding: Love on high seas

Civil Love’ is a campaign that represents a vision for a better, more open world. A world that celebrates human unity, diversity, champions openness and promotes self-expression, organizers said.
by Tala Ramadan

9 September 2018 | 01:32

Source: by Annahar

  • by Tala Ramadan
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 9 September 2018 | 01:32

The happy couple on a sun-kissed day, upon their wedding vessel. (Annhar/Tala Ramadan)

BEIRUT: Saturday, 22 km off the shoreline of Lebanon, a wedding took place in global waters without breaking any Levantine marriage laws. 

Tarek Mallak and Anastacia El Hajj celebrated their union off the coast of Lebanon as part of a local campaign, 'Civil Love', by Absolut Lebanon.

Lebanon has a long history of sectarian divisions and civil strife with 'Civil Love' suggesting that youths from different backgrounds and faiths falling in love with one another would go a long way in healing those divides.

The couple told Annahar that they were initially planning to perform their civil marriage in the U.S before they were approached by Interesting Times, a company that works on Creative Marketing Solutions and Digital Marketing.

Given that a ship’s captain generally does not have any legal right to officiate a wedding at sea, a minister from Cyprus was present to perform the ceremony.

"The wedding is symbolic and its goal is to support the voices of a large group of young people who want to marry in their own country," Waseem Basil, an Interesting Times's executive told Annahar.

The laudable intentions of Tarek and Anastacia overwhelmed attendees, with the newlyweds steadfast in bringing to light the right to marry in a secular framework. 

Pierre Rabat, who was one of the attendees, told Annahar that he genuinely fell in love with the campaign that encourages people to find solutions while calling for action on different levels.

‘Civil Love’ is a campaign that represents a vision for a better, more open world. A world that celebrates human unity, diversity, champions openness and promotes self-expression, organizers said. 


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