Many witnessed a controversial – yet tragically customary – scene on the streets of Lebanon earlier this month when they came across a 12-year-old girl and a much older man posing for photographs near the seaside.
Dressed in a white wedding dress and a veil, which seemed a little too big from her small frame, the child bride stood beside her grey-haired groom who was old enough to be her grandfather. Unsurprisingly, the couple drew a lot of attention from the passersby, many of whom were quick to come up and congratulate the newlyweds.
Despite the fact that the bride was not even a teenager, the video above shows many passersby nod their approval at the couple. However, there were a few who reacted quite angrily to the situation.
“She's 12! I was jogging but my feet froze when I saw her,” a woman shouted at the groom. When another bystander told her the wedding was legal as the groom had the parents' permission, the woman responded with “What law? I am taking her with me. We are all going with her. How can I leave? She is like my daughter.”
Thankfully, in this case, the marriage was all but a sham, arranged by local charity KAFA to highlight the persistent problem of child weddings in the Middle Eastern country. The practice is on an increase, particularly in refugee camps where Syrian girls young as nine are forced to marry middle-age men.
While the fake wedding might have been a hoax, the entire thing was certainly eye opening since around one in every 100 children in Lebanon are married off before they are 15, according to UNICEF.
Watch the video above to find out how people reacted to the child bride and her companion.