In the past, and to a great extent today, the Middle Eastern family
provided the economic and emotional support to its members – members
include mother, father, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts and
cousins to several degrees on both sides of the marital connection.
Men and women remained members of their natal families for life, even
after getting married. A divorced woman returns to her natal family,
for support until she remarries. A divorced man returns to his natal
family, so his parents can care for his children. In exchange for these
services, the individual is expected to place the group's interest
and survival above their personal desires, especially when deciding
who to marry, and upholding the family reputation by maintaining the
Having the family decide who to marry does not always work, and we
always see members rebelling, and refuse to marry the person chosen
for them by the family. Also, maintaining the family honour in turn
has caused many tragedies in the past.