The 6 Common People at EVERY Arab Wedding

By: Zeina El Mofty

Make yourself a fictional character and let’s just call her umm, Mariam. 

All weddings are magical but even magic is not always the same. This is not just any spell that would make a pen levitate, this is the SubhanAllah that would create something as complex as Fattah in the snap of a finger. This right here, this is me exaggerating like the Arab I am. Why? Because we’re going to an Arab wedding baby!

You’re going in and you look like all sorts of glam, as you walk in the gigantic hall where the wedding is, you meet your first fighters. 

1- The Hold-It-Together-Man(s)

Weakness: The song “طلي بالأبيض طلي” 

Strength: Has everyone’s support this day

This person is most probably the father of the bride. You can already see the tears swimming in his eyes. He spends 90% of the wedding overthinking the fact that his baby girl is leaving. He walks her down the aisle and holds her so tightly in the second dance. He’s the happiest person in the whole day. 

You’re now casually sitting at the table, enjoying the pistachio that’s inside that beautiful centerpiece plate and you notice something that makes you a little uneasy.

2- The Dangerous S’s

Weakness: People often avoid them

Strength: Most intense evil eye (khammeso, please)

Let’s call them Tant Sawsan and Tant Somaya. You catch them looking you up and down and they’re not just talking about your dress, they probably know more about your life than you do yourself. These are the Tantes that have already investigated and made an analysis report of every person’s dance skills, clothes, and back-story. 

In avoidance of the dangerous S’s, you walk to the dance floor to bust some moves. But then…

3- The Ra2asa

Weakness: they have no weakness

Strength: hips that don’t lie

This person is an absolute machine. She’s probably not a first or even a second-degree cousin, but she is very much in the spotlight. People either admire her or judge her – she’s the Dangerous S’s easiest target. 

4- The Armies

Weakness: overly crowded

Strength: best hype ever

There are two armies at each wedding, the bride’s friends and the groom’s friends. As they unite their forces, the wedding becomes whole. Within the army, there are different types of partiers. You’ll find at the very least one dabke master or a baltagy, one girl who doesn’t know all the words to any song but dances anyway, one girl who takes off her heels 5 minutes into the wedding and is on the floor barefoot, a couple who think it’s their own wedding and a person who does nothing but take photos and videos for their snapchat.

You’re enjoying yourself, clapping and moving your hip side to side as you notice someone who is sort of, kind of, a creep.

5- The observer

Weakness: lonely

Strength: very observant

This is probably a single man in his 40’s, who is probably someone’s uncle that spends the whole wedding watching. Not analyzing, not judging, just watching. Silently. It’s…uncomfortable. Get ready to run. 

6- Who?

Weakness: sit alone – no one knows who they are

Strength: no one bothers them

These are the people who were ma3zoomeen 3ozoomet marakbeya but came for the Buffet. Just let them be. 

6 hours of dancing later, you go home with sore feet and a desperate longing for your bed. 

Arab weddings are like koshary. A mixture of everything and anything. Things you feel may be too much put together, but they turn out to be an absolute masterpiece. Here’s the thing about Arabs, families are big and by big I mean the wedding could have 400 guests that count as ‘family’. So no matter the number of types of people I tell you, there’s always more. 

Wait for part II, I’ll actually list the types – w rabena yostor. 

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