Our Discussions

Tele-Marraige and Arranged Marraige
1 (a pedar)


Do u know any Iranian being married without meeting directly?

I mean one in IRAN and another one abroad?

What do u think about that?

2 (a madar)

tele-marriage is called "marriage by proxy" and is not legal in the US.

That may be why we don't see any of it in the states. but I have seen arranged marriages where the parents of both side agree first, and then introduce the bride- and groom-to-be together. I have seen successful arranged marriages where the two parties met here in the US, or met in Turkey, or in Iran. unfortunately, I have seen unsuccessful cases, too.

I believe Indians do arranged marriages more than Iranians and it is amazing that even the most educated Indians still have no problem with it and end up having good relationships. I remember a classmate of mine here at UC Berkeley who was from India. I learned that he was done with his studies and was going to be a professor at a top rank university in the US but just before starting his job, he had gone to India for an arranged marriage.

I beleive different people have different values and there is no single good or bad way of doing anything including marriage. BTW, There was an article about the wedding ceremony of some very rich Jewish Iranians in New York area in the paper. The bride was only 20 and when the reporter asked her whether she was in love with the groom she said something like:

"You Americans first fall in love, and then get married. We Iranians first marry, and then fall in love with our husbands."

I see some truth in that, but it is a very open ended discussion...

3 (a madar)

I am no expert in the subject but to add to what Soheila wrote, I think whatever way you get married, it boils down to individual's commitment to the family. I suspect we Iranians are certainly more committed to family life that our Western friends. It is not so easy for us to get up and leave. However so far as compatibility of personality goes, it makes me very nervous of arranged marriages. You really don't know what you are getting yourself into. I didn't get married this way and in no way would I arrange my daughter's marriage. I have however seen how a real Iranian marriage goes. My brother last Norooz, went to Iran to get married.

(day one)
He saw a video of the bride to be, liked her looks. As she wasn't family, they contacted the owner of the video for miyAn-jegari.
(day two)
My mum went for Khastegari, she (the bride) brought tea, they talked finance more than educational credentials (howmuch he was making and where he intended to live etc), my brother and the girl talked privately for 1/2 hr.
(day three)
The proposal was accepted by the bride's family, so in the evening they went to sort out little things like Mehriye.
(day four)
The following day, they went and bought Angoshtar and in the evening they got engaged.
(day five)
Me and my mum left for UK
(day six) They did a blood test and bought javAherAt.
(a week later)
They got married.
(two months later)
She is here in UK as my sister in law living with my brother!

Now if the above is not a total risk (may I add for both of them) then I don't know what is.

Best wishes

4 (a mother)

I am American and was married by proxy-in a seegheh ceremony. I first met my husband at the University when I was 18 and engaged to another. I married, ,he returned to Iran and married, and we never really kept in touch. When I was 23, my first husband after a custody battle, kidnapped our son and disappeared for 4+ years. I did 60 Minutes, milk cartons, the gamut of possibilities.

While sitting alone in a hotel room in Paris, (having spent the week unsuccesfully following "clues"),I reached into a side pocket of my suitcase and found a tiny old address book in which my "now husband" had written his address in Iran. I wrote a postcard asking him if he remembered me and if he would please write.

His mail was waiting for me upon my return to California. As fate would have it, his wife had decided she did not want to be a full time mother and had left him with two toddlers. He asked if I would like to come to Iran to spend time together and see what the possibilities were while he helped me search for my son (whom, some had said was in Iran with his father).

I jumped at the chance. When I arived in Tehran and saw two of the most gloriously beautiful 100% Persian Princesses I had ever seen, a mother's arms were once again full and a father's eyes once again held hope. We were like pieces of a puzzle. Our marriage by proxy and "seegheh" (which became permanent), has resulted in a family of 8-yours,mine and ours.

More than 12 years later, I can attest from personal experience that miracles do happen and a miracle can be broken down into a simple shift of perception. I have shifted many of my perceptions and have been greatly rewarded with experiences so incredible that Forrest Sawyer came to my house in Iran and asked me to write them down. Although, I have not yet done so, I can honestly say, there is no one right or wrong way to marry. There is only what is right and wrong for each of us and that is circumstance and principle dependent. We must think with both our hearts and our heads, but, I think we must always follow our hearts.

(By the way, that missing child of mine was found within 2 months of my mothering children who needed it. He graduated valedictorian and is attending college classes in L.A. while modeling on the side. He is the light of my eyes and for his sake, his father and I have settled all differnces and he is blessed with love from all sides.)

Make your own miracles.


5 (a mother)

What a fantastic story (mother #4). I am so grateful to be able to learn from many different situations. My mind has kept on opening and I have learnt that every situation has its own merits. Very importantly, I have learnt (and continue to learn) not to judge everything and everyone by my own beliefs. We are just all too unique.

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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