A Swindling Don Juan

A Swindling Don Juan

I decided to write my blog post about an interesting article I found on the first day of my assigned week. This article was about how an older wealthy lady named Waghida Hanem seemed to have had her feelings captured by a young man, whom her family believed was only after her substantial finances. The young man successfully convinced Ms. Waghida to leave for Zagazig to meet and marry him along with jewels and money valuing around 20,000 pounds. At the news of the marriage the family of the bride demanded the revocation of the marriage and subsequent divorce of the bride and groom which was granted through the correct legal proceedings. Ms. Waghida was left in the care of her brother which she refused and took refuge with her lawyer however she has now disappeared without a trace.

This article was interesting to me for a number of reasons. One being that you don’t hear many cases today of young men trying to get with older women for their money, most of the time it’s the other way around with young women trying to find that rich lonely man to latch onto. Another thing I found interesting was how the family was able to literally nullify the marriage without the consent of either the bride or the groom and the fact that it was completely legal. There has been ongoing debate and trials regarding ways to legally nullify marriages in the U.S as outlined here , though I know of no way in America for someone who has no part in the marriage to nullify it against the bride and groom’s wishes so the fact that this was allowed amazes me. However here it is shown how in India a marriage may be nullified for a variety of reasons including if either the bride or groom was declared mentally unsound. This could be attributed to the laws in India that require a woman to have a male guardian so they are seen as less than women are seen in America. I read an article here on how a marriage was made null and void by a court in India over the fact that it was believed the daughter was forcibly converted to Islam. Apparently this isn’t extremely uncommon for countries other than the U.S.

Interestingly enough I found a blog post here where the author decided to write an article about the fact that marriages were seen as a way for women to be happy and the author seemed extremely upset with that belief. I found it ironic considering Mrs. Waghida’s family forcibly put an end to her marriage even though she inferably was happy. You could say that her family was trying to prevent her from getting her heart broken by this swindler or just hurt in general because as outlined here where a man attempting to fix his relationship with his wife ends up stabbing her out of anger, domestic violence was not uncommon.

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Robert Thomas
Student

The author, a student at Florida State University, was enrolled in the digital microhistory lab in fall 2019.