Photos: Haunting face of arranged marriage bride forced into wedding by dictator

A bride looked visibly miserable after she was given just a few days notice that she was to marry an impoverished history teacher.

The match between bride Marjona Hudoidodova and Saidsho Asrorov, 23, was arranged by Tajikistani’s all-powerful dictator Emomali Rahmon.
But while the groom appears thrilled with the match , 22-year-old Marjona did not smile at all during the ceremony.

Arranged marriages are common in Muslim Tajikistan, although it is rare for the president to order them.

A “matchmaking committee”, run by a local apparatchik in charge of ideology, was formed to find Saidsho a bride.

President Rahmon stepped in after the teacher read a sycophantic poem at a gathering attended by the Tajik strongman who has ruled the ex-Soviet republic for a quarter of a century.

In the poem that won him a bride, Saidsho praised the president for his role in “supporting education and the upbringing of the young generation” in Tajikistan.

Saidsho told Radio Free Europe:
“The president asked me about my life and family. He asked if I was married. I answered ‘no.’
“Then he instructed the district leadership to decide on my marriage.”

Anxious to appease the 64-year-old leader, Marjona was nominated as Saidsho’s bride after the committee spoke to her parents.Ten days later the couple were married.

During the ceremony Marjona avoided eye-contact with her new husband.


“The matchmakers communicated with my parents,” she said. “My parents agreed to allow me to marry the man on the condition that I am allowed to continue to work.
“I want to continue working as a nurse in a hospital. My groom agreed that I would continue working.”
Daily Telegraph


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