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What if it is not meant to be?
Marriage has been a topic of debate for a long time. Some people support it; others oppose it, for many valid reasons. You can only add your opinion to the many others. In many societies in the MENA region, marriage is seen as a goal to be achieved. Whatever a woman achieves during her lifetime is meaningless unless she is married. Marriage always comes first.
Unfortunately, many girls are forced to get married at an early age. Some actually choose to marry without external pressure even though they are too young to start a family; the idea of marriage fascinates them (social pressure is always present, even if it is not overt). Many people forget that marriage is not meant for everyone, no matter how much effort they put into making it happen.
Some people are meant to do something else: to focus on a career, to improve their skills, to learn, to discover the world, to support their family, amongst many other alternatives. Some people are meant to get married and start a family; some are not. It is God’s plan; we cannot interfere in it, no matter how hard we try. In Ayat 216 from Surat Al-Baqarah it says ‘It may well be that you dislike a thing even though it is good for you, and it may well be that you like a thing even though it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know.’ Sometimes you like something so much because you think it is good for you when God is pushing it away from your life because it would harm you.
We need to remember that some things in life are not meant to be and that maybe marriage isn’t for some women or men – and that this is totally okay. We must each find our own, individual sense of purpose and focus on that, rather than waiting and searching for the person you hope to spend the rest of your life with.
Malak Altaeb is an Environmental Policy Masters student at Sciences Po University in Paris, France. She has a bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Tripoli in Libya. She participated in two exchange programs in the United States of America; the first one was Space Camp 2010, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative MEPI 2015. She has participated in civic society projects in different fields, such as youth and women’s empowerment, climate change, and art. She is now a member of the Libyan Youth Climate Movement LYCM. She is a blogger and has written for different domains and magazines. She has written for sister-hood magazine, climate tracker, Libya's Herald, Libyan Express and Libya investment. She is an advocate for women’s empowerment, youth, education and climate change.