Ghassan Idriss knows first-hand the harmful effects of child marriage on society. Having married at a young age to a woman even younger than himself, Idriss and his wife faced struggles that so many other couples in his home country of Lebanon grapple with.
Now, with three daughters of his own, Idriss is doing everything he can to educate those around him about the dangers of this antiquated institution. By hosting talks, he’s using his voice to spark change within his community.
On his experience of the institution he wants to end:
“Child marriage is a disaster. I got married very young. There was a huge gap, it was like torture for us. Child marriages happen because of certain events or circumstances in families; it could be out of fear or for financial reasons.”
On approaching difficult conversations with his community:
“It is challenging dealing with close-minded people. Some are so old-fashioned and stubborn. If you talk down to people, it will annoy them even more. You need to break the ice between you and your audience, you need to understand their backgrounds, their pain, their worries. The goal for these classes is not to change people’s ideology or traditions; we are simply trying to shed light on what is right and what is wrong.”
On his hopes for his daughters’ futures:
“The most important thing is that I wish for them to continue their education. Once educated, they will have the tools to build a good life for themselves. How can anyone not feel the obligation to care about such a sensitive topic that is related to their families? It would be a mistake not to care.”
Video Link: https://bit.ly/2KVV24v