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Couples in the Global Margins

Sexuality and Marriage between Egyptian Men and Western Women

Nadeem Karkabi

Keywords: kinship; polygyny; romance; sexuality; South Sinai; tourism; transnational migration; ‘urfi marriage

This article examines relations between older Western women and younger Egyptian men in South Sinai, Egypt. Eschewing the label 'female sex tourism', it analyses the practices that these couples adopt in order to legitimate their relationships and further refers to alternative modifications of urfi marriages and polygenic relations. The article argues that these partnerships, as practised in the Sinai periphery, have come into existence in an effort to overcome changes caused by globalisation in the original cultures of these men and women and present alternatives to the otherwise difficult choices that they face in their mainstream societies.

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