Shoes and wedding dresses in a store in Damascus, on January 8, 2018
Nur looks at his finger, without a ring, and scrutinizes his comrades from the University of Damascus but only sees women and no boy with whom he can marry.
With 30 years, this woman who decided to resume her studies, says she is impatient to get married. But the war in Syria, which is becoming eternal, makes the vast majority of men either have emigrated, or are in the army or have died.
„I hope that one day an alliance honors this finger,“ says Nur, who uses a pseudonym to, according to her, speak freely.
„There are no more young men here, they left years ago, their number is reduced from year to year,“ he says.
When the conflict broke out, in 2011, Nur was preparing to obtain a diploma in economics.
At that time, I had new suitors every week. „Today the marriage requests are almost over.“ And those who propose „or are already married or are older,“ laments the woman.
„I have nothing to pass the time, neither friend, nor lover nor husband,“ he sighs. „I’m horrified by the idea of getting gray before I get married, so I will not have any hope.“
In this very conservative country, women usually marry before thirty.
– Skype Weddings –
Several people pass in front of a jewelry store in Damascus, where young people have more and more problems getting married due to the war, on January 8, 2018
„Today, a woman can marry at 32 without people telling her that she has been late,“ says Salam Qasem, a psychology professor in Damascus.
In almost seven years of war, more than 340,000 people died. Tens of thousands of men were called to the front.
Of the 23 million people that counted the country before the war, more than five million fled outside the borders and about seven million are internally displaced.
This has almost disappeared the social ties that were once used in families to find future spouses, says Qasem.
„The neighbors knew each other before or learned to know each other quickly, but today, families are scattered everywhere,“ he explains.
Some Syrians managed to overcome these difficulties by getting married via Skype. The future spouses live in different Syrian countries or provinces and delegate a third person to conclude or register their marriage certificate while they exchange their votes online.
But it is not like that for everyone.
At the age of 31, Yusra, who works as a translator in the service of the government, explains that her parents fear that she „loses the marriage train“.
„I do not want you to become an old maid,“ her mother repeats, advising her to „look around to find a good match.“
– ‚Crazy‘ –
But like Nur, Yusra is surrounded by female colleagues or men she considers too old for her.
„Everyone knows that a large part of youth has paid a high price“ in the conflict, reminds AFP this woman.
A vendor places a wedding dress in his store in Damascus. In addition to the lack of young men, the war has also made weddings between people from different religious communities more difficult
In addition to the lack of young men, the war has also made weddings between people from different religious communities more difficult. It has also caused high inflation, widespread unemployment and colossal economic losses.
„The increase in the cost of living and other financial factors make marriage an impossible mission,“ explains Firas, a 37-year-old man who does not want to get married.
„Whoever gets married in these circumstances is crazy, I can not even guarantee a safe and dignified life for me, what would happen if I had a wife and children?“ He asks.
Munzer Kallas hung a large calendar on the wall of his room with several dates marked in red. These are the deadlines for submitting applications for scholarships to study abroad.
„I do not think about marriage at all, I have decided to follow my brother to Germany,“ says the 26-year-old medical student. „It would be better for me to look for a plane ticket and not a woman.“