(Tea Party 247) – Coronavirus shutdowns have been difficult for all kinds of families. Whether it’s homeschooling for the first time or navigating the difficulties of social distancing with divorced parents, we’ve all faced unique challenges.
Some more difficult than others.
Breitbart reports that thousands of Kuwaiti men are in the throes of despair because they’re having a hard time visiting their multiple wives in the midst of coronavirus shutdowns.
“My life has become so complicated,” complained 45-year-old Abu Othman, who has 10 children between the two women, to the AFP.
“I am constantly on the move between them,” he said, declaring that he’d never be able to choose between both wives.
The oil-rich country has imposed some of the strictest measures in the Gulf to combat the spread of the virus, which has so far infected over 15,000 people and claimed 118 lives there.
Last week, Kuwait announced a nationwide “total” lockdown until May 30, suspending all but essential private and public sector activities.
Under the curfew, residents are allowed to shop for food only once every six days, after electronically obtaining official permission, and may otherwise leave home for two-hour evening walks.
Those who break the rules, which also include mandatory use of face masks outside the home, can be fined as much as $16,000 and jailed for up to three months.
In response to distressed polygamists like Othman, however, the government has now begun issuing electronic permits to men who have multiple wives to allow them one-hour visits twice a week.
According to Islamic law, Muslim men are allowed up to four wives at a time.
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Abu Othman married his first wife in 2001 and his second wife in 2006.
The two women live in separate houses in Al-Jahra, a predominantly Bedouin area 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Kuwait City.
Polygamy has become increasingly uncommon in much of the Muslim world. Tunisia was the first predominantly Muslim country to abolish the practice in 1956.
Kuwait had one of the highest rates of polygamy in the Gulf between 2010 and 2015, at over eight percent of marriages, according to a study by the Doha International Family Institute.
Abu Othman said he was trying hard to make sure neither of his wives feels neglected, especially amid a crisis that has seen much of the world virtually shut down.
With COVID-19 restrictions, however, Othman has faced difficulties providing each of his wives with sufficient time.
“Sometimes police patrols understand my situation, while at other times I have to apply for permission claiming there is a ‘family emergency’,” said Abu Othman before the new “second wife” permission was introduced.
Naturally, you can imagine that the fact that some of these men have been forced to choose which wife to spend lockdown with has erupted in some drama, as in the case of one Abu Abdulaziz.
“For the first time, I haven’t seen some of my children,” he told AFP, who said that one of his wives had been “understanding”.
The other wife, however, was less understanding.
“He could have chosen to stay with me,” she said.