Tajikistani’s all-powerful dictator Emomali Rahmon, reportedly forced 22-year-old Marjona Hudoidodova, to marry an impoverished 23-year-old history teacher, Saidsho Asrorov, which left her looking so miserable on her wedding day.
Though it was gathered that arranged marriages are common in Muslim Tajikistan, but it is rare for the president to order them. The couple’s marriage came after a “matchmaking committee”, ran by a local apparatchik in charge of ideology, was formed to find Saidsho a bride. President Rahmon stepped in after the teacher read a sycophantic poem at a gathering attended by the Tajik strongman who has ruled the ex-Soviet republic for a quarter of a century.
When the President of Tajikistan heard the young schoolmaster reciting poems in praise of “the leader of the nation and founder of peace in Tajikistan” during a regional visit, he had only one response.
Find this man a wife, ordered Emomali Rahmon who also called on officials in the south-western Khatlon region to pay for the wedding, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
In the poem that won him a bride, Saidsho also praised the president for his role in “supporting education and the upbringing of the young generation” in Tajikistan. Saidsho told Radio Free Europe: “The president asked me about my life and family. .
He asked if I was married. I answered ‘no.’ “Then he instructed the district leadership to decide on my marriage.” Anxious to appease the 64-year-old leader, Marjona was nominated as Saidsho’s bride after the committee spoke to her parents.
Ten days later, the couple were married. During the ceremony Marjona avoided eye-contact with her new husband. “The matchmakers communicated with my parents,” she said. .
“My parents agreed to allow me to marry the man on the condition that I am allowed to continue to work. “I want to continue working as a nurse in a hospital. My groom agreed that I would continue working,” she added.