Hamas' mass weddings

This is an excellent of why Hamas, and many Islamist groups, get much support despite not really having mainstream ideas (at least at the beginning):

Hamas sponsors mass wedding in Palestinian camp in Syria

By The Associated Press

Some 60 Palestinian couples were married in a mass wedding ceremony at their refugee camp in Syria in the first event of its kind to be sponsored by the Islamist Hamas movement.

The pro-Hamas marriage ceremony late Friday night was attended by 5,000 people. It aimed to help young people deal with the prohibitive costs of marriage, according to Hamas officials at the event.

"Hamas helped me make my dreams come true. I want to thank Hamas simply because it made me happy," said 27-year-old groom Abdel Rahman Taha.

In addition to organizing the event, Hamas provided each couple with $1,500 in a mixture of cash and household appliances, the couples said.
They just get it - "it" being core social and economic problems that affect young people, which happen to be the biggest demographic force in the Arab world at the moment. Governments should emulate this type of thing.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.