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36 Afghan couples take each other's hands in mass marriage
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In a rare event in the conservative post-Taliban Afghanistan, 36 couples got married at the same time and same place, officials said Tuesday.

"Thirty six couples, in other words, 72 young boys and girls, gave hands to each other's in a ceremony held in a local hotel of Heart province Monday," organizer of the program Syed Mohammad Kazim told Xinhua.

His institution had spent 35,000 Afghanis (700 U.S. dollars) for each couple to get married, Kazim said.

The aid of the project, he added, is to assist needy people and avoid the wasting of money.

Marriage and arranging a wedding party is expensive in the war- torn Afghanistan and even beyond the capacity of common people as an ordinary wedding party costs at least 20,000 U.S. dollars.

Earlier, such mass marriages had been held in Mazar-e-Sharif city in north Afghanistan.

(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2009)

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