Why do Lebanese couples get married in Cyprus each year?

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The island of Cyprus, according to legend, is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. So it seems fitting that it is the destination each year for hundreds of Lebanese couples to get married - because they cannot do so back home.

In Lebanon, neither Christian nor Muslim religious authorities will perform marriages between couples from different religions. So Cyprus - 200 km off the coast of Lebanon - is the closest venue for mixed-faith couples wanting to get a civil marriage.

In other Arab countries the sharia governs personal status laws which cover marriage.

In Lebanon, there are as many laws as there are sects, with 18 different laws on personal status for Lebanon's 18 officially-recognised religious sects.

In 1936, a law known as LR60 - decreed by the then French high commissioner in the region - required all religious sects to submit their different systems of laws to the state for approval.

Watch the full film here: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2012/09/2012924163922493575.html

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