The Uncle of the girl -or father of the boy- assigns or reserves his niece to his son at an early age, the parents from both families arrange for the marriage usually early.
This is usually done to preserve wealth in the family and is more common in rural areas.
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But most families had either no cousin marriages or only one, while for a few the rate was as high as 70%.
Cousin marriage rates were higher among women, merchant families, and older well-established families.
Among the upper classes it appeared to be again more common, as certain leading families protected their wealth and status by reserving daughters for their cousins, though sons had more freedom of choice.
This situation was also loosening at the time of Patai's work. But the Syrian Circassians hold cousin marriage absolutely forbidden, similar to the Circassians of the Caucasus.
But if the girl is in love with another man and the cousin gives up his right to marry her, this is considered a noble deed and worthy of commemoration.
In one case in Jordan, a father arranged for the marriage of his daughter to an outsider without obtaining the consent of her ibn 'amm.If he cannot marry the girl immediately due to financial or other considerations, the ibn 'amm can also "reserve" her by making a public and formal statement of his intentions to marry her at a future date.It can also happen that a more distant relative acquires priority to marry a girl over her ibn 'amm by reserving her soon after her birth.The custom is however less frequent in big cities such as Damascus and Aleppo.Patai reports that in the decades preceding 1962 the right was often ignored among the Syrian urban middle class.Reportedly the husband and wife would continue to call each other "cousin" because the tie of blood was seen as indissoluble while the marriage was not.