Saturday, March 27, 2010 
17:35 Mecca time, 14:35 GMT 

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dekat, click pada situs dibawah ini :

Intermarriage worries Gulf states 

Marriage between relatives is seen as distasteful within some cultures, but it 
has been a common feature in many others for thousands of years.

However, growing evidence has shown that children born to parents from the same 
extended family face a higher risk of developing a range of health problems.

Research from 2008 shows that marriage between cousins in the US, Europe, 
Russia and Australia is less than one per cent.

In countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, more 
than half of the population marry a spouse who is considered a relative.

Some of these countries and a number of African and Asian countries have the 
world's highest rates of birth defects - up to 69 cases in every thousand 

Some experts say the real figure is much higher. Like its Gulf neighbours, 
Qatar has now made pre-marital medical tests mandatory.

Khalid bin Jabor al-Thani, the chairman of Qatar's cancer society and former 
deputy director of its national health authority, told Al Jazeera that 
inter-family marriages are tolerated because they are the product of "tribal 

"The tolerance comes from people who used to live in very remote areas and 
tribes would always want to keep their blood within the family and not go 
outside," he said.

"In Islamic religion it is always advisable to go outside the family. But since 
this has [been happening] for such a long time ago, and has been carried 
forward, it [is] one of the issues that people overlook."

Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford reports from Doha.

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