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It is a dilemma with knock-on effects for stability in Lebanon, sheltering more than a million Syrian refugees, and potentially for other countries in the Middle East and Europe they may flee to if tension spills over.Marriages by unregistered sheikhs are common but hard to quantify because authorities often never hear of them.For whereas in Syria, verbal tribal or religious marriages are easy to register, Lebanon has complex and costly procedures.Most Syrians do not complete the process, as it requires legal residency in the country, which must be renewed annually and costs $200, although the fee was waived for some refugees this year.Legal residency becomes a requirement in Lebanon at the age of 15 .Gewis said that in any case new marriages risked complicating future inheritance or other legal issues and costs were prohibitive, with courts charging up to $110 to register even straightforward marriages by an approved sheikh.
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