Saudi Arabia: It’s not just the Women Who Need the Mahrem

This past month has been a sad month.  I have received a record number of emails from American women who have fallen in love with a Saudi student.  In a few of the cases I am certain the Saudi student is married but denies it.  In several of the cases the Saudi student acknowledges that he is engaged but plans to get out of the marriage in order to marry his newfound American love.  The Saudi student has persuaded his American love to be intimate with him.  The American love has not been introduced to any family members or definitely not female family members.  In most cases she has not been told a word about the approval process or rather the prohibition of Saudi students to have relationships with foreign women when studying outside of the Kingdom.  The Saudi student claims denial or no knowledge of such a prohibition yet each and every student receives several briefings to this effect.

The American woman does not realize that by having an intimate relationship with her he is not showing her any respect and damaging her reputation.  The American woman does not realize that by having an intimate relationship with her he is likely planning on leaving her without much of a backward glance once his term of studies has finished.  He will have charming and soothing and perhaps hopeful words but his words will not be followed through upon.

Some American women will be persuaded to have a hidden and secret marriage with the Saudi student.  Yet a marriage, whether Islamic or civil, does not mean that she will ever set foot in to Saudi Arabia.  All Saudi marriages to a foreigner require governmental approval in order to be recognized and live in the Kingdom together as husband and wife.

Most single Saudi students arrive in the United States already engaged and/or married.  Yet Saudi society is a master of privacy so it is difficult for the American woman to ever confirm the truth.  All she has are the sweet words of her Saudi whispering in her ears.

So, what to do?  I have a few suggestions.  I think that every Saudi student on arrival at a foreign university should sign a Memorandum of Understanding of which a copy goes into his student file and another is on file at the Saudi embassy.  If a Saudi student is seen violating the MOU then a University professor has the right to counsel him and notify the embassy of the violation.  The Embassy should also have these regulations published and encourage Universities to post them on public bulletin boards.  I find it sad that to date blind eyes are being turned to these “out-of-country-relationships” while many young women are having their hearts broken, are getting pregnant or getting married and left behind.

The female Saudi student requires a male mahrem to accompany her out of the country.  Perhaps the same rule should apply in reverse to the Saudi male student.  Maybe he should have his mother, sister, Aunt or Grandmother accompany him?

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53 Responses

  1. I don’t think any measures are going to deter the Saudi male who wants to have an affair while studying abroad. They do exactly as they wish, and merely navigate behind roadblocks.

    Education is the only way. All freshmen women should be made to read and sign documents containing the information we’ve been discussing here at American Bedu. Such a packet should be included in their incoming documents.

    Even at that, human nature is human nature, and Arab males are exceedingly attractive.

  2. i think saudi students go into a state of euphoria as soon as they see american women.
    skin skin, so much skin. and hair,”oh my, HAIR!”

    i wish more saudi male students would read this blog. it is an education in itself.
    it can be called; american bedu 101
    fee: free, just read
    where: online, anytime
    you get the point..te he he

  3. I think it’s the girls who should be getting this information.
    Forewarned is forearmed.

  4. For example that brilliant piece Jay Cactuz shared with us on the other topic.
    Every university which has Saudi students should send that to every female student on campus, as well as the truth about marriage constrictions (no permission before you are at least 40 years old as STW said).

  5. Saudi males inside the kingdom or abroad are going to have relationships if they really want to.

    For those heartbroken girls out there….the following story should sum things up for you. A teenage Saudi boy onced opened up to my husband about his relationships with multiple ladies (inside Saudi). My husband asked him if he plans on marrying anyone of them? His reply was, “I would never marry anyone like that.” So that says more than enough from where I stand, but of course, not everyone is alike and not all relationships would result with a heartbroken woman.

  6. “Yet Saudi society is a master of privacy so it is difficult for the American woman to ever confirm the truth.”

    Try master of lies and deception.

  7. Agreed. Either nobody should need a mahrem (which I think is the best) or both males and females should need someone to accompany them. I’d say IF anyone, it’s more likely to be the men who go off the rails.

  8. How sad. My friend was telling me about a Moroccan coworker who was saying how the women in his home country were starting to dress “indecently” more and more. He was saying it like it was a sad fact. Yet this same guy lives with his German girlfriend while going to school in Germany. Why is women not covering their hair or showing a bit more skin a huge deal when you are living with a girl you aren’t married to? The hypocrisy aggravates me!

  9. College professors are not nor should they be made to perform nanny duties to their irresponsible Saudi students.

    Instead, the Saudi government – which is, in most cases paying for these boys to be in the States anyway – needs to step up and start doling out some harsh punishment.. Punishment as in sending student who violate the rules back home to Saudi in shame, uneducated and in debt.

    The fact that students are being held accountable for consequences will do more to deter this kind of behavior than anything else – and just maybe, one or two will take the lessons to heart. (And isn’t that why they are sent out of the Kingdom anyway?)

    Sending out a mass “Warning” against Saudi guys – even though effective – would obviously be considered “profiling” or some such nonsense if done by outsiders, and this never be allowed. Better yet, get the Saudi Embassy and local mosques involved. Bring them on campus and let THEM pass out the warning, conduct workshops to all freshmen girls, post fliers, etc. Again, put the responsibility firmly where it belongs – on the Saudis.

    This is a perfect opportunity for Saudi students (and their families btw) to learn personal responsibility and accountability. Why take that opportunity away from them? Don’t they get enough of that back home?

  10. Woman is by nature are made soft and delicate and her chastity is her honour. She is always vulnerable to attacks not only by wicked men but by satin even. So she needs a Mahrem. It is senseless that a male should also be accompanied with a mahrem. Why for. Do you mean to say that he will be vulnerable to attacks from unbridled and open women. It is trash.

  11. Of course, the responsibility lies with the Saudis, but who amongst us believes that they can or will step up to the plate and accept that responsibility?

    Putting equal responsibility upon males as upon females is a modern concept, but in practice, it is the females who get hurt, who get pregnant, who waste their youth upon a man who’ll either dump or ask them to live a compromised life.

    Girls have always had to look out for themselves, with all kinds of guys.

  12. @Prof Abdul Gani Bhat,

    Your description of helpless females doesn’t even describe Khadija or Aisha. Sounds like some excuse for bidah reasons to control women to me.

    Some Saudi men need a mahrem because they don’t behave, and lie to foreign women pretending they are in meaningful relationships and that they are going to marry them when they are not. Sometimes even leaving children behind. You don’t think they need some supervision- since apparently they have no sense of decency????

  13. Carol, I am surprised. This is about the cruelest posting you have ever done. You have just declared all Saudi males to be emotional infants. Is that it?

  14. Jay, what is so cruel about this post, and how do you perceive that Carol has “declared all Saudi males to be emotional infants.”?

    Your name suggests that you are a Western man, and as such, you cannot be privy to the experiences of Western women with Saudi men.

    This post is accurate, but perhaps facetious in the suggestion that Saudi males need the mahram system. There is nothing cruel about calling a spade a spade.

  15. Sandy, excellent comment! 😈

  16. Having read Jay’s comments in the past, I’m pretty sure he was writing tongue in cheek.

    Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat,

    you wrote:

    “Do you mean to say that he will be vulnerable to attacks from unbridled and open women. It is trash.”

    But is this not why women are often covered in some Muslim regions? Because they ARE dangerous when they are shown! They are full of evil and they just suck you into committing evil acts with them, thus you hide them under reams of cloth. You know, so the poor men who cannot lower their gazes won’t be tempted to do something sinful with those beautiful women.

    By the way, I do think men are vulnerable to western women. Why do you think they are going West and losing their virginity, fathering children, falling in love? They may not be “attacks” in the rape sense of the word, but attacks on their traditions from home…most definitely! Would they be openly doing these same things back in Saudi or Syria or Kuwait where momma might find out about it?

  17. Susanne, you are right! Actually I think Muslim men shouldn’t be allowed to study abroad at all! Almost none of them cannot fight the temptations, they go back de-virgined, debauched, and alcoholized!

    We need to save the Muslim men from this horrible fate!

    I suggest the best plan is for only girls to be allowed to study in the decadent west. At home men should only be allowed out of the house in company of an older women, they should be wearing blinders with only a small hole, so they can see where they are walking, but nothing else.
    That will help to keep them safe from all these sinful sexual women, with their magic powers of overcoming the purity of men!
    We should recognize that men are weak and helpless against the evil of women and as they are jewels, whom we love and care for, they should be kept safe, hidden and protected.

    The debauchery for which Saudi men are known when abroad confirms the necessity of this plan of action.

  18. Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat, you are a fool and a bigot. Nothing wrong with being a fool if you can learn – been there, done that – but a bigot is pathetic and vile. You have one set of rules for Muslims and men, and another for women and non-Muslims.

    Too bad Grandma is not around to straighten you out. She was from texas and she would teach you a few things about “soft and delicate”. In the future please refrain from using the word “honour” until you figure out what is means.

  19. I could not ignore this issue, I am an American woman married to a wonderful Saudi man since 1983, raised our children in Saudi and USA educated both in the Saudi system and US, however I would have to agree with Carol.
    I would like to add that I do not encourage American(western) women to get involved with a Saudi man. Remember there are many obstacles to consider before marrying a Saudi national(if you have obtain permission), living in Saudi Arabia would be one, cultural issues, acceptance in the family etc. Last but not least, I would prefer my children to not marry a Saudi national and if they do, at least they understand what they are getting into, not like many of the American(western) women involved with Saudi men. Both my husband and I encourage our children to be independent and enjoy their freedom of choice! I’m sure many of you may are surprised to hear my discouraging advise considering I have a successful marriage, but take this as a warning.
    On another note to American women involved with a Saudi man I encourage you to read what the US state dept.has posted on this issue
    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_931.html

  20. IMHO …..
    If Saudi didn’t segregate males and females and create such an unhealthy way for girls/women and boys/men to live there might not be such a problem with Saudi men going abroad. If Saudi had an ‘equality’ state things would be much different. If women were allowed to behave like adults and if boys were taught that women ARE there equals in all things then there wouldn’t be such a deep and serious problem. If Saudi men weren’t taught that they were all about entitlement there wouldn’t be such a big problem.

  21. I taught my uni’s mandatory session on sexual violence to first years. The mindset is so completely different, I completely get why so many Saudis chose to compartmentalize and live their US life in the US and their Saudi life in KSA. It’s a coping mechanism (although it’s also predatory, arrogant, and not in consonance with good straight-up deen).

    That being said, the only meaningful intervention (IMO) would be efforts targeting the norms of Saudi students at that university. These communities have already shown that they have the cohesion and the force to do things like sending a mahrem-less scholarship girl home.

    If I were a smart peer educator/uni admin at a school with a large Saudi population that is having issues as described above, I would look into ways to leverage that community to do a better job of shaming perpatrators. Not that I’m into the politics of shame, guilt, and reputation, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

  22. I’m not sure if putting a broad warning out to north american students regarding Saudi students studying abroad would be well received- in fact, I could see a lot of Western students protesting it and calling it discrimination.
    Here in Canada, I know our universities Love getting Saudi students – they bring a lot of cash too our schools. So I doubt they’d want to do anything to upset the Saudi government. We tend to focus on the best of every culture, showcasing the greatness (equally among nations) as to not offend.

    I doubt a male Mahrem will ever be put in place (I did catch the slight satirical tones). They’d sooner see the Mahrem system made optional.

    But it is true- once they come over here (I know this frist hand, as I have befriended and am currently dating) they give themselves permission to break a few of the rules.
    The Saudis I know drank alcohol at home and had female friends – They’ve told me about how it’s common for a lot of men to cross the boarder on the weekend to drink and have relations.

    Honestly… I don’t know how having a guardian on them while they study abroad would help or hinder progress. Yes it’d be made “fair” – the men would get to see how their women live, and there would be a lot less heart-broken westerners.
    But I have to wonder, of those who come here and live a “westernized” life for 5-8 years… they must bring home a few positive qualities and aspects from it right?
    Do they really throw everything they learned socially out the door as soon as the plane touches down?

  23. I agree with Aafke, the Saudi men need protection! The poor men need mahrems to guide them and make decisions for them when these cruel conniving women are around!
    After all its these american women who seduce these poor men with their hair and skin, the men are absolutely helpless! The best person for the Saudi students mahrem would be their grandmothers 🙂

    On a more serious note, I think punishments for violators would be the best, and they should be made very public so the whole family name gets shamed too.That should keep the boys in line, no Saudi wants to upset mommy that much!

  24. As a university administrator of international students, we would be breaking laws to put anything of that nature up on bulletin boards… people would howl descrimination and racism in the rarefied libral air of most schools.

    I know one of my Saudi students is living with an American woman… I wish with my whole heart I could warn her…she simply does not uderstand the culture… I’ve asked some people to talk to the boy on my behalf but he isnt about to listen. The American woman is assuming he will act like an American man (as most marriages originate at university) and she is living within her cultural norms… you said it right he is not respecting her but she thinks its just normal. Then he will break her heart and take off. In my opinion it should be an offense reportable to the cultural mission resulting in yanking those already married guys HOME.

  25. First thing my hubby said is: that is what they are supposed to do: sow their wild oats. With foreign woman. Leave the pure Arab girls and use the decadent western women for their fun. and then come home and marry an arab girl.
    everybody knows. Nobody cares.

  26. Hopefully they won’t be bringing an unwelcome gift home to their arab girl.

  27. Can I just play devil’s advocate though for a minute? Most inter-cultural marriages I know (successful ones, I may add) did indeed start by dating at university. So if you are in a relationship with an Arab at university and you break up because of his peoples’ reputation, that would be quite unfair and you may deprive yourself of a wonderful future with this man. Secondly, A LOT of Western guys do the same thing. They pretend to get very serious, sweet-talk of marriage and kids and so, and then take off. That’s why dating is meant to be a test phase. But I see a lot of Western women are not effectively using the time but instead just say yes. Nevertheless, in any culture of the world it is customary to meet the parents/family before marriage. If that doesn’t happen I feel it’s the girls own fault. She didn’t prepare herself well to get married. Love and trust is one thing, but as my mother always used to say, marriage is a woman’s most important business decision in life, so chose wisely.

  28. On e thing i noticed, When saudi’s are amongst a large number of their peers or peers with parents, they tend to behave themselves very well. E.g dearborn MI, If dear khala is known to your mum and has a houseful of kids who know of your activities inthe UNI you will be very very careful and try not break your rules. As someone said peer pressure.

    Another way for this to work is to get a few saudi women in the same university – lo behold problem solved, the key is to make sure saudi eyes are on them.

    Againt his works only for a few, the rest of their family back home couldn’t care less whom the men are sleeping with as long as they come back single and happy 🙂

    BUt not all are hopeless cases, some choose to remain here andwill have a happy marriage. unfortunately they’s no good way to pick the bad apples with a few casualities …

    A spurned girlffriend could earn the others .. or atleats speak out – i know a few whose saudi’s have left them hanging to be pretty snarky and could do the job of warning ohers away quite effectively. but i agree they need to come here with their mahrem, preferably mom 🙂

  29. I took issue with the ‘every student’ component in the statement about signing a Memorandum of Understanding. I just thought it to broad, too general. I am sure there a many Saudi, male students that are responsible and serious. Why am always defending Saudi males?

  30. I think it really depends on the man. When I first attending uni in the UK, I was in a steady relationship that ended up not working out in the end. I dressed modestly and had made it clear I wasn’t up for a fling. I got to find out more about how Saudi guys behaved being just a friend to them. For the most part, they were very respectful of me. There were some that didn’t drink alcohol, there were some that didn’t have sex, and there were some that didn’t do either. Of course, there were also some who did both. Kind of like how there are Western men that don’t do either, do one or the other, or do both.

    The difference lies in the difficulties of international relationship, such as getting government approval to stay together and getting family approval in a society where it may be more common for marriages to occur within the tribal unit. I imagine that what the media portrays in one country about the other also has something to do with the misinformation about Western girls being more “wild”. Like most cases, I’d say how “wild” a Western woman is depends on the individual. I know that some of my friends were a bit surprised at my lack of sexual expertise (is one way of putting it, I guess), whether Saudi or otherwise. They thought since it was allowed more in Western culture, I’d take advantage of the opportunity, I guess.

    From what I have heard, some Saudi women also party while abroad, but others are watched very closely and won’t be able to for this reason. I think it depends on the family, etc.

  31. Saudi men are famous for their madness on women.
    They roam all over world in search of women. I am not generalising but sadly many men do.

    In between, its very common to change boy friend every year for many girls and vice versa. It will be wrong to see only women as victim of any kind of relationship.

    Arab world needs change, first change corrupt govt/monarchy as we have seen in Tunisia. There is no place for monarchy in Islam. There is no place for such stupid law like “approval from govt” to marry.

  32. Well, I have female friend in Brazil. She had around 11 boyfriends since she was 13 years old. She had intimate relation with all of them. She said “Men are not ready to marry but to keep girl friends without marriage. Becoz they dont like to take responsibility for family and what they want from woman is easily available without marriage.”
    Today she is 23 years old. She is wants to marry desperately.
    What u say about such social issue?

  33. @MD

    “Today she is 23 years old. She is wants to marry desperately. What u say about such social issue?”

    What issue? A 23-year old wanting to get married? That’s too young, and anyway, if she really wants to, she will get married in six months.

    FYI, I had lots and lots of boyfriends, and when I decided at age 34 to get married, I got married in a year. Am happily married and have a lovely baby boy. And most of my friends followed the same patterns. The youngest of us to get married was 31. You act like having boyfriends sentences the woman to a life of loneliness and un-marriageability, but this is simply not the case. NOBODY CARES.

  34. What issue? A 23-year old wanting to get married? That’s too young, and anyway, if she really wants to, she will get married in six months.
    ————————————————————-

    @NN, Its not an issue for me and I am not forming any kind of judgement. I think u fail to understand that I m sharing one concern of one of my freind here. I also didnt say that 23 is too old.

    I said what my friend said. The pattern she sees in her own life and her friends. She is not the only person who is not married and many of her female friends. She wanted to get married when she turns 20. And u says that she can get married in 6 months.

    Can u please tell me what magic u use so that those unmarried people can follow?

    Forming judgement out of hallucination is not good. Please analyse properly what some1 says before making judgement.

  35. Well, a concern of one of your friends is hardly a “social issue”, is it?

    My magic is this: if you want to get married, start dating men who are in the marrying mindset. Train yourself to distinguish between marrying and non-marrying men. Stop dating losers.

    I do have to say that a 23-year old may find it difficult to marry a good prospect because most good-prospect men are not ready to marry at that age. She will have to target a much older demographics if she wants to get married quickly. Of course, my real advice is that she should do a rational thing and live her own life, enjoy and have fun, and get married when she gets a bit more mature, instead of “desperately wanting to marry.” Desperation is not attractive.

  36. Look for the right bloke. Most men are a waste of space, lazy, selfish, dull creatures, full of self importance, seems she hooked up with the wrong men.
    If a man considers virginity to be of prime importance he is a waste of your time whether you are a virgin or not. Find somebody who has his priorities and values in the right place to start with.

    Besides, it’s great to be single and live on your own. One needs that anyway to develop one’s own personality before one should even start of thinking of marriage.
    I never wanted to settle for a second rate boyfriend, and when I decided I did want to get a life partner I found one too, same as NN.
    Meanwhile a girl should enjoy her single life and make sure she can fend for herself.
    I have a lot of friends who do not want a husband at all. Ever.

  37. NN, great advice.

  38. @MD,
    I think there are a lot of factors such as personality, location, etc. I think Aafke and NN gave a lot of good advice.

    If she just wants to marry anyone and is wanting a simple life as a housewife where the guy is in charge, then that is not too difficult to find anywhere. There’s somewhat of a trend that I’ve noticed in the US where people in rural communities tend to marry younger than people in large cities, so something for her to think about. Is she happier in a relationship or happier on her own? And why?

    I would say that she should figure out what she wants in a marriage and what she wants out of her life. Based on her other life goals, this may not be the best time for her to marry.

    I used to want to marry young, but at the same time I realized I still had a lot of ambitions and wanted to pursue a career. When I finished my undergraduate degree, I was a bit at a loss of what to do because I had always imagined I’d be married by then, mostly because a lot of my extended family married young.

    Recently, I’ve decided to stay single because I have more freedom. I’m going to do what it is I enjoy, and once I have my career off the ground then I will think about starting a family- with or without a marriage partner. When I meet someone worth it, then maybe I will be willing to marry. Not very many men, in my experience, are willing to see the female as their life partner to include sharing household responsibilities, financial decisions, and other relevant matters. Most men would rather have the benefits of making all the financial decisions and delegate all household responsibilities to the woman, to include having a lot of say in whether or not the woman works. However, a lot of women are fine with this. Is your friend okay with this? In my experience finding a man who isn’t like this takes time, and is most likely going to be older and more experienced than the vast majority of early 20-somethings.

    So the question is, how much does your friend want to truly marry? How much is her decision influenced by media and culture? Is she just saying that’s what she wants, or is it truly what she wants? And what is it that she wants from a relationship?

  39. I know two people who are dating (former or current) Saudi students, myself and one other in my city. The other girl has made it 100% clear that she will NOT move to Saudi, and respects the implications their relationship may have on his family; I am willing to integrate into Saudi (if legally possible), but am learning all I can about the culture and am aware of some of the challenges I would face.

    We both know the high statistical probability that our relationships will fail, and are ready to accept that, but not ready to stop working on them. I actually prefer this to believing in “happily ever after,” because that’s not realistic in any case. As above comments have mentioned, American men are perfectly capable of doing the same sort of false promising.

    Both of us are still in the naive stage, but I hope we provide some evidence that not ALL Saudis are liars. I knew from week two that my partner would have to basically dump me upon graduation. He clearly gave the option to leave and date other people at any time. He immediately told me about the restrictions on Saudi students once we decided to try and make our relationship long-term.

    Just wanted to give a shout-out to the “good” Saudi students out there who are informing their girlfriends. I am 100% for doing some sort of “PSA” for young women whose Saudis may or may not be as honest – if anything, to give to international student directors at universities who identify Saudis who are dating those of other nationalities, so they can distribute them to those couples.

    So long as it’s complete with a link to American Bedu 🙂

  40. Catherine said, “He clearly gave the option to leave and date other people at any time.”

    Any Saudi (or other Arab, for that matter) who does not jealously guard the relationship does not intend to make it permanent. He’ll enjoy you, and want to keep you, but only til he’s ready to go home.

    I’ll risk making a broad generalization here. When I say, “Any,” I really mean “Any.”

  41. I’d have to agree with Marahm and extend it to indeed all red-blooded males. Anyone who gives you “freedom to date other people” is basically telling you that he is not willing to have a committed relationship. As an aside, I was always amused by that statement – you give me freedom to date other people? Like I need your permission?

  42. I completely agree with both Marahm and NN. That was the case when we understood it was a temporary arrangement – that it would end when he goes home. That changed completely once we agreed to a committed, permanent relationship.

  43. My gosh….my dear late husband (Saudi) was certainly possessive….the second….yes, SECOND time I ever met him I will never forget his words… “American Girl, whether you like it or not, you are going to be my wife.” At that time, his words TERRIFIED me as I was happily single and not in the least interested in a relationship let alone thinking of marriage. But each time I saw him he’d say the same thing and as we got to know one another better, well…the rest became history! (soft smile of remembrance)

  44. Oh I second that. My Arab insisted to drive behind my car until home to make sure I was ok with the shopping bags. Mind you, this was the first time we met. I freaked out and insisted he not unless he want me to report him as a stalker or spray his face with pepperspray.

  45. Then again, that jealousy can turn to control and abuse, the result being a life filled with misery and loneliness.

  46. @StrangeOne,

    I could not look back early. I really agree what u say. U have explained very nicely.
    However, different people have different desire and dream in life. For some marriage early is not loosing or end of career but fulfilling life.

    I am giving an inspiring link :

    http://www.twocircles.net/2008jun29/burqa_clad_sumaiya_makes_history_securing_12_mbbs_medals_amu.html

    My friend’s father see her as trash becoz she is not able to get a job. My friend is graduate in nursing. She has been roaming hospitals with CV but unfortunately what she hears is “No vaccancy”. And she is not from rural community but Rio de Janeiro. She sees happiness in marriage and wants leave her father’s home as soon as possible.

    @NN,
    She used to date with all her boy friends and had sexual relation with all of them. She changed her life style 2 years back. Now, She wants to keep her body for her future husband only and regrets her past life style. She wanted to date for marriage (without sexual relation before marriage) and so guys dumped her when she says no to “SEX”.
    She even tried to date 32-36 years old marriageable men but they dont like to continue without physical intimacy. Same case is happening with her other freinds. So, as per her and her friend’s experience its a social issue. what she says is wrong? So, what u suggest for her to get man to marry?

  47. Md.,
    Thanks for sharing the link. 🙂 It’s always nice to hear inspiring stories like that.

    I am sorry that your friend’s dad doesn’t respect her. Are there other places she would be eligible for work? As scary as moving may be for some people, it can sometimes mean a better lifestyle in the end. I’d just recommend researching the places well and making sure they would be good places for her to live before she decides to move somewhere else. Hopefully, she’ll eventually be offered a job somewhere. Has she had someone look over her CV and cover letter to make sure it is well-written? It may help to do so. The main thing is for her to not give up and to keep trying.

    Has she considered traveling as a nurse or doing volunteer nursing work abroad with a reputable organisation in order to help gain experience? Has she thought about furthering her education in order to specialize in a particular nursing field? If nothing else, maybe she would be eligible to teach nursing somewhere after furthering her education. (Just a note: Some countries it is very difficult to get a teaching position in while in others it is relatively easy, and I have no idea about employment opportunities as a teacher in Brasil.)

    Looking for a husband just to leave her father’s home may not be the best situation in which to marry simply because it may lead her to pick someone out of desperation rather than someone whose company she enjoys. Is there another relative or friend she could stay with and/or would it be possible for her to eventually live on her own? If all else fails, has she considered reputable matchmaking companies? I am glad to hear that she is staying strong in her beliefs. It does sound a bit like a social issue.

  48. Hello,

    I have read so many articles on your blog…And I am so glad I found it thru Google search…
    Ladies…I would really highly appreciate it if some of you could possibly advice me on a situation where I am stuck in right now…

    I have been in a relationship with a Saudi guy for about 2 years now…He studies in Canada and I am an immigrant from a post-Soviet country who permanently lives and works in the States…We met on FB via our common friend, and started talking and taliking and talking…And how some of you ladies know, sweet talks grow into serious love later on…He has been visiting me, approximately every 4 months….My concerns are such:
    1) He does not wanna make it public and I suspect that his parents do not even know about my existence (even tho he says they do).
    2) OF course we can not get married, it’s against his schlarship rules
    3) I found out this after 1 year of being with him
    4) Another several years and maybe (or maybe not) he will be able to marry me

    Ladies…I am so lost….I am almost 30 years old…No family of my own, no kids, no hints to even be together in 1 country with him…He said come to Canada,,,, but who am I in Canada??? I barely make it in the States from one job to another…

    Should I stop here? And one more thing. He said that only because of me he would stay in Canada/USA , but if it’s not for me – then NO. That just shows me that he is not like me who values the freedoms of the wonderful United States….He told me the other day that Canadians are so poor and struggling and that life in KSA is soooo much better….

    What should I do? I am almost ready to give up….But I love him and we are very close……Thank you…

  49. Hey,,,,
    Maybe someone can help me. I’m an american woman who is now pregnant by a saudi student. What legal rights do I have?

  50. I’m a Saudi girl studying here in the USA and unfortunately you do not have right you may have to consider abortion. You came here because you did not find his support I’m sure. He cannot marry you without the approval from the government. If he marries you now he will lose his scholarship. I’m sure he does not care.

  51. I’m a Saudi girl studying here in the USA and unfortunately you do not have right you may have to consider abortion. You came here because you did not find his support I’m sure. He cannot marry you without the approval from the government. If he marries you now he will lose his scholarship. I’m sure he does not care. Go and complain to the Saudi embassy. I do not know I really hope that he will marry you.
    God help you.

  52. What! Outcasts!! My family is considered as a conservative one, in fact we consider as beduin, real ones! However, two uncles of mine married to two lovely ladies who are smart, respectful, and well educated 20 years ago! one from Irland, and the other from The US! They both happy, their parents were not happy at the beginning but they got over it and apologized at the end.

    If a Saudi man or woman loves a foreigner, there is no religious reason not to get married with as long as they believe in God, specifically Christens or Jews.

    I myself going to get married with the girl I love wherever she’s from! Let’s see, I just moved to the US who knows I might ended up a Beduin marrying one of the uncle sam’s gals. 😀 My fam miht not be so happy at the beginning, but they surely ll understand by time.

    Thanks for this site, interesting indeed ..

  53. sorry, my comment was for another thread, please delete it 🙂

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