Saudi Arabia: Divorced by Loudspeaker


Just when you think you’ve heard of all the crazy ways that a woman has been divorced in Saudi Arabia, another one comes up.  I remember reading about women divorced by text message and a woman who was divorced because her husband felt threatened by her watching a Turkish soap opera but the latest seems to be a woman who was divorced over a mall loudspeaker!

 Tainted Love: Saudi Man Divorces Wife Over Mall Loudspeaker

Published March 25th, 2012 – 07:33 GMT via

The awkward moment when you get divorced via loudspeaker at the mall. You just have to hate it when that happens.

A Saudi husband used a loudspeaker to divorce his wife at a busy shopping mall after seeing her take a note from another man bearing his phone number.

This, according to the Saudi Arabic language quotidian, Kabar.

The husband was with his wife and three children at the mall when he went his own way into a men’s clothes shop.

“When he left that shop, he saw a man giving his wife a note bearing his phone number…she accepted the paper and put it inside her bag,”

The newspaper did not mention where the mall is located.

“He then used the mall’s loudspeaker to shout divorce words against his wife although she was with her three children.”


Now I wonder how the husband knew with absolute certainty that his wife was given a note with the guy’s phone number?  How can he have been so sure it was not a coupon?  I can recall many times when I would be passed a coupon by a guy who was only doing his job.

Was this a lame attempt on the part of the guy to save face?  How could this not impact and affect the children?  Hmmm…maybe the wife will be better off without such a husband?

We have definitely heard of some lousy break up techniques, but what do you think? Was he too harsh?

Also, what is the worst break up method in your opinion? Via text message? Via postal mail? By way of a mutual friend? Don’t hold back!


39 Responses

  1. I think divorcing a woman over a loudspeaker is probably the worst way. Not only does SHE get to hear it, but everyone else does too. Seems weird for a culture that values privacy, doesn’t it?

    And, yes, what if it were a coupon or some other type of information? About a mosque event? or a kids’ day? or all sorts of other things? It seems this guy was just wanting a reason to divorce his wife.

    Honestly I find there is very little true love in these relationships. If you can divorce the mother of your children, your life partner (ahem) just like that, marriage is such a farce.

  2. how horrible! the man really should know better than to announce such a thing in public! it is certainly out of the norm, even in Saudi.

  3. Only judging by what was in the article it gives me the impression that he wanted to humiliate her and make her suffer.

  4. I had nervous breakdown due to work presures and spent a week in the hospital. When I got home, the whole family was there to move me out and into an apartment. I was married 40 (39, 10 months) years. So much for quaint American marriage vows.

  5. what’s next – divorce by public broadcast ON TV ???

    face to face is the best and honorable thing to do.

    @susanne430 – If after 3 kids andi’m sure atleast 5yrs in a marriage a man does this, is he really worth hanging on to??

    maybe this is a blessingin disguise for the lady. 🙂

  6. a blessing in disguise indeed!

  7. What a wimp! And I thought my ex ( a Saudi ) couldn’t be beat! I feel so sorry for that dear lady, how could anybody be so hurtful to another person! My ex wanted me to spend some time with my family while he finished his last 3 months of flight school. After 3 months I never heard from him again. I waited knowing in my heart he would come. I finally got through to him on an Eid, about one year later, to which he seemed shocked and uttered those sad words “I divorce you” three times …. It’s been about 14 years and the pain is still there! I don’t think I can ever trust someone as much as I did my Abdulaziz.

  8. how could he be sure she heard him and that it was addressed to her in the first place, and who called the media to announce that this was an official divorce going on? or a joke? sometimes stories sound a bit like the inquirer mags, just to out do the other reporters in keeping attention going.

  9. Is it just me or has men become so emotionally unstable that trivial things can set them off? I am reading a world of crazy news today. Just to name a few:

    1) Wife shot dead by husband after dog poops in house
    By Reuters
    Published Thursday, March 29, 2012
    A 76-year-old Texas man was charged with murder for shooting his wife and two dogs after one of the animals pooped in the house.

    2) Man rams wrong car, thought it was wife’s
    By AP
    Published Thursday, March 29, 2012
    A western Pennsylvania man repeatedly rammed a car he mistakenly thought was driven by his estranged wife – and continued doing so even after the targeted vehicle drove to a state police station after which state troopers subdued the man with pepper spray and a stun gun.

    3) Not to mention acid attacks on former lovers or ex wives in Pakistan.

    What is the world becoming when the man you thought was your soul mate suddenly flipped and turns your life into a living hell!!! Praise to God for the blessings that I have!

  10. Mrs Bawazir

    a man murder his wife in America or in the West -in general- considered not a news. It is normal and people get used to this kind of horror stories. In Europe half women who been murdered are murdered by their partner or former partner. But the surprising thing is when a man in Arabia treat his wife in such a way in the article, without compassionate and mercy. Divorcing a woman by loudspeaker by saudi man is worth to be in the news and deserve high profile because it is not normal. Mistreatment of the wife by saudi man contradict with the common convention among the people that women of arabia receive best treatment and respect by their husband. And this also could explain the reason why when a woman of arabia get bad treatment by husband or society her story receive high attention and sometimes become headline because it is not normal and unusual.

  11. Wow! Mr Snowman! A woman getting butchered by her husband is normal??

  12. Snowman, maybe you should come and live for a few years in the West, and find out for yourself how silly all those propaganda nonsense lies you keep on repeating here actually are.
    You are very insulting with all these nasty untruths.
    Do you realize you are making a fool of yourself?

    I feel deeply insulted and offended!
    Snowman is mocking my deeply held non-religious beliefs, and I consider all his comments blasphemy against the FSM!
    Actually he has not only offended me, but all pirates around the world. The church of the FSM is the fastest growing religion in the world and we, the worshipers of the FSM will not stand for this blasphemer to live!
    Off with Snowman’s head!!!!!!!

  13. aliadlw, not as normal as Muslim families killing their wives and daughters for ”honor”.

  14. Is it just me or has humanity become so emotionally unstable that trivial things can set them off? I am reading a world of crazy news today. Just to name a few:

    Malaysia: Govt in Religious Row over ‘Threat of Christianity’…

    Malaysia: Govt to ‘Combat’ LGBT with Prevention and Enforcement…

    Turkey: Prosecutor Demands Harsher Sentence for Beaten Wife….

    Moscow: Muslim ‘Robbers’ Prey on Gays – Three Dead…

    Turkey: Judge Releases Gang Rapists, Blames Victim’s Mother…

    Iran: Ayatollahas Threaten Churches with Bombing…

    Pakistan: Woman Climbs Pole to Protest Rape and Police Inaction…

    UK: Court Finds 5-Year-Old Girl Forced into Islamic Marriage…

    Pakistan: 100 Women Forcibly Converted to Islam…

    Pakistan: Sunnis Disrupt Prayers at Ahmadi Mosque…

    Indonesia: Drunken Talaq Still Valid…

    France: Jewish Students Subject to Muslim Hate Mail and Beatings…

    Indonesia: Above-the-Knee Skirts are ‘Pornographic’…

    Kuwait: Teen Girl Butchered by Father for Having US Actors on Phone…

    Syria: Islamists Drive 50,000 Christians from Homes…

    Pakistan: Media Is ‘Naming and Shaming’ Rape Victims…

    Tunisia: Preacher Says Female Genital Mutilation ‘Imposed by the Quran’…

    UK: Taxi Driver Denies Service to Blind Man with Dog…

    India: Kidnapped Hindu Girl .. I Would Rather Die than Convert…

    Canada: Muslim Killer High-Fived Friends After Beating Jewish Canadian to Death…

    Kuwait: Lawmakers Call for Death over ‘Blasphemous’ Tweets…

    Turkey: Man Stabs Wife 15 Times after Dreaming She is Cheating…

    France: French Police Stop Muslims from Marching in Memory of Killer…

    Londonistan: Mother Vilified by Muslims for Reporting Child Abuse by Imam

    Egypt: Family Tries to Drown Woman in River for Wanting Divorce…

    Kuwait: Public ‘Kiss’ on Forehead Gets Two Men Six Months in Jail…

    France: Toulouse Killings Set to Video with Quran Verses…

    Afghanistan: 400 Women Held in Afghanistan for Moral ‘Crimes’…

    What is the world becoming when a part of humanity suddenly flipps and turns our lives into a living hell!!! Praise be to the Architect of the Universe for the blessings that we have in the USA!

  15. @Kimmie,

    I am so sorry to hear what your ex did to you. Too many young Saudis come to the States or elsewhere and think it’s okay to marry a woman and then leave without so much as a goodbye when it is time for them to return. This is a mindset that has to be stopped but I’m not sure how.

  16. @Snowman,

    I strongly disagree with the start of your comment where you believe murders and other crimes are so common in the US and thereby not newsworthy. It’s your sweeping general-ism of America which gets my goat! The majority of Americans, just like the majority of Saudis, are peaceful and loving individuals.

  17. Kimmie, do you know that the revered Scholar Bin Baz actually advocated this behavior for Muslim students? He said it was a good idea if the men when they come abroad marry a western woman so they can have halal sex (and have somebody to do the house work for them) and then divorce them when they go home. Seems your ex took this advice to heart.

    He was a louse Kimmie, you were the one who was honorable and dignified, he was just a pig. I hope you are having a good life now.

    Honest Abe, Waw, depressing list 😦 I noticed women are the majority to bear the brunt of all that violence and evil.

    Snowman, did you read that list? These crimes are factual, the lies you parrotted here can not be proven. Take a lesson and start to think for yourself. And if you judge people make sure you comments are based on facts.

  18. Snowman … at least crimes in the USA are reported unlike the ones in KSA and other strong Islamic countries where they are kept hidden and in many cases accepted as justifiable if they have been done to women.

  19. The man who divorced on the loud speaker in the mall is not justified in sharia and therefore not acceptable. The woman has to take him to the Kazi who is the best person to judge.

  20. Well in this way a three pronged microphone , a woofer and two speakers could , soon also serve the purpose .The crooked Shariyah
    prepared by Abdul Wahab only a century back has innovated Misyar, why one should remain in the Nikah bondage and spend continuously when a one time payment has already innovated.
    Nice way to kill Islam by the Caretakers of the holiest of holy places.
    And now a Fatwah from the highest of high preast .” Destroy all Churches in the Arabian Peninsula ” and don’t allow the construction of a new one .What a bright Islam is projected from the land of Najed .
    Marhabah Sheikh Saheb .

  21. Sami

    Although divorcing a woman in microphone in the mall is disgusting thing to do, it is nevertheless valid according to my understanding of sharia. I would be grateful if you explain why it is not acceptable.

  22. snowman:

    Seriously dude:

    We have had this conversation before on the differences between the west and the middle east. In the middle east a women will be killed by honor killing, jailed or maybe just one day disappear if she ever indicates that she was rape. But then rape is perfectly legal in saudi ask women or girls who are forced into marriages for money.

    How about asking women about living their own lives what happens to them then. I believe I have read several stories on these women who were put in jail as their abusive father’s had them jailed. Then how about when women want to be married but can’t because their owners (father’s) will not let them and they are forced to work like some being doctor’s (forced slavery).

    See the problem.

    I also don’t know what you are thinking people in the west get damn upset over rapes and killings. That is why they go to jail for a very long time.

    By the way media in Saudi is a damn joke. If they say too much they are killed, jailed, tortured or all three.

    Censorship is great in the middle east therefore you will only hear a extremely small amount of horrors. The reality is that for many people they are being abused far more often in the middle eastern countries than most places in the west.

    Remember it is helpful that the police don’t keep statistics, that what the west considers a crime is legal in middle eastern countries, that the media is owned or scared to death of the government or religous nutters. Secrecy is a great place for autrocities and Islam is a great promoter of secrecy. This secrecy is held particular high in families. So the abuse in the family is often great and even if they do try to do anything about it they will just be shame, tortured, killed, or sent back for more torture. The Islamic way and middle eastern way.

  23. wow i didn’t expect my comment to bring out such a furore. And I just thought of sharing a simple pondering on why men (regardless of their faith and geographical origins) are hitting the news with all these acts of insanity against their spouses. that was all but I guess some people wanted to take it as a cue to attack? Sorry to burst your bubbles but killing/Insulting/hurting your wife in the West or the East is never considered normal!

  24. Honest abe, you sound really petty, do you know that? Seems to me that you are singling out crimes committed only by Muslims? very petty of you and if you are a man, it is not attractive to be petty. Relax, I wasn’t intending to show the West as crazy and blasphemous etc, was thinking out loud why MEN in general are so emotional. But guessing from your comment, ouch!

  25. Snowman, it doesn’t matter if the talaq was valid or not. The pressing matter is, the public humiliation that was created by the husband towards his wife. the husband should be more respectful towards his wife who shared her life with him. That was why I commented about the news that are hitting the headlines are unfortunately more and more about mind-bending acts by husbands. Unfortunately some one took it as a challenge to show which faith members have more crimes in their resume’.

  26. I like your comment, Mrs. B.

  27. Are you sure this is real? The reason I’m asking is because I remember seeing this exact same story – complete with the phone number and the three children – discussed on an Islamic forum several years ago. The odds of two different people doing this seem pretty slim.

  28. What is the wife doing taking numbers?

    How did the husband see that what the young man gave her was a number?

  29. It didn’t happen in KSA. I read a popular California newspaper with the article and picture of a billboard that read “Roger, I am divorcing you and I spent everything in your account to pay for this billboard.” The billboard was convienently placed across the street from his work. Of human nature, we don’t go into a relationship with a logical business like attitude and if we fall out of a relationship we don’t leave it with a business like attitude.

  30. Unfortunately, it seems that it did happen in Saudi. And here is the original article from Al-riyadh Newspaper.
    Written by: Abdulrahman Alghamdi.
    date: 31 Dec 2007

    The article received more than 600 comments by Al-riyadh readers. 600 is relatively high number. Some commentators advocate the prosecution of this man. Others believe what he did is understandable. and there are other opinions.

  31. Thank you Snowman for sharing that link.
    What do you think? Is this acceptable behavior? Is this fair behavior towards the woman?

  32. Aafke

    using loudspeaker to announce the divorce is disgusting and not acceptable and not fair. I think judges in sharia court have description in similar of these cases whether to punish this man or not. If the wife bring him to the court then I think the judge should make of him an example in order to deter other men to do anything similar to what he have done to his wife.

    The woman in this case contribute to what happened. Because taking phone numbers form guys in the mall is not same as taking business card in conference or exhibition. In saudi standard this consider an attempt to make (Extramarital Affair) -in emotional level at least. I think this kind of affair is not acceptable by the vast majority of the inhabitance of the earth, whether in the East or in the West. Unless you are supporter of open marriage you will defiantly stand against extramarital Affair.

    However, by applying ‘innocent until proven guilty’, the woman is innocent, because she only take the number, she didn’t make call or contacts with this number. And therefore the man in this case was not wise and he did Ugly error. Even if she did call, even if she do whatever her dignity must preserved.

  33. description = discretion

  34. To me it is not clear whether she really accepted a phone number or not. I’ve been in malls and received small coupons which are distributed by men.

    We know she was with her children. Maybe she wanted to quietly take the piece of paper instead of letting it fall to the floor and have her young children take notice, such as “Mama, mama, you dropped the paper on the floor….”

    I agree that the woman should take her husband to court but after being humiliated so publicly and in front of her children, would she have the courage to do so?

    The man sounds like a real jerk to me and I’m one who likes to give all the benefit of the doubt.

  35. Snowman, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter.
    But what sort of punishment could they give the man in Saudi Arabia?

    I know what punishment I would want to give him: Lifelong alimony to the wife, and she gets to keep her children, and he has to pay for the childrens education, and he has to provide a nice home for her and the children, and, until women are allowed to drive, a driver!.
    And a public apology for bad behavior.

    I wish…


  36. that sounds fair and equitable to me, Aafke!

  37. hummmm…
    What if… What if the wife of the man who was giving her his number saw him doing so then got on the loud speaker of the mall to insult him and inform him that she was taking her three children and going back to her parents house and that she never wants to see him again?
    I think both reactions are immature and childish. But, here is Saudi people get to know each other by exchanging phone numbers. So for him to see his wife accepting a number from a man would, understandably, make him upset. It is considered cheating.
    Just sayin….

  38. First: Saudi Man Divorces Wife Over Mall Loudspeaker

    NOW: Saudi man divorces wife on live radio for ‘disobedience’ and ‘offending his manhood’, Al Arabiya, April 28 …..

    A radio talk show cleric “advised him to divorce her because she was not obeying her husband, a matter that is very important in Islam” — much in keeping with Koran 4:34: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient.”

    Will these shenanigans ever end :)-

  39. […] example, in early 2012 a Saudi man divorced his wife by loudspeaker as he could not tolerate the fact that she enjoyed watching a Turkish soap […]

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