Saudi Arabia: Letter to Foreign Women Attracted to Saudi Students



Dear Non-Saudi Woman,

So you have met a Saudi student and he has captured your attention.  Yes, I understand that you find him attractive, charming, fun, caring and exceptionally polite.  Those are natural characteristics of his upbringing and heritage.

He makes you feel very special and like you are the only one who matters.

But has he shared with you some of the regulations and cultural aspects of his heritage by which he will likely abide?

If he is outside of Saudi and studying on a scholarship, he is prohibited from marrying a foreigner.  Even if he speaks of marriage and is a “self-pay” student, he requires permission from his government in order to marry a non-Saudi.  Any Saudi under the age of 35 requires permission from his government to marry a foreign woman.

Now of course, a man can marry whom he chooses under Islam, as long as she follows one of the Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Judaism or Islam.  But…without the governmental permission, the marriage will not be recognized in Saudi Arabia.  Without the marriage permission, the foreign  wife can’t enter the Kingdom or receive any benefits to which a wife would be entitled.

Segregation is practiced in Saudi Arabia.  For many Saudi men, they have not interacted with or seen “uncovered” women unless she is his mother, sister or maybe an Aunt.  As a result, he faces his own sense of culture shock when he arrives in a country where there is no segregation, women do not cover and interaction between the sexes is allowed.

   The Saudi student will likely enjoy the new environment and take advantage of the opportunity to interact with women.  However, he’s probably not had any experience in dating and may quickly evolve to an “I love you” and “I don’t want to be without you” phase.  His conscience may press him to raise the subject of marriage.  At the same time while he takes you on dates and does not object to you knowing his friends, you’ll remain a secret to his family.  His mother probably has selected a wife for him already.  His family would not want or accept a foreigner in the family.

You will believe that everything is going well between you and your Saudi student.  He’ll have met your family.  He’ll bring flowers to your mother.  He might have given you a ring or some other piece of jewelry.  You’re falling in love and confident HE is the ONE.

He’ll tell you how much he loves you.  He’ll reach out for you, touch you, hug you, kiss you.  He’ll want more and you may elect to enter into an intimate relationship.  At the same time, you may not even know his complete name, where he lives in Saudi Arabia or whether he’s already married or engaged.  You only know what he has chosen to say to you.

However back in his own country he’d be taking a huge risk to have contact, even just telephonic, with a woman who was not related to him.  He and a Saudi woman would be disgraced and have shamed their families if they were to be seen together.  Every Saudi woman is expected to be pure and virginal on her wedding night.

While he may never say it, you have lost face and respect from him because you chose to have an intimate relationship with him.  He’ll figure he is simply taking what you have chosen to give but that you would not be ‘wife material’ … if you ever were in his eyes.  

He may be generally sorry when it is time for him to return to Saudi Arabia.  But once he has been back for a few weeks, he quickly adapts back into his culture and traditions.

Don’t think that YOUR relationship and your Saudi are going to be different.  You will set yourself up for a harder fall.

Don’t be fearful to have a Saudi as a friend.  Think of him as a kid brother…only.  Get to know and appreciate the best of each other’s cultures.  If he does not want to abide by the rules of his culture or of his religion, then be the strong one.  You’ll avoid much heartache this way.


Mother Hen Bedu


704 Responses

  1. I was surprised that you would post that. Well, initially surprised, considering your glowing stories about your husband and his family.
    Then, I recall hearing about the difficulties of my close friend, when he was getting his wife registered with the Saudi government. She is Romanian, so obviously, there were issues. Indeed, he had to have a prince sign off accepting the marriage and even THEN, one of the functionaries decided he didn’t like the prince overruling him. The prince then took that functionary aside and explained that if he didn’t follow his instructions, he’d not live much longer (OK, it was a LOT more direct and unpleasant).
    I never asked his father about any difficulties with getting his marriage recognized, as my friend’s mother is a US citizen. They met and were married when he was in the US, a few decades ago.

    So, when considering my friend’s difficulties, your warning DOES make sense.
    Now, what if that Saudi student introduces his young American to his parents (perhaps over Skype)? If they’re accepting, would that not remove the familial obstacles?
    Any woman who IS successful in getting married to a Saudi should also realize, there will be a MAJOR culture shock when getting to Saudi!

  2. Can you say, “Run!!”?

  3. Back in the 1970’s the rules were more lax for a non-Saudi and Saudi to marry. Today, for a variety of reasons, it has become very difficult for a non-Saudi and Saudi to obtain governmental permission. If the couple has no intention or desire to ever live in Saudi Arabia then governmental approval may not be an issue, although it could impact on future inheritance.

    I wrote the post because too many young women are not aware of the culture or the regulations. If a Saudi man’s family is okay with their son marrying a foreign woman then that does make the pathway much smoother…but if the couple wants to live in the Kingdom it can’t be done without the governmental approval. If a family has WASTA maybe an approval can be expedited but it would take significant WASTA.

    I’m not against bi-cultural marriages but I would not be the first one encouraging a relationship between a young Saudi (under 35 years) and a foreigner…and especially if the Saudi is a student. The majority of those relationships end in heartbreak. I receive multiple emails each week from women who have had a relationship with a Saudi that did not work out.

    My late husband and I met each other later in life. We were both well-traveled and I was intimately familiar with the customs, culture and traditions of the Arab world. He will always be the love of my life but our marriage also required work on both of our parts to make it successful.

  4. AGAIN??????


  5. I always love when you sign “Mother Hen Bedu.” 🙂

  6. One really should bear in mind the extreme culture differences and mentality.sure a few marriages or relationship works out but not without high patience n comprising on both parties.

  7. Wzrd, you made it clear in your own own comment, without a lot of bribe money and wasta, no marriage allowance.

    I always wonder about ”cultural” differences, I think that if you are close enough to get married you should think alike on many important issues in life. Regardless of culture.

    Is ”culture” really such a big thing? I remember a documentary of some guy who traveled all over the world and met and lived with many different people of very different cultures, and he had to come to the conclusion that whatever the culture, or technological advancement (or no technology at all) people of the same mindset will think alike.

    Somebody else did a worldwide internet study, he found that whatever culture people came from, at least those people of higher education and intelligence level seem to have very much the same ideas, sense of humor, etc.

    I think cultural differences are highly over estimated. As humanity all over the world is so extremely closely related there is not really a lot of difference between us.
    Humanity was almost extinct and all of us, all over the world, stem from a very small group of several thousand individuals. We really are all family.

    From the comments and life stories of women who are in a relationship with a Saudi man the problems seem to be more in a disregard for their persons. The students who think they can sow their wild oats in the wicked west and come up with any lie which will get them laid, supported by the fatwas of Saudi clergy. And the men who marry western women, move back do the 180” change and suddenly the western wife finds herself to be at the bottom of the list.
    Maybe you can call that weakness of Saudi men culture. But any man with a spine and a modicum of decency and honor would not succumb to treating other human beings, even if they are female, so badly.

  8. Aafke, he had zero capability to bribe anyone. I knew EXACTLY how much he made and spent, as we both rented adjacent villas for our families. It was more a matter of MASSIVE patience, more patience than *I* have and perserverence (the latter, I DO possess in spades).

    You ARE correct in part, regarding people being people throughout the world, but you miss one key aspect: CULTURE guides behavior overall.
    As an example, kick a Buddhist in the shins without warning, you’d get a minimal response. The Buddhist learns though their culture to reject violence and consider the attack a failure on their part.
    Kick a Sikhs in the shins without warning, you may well find a chakram inside of your rectum. Not that Sikhs are violent, but the culture is different.
    Call many people around the world a motherlover, find a knife sticking out of your ribs. Do the same to an American or Russian, get called that and worse back, without that knife thing going on.
    The EMOTION may be present, the initial thought may be present, the CULTURE guides behavior, overall. Indeed, inside of each example are variances present, as is also typical of people overall.
    Those “highly conservative” Arab Bedouin are quite happy with an off color joke that hinges upon a clever turn of phrase, but highly dislike and may well be insulted by a crude off color joke.
    I happen to understand the culture a bit better due to knowing my Sicilian heritage quite well. We share many, many points. Even to the point of many foods that were incorporated into Sicilian culture. Indeed, many cultural practices were incorporated into the Roman Catholic church, due to their pervasive nature in the absorbed societies.
    I’ve traveled extensively during my military career, in many places that were far from western experiences. I knew to watch both cultural contexts, local social contexts that were different than the larger culture and micro-expressions. A gaff, in those conditions, could easily result in our team becoming a “training accident, remains unrecoverable”.

  9. I neglected one thing, Aafke. The Saudi man I know married a Romanian woman. His father had married a US citizen.
    BOTH spouses were QUITE well treated. I know that quite well, as they did not wear an abaya in my presence, but instead, wore regular clothing of western design. IN short, we were accepted as family by their respective families.
    The ONLY problem was when his mother visited, WE had one hell of a time kicking that Italian American woman out of OUR kitchen so that WE could cook (we being the men)!
    As for going anywhere to get laid, men are men, women are women. In short, people are people. Men will do their damnest to get laid anywhere. It’s a far more fertile ground in the west, but that is something one could write books about, in terms of differences.
    Indeed, many, many princes ex-wives in Saudi keep their house, which quite a few turn into houses of prostitution. I’ll not reveal which, as to protect my CI’s.

    Carol, thanks for your further input. That explains the context thoroughly to the readers. I also had forgotten about the shift of the ’70’s, I guess the years are starting to take their toll on the memory.
    However, familial objections ARE of great concern in a relationship. I’ve watched more than a few cross-cultural relationships sink due to familial objections. As far as governmental acceptance, THAT is always a royal pain and tends to get really obnoxious when political issues cause friction.
    I’ll also agree with Susanne, I rather like the “mother hen”.

  10. Thanks Mother Hen Bedu, when I met my Saudi I didn’t have much to go on, just a book called “Drop of the Veil” by Marianne Alireza. In her book she spoke of the uniqueness of her relationship with her dashing Saudi husband, the amount of patience and good humor she put into making all the cultural adjustments and the failure of her marriage just the same. Most, if not all women who do go the full run of a relationship and get married and come to Saudi feel they will beat the odds. Sometimes they do but mostly they don’t no matter how sincerely and dearly they want it to work. A woman will say she will do anything to make this kind of relationship work, but a man doesn’t always feel the same way.

  11. Perhaps one of the greatest hurdles- if the two people in the relationship are serious about each other- is having the same expectations and desires for roles in the relationship. In other words, once married will the woman work? If so, where? If not, what will she be doing? What will the man do for work? Where will the couple live? How often will they travel? Will they live with family? What are the values the people have?

    Two people can have similar values but have completely different expectations for how those values are actually put into practice. This is in part due to culture, in part to family, and in part to individual expectations. For example, both people may value family time. However, one person may expect this to be a casual thing where when people happen to be in the same room they say hello. Another person may expect it to be more formal and take place by having the family gather around a meal or scheduling time to spend together. Thus, two people can have the same value but different ways of interpreting that value.

    Where to live after marriage, how to make it legal in KSA, and family approval are all very important but even more important is what the two people in the relationship expect from each other over the long-term.

  12. …and you’ll look back and regret how you ignored when we said run as far and as fast as you can.

  13. I don’t know that when one is riding a emotional ride can see thing this practically, very few people can do this that in the haze of emotion they can see clearly with their mind and logic.

  14. I really love this blog. I think It’s about most eastern men and women story. Girls and boys don’t have that much dating experience and when we find a girl or boy attractive or some feelings we jumped ” It’s the Person”.

  15. Still here bee bopping along…. It has surely been one heck of a ride flying back and forth over the rainbow. 😉

  16. Excellent artical. Just want to add, girls plz plz plz be careful, if u do get into a pysical relationship with a saudi or any guy, protect and std’s tests are needed. Sometimes men leave the arabian countries and go to the west where they sleep around with soo many women that they catch std’s like its out of fashion and spread them around to women. Do NOT get pregnant, do not have unprotect relations….better dont sleep with any guy at all.

    Some of the men will promise u the world and all the things u can dream of….jst dont believe it even if he says he prays 5 times a day…they act religious but again they shuldnt be dating girls and sleeping around, as its forbidden in our islamic faith.

    Im saying the above out of knowledge and going through hardships myself. Im muslim, lived in arabia nearly 30 years, speak the language, walk the walk and know the inside secrets of these guys. Dont be fooled young ladies.

    If any man wants to marry you, his parents HAVE to come to your country and meet you in your house with your family ( Dad and Mum most importantly.) If his family arent bothered to means your not welcome in their family.

  17. Excellent advice “Mother Hen.” However…here is my question: How many women in the “west” will actually see your comment. While it is highly accurate in content, do you think this will reach women in the US? I don’t have any idea but I fear that your warnings may fall on the wrong ears. What do you think. Please do not read this as a criticism of your blog – it is not. Rather…I am questioning whether or not your excellent advice will reach the ears for which it is intended.
    I am an older man from the US and have been here in KSA for a few days short of 9 months. I read your blog regularly and enjoy it. Your comments for this posting are vital for our girls in the west to be aware of and I hope that your message reaches them. I have a 22 year old daughter in California and it would be heartbreaking for her to find that the man she had fallen for was of the “Saudi culture” and all the facts that you give would be hidden from her. Keep up the great work!!

  18. @ Bob

    How many women in the “west” will actually see your comment. While it is highly accurate in content, do you think this will reach women in the US?

    Excellent point, Bob! An idea that comes to mind is for the commentators/participants on the AB blog to disseminate this wonderful letter from Mother Hen in their own communities. I am thinking along the lines of requesting churches and synagogues to include the advice letter in their weekly/monthly newsletters along with emailing to colleges and universities. I will do my part here in san diego, fer sure!

  19. Good advic AB ,how many will listen 🙂
    Hopefully perople will search and read an dget information. I see few cases wvery semester, and yet unless the girls come and ask me for advice i have no business telling them what to do, they are all adults.

    But the girls who are in love with some of the ones who will for sure dump them do know about prior cases, there is no secret in a hospital and they know girls before them have been dumped and yet they blindly fall in love, some use these guys and dump them and some get used.
    Its a fact of life – being young and stupid 🙂

  20. I have been in a relationship with a Saudi in Canada. He thinks he is special, not like all other Saudis. He proposed a year after, but of course I have no idea whether his family is aware of this or not. Of course he said he had told them about me many times…But I do not know the truth…For example, I have never spoken to his family via Skupe, while this could be so easy to arrange….He also has never spoken to mine, even tho I have told him so many times that he has to propose officially to my father (I come from a traditional culture, too).
    Anyways, his baccalaureate studies are nearing to an end this year, but he wants to apply for a Master’s degree. He said there is going to be a 9-month gap between the time he graduates with his B.Sc. and the time his starts his Master’s.
    Dear American Bedu, I have been reading your blog every day, wallah, it is saved in my favorites. It would be a blessing from the above, if I could email you with some questions regarding my case (ah…situation is complicated) to get an advice from you. Now that I have been with my Saudi guy for more than 3 years, my parents refuse to talk to me about this because they think he is not serious…that he is just playing with me and the day will come when he leaves this Western fairy-tale…
    Please help.
    Yours loyal reader.

  21. @Bob, see the third comment. The mother hen had answered a comment I made, asking a question and mentioning known successful marriages. I can say, I quite agree with her rationale for posting what she has.
    “I’m not against bi-cultural marriages but I would not be the first one encouraging a relationship between a young Saudi (under 35 years) and a foreigner…and especially if the Saudi is a student. The majority of those relationships end in heartbreak. I receive multiple emails each week from women who have had a relationship with a Saudi that did not work out. ”
    Note the multiple e-mails each week.
    So, let’s review the challenges to a potential new couple:
    A MASSIVE cultural difference, which WILL generate massive culture shock if the relationship survives to move to Saudi.
    Governmental resistance.
    Familial resistance.
    A VERY high probability that the relationship will never GET that far.
    StrangeOne’s concept of marital sharing and the woman working is pretty much out for most Saudi families, it tends to be more of a status thing than anything. In short, that the wife doesn’t HAVE to work.

    Frankly, marriages today already have the deck stacked against them and that is US citizens marrying each other. Add a different culture and probability of a move to another nation with a vastly different culture-IF the relationship survives that far-is fraught with difficulties (to put it mildly). To include possible altercations with the religious police over rather nebulous things (that elder couple I mentioned previously had related one incident where the religious police ran up and started shouting at his wife over “her hands were showing”, then puffing himself up when the Saudi man objected to him addressing his wife and even shouting at her. Said religious policeman proudly proclaimed, “I am the government, you will…” He was shouted down by the Saudi, as he ALSO worked for the government and proclaimed back, “*I* am the government, you WILL show me respect or else!”)
    And I was regaled with stories from multiple Saudis who mentioned religious police being found badly beaten and bound in the desert outside of town.
    So, a little warning is a good thing. As for the woman considering the relationship, especially a college student, she most certainly would be inexperienced in different cultures, she’d not have both the advantage of years of life experience, CIA experience and State Department experience. And as for her finding this article, people DO speak to one another, so can pass along this story. Also, the last time I checked, Google still exists and works quite well.

  22. Wzrd, the guy knew a prince who was ànd willing to help out bending the rules ànd with enough power to threatened a higher offcical, in that case I believe you that you don’t need bribe money.

    And buddhists… They are on the whole very peaceful but they also don’t have a lot of power. In my opinion èvery religion which gains enough power will become oppressive and violent. Original buddhism is quite misogynist towards women, the Western version is toned down quite a bit. The Kamikaze suicide bombers in the second world war were buddhists.
    Give a religion enough power and it will switch to the dark side. And women are always the first to feel the oppression.

  23. Aafke, the threats were made BY the prince to a LOWER official, who wanted to disobey the orders of the prince. I rather doubt that my friend’s family knew that prince, it seemed a lot more like perserverence and a habit I’ve noticed among Arab officials that the lower level official’s job is to say no and the higher level’s job is to say yes.

    As for Buddhists, what I didn’t mention was Buddhist wars, in particular, in ancient Koryo (now Korea), where there were multiple religious wars amongst Buddhists, both for power and for a particular sect gaining power.
    As for the Kamikaze pilots, many were Buddhists, many were not, Japan isn’t primarily Buddhist, but there IS a large following. From my recollection of old reports, there was a fairly proportional representation of faiths among the Kamikaze.

    I’ll disagree that giving any religion enough power and it switches, history is replete with cases where the converse was true, the dark side was used to GAIN power and retain it. One need only look at history to see that clearly. That simply makes a good case for secular governments value over religious dominated governments.

  24. If anyone wishes to contact me directly (as per a comment), I can be reached at

  25. I met a young Saudi Man online about 6 years ago when he responded to a comment I made to an article about women driving in Arab News. I had just become Muslim then, and we were eventually on SKYPE, though for a long time I had no camera and in my ignorance I eventually got one. By that time my feelings for him were quite strong in spite of the fact that I am nearly old enough to be his grandmother.

    I eventually did get a camera and with my first look at him I realised just how young he was. That was very hard realization.

    Still we had many long conversations about movies, Saudi Arabia, and many other things. We talked about American military just once, and his opinion shocked me to the core! Through him, I started to do much research and began to realize something of the cultural/political hole the West is in with the Middle East. It brought me to very sad realizations about what evil some in the West do in the Middle East. We are no angels.

    Last spring, he came to America to begin College, and I met him face to face. He calls me Auntie. It is America and I am not going to create a mini Saudi Arabia here for anyone, So I invited him to our house for dinner and made two very ignorant assumptions. In typical American fashion, men and women ate at same table, and when he got here, I removed my Hijab. BIG MISTAKE! I also had Tabla Turbo playing softly in the background and he was quite upset, reminding me that string Music is totally Haraam!

    Things have never been the same. I had not understood the cultural gap of light years.

  26. Bleeding Heart said something that is important.If any man is truly interested one of the first things he should do is make a phone call to his family and let them speak with the girl. If he is not willing to do that it’s game over. One of the first things my husband did shortly after we met was call up all his family members so that I could at least say Salaam Alaykum to them even if we couldn’t understand each other!

    Cultural differences can make for an interesting relationship. Even after being a long time away from a birth culture it can and will pop up so it’s important to really try to know and understand your partner’s culture. You can still be like-minded and have cultural differences and disagreements and that is the fun of it! 🙂

  27. The comments here are wonderful and fascinating. What has bothered me greatly, since converting, marrying a Saudi, living in Saudi Arabia for 17 years, and then coming back to the USA 12 years ago (still a Muslim) is that the Muslim world has accepted Saudi Arabian standards as the prototype of what is essentially Muslim. Having spent my college years reading the writings of Ibn Battuta, who traveled the Muslim world, and Ibn Khaldun, and then later studying in great depth the culture of Muslim Spain, I cannot help but recognize that Saudi Arabia IS, as the Saudis often remind us, a young and unique culture unto itself, dating only from the beginning of the Saudi rulership, after WWi.
    I often tried to remind my husband that I converted to Islam, not his culture. He was as resistant to my practicing a wise and true Islam as my mother was. For him as for her, everything was about culture, “the way we do things here.”

  28. @Julia – you posted a very illuminating comment and so true!

  29. I remember Moq writing once that Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a culture, it’s original culture was destroyed and what they have now is an experiment in social engineering.

  30. I just read your advice for the American women when it comes to Saudi me, and I must say is so true! I have met a couple of Saudi men in the past and let tell you, they are so adorable and romantic, but all they want is to have sex with as many girls as they can! these men have truly sad lives. They live in a segregated country and when they come to the U.S. they become so wild, that some of them end up failing their first semester in college. I remember seeing them get so drunk that classmates did not know what to do with them. They even eat pork and do everything that is consider ‘haram’ in their country. I had a friend that lived in a condo next to the ocean and her next door neighbor was a Saudi student that rented an all furnished 3 bedroom condo facing the ocean. Every weekend and even some week days he would bring a different woman, my friend one night had a talk with a girl that happened to get in the elevator very early on a saturday morning. She was curious about this beautiful girl spending the night with her Saudi neighbor, so she asked her if they were dating, she said ‘no’. So my friend asked her if she was a relative (she knew it was a dumb question to begin with) and the girl responded: ‘I am a call girl..he called the agency I work for, so I came and spent the night with him’ my friend told me that she was surprised since several times she saw this Saudi guy pray in the balcony and recite the Qumran! the ‘call girl’ told her that he paid the agency and paid a thousand dollars for her and that he tip her another five hundred! While I was going to school we knew that these guys were full of it, that they lied to girls to get in their pants, most Saudis had the nicest sports cars. But soon most girls knew that they were here for two things: get their degree and have sex with any girl. Money was not a problem for them since many girls would go on shopping sprees with these guys, they even bought them jewelry, met their families and even hang out with them at barbecues! Once they left the country most of them would forget about these girls. These Saudi men have no conscience at all, they are brought up to not respect women and to think that women are only objects. I feel very sad for them but I even feel sadder for the saudi women that have to put up with their Saudi husbands, most of them lie to them!
    Saudi men lie, and if any girl that reads this thinks it will never happen to her, let me tell you: YOU ARE WRONG AND IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!

  31. Anne, let me clue you in about some things in life.
    First, young men overall lie like a rug to get into a young woman’s panties. ESPECIALLY college age men. What you saw was no different than wealthy young men from anywhere, including the US, when “free” at college. The Saudis are only more obvious and don’t particularlly care if they fail a semester.
    Of course, at that age, I was a perfect gentleman. With 4 dates per night. Most conjugal… But, I was a perfect angel, you could tell by my halo being held perfectly straight by my horns.
    In short, young men have two things on their minds and most of the time they can’t remember what the other thing is, especially when a young woman is around.
    It isn’t nice, it isn’t quite the right thing to do. But, it is what it is.

  32. Although I’ve posted my own agreement with a lot of what Mother Hen has said I can’t rest without adding that not all Saudi men are this way. My father-in-law married his college sweetheart and they have been together nearly 60 years without him ever taking on a second wife or girlfriend. My sons who are studying in America, couldn’t be further from the description of the young men as in some of the posts as chalk and cheese. One has been engaged for the number of years to a fine, upstanding American girl and another one has never dated anyone to treat them so badly. A third might think the playboy lifestyle is fascinating but is never given enough money or allowed to stray so far from the fold to attempt it. Some of those young men who treat women badly are displaying typical chauvinistic behavior that you can find anywhere, especially among the privileged or uncultured. Not everyone was raised in this matter and it is grossly unfair to lump all of Saudi youth in this manner. Please remember a culture is still made up of individuals, some worthy and some less.

  33. WENDY, I have been waiting for that telephone call or Skype call for more than 3 years now…. He claims he talked to his parents about me and about us, but my heart tells me he is lying….First for about1 year, he was “getting morally ready” to tell them. Then, he supposedly. told them but they got a little upset. I said: ” How about talking to them on SKype?” He said they are not ready yet. I was like okkkaaaay….. So, up until this minute, I am still “waiting” for him to make it official and talk to them in front of me. They don’t speak English, but I believe there has to be a way to talk to them! At least show me on Skype and do a little bit of translation for both them and me.
    Also, I am still “waiting” for him to have enough balls to talk to MY parents. They kindly laugh at me being involved with this guy. They think he is not serious (I come from a traditional Christian culture, too) and that I should be ready for that day when he fairwells me and leaves for KSA for good.
    Ladies, other than that he is a good kid (Except for the fact that he lies to me a little bit from time to time). I am four years older, so he fears my superiority and I do demand a lot of respect.
    I am so lost….I am in my late twenties and this guy has stolen 3 years of my life w/out committing so far…. I could have just found somebody else who can marry me….One of my co-workers wants to hook me up with a young doctor in town and I am still strugging to even see him!!! BEcause I am hoping that this Saudi guy of mine will be the Man of my Dreams…
    Ahhhh…… 😦

  34. Good point Kinz. And I would add that there are American men that act with integrity sexually also. Perhaps they desire sex but they don’t dance to that desire.

    As wzrd pointed out, I know there are men of all cultures that just want sex but as a single women, I dated men who belied the stereotype and wanted a lot more for themselves than just sex. Wzrd unless you have dated a good sampling of men your experience is just yourself and a single datapoint does not represent a whole.

  35. I cannot say that I agree with the post. I believe that any man can be unreliable during his student years- many westerners actually are.

    It could be that muslim students, with a different set of rules and beliefs could face more difficulties and cause more difficulties in a different culture- that is of course not limited to saudis.

    Nevertheless I can definitely say that it is up to the people involved. It takes two to tango.

    Personally the cases of Saudi- non Saudi I have met, have been successful!

    I have seen saudi men, that their families had no problem and others had to temporarily give up on their families to marry the one they love, almost always their families turned around in the end. I have seen Saudi ladies get permissions and all.

    Thus my experience is coloured positively.

    Regarding the scholarship: if he decided to marry, he can always pay the government back after he gets a job! and that job could be anywhere. He can consider it as loan if you like.

  36. Gigi, are you married to a Saudi? If so, you will find that over time (20 years or so), most of the marriages are NOT successful. Approximately 80% of the 200 or so Saudi/American marriages I have personally known over the last 25 years have ended in divorce. Divorce in this case is even worse because of the 2 countries, cultures and mindsets involved.

  37. Are you kidding me? As Dr. Phil says, “The only thing worse than wasting 3 years of your life is wasting 3 years and 1 day.” Smarten up, chickie. Love yourself first and do what you know is right for you.

  38. @Kinz,

    I do agree with you that not all Saudi students are bad! I can certainly attest to that too. Unfortunately as with any scenario, it’s the few bad apples that tend to spoil the pot. ):

    I know many Saudi students who are respectful, sincere and great all-around individuals who are fabulous representatives of their country.

  39. I think it is good for the Saudi and non-Saudi students to get to know one another and have friendships. The challenges and problems start when an intimate relationship forms. That’s when the cultural differences begin to show.

  40. HeartsBleeding … you have NOT wasted three years of your life. Put it into perspective. You have had an experience, some fun and joy with a man for three years. Whether the continues or does not continue it is a still life experience that has taught you things about yourself and life in general. Years from now you will be able to look at it in a different light. Only you can decide whether to stay in the relationship or end it. You CAN make demands regarding talking to both his and your families and if he refuses that would be the end point for me. On the other hand you could still go on with the relationship keeping in mind that it will probably eventually end. Life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Maybe it’s the journey you were meant to be on.

  41. Nice comment Wendy. The saying I have heard is, “There are no mistakes just different ways to learn whatever it is that you need to learn.”.

    That said, I feel for you Heartsbleeding and I would think anyone who has been in love would. It is so %$#@! tough to do the right thing when your heart longs for reality to be different. My own experiences are such that I understand why people stay when they should run like a hurricane wind on steroids. If you think you can at all leave him, gather every shred of support you can find: friends, family, activities, exercise class.

  42. Thank you for this wonderful presentation of the truth! Hopefully it will save some woman from pain and heartache.
    This is not only true of Saudi students, but Arab students in general. I am an American who married a Lebanese gentleman many years ago. We live in the U.S. now, and one of my husbands nephews came to live here and go to school He had relationships with many girls here who all believed he was in true love with them. He actually married three girls in one year! (I don’t know how he could get the divorces through so quickly, or if all the ‘marriages’ were legal ones) When I confronted him concerning his behavior, he assured me that when he went back to his own country he would marry a ‘good girl’.
    Romantics beware! As I told my daughters, it’s not really the mans fault. He will tell you anything because he has no brain. Most of his blood supply is below his waist.

  43. Thank you all for your support and valuable comments.
    I just emailed him saying that he should talk to his and my parents, or else…
    We’ll see what he says. I will post his quote here, ladies 😉

  44. AISHA, I like the comment about the “blood supply” hahahaha you must be a medical professional 🙂 I strongly agree that Saudis are the most sexual and most sexy Khaleejis and sex is a number one type of fun for them. For some it even becomes a number one goal whil living in the U.S./Canada/Australia/New Zealand, etc…….

  45. @Heartsbleeding,
    Every relationship is different, as are the two people in the relationship. While I may have met my significant others’ family right away (within the first week or two), we moved fast because we just knew we loved each other. Every couple is different. Maybe you should find out from him why he is hiding you from his family.

    If you feel like you are wasting your time, then the fact you feel this way is a problem. You need to evaluate why you feel this way.

    If the Saudi man of yours isn’t already “the man of your dreams” then that is another problem. Are you with him because you love each other (it should go both ways) and you enjoy his company or are you with him because you’re settling? I truly love my habibi and have had my fair share of offers from other men for serious relationships. However, I CHOOSE to be with the man I love and have fun with. Sometimes, I get scared and think, “What if it doesn’t work out?” Well, you know what? I will just re-evaluate then. Since I’m not married officially yet, I take care of my own needs and wants including my career goals. In the event it doesn’t work out, there will be plenty more interested men. You just have to understand you DO have options. Choose the one that makes you happiest and worry about the future when it gets here.

  46. STRANGEONE, thanks for sharing comments in regard to my situation.
    I really do not know why exactly he is hiding me from his family, but according to him (and he has lied to me before) he wants to do it little by little and not dump the whole information on them right away. But I told him so many times: the sooner you start talking to them, the better it will be for us in the future, because they will have to learn to live with the fact that we are together, and it takes some time to do that…
    I was blinded by this love for years and could not really see the real face of him…For example, his lies is something that makes me very very upset! Saudis like to hide information or feelings in order to not disappoint people. They are very private people and that’s a probelm. I am not for super social type of behavior, but I am not a person who hides things from her habebi either.
    Anyways, I used to think he is the Man of my Dreams, but I am just not coming to the realization that he might not be…And that’s OK, my life will not end….But I just want this person to understand that he has to be serious or he has to leave me alone!!!!

  47. if he’s hiding you from his family, especially the female members he does not plan to have a serious relationship with you. moreover, he could easily already be engaged or even married.
    Really, the fact that he has not introduced you long ago to his mother and sisters is a very bad sign.
    I think you should dump him, remember the good things but cut him off from your future and get on with your own life and find a man who is actually worthy of you.

  48. Heart:

    A man does not hide something that he takes pride in or is proud to have in his life. A man hides that which he is ashamed or something that he can get away with in a manner that does not harm his public life.

    You are being used. Get out.

  49. The thing is: he claims he told them about me. But why in the world would he NOT arrange a talk on Skype?? How hard is that to do? He believed he is doing the right thing for us.
    Gggrrrr. I’m getting tired of this and also getting old.
    I do wanna marry a Muslim man, but it looks like Saudi guys are the worst option so far. (Not that I really explored other nations tho!)

  50. Heart: Saudis are liars. Plain and simple. If you want to be married to a liar, marry a Saudi. If not, then don’t. There, I saved you 40 years of being married to a liar. Or not.

  51. DONNA: I’m kind of realizing that now. But at the same time, there is no guarantee that my future husband of another origin will not be a liar. There are good and bad people in every culture, nation, etc.
    But I actually know 1 very nice Saudi guy. He is more honest than I am 😀 Jeez, seriously, he is a very descent Saudi, open-minded. (from Jiddah, of course)

  52. Heart: Yeah, there are good and bad people everywhere. Unfortunately many more Saudis can be found in the bad category, and once you’re over there and have no rights then you are exponentially screwed. And frankly you can’t talk about a particular Saudi unless you’ve experience in him in his own country and culture 20 years down the line. Believe me, I know.

  53. Heart – I am curious…why do you want to marry a Muslim man? I also wanted to respond to your comment that if he is not serious you want him to leave you alone…If you determine that he is not the one for you, then YOU must be the one to extract yourself. He’ll likely continue to be with you as long as you allow it.

  54. I’ve been very busy taking care of Sami and i haven’t the time to read your post… Personally i’m a silence reader and i just comment sometimes. However, this post deserve my comment….

    I hope every girl who is dating a Saudi take your Letter SERIOUS because you are right, This boy fall in love very easy, tell you the greatest words you can ever heard, give you a lot of gift and beautiful words… but YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A SECRET For his family. If i can make a wish right now would be exchange ALL he gave me for him to be involved in the life of our son.

    Believe me if i just go back in time I would be more aware of the relationship with my son’s dad, My son has been the biggest and greatest blessing but my Saudi ran away forgetting his promises to marry me and raise a family together when he saw that I won’t abort my son.

    So PLEASE we aware… Saudis are great people, as friends and brothers. Maybe some of them are serious and are telling the true of their wishes to marry you but they never go against the wishes of their mother, which is MARRIED WITH A SAUDI.

  55. @ heart: sorry why is it so important to you what his family says?
    If he wants he CAN marry you without their permission. Ultimately it is up to him, no matter what they say- and that is true about saudis too- they can do it if they want, all else is excuses.

    @ Dona: I dont know the statistics for saudi- non saudi marriages, but if the average divorce rate between saudi-saudi is 60% in the first few years of marriage, then the rate you quote doesnt seem that bad actually.

    Ultimately when you marry you make sure you have a good contract that will save your rights in the case of breakdown, keep alert and accept that you will face some more challenges related to a different cultural background.

  56. Another point I want to raise it this: It has been overrated that the aim of all saudi men is to marry a virgin upon their return to saudi or that the dream of most saudi women is to marry their immediate cousin.

    Many saudis are not fixated on this- at least this generation and they should be given some more trust that they can make it even in a relationship outside the KSA borders.

    There are many ladies who would be very happy to marry a foreigner and also manny men that would also feel the same.

    Many had to go against family wishes and they succeeded. Shouldnt their stories also be shared?

    I support fully saudi youth in their choices which are very different from what some ladies posted here.

  57. I’m married to a young Saurdi man and am now living in Jeddah. I do agree with alot of the article, as it seems true for alot of the older generation of American friends I have here, but for me it’s the opposite. His family supports me being here and has helped with every part of me being here. Although for women thinking about getting involved with a Saudi man- IT IS NOT EASY. Being raised in America and coming here, there is so much to get adapted to. I’ve spent alot of time crying over cultural differences, Saudi laws that prohibiit alot of my freedom, and feeling alone and secluded. So you have to decide is love worth it? Are you ready to change alot of who you are (b/c over time being in KSA it just happens) you adapt to your environment.

  58. HeartsBleeding stay in Canada and forget about him if both of you do not meet both sets of parents, yours and his….and meet, talk for several…years. Please get this straight in your head. So many North American women nowadays spend lots of time with their partner and their family and he with her family in family functions face to face…several times, months, years…before marriage. After all, people nowadays take several years to know each other and their families.

    Obviously American Bedu has written this blog post because she cares and is concerned with the frequent emails sent to her for advice/heartbreaking stories.

    It actually chills me to read such stories. It makes me realize how incredibly fortunate I am to be with my partner …last 20 yrs. No he is not Saudi, just German descent…here in Canada. 🙂

    As for the cultural differences: I think there are several considerations here:

    *socio-economic differences…in how each person was raised (both he and I were raised by poor, immigrant parents), so it helps enormously how we lead our life, value about money and dealing with it.

    *racial. I am Asian and he is white. while this is more common, there was a wider gap between the 2 of us on issues of racism in broader society. Now, it’s much more parallel. And this only comes from living togther and I absolutely stress, meeting each other’s families, participating in family events/celebrations.

    I also believe strongly that any woman must be first financiall yindependent and remain that way when such encounters occur with some of these men who lie. It makes it easier for her to be far more objective …to walk and dump the guy who lies. She does not become desperate nor trapped.

    I’m sorry to hear how such situations occur and here we go again, the segregation of sexes by a society does not help either men nor women grow to their full potential without hurting other people.

  59. @Gigi – I’d be delighted to hear from more couples who have great relationships! I do know of some couples (Saudi/non-Saudi) who are under 30 and have made their marriages work.

  60. @AmBedu: Come now, how can a couple married for a few years know if their marriage is successful or not? True success comes with longevity. All of us who were married 20+ years and then got divorced would have also called our marriages “successes” back when we were 30.

  61. @Donna – good point. I was thinking more in terms of couples who were able to obtain the permissions and adapting well to Saudi. But you do raise a very valid point…too many of the Saudi men who have married a non-Saudi wife have ended up either divorcing her or taking another wife after what may have appeared to many as a solid marriage.

  62. Donna, I had a successful marriage 20 years before divorcing at year 24. I hope to have many successful years in my current marriage. There are those who say that marriage is forever was written when life expectancy was maybe 30 years of age. Now we are living into our 90’s. People do change and grow and not everyone will grow together. Doesn’t mean that the marriage was not successful. I’ve had two successful careers in my life also.

  63. @Wendy: I had a successful job until I was fired. I had a successful business until it went bankrupt. I had a successful friendship until we got in a fight and decided not to talk to each other anymore. How does failing (divorce) = success (staying married)??

  64. I guess it all depends on how you see faliure and how the marriage ends. My careers ended because I chose to end them. My marriage ended because I chose to end it. We were both better off for it and both believe that we had 20 very successful years.

  65. I agree Wendy. We have been married for 24 years and if we were to split a year from now I would say we had a great marriage till today. No one knows what tomorrow bring live happily and love happily today:-) I know I sound like a cheesy commercial but that’s how I feel. I’m we are each others support and the more kids get busy with their lives the more needy we have become of each ther , at least that’s how we both feel. .

  66. Wendy, my parents were married for precisely 50 years and a week, then the marriage ended by my mother dying in her sleep.
    My wife and I, under the most horrendous conditions, have continued our marriage under strife of finance for over 29 years.
    So, do we consider our lives and my parents lives and my Saudi friend’s parents lives (of similar marital age consideration) irrelevant?
    Look at the US divorce statistics. Look at any OTHER western nation’s divorce statistics.
    The only REAL considreation is, CULTURE where a divorce happens.
    For a woman in Saudi, it’s major suck world.
    In the US, it’s not.
    Interestliy eough, regionally, Saudi is HIGHLY variable in consideration of the ex-wife and issue, again, regionally.
    Now, ask me if I have had my “7 year itch”. I’ll happily say yes. But, scratchintg that itch would cost me in decades of calculating lies.
    More importantly, I’d have to lie to my wife of over 29 years. Considering I and she had largely similar security clearances, but hers was a bit lower, that is saying a LOT.
    But then, we who had clearance learned some “shorthand” to say when things went into otherland (aka NOT of marriage or trust).
    SOME may find marital life in poop land. Others may find bliss. Others, REALITY of life.
    I’ll not poop on reality for some, I’ll suggest struggle for others. I’ll even suggest suchage for a few.
    But, as I’ve NOT been issued the “I AM GOD” tee shirt, I’ll not PRONOUNCE.
    Unless asked, based upon my and my wife’s experience.

    An old joke between my wife and I when I deployed and she unofficially accompanied me to the Persian Gulf was, I’d suggest my conversion and taking a second wife.
    She’d joke back, (TRUTHFULYL serious), “Like you COULD find a woman to put UP with you!”.
    Couldn’t argue on THAT one, as I”m a PERFECT 10. On the Ricter scale. 😉

  67. Radhaa, as I said, my wife and I have been married for over 29 years.
    We, quite literally, answer questions in each others stead in conversations. We know one another s well.
    We STILL have our “mysteries” between us, due to a difference of sex and body. That only is a good thing, as if EITHER of us were the same, conversation would be boring, as we’d be conversing with ourselves.
    SHE is, for a lack of better terms, my failsafe. Preventing me from doing harm to someone in bad situations that she considers salvagable. Considering the track history, I’ll consider that a valid point. I’ll NOT discuss what events were considered for securit reasons.
    I’ve also “reighned her in”, as she did for me, in OTHER rather bad coniditons, AGAIN, not for consideration.
    Apart, we’re imbalanced. TOGETHER, we balance and are *REALLY* great people to be around.
    We REALLY LIKE that togehter thing and nice to be around over the possible permutations.
    In short, we LOVE peace and quiet. Apart, that may not QUITE be true, as we then have no “sounding board” for things that may not be so wholesome.

  68. I agree with Donna. I have to tolerate 30 somethings telling me the secret of a successful marriage when I can take the number of years they have been married and wrap it up in the number of years I have been married and cover it several times over. I think what Carol is saying is “successfully getting married” not “successfully being married” which needs the test of time.

  69. And how long is the test of time then? I figure 20 years is a pretty long time. I still say that ending what was a successful marriage for a very long time is no different from ending a career that had been successful for a very long time. Sometimes after a very long time change is required to remain healthy. Change does not negate success!

  70. I think that anyone would agree that divorce = failed marriage. Would you divorce if the marriage was working? I cannot fathom your reasoning. The greater issue here is that there is a VERY HIGH CHANCE that a Saudi-foreigner marriage will fail. Do you really want to bet your life, future, happiness and kids on such crappy odds?

  71. Donna:

    I going to agree with Wendy on this one. As long as two people enjoyed each other and honestly dealt with one another then ended the marriage due to growing in different directions on a good note after 20 plus years then it was a good and successful marriage. Here is where it is a bad situation. It is when society has a social construct that limits the opportunities and freedom of one of the parties making them into a needy dependent. Then it is a bad marriage because the needy dependent has never grown up or been allowed to execise independent skills and autonomy to include a career and life building skills to ensure independence, freedom (lack of being needy) and autonomy.

    I would hate to have to do what Saudi men must do which is be forced to take on a grown up dependent that I have to wait on constantly. I want to have an adult relationship one of mutual understanding, contributions, growth and goals. That means that I expect my wife to ensure that I am doing what it takes to make our marriage successful in both home, education, and career life. That also means that I am expect to do the same. We are partners and our end goals is to better our lives and raise good decent independent freethinking happy well adjusted adults who are able to make mistakes and bounce back.

    Now if after 20 plus years we decided that we have accomplished everything that is positive, we still like one another but we just don’t have the same goals or aspirations or the desire to be with each other then determine it is better to strike out on ones own then it is a success. We have accomplished a great deal in our marriage. The biggest accomplishment is that we grew up to become adults who understand that life changes and success has different measurements.

  72. Donna:

    I should make a note that often times Saudi produces dysfunctional men who are constantly in fear of having his manhood challenged to which is defined by them as being an overly oppressive, subjugating and fearful individual. In that I mean that if it is seen by the society that he is not controlling his wife according to their dysfunctional means (a slavery construct society) then he would be seen to be not a man. In my assessment Saudi’s examples of men are dysfunctional and that dyfunction creates a dysfunctional society which feeds on fear, distrust and desperation. If you look at some of the muslim countries you will see just this pattern particular with many muslim men as their definition of what a man is, is being challenged and they are circling the wagons exhibiting a tighter grip. They will destroy themselves as this is a destructive pattern. The best hope is they come to understand the dysfunction and change, the middle of the road is they only destroy themselves and the worst case is they take out others who want nothing to do with the dysfunctonal construct. Now note, I considered this form of a man to be on the mental level of a teenage boy at best not a man.

    A man is not fearful of his partner. He protects what is his but understands that the woman protects what is hers. He ensures success by giving and sacrificing himself through education, protection, career, also shopping (don’t like it but have to go – absolute hugh sacrifice), time expended on children’s activities (most are great but there are times that certain activities are more little you are the shuttle bus), other items that necessiate a good marriage and then your partner does the same. You communicate with one another on who is going to do what at times from day to day, week to week, month to month, etc. Then you enjoy the quite moments and just appreciate the fact that you have each other to which you show this in numerous way to one another.

    Now when a western engages in the beginning of a relationship with such a man one must determine where is he on the line of maturity. If he has numerous years being what I call a teenage boy with expectations of having a dependent child as a wife will then you really better assess whether you are willing to be such a dependent in a society that ensures your continued enslavement and/or dependency that has no rights over oneself. Now women for whatever reason often times fall into the whole he is my knight in shining armor and will take me away from my troubles. Which is total BS. Men don’t want your troubles they have enough of their own most just want women who understand that they are not a fictional character and that they alsohave their own problems to which we all do in some form. Women often times set themselves up for failure in marriages and I blame the western culture and media for this as well. This is due to the fact of the stupid disney princess crap and many societial constructs that somehow men can take away the problems women face and they live happily ever after. Guess what men are human with human faults and the day to day grind will only show you our faults now as a woman you are going to have to deal with those faults and live with them as often they are hard to change. So that means that women need to understand her intended and see if she is willling to live with his fault with the understanding that if she can’t she better not go into the relationship thinking she will change him as it often times will not happen. She is then stuck in an unhappy marriage many times due to her expectation of I will change him, the fact that she has an unrealistic view of marriage (knight in shininig armor), or she is so dependent that she loses herself in her husband to try live her life through him which will actually make both parties unhappy in the end as each is an individual who both stands alone but brings different qualities to the table that is supposed to lay the foundation down for a joint partnership adventure. So make sure the tools, knowledge, willingness, adventure, sense of change and humor all all components otherwise you might run into problems that are not going to be solved readily or at all.

    I assure you if I were such a man who needed to prove my manhood by means of controlling my wife, my wife would have never given me a second look. I enjoy her independence, autonomy, grit and endurance. She is a hell of a woman. That is not to say that we haven’t had our head to head moments but we have worked them out. I should tell you though we married later in life so we both knew what we wanted and what we would not put up with and we discussed it long before we were married and then agreed to it. We are mutually respected mature adults and that is a great step in a good marriage.

    Long winded I know.

  73. Donna, I think that interpreting a successful marriage as absence of divorce is extremely simplistic. It is perfectly possible to stay married and loathe every day of your life. It is likewise perfectly possible to have a great marriage for 10 years and then circumstances change to make it not so great. The decision to end a marriage does not mean that the marriage was bad for its duration. That’s a highly unsophisticated way to judge a marriage.

  74. Okay, I stand corrected…to a degree! I still would not characterize a marriage that fails (ends in divorce) in 10 years as a success. And I don’t think that the young kids of such a marriage would deem it a success either. Especially when in this case it almost surely means not seeing one parent or another for a decade or more.

  75. @wzrd: ” Radhaa, as I said, my wife and I have been married for over 29 years. We, quite literally, answer questions in each others stead in conversations.”

    That was Abdullah and I, too, even though we were only given seven years of marriage. It amazed me how quickly and comfortably we adapted to answering for each other and anticipating in advance what the other was going to say or want!

    @bigstick – I thoroughly enjoyed reading your “long winded” comment!

  76. @carol- I do have quite some good stories actually, each unique-
    there are cases of people having to leave forced engagements ( boys being engaged with traditional methods) that had to break them upon travelling abroad to study and pursue their own life- married successfully foreigners.
    I know cases people had to drop secure jobs to marry a foreign lady.
    These are already 10+ years of marriage.
    Also there are cases of saudi ladies, refusing to marry for a number of years in order to reach 27+ spinsterhood, so they can travel to study abroad and marry there.
    I also have cases of saudi-saudi that married their girlfriend. It is usually the girlfriends family that can reject them!

    Many of them want to be free and pursue what they want, not what others want for them. They are struggling for it and I cannot fail to say how amazed I am eachtime.
    It is dishartening for them to read only the ‘ bad stories’ whether on a blog or even on TV ( many saudi channels want to expose bad stories in order to deter them).

    I have lived close enough to know their stuggles, their mentality- as I said we have many intelligent young men and women who are career seekers, struggle for what they believe for in their personal lives and in the end have as much chances of succeding as any other person around the world.

    I tell them go for it! pursue what you belive in and in the end let your family or life turn around and stand by you- and trust me they do.

  77. I heard once that among some people of the South Seas, marriages last only a year. This way the couple can enjoy each other without having to fight or bicker or worry about long-term plans. Children are raised by the entire community. You can see where in a small community it would be hard to keep track of brothers and sisters in this way but it might be a nice alternative for older people who are no longer interested in raising children. Problem is most old roosters like to chase young chickens and find themselves back in the mix as parents.

  78. @Kinz,
    What do you consider old and young when you say “old roosters” and “young chickens”? I have known quite a few couples with a 10 to 13 year gap between spouses and them being together had more to do with personality and what they want from a relationship than deliberately going after someone much older/younger.

  79. @Gigi, If you think any of the individuals you mentioned would be willing to be interviewed, have them contact me on

    I understand what Kinz is saying. There also is a generation of Saudi men who once they reach their late 40’s to mid 50’s find themselves with “an itch.” They take another wife who is usually younger. That wife has never had children, she may be in her 20’s, and the man ultimately finds himself with a younger wife but raising another family too.

    How does one expect the first wife and children to respond? The family that built a life together has now been torn apart. It also makes you wonder how thoroughly and thoughtfully the man planned when he decided to take another younger wife and now, in his later years when he would be close to retirement, have to support two sets of families….

  80. First of all that can be said for almost all men and women as well who’s families have a high atandard of tradition. And not everyone is open to tell an embarrassing truth. It really depends on how serious they are about the relationship. If the government doesn’t allow a person to marry an American, the American government doesn’t mind at all. Now when I first read this I assumed it was written by an American who had her heart broken, but Um bin bedu? I have heard and seen of many Saudi women in Saudi worry and complain about all the boys who gone to the US and having relationships with American women and how they might marry them. This might not be the case with you Um hen bedu. But the envy of most Saudi women towards American women is without a doubt true, add a Saudi boy in the equation and you all know what would happen.

    Best regards
    Son of an American woman and Saudi Father
    BTW I am tribal too

  81. American Bedu: I want to marry a Muslim because I believe in Islamic values of life deep in my heart and one day plan to convert. At least this is the plan for now. I would like my husband to be a non-drinker and a non-smoker (as my beloved Saudi is). It has become very difficult to find a Western man who does not drink. But drinking is not everything of course. I found peace in Islamic lifestyle. So many thing work for me; things I could not find in Western cultures and religion(s).
    Thank you for your blog, American Bedu. I read every day 🙂 You are a blessing 🙂

  82. @Heart – thank you for responding to my query and your kind words about the blog. I pray all the best for you.

  83. @Ben- well said Ben!

  84. this was truly interesting! i must admit that i found this quite…uhm…distasteful, but then i remembered that this is part of an entire culture, and what is generally unacceptable in one culture may be completely normal for another so i respect the difference and despite my intial reaction, i truly understand. this was very informative and though i really don’t know anyone from saudi, i still appreciate the insight into another culture. i really haven’t read any of your articles before so i really don’t know if i’m touching something that i should not with my comment, but i really just can’t find the right words to describe how this article made me feel. it’s just unacceptable, yet completely acceptable at the same time. i really don’t know the right words to say! this is by far the most interesting article i have read in any blog, seriously. i think i might have to subscribe and read more! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  85. Thank you Carol for your prayers. I appreciate any support that comes my way. My family does not understand my enfatuation with Islam and my Saudi man. I of course understand where they come from, but still do need people who would understand me.

  86. You’re welcome, Heart. You know if you ever want to chat about things off-blog, I can be reached at

  87. @HeartIsBleeding,
    Have you considered a Canadian/American Muslim man? Or do you have a preference to Arab culture over Western culture? Although it may seem hard to find a man from a Western culture who doesn’t drink, just understand they’re out there as I’ve had a few friends who are American men who have chosen not to drink. If you choose to convert to Islam, you should be converting for yourself and not for anyone else. If you want to convert, what is stopping you? Have you tried to see if there are any local mosques in your area? It would be a good place to learn more about Islam and meet other Muslims in the area.i am not trying to tell you to convert; just trying to tel you that if that is what you want to do, perhaps you should learn more?

  88. When a man has grown children and marries a woman barely older than his own children and starts having more children when he should have grandchildren, that is an old rooster with a young chicken. He will find himself busy raising someone’s children, possibly even his own.

  89. Heart:

    Can you be specific on the details of why Islam fits you as the best faith? Is it that Islam (koran/hadith) holds women in a place of honor? If so, how does it do this. Is it because Muslim men no how to treat women? If so how do they do this? What tenents of the religion do you feel are better depictions of Allah/God then other religions and directives? If so, Why?

    Were you religious before and to what extent? How much have you studied on Islam and the tenents including the fiqh? Are you aware of all the source documents besides the koran and historical aspects?

    Why do you want a muslim man verse just a good man who doesn’t drink or smoke?

    Just some friendly little questions.

  90. Just some friendly little questions.

    A plausible statement.

  91. Big Shtick:

    …. your wisdom brings peace in me …. :)-

  92. I have met many Muslims who drink so please don’t think that by marrying one he’ll never touch alcohol.

  93. BIG STICK:
    It’s impossible to lay all the thing out here in the comments, but hopefully I will be starting a blog of my own very soon (after final exams). So, that topic will be included and expanded.

    I live in the U.S., not Canada. I have not checked any mosques yet, I am still doing research on my own and trying to find out if this is what I want in life. It’s too early for me to start going to the mosques. However, I try to talk to Muslim people casually from time to time.

    I know. And I have seen some drunk Saudi students/Muslims in my area. I’m not trying to say that with Islam comes the concept that all Muslims do not drink. Surely, you will see some who think “people are not perfect and we all have sins”, and those ones feel totally OK drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. Where my beloved Saudi lives (in Canada) there are many Saudi guys who do drugs. According to my habebi, some of them are drug dealers.

    This world is not a perfect place – that I know for sure!! 🙂

  94. Trust me … they drink in KSA a well.

  95. Oh, I know! The only problem is that kuhol is very expensive in KSA and only rich people can afford it.

  96. Pretty much, Hearts. One must first know which prince is running that part of the black market and purchase from him and his associates. Otherwise, one risks exposure when an “independant” is arrested.
    I learned about that directly from Saudis.
    One of the first thing I learn when deploying to a foreign nation is about the black market and smugglers, never know when one may have to utilize their services…

  97. My friend’s relative work at a port in KSA (details of the location omitted). The containers that come for princes are never checked, they have the first priority.
    Is that Islam?
    Where is Islam?
    The real pefect Islam stays inside of the Qur’an. People are so currupt, in anu culture, in any religion.

  98. Hearts, I won’t say that “people are corrupt”, as that is an absolute. Not ALL people are corrupt, hence that is inaccurate.
    BUT, people are people, regardless of where you find them, their culture, skin color, religion or continent of origin.
    Hence, any “failure of charactor” that is found in the US is found in every nation, province/state, city, town or hamlet on this Earth. People around the world drink alcohol. The only time MOST cultures find problems with that is when some abuse it and act like idiots.

    Now, can you guess who runs the houses of prostitution that are never raided in the KSA? If you say princes ex-wives, you got it right. Not all, but enough to be notable for any Saudi man to know about.
    I didn’t request THAT information, though it COULD be turned to good use, should the need arise. But, that is a topic of different context, more geared toward “Company” personnel and certain operations.

    Because, people are people, warts, pimples, wrinkles and all. Based upon THAT commonality, one can find mutual ground to communicate and negotiate.
    One could say that perfect Islam stays inside the Quran, one could also say that socialism is a perfect system. Regrettably, there are no perfect people to go along with ANY religion or economic system.
    But, socialism works extremely well for social insects. Just don’t try to communicate or negotiate with them. 😉

  99. Mrs. B:

    Ouch. 🙂

    Still you haven’t answered my question on whether you think that Karen Armstrong wrote the Reliance of the Traveller. So do you?

  100. May I add fire to the gasoline? Or is it the other way around?

    This post is interesting because it takes a relevant issue and puts it on the table for discussion. Personally, what men or woman do, or how their relationship turns out, is the their problem and nobody elses – except if there are children. It should be obvious that simple math does not favor a marriage between a Saudi male and a western woman. Yet, we never learn.

    Although not directly related, there is this:

    Ms Eltahawy says that Arab culture is misogynistic and that the endless abuses against women are “fueled by a toxic mix of culture and religion”. Now those are strong words. A western woman in a relationship with a Saudi / Arab / Muslim is walking much closer to the edge than if dating her brother’s best friend (whatever that means!)

    A good analysis of this from different viewpoints can be found here:

    Many Arab ladies disagree, as Dima Khatib: “I don’t think we need saviors from the hatred and vengeance of our men, especially since the revolutions have proved that we are more than able to stand shoulder to shoulder with men to achieve progress for our societies.” (quoted from the Global Voices page).

    The problem with stereotypes is that they are usually both true and false. The fact is that for every general rule there are exceptions, so that the stereotype is not binding on any of us. Just because so many Saudi-Western romances end badly does not mean that yours or hers will also (see Carol’s case). The numbers may argue against something, but statistics are meaningless when hearts are in harmony. Any woman coldly assessing the risk of such a relationship would by logic back off (or turn and flee), but since when do men and women act put logic or reason above emotions and desire? Never has happened, except maybe for Spark.

  101. May I add fire to the gasoline? Or is it the other way around?

    This post is interesting because it takes a relevant issue and puts it in on the table for discussion. Personally, what men or woman do, or how their relationship turns out, is the their problem and nobody elses – except if there are children. It should be obvious that simple math does not favor a marriage between a Saudi male and a western woman. Yet, we never learn.

    Although not directly related, there is this:

    Ms Eltahawy says that Arab culture is misogynistic and that the endless abuses against women are “fueled by a toxic mix of culture and religion”. Now those are strong words. A western woman in a relationship with a Saudi / Arab / Muslim is walking much closer to the edge than if dating her brother’s best friend (whatever that means!)

    A good analysis of this from different viewpoints can be found here:

    Many Arab ladies disagree, as Dima Khatib: “I don’t think we need saviors from the hatred and vengeance of our men, especially since the revolutions have proved that we are more than able to stand shoulder to shoulder with men to achieve progress for our societies.” (quoted from the Global Voices page).

    The problem with stereotypes is that they are usually both true and false. The fact is that for every general rule there are exceptions, so that the stereotype is not binding on any of us. Just because so many Saudi-Western romances end badly does not mean that yours or hers will also (see Carol’s case). The numbers may argue against something, but statistics are meaningless when hearts are in harmony. Any woman coldly assessing the risk of such a relationship would by logic back off (or turn and flee), but since when do men and women act put logic or reason above emotions and desire? Never has happened, except maybe for Spark.

  102. kactuz, one could easily apply the numbers game to marriage in general. Divorce rates in the US is around 40%, with marriages lasting around 8 years as a mean. In Europe, the divorce rate is around 33%.
    Now, women’s rights vary by nation, as do divorce settlements, where divorce is illegal in the Philippines, to European settlements and rights that far outstrip the US, overall.
    Then, there are the regional issues in the US, which vary state by state and county/parish by county/parish.
    Then, there is Saudi. Which is far different than the majority of GCC states.

    As for stereotypes, I totally disregard them. Lest I fall into the trap that some folks in the US did and think that our president came from the welfare line to the White House! Or my failing to notice that I’m NOT in the mafia, due to my Sicilian heritage…

  103. “Or my failing to notice that I’m NOT in the mafia, due to my Sicilian heritage…”

    Oh, c’mon! You’re teasing us! 😉 That made me laugh! 😀

  104. See? I made you an offer that you could not refuse.
    To laugh at. 😉

  105. Arab men in general are very romantic but cultural forces keep this aspect of the personality silent. The reason behind that is, in the Arab world it’s a common belief a romantic man is not a REAL man! Therefore, the moment Arab men leave their countries all of the cultural shackles are unlocked so they experience being themselves as romantic beings!

    Even though the majority return to their countries and start a new life, many remain unhappy and unsatisfied. The sweet romantic feeling, and the lovely memories never cease to haunt them.

  106. W, yes I understand, but there is nothing more fun than to sit in a group and suddenly start to defend ‘Stereotyping’. You should see their faces. It is almost like defending child pornography, given the mentality and silliness associated with this word. It is a given fact in civilized society that nobody in his/her right mind would defend that evil known as stereotyping, so it is right down my line. Actually I think I do a pretty good job of it. I love a lost cause. I mean, anybody can defend peace, love and happiness!!

  107. how fortunate of me to find your blog! I lived in saudi for a few years. My parents are currently STILL living in riyadh and I haven’t gone back to visit since I got married.

    I’ll be following your blog – thanks so much for posting your post about marrying a saudi. We saw so many girls fall for the saudi students, here in philly and we would shake our heads because so few of those girls knew what they were getting into.

  108. WOW, I’m from Saudi Arabia and I agree with every thing you said. I like your neutrality. You did not say any think wrong. Thank you

  109. Oh abe, thank you for quoting me, you must think of me so highly.

  110. Saudi:
    This blog is not about “not saying anything wrong” (And what is “wrong” anyway? It’s a subjective notion).
    This blog delivers the reality, the facts, and as I have understood so far it’s goal is to stay away from analytical stuff.
    I have spoken to many Saudi men in my life. All and each of them spoke differently about KSA, about Islam, and traditions.
    Where is the truth? I don’t know. Because all people, including the Saudis, come from various backgrounds and upbringing. There is no such thing as “pattern within a nation” any more. Every family is different pursuing different goals thru different approaches.

  111. Leyoula, the truth is where it’s always been. Somewhere in the middle of all stories, slightly off to one side.
    Each person WILL see things differently, that is human nature. The best one can do is learn for oneself about different cultures and nations, an individual at a time.
    Or go as others do, judging by the few, ALL of a culture and nation. If we were to do that, we risk being judged by Charles Manson, Westboro Batpist, the KKK and skinheads. Just by using the same standard.

  112. Wzrd1: well said. It’s always great to talk to people with common sense in this world 🙂 May God bless you.

  113. I second Leyoula,well said wzrd!

  114. lol, you should add:

    Authors: Saudi’s girls

  115. I agree, Adam!

  116. hello
    I am an American student who foudn a Saudi student while he was here going to college. His paretns had come for his graduation and I met them & before they left got the approval from both parents to come visit the country. Shoretly after he left we met in Beirut for EID after Ramadan & his parents even gave him extra money to take me anywhere I wanted to go, they called us while on vacation & spoke asked how I have been doing & said they loved us. It was to my shock that only 2 months of seeing eachother and him beign back in Saudi me in the states thsat we broke up. We just talked about getting married within the year less than 2 months prior. This has been going on 9 months now & I still am deeply in love with him. He tells me he loves me & wants me to take a job in Jeddah when I grauate because he says his whole family knows about me & his parents and sister love me. I find this hard to accept considering it was his decision to break up in the first place. Why shoudl I move to Saudi to teach when I could go anywhere else? WHy does he not want to be with me & wait for me to graduate then I could move to his country as his wife? He said we broke up because it is hard to get me a visa through his government. Is this true? I don’t see why it is so hard yet he wants me to move there & go teach on my work visa, could I get a visa through the government if we decide to get married? Like I said this is the only man I have ever ever loved, since he left I have not gone out, looked at a man the way I did him. It breaks my ehart to know that he is not mine. We were perfect together & my family loved him & his fdamily loved me. I don’t understand his reasoning of why we can’t be together if he hasnt even tried. That is what hurts that he hasnt even tried throught the government he just called it quits but now wants me to move my whole life to go to his city for what? To know that he may or may not ask me to be his wife then? Can someone explain this to me. He still tells me he loves me & we send presents back and forth that him & his family have gotten for me, he tells me all the girls he talked to he compares to me & he cannot find anyone who made me feel how I did.

  117. Oh & I forgot to mention that while he was gone I had converted to Islam on my own, I love the Islamic views and no matter if or if we dont end up together I will remain a Muslim 🙂

  118. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? All Saudi students and I mean most of them, that come to America, come here to study and to get laid! Most of us do not wanna marry an American girl, to us they are just a piece of meat. They believe anything we say! all they want is for a guy to pay for everything and we can afford it all!
    They believe anything a Saudi man says to them, they believe all the lies they hear, little they know is that most Saudi men that come here are either married or engaged before they come to America. We never plan to stay, we are here to get our degree and return back to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Lying to women is in our blood and that will never changed, and women are so stupid, that they believe everything we say.

  119. @Valery: read my comments above along with Beso’s. Saudis are liars and users. Your guy is lying and using you. Face the facts, get over him, forget him and live a happy life.

  120. Valerie, listen to me and listen very carefully!! He will NOT marry you! His parents seemed to be polite when they met you just because they did not want any kind of drama. Saudi students, many of them lie, and when they get to go back to their country is like they fuel them again with the same ideas that they grew up with! I have met several Saudi men in college and most of them are like that. They all talk very sweet to you, when in fact is all lies. They are liars by nature! Even their fathers lie to their mothers and that is how they learn to always lie to women. I remained friends with a couple of them via social, and these guys tell me that their male society perceive women as sex slaves, women exist just to provide pleasure and give them children. Have you ever heard of all the types of marriages that exist in Saudi Arabia?!
    They even have marriages just to have sex for one night! These men live in a country where every rule is to protect them. Thank God you did not get pregnant, otherwise he would have got you to visit him and after that he would keep the baby and send you back home. Children belong to their father, not their mother! Why do you think they marry their cousins? They marry their cousins so in case of divorce, the mother gets to see them through a family member.
    Dear Valerie, forget about him! he is trying to break up with you and is for the better. You will find love eventually, find a man that loves you and a man that does not make any excuses to why not to marry you. Even if he marries you, you will be unhappy, you will suffer. If you marry him you run the risk of him cheating with you, cuz it happens a lot over there or showing up with a second wife.
    Try to see this situation as a learning experience and move on. He already has!

  121. What views about Islam do you like so much? The fact that you are to provide sex and babies, and that your husband has divine permission from the invisible sky-daddy to smack you around? That the (equally invisible) angels will weep and curse you if you don’t provide sex whenever he demands it? That your children will be your husbands property? The wonderful idea that you are only 1/4 worth of a man? That he can have four wives and as many slaves to rape as he likes? While you will be stoned to death for having a boyfriend?
    Is it that you are, in this religion, officially deficient as a human being? That you are more stupid and less religious than the most backward moron, because he has a penis and you don’t?
    Do you love the slavery which is allowed?
    Do you love that you will inherit virtually nothing from your husband, that he can dump you whenever he likes, that you will have to lump being upgraded with a fresher and younger bit of booty if he feels he deserves it?
    Are you impressed with the fact that in Islam you are as polluting for a man to touch as a donkey or a black dog?

    You must be either a masochist with no self esteem, or very, very badly informed about your new religion to become such a traitor to every woman in the past who fought for your freedoms.

    Anyway, this guy is just stringing you along. he’s just having his fun with a western whore. He seems a totally selfish git, wanting you to come to Jeddah, so he can continue a sinful and illicit relationship with you which is bound to come out, and which will not hurt him but will have you be put in prison, which will have you suffering a lot, and then you will be thrown out of the country.
    Because in this lovely new religion of yours it is always the woman’s fault. You are the one who is the subhuman, sinful and evil.

  122. Dear Aafke,

    I think that was good advice to Valerie but an imperfect assessment of Islam. What you are confusing is the behavior of Muslims with Islam. It says in the Quran you may hate a thing that is good for you and love a thing that is bad for you. Since most men (who are agreeably hyprocrites) want to be in good conscience for their actions, they will invent new policy to fulfill their appetites and ease any vestigal guilt that might exist. Thus we have the one-night marriages and the vacation marriages and all the perversions that have been dreamed up and practiced even by the most religious-appearing men. Putting that aside, your advice to Valery is on the mark. Her boyfriend has moved along but if she agrees to come along as a professional woman and be housed by her employer and earn her own bread, he doesn’t mind bedding her while he is married to someone else or at least looking. If they get caught he will be slippery as Teflon and the most is get a wagging finger. She will spend weeks or months in jail until someone is able to reach someone at a high enough station to get her out. Next step is a hurried exit from the country with any past due salaries likely never to be seen. It is a sad thing in deed. Even being married to a man raised in such a society that supports the absolute power of men over women makes it very difficult to expect any kind of happiness or security once the honeymoon phase is over. There are exceptions yes, but does he sound like one? If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck.

  123. I appreciate the insight from everybody and the honest truth, you dont think I realize what his intentions. I honestly think he says he cannot marry me because he doesnt want to ruin my life, he has told me many times that it is much different there then what i am used to and i could see in his face he would be hesitant when we tried to work on my visa to go to the country. I think that he has more respect for me than most other Saudis do. I am still close friends with 4 saudi students and as well as their families and they have told me everything that goes on & how many of them use girls here because they dont have the freedoms back home like they did while at school here. I have condidered taking the job in jeddah only to save money beacuse it is tax free there and not much to do to spend my savings on, my visa would strictly be a work visa that is issued in the hands of the comnpnay i work for. it hsa nothing to do with his doing. i feel it would be an experience to explore the world and differnt cultures because again isnt that what freedom is? to be able to explore the world and see how others live, alot of americans are selfish and dont knwo how to act as well, with going out getting drunk and acting ridiculous, i want to be able to appreciate what we have.
    as for getting over him i have tried and yes i feel it is my fault too for keeping contact with him, but we were together for quite some time and he was not only my boyfriend but my beswt friend as well, he still is honest with me and tells me alot about his life and girls in saudi and i like that he has not forced me to do anything i dont want to do, we have meet several times in other countries on vacations and just had fun together, we are traveling to the phillipines next month together with one of our other saudi friends as just a vaction, so i dont think that he is like alot of the close minded saudi men out there and yes i know that he cares about me but i also know that he cares about me and doesnt want to end my life by enclosing me into the saudi traditions,i dont think all of the men are like that but i just asked for opinions on why he wants me to take the job there so bad and has offered their driver to me so thast i would be able to explore the surroundings. I am not a western whore and i do not sleep with random guys he was my boyfriend who i lived with and spent everyday with, so i do not appreciate that comment about me being a western whore, because i do not act like the normalk image of an american girl acts like, i do not drink and i do not sleep with random people, so please do not say harsh things like thast, i was just asking for an opinion.

  124. Dear Valery,

    Your reply indicates you have already made up your mind and if women weren’t willing to be positive and have good faith that they could make things work out, half of us would never get married. The risk you are taking is in going over for an illegal relationship. Don’t fool yourself that you will only be talking to your boyfriend over the phone and never seeing him. If you are caught in a restaurant or sitting in a car or even shopping with your unmarried friend it will be a huge problem for you. A camel rarely sees its own hump, and even married women who have a secret marriage certificate, have been thrown in jail for weeks. One recent case involved a flight attendant whose husband denied their marriage. He went home and she went to jail. You are going there without any strong family ties, no one to speak up for you. Saudi Arabia is still a tribal society and you are a lost sheep on your own. Never forget that.

  125. Kinz:

    Islam has always been what muslims have created. I have read the book (Quran) and hadiths. It is about war, murder, rape, child abuse etc. Of course the bible is the same.

    Islam is as muslims do and they can read the backward make believe incoherent stupidity of religion and apply it to their lives and act just as inchoherent, stupid and backwards as the religion reads.

  126. kinz,

    I understand that you think the only reason I am going to Saudi is to see my EX boyfriend, that is not the case, I was looking to go to the Middle East to teach already and Saudi just happens to be the country to offer the most incentives, I know several American teachers there now and I will be in close contact with them the whole time. I know we are not able to be in public together I am not looking to see him everyday, I am looking to save money tax free while being away. I have a job offering in Jeddah or in Al-Khobar both being good cities for internationals, I would only take the Jeddah job yes because he is in that city, and I am close with his family so I feel that not having my mother there but having his would help me not be so home sick, so there are other reasons I am consiudering taking the job in that location it is not all just because of him.

  127. Valerie, you are #500 on this blog with exactly the same story as the other 499. You have been lied to by a very accomplished, honorless, selfish and dishonest liar.
    He can’t marry you because his family does not want him to marry a western whore, sorry but that is how the people in Middle East think about all Western women. They want him to marry a ”pure” Muslim girl which his mother selected for him. There’s is a seizable chance he is allready married or at least bethrothed. Maybe they won’t mind if he sows his oats a bit in the wicked west where all women are whores, but they do expect him to come home and tow the line. As even if you were married you would be far below his other, family, everything in importance he will listen to them and not to you.
    So these are the facts.
    And he can’t marry you, if he does he will forfeit his scholarship, and he will never get permission to go to Saudi Arabia with you. A place which you should avoid like hell btw. To get permission to marry a foreigner he will need to be 35 years old and have massive wasta (influence) and lots of money for bribes. It takes about 5 years or more. So better freeze some eggs if you want to have children at some point.
    He knows all this and has been lying to you all this time.

    Get a grip on yourself.
    Choose a more female friendly religion that isn’t an insult to every woman in the past who fought for your freedom if you need the support of an imaginary friend, get yourself a nice new haircut, buy some cool new clothes and get yourself a man who is honest, decent, and worthy of you.
    Dump this louse.

  128. Thabk you for your comment and yea I know e has lied to me about things but the thing about his parents not wanting us to marry, his mother actually asked me if I would marry her son and invited me to their country because she said she does not want to see him remain unhappy because she knows he loves me, she is from turkey and had trouble marrying his father as well, but they said it could take years for me to get approved, what I am afraid of and please tell me if this sounds fishy I want to accept a job and it would be in jeddah, but I am afraid they will try to do some thing to keep me there longer than my work visa approves, is that something they could do? I know they don’t have old connections so I wouldn’t think so, and yes I am a very attractive young girl and I do love him but I can’t find myself to live their the rest of my life 😦 I must say I will never date a Saudi man again!

  129. Why on earth would your Saudi boyfriends parents keep you in Saudi without being married o their son? They are parents Jo want the best for their son within the limits of Saudi society. Thy may not want you there but I’m pretty sure they wouldnt hold you back.

  130. Oh my God! listen girl, yeah you! Valery! Can I ask you something? how old are you? is this your first boyfriend? Cuz it sounds to me like he is!
    Do not go to Saudi Arabia! Most likely he is already married or his mama already chose a wife for him.
    Are you aware that:
    1. All Saudi men lie? ALL!!!
    2. This is a country that women are treated as second class citizens?
    3. You will have to wear the black abaya at all times, and if you don’t the religious police will whip your ass?
    4. If you get pregnant and he sends you back to the U.S. him and his mama will keep your baby?
    5. And many things more that you cannot imagine! like if he decides to hit you or slap you and you report him, you have to have at least four witnesses?
    You need to get a reality check!
    You can work there and get lots of tax free money, but is not worth it.
    We ALL can tell: that you got low self esteem!
    Be smart! don’t go!
    Do not meet him in any country!
    HE IS A LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome to American bedu and thank you for contributing. I had to delete your other comment as bad language is not allowed here. Please read the post on blog rules

  131. So now Valery wants to go to Jeddah, but thinks his parents want to keep her there while her boyfriend is not really interested anymore, but she’s still planning to get a job in Jeddah so she can be close to him, although she can’t talk to him because that would be Khulwa, and she will never date a Saudi again although he is the ”love of her life” she doesn’t want to live the rest of her life there…

    Either Valery is seriously confused and needs some professional medical help, or she is a troll and taking us for a ride.
    I don’t believe this rambling story anymore.
    And the most unbelievable part is that his mother is soo keen to have her visit and marry her son.

  132. Big Laugh!

  133. There are many young Saudi men and women now who have at least one Western parent from all of the intermarriages. I hope that they all find others like themselves for partners. 👸

  134. Valery, if you go to Jeddah…please take a camera crew with you! I am sure your dilemma with your boyfriend and his mama can make good t.v.!
    And I apologize about my comment being deleted: It was towards that ‘Beso Abughazallah’ guy! anyways he must be some kind of loser.

  135. By the way, if you get slapped in Saudi it will be hard to get four witnesses, most people over there will not want to get involved. But if someone slaps you in New York…trust me you can get more than eight! and you might end up on the Jerry Springer show!

  136. Think Saudis Money Fame can assist such a purpose…

  137. Brandy, I recall quite well how a woman was raped and murdered in NYC and hundreds of witnesses (LITERALLY) didn’t report the crime because they didn’t want to get involved.
    Also, Jerry Springer is in Connecticut AND a in a studio that knows reality in no way imaginable…

    As for Valery, I have some concerns.
    First, Valery claims to be a teacher (or hints at it, due to association).
    However, Valery types in a manner typical of dyslexics. Most dyslexics do NOT go into education, it’s not only unrewarding, but unforgiving of dyslexia in reports.
    Valery also proclaims love/like/wish to continue, but NOT continue the relationship in Saudi. Couldn’t mix THAT one up in a blender running a billion RPM’s! Valery converted, per own admission, yet said nothing about the rationale for said conversion. Something utterly uncommon in converts to ANY faith or creed.
    Valery uses, not the term of “ex”, but “EX”. Something uncommon in the US, for native US English speakers, yet Valery claims to be from the US (Canadians also use “ex” in preference to “EX”.)
    There were a few odd sentences, but not enough to call a trend.

    Frankly, I have some issues with the validity of Valery’s posts. As in, being an honest person speaking his or her mind.
    Rather than either being a troll OR being some propagandist.
    But, that is MY impression.
    I simply suggest all native US and other English speakers review Valery’s posts, THEN consider the above.
    I also suggest non-native English speakers consider the phrasing, then consider the above.

  138. I think that the way to solve the issue of pathetic doey-eyed American women from falling into this miserable situation is to stop weak Saudi men from studying in USA. Instead American universitites and education should be brought to KSA. This way, Saudi men will be under the watchful eyes of their mothers and most probably will behave in a better way than leaving a trail of broken hearts and sometimes even kids.

    As for Valerie and others like her, NO man is worth crying or waiting for. It is just a waste of time and energy. Instead use that energy to make the negative into postive. Use your situation to help others who are feeling the same pain. Form a group and talking and seeing there are others will help and make you stronger. You will get over it sooner. As I said its not worth it. And its certainly not worth for you to change your life for a man (be it Saudi or any other).

    Broken love is painful not it heals in time.

  139. This is to Sarah, can you imagine if college admissions had as a criteria, ones ability to handle romantic relationships? Yes, its unfortunate that some young men have little experience in relationship-building but to exclude a whole nation of people from higher education in the States based on their potential to break hearts is one of the weirdest and most unfair permutations of racial profiling I’ve heard to date.

  140. I am joining the skeptical train, are we being taken for a ride? I also want to say while many women have unhappy experiences in dating, Saudis aren’t exclusive in treating women badly. For every 100 Saudi men, 5% are angels and at least 30 % can be decent most of the time. The others are getting all the press.

  141. Kinz,
    It is not only about breaking hearts, its about these men using women, drinking and basically falling into all the vices available to them. Higher education is available anywhere these days, besides there are many American institutions available in the Gulf whereby one can get Masters. Nowadays one can even get degrees online.

    It is true that there are many decent Saudis out there and they do not get involved with women and many go to USA with their families.

  142. All the same vices are available in Saudi FYI.

  143. Ah Sandy its a pleasure to meet you again!

    Yes they are but not in abundance and so freely and there is taboo against them unlike in the “wicked west”.

  144. It’s hidden, but it’s abundant. And the “taboo” just keeps people hiding and pretending rather than facing the truth and dealing with it.

  145. wzrd1 :

    You have an article on that rape/murder in NY?

  146. Bigstick, one was the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964.
    Another case was 2009, per CNN, though THAT one wasn’t in NYC. The crowd not only didn’t want to get involved, some DID become involved-in the crime. Others took photographs with their cell phones.

  147. wzrd1:

    Thanks for the links.

  148. I am done reading all of these blogs from now on, & thank you Banana, I agree with your for the others I don’t have to sit here and talk about my religion, that wasn’t the point to the conversation. & as for saying the way my writing sounds for being a teacher, I am using my cell phone to type! So I don’t care if it is perfect gram. I don’t have that much time to sit at home on my computer, I was at work each time I wrote, except for the first time. I hope that for others who ask for advice, you guys don’t use this is a basher website towards them either, because honeslty you have no idea what I have gone through because of all this and how many sleepless nights, so until it happens to you, please consider you hurtful comments very carefully before replying back!

  149. Well Sarah, this is a free country and one man’s meat is another man’s poison. It is not up to the American government to force anyone to observe any religion. If some Saudis, Kuwaitis, or Khaleeji boys sip some beer or go dancing it really isn’t any of our concern. Sometimes people stray to return, witness how people go on diets, fail and always come back again.

  150. To Valery,

    (If you are still there.) I am sorry you felt abused by some (maybe even me) of the fellow posters on this blog. Not everyone makes a great agony aunt and some people use a subject to expound their own beliefs about other subjects completely. You were caught in the crossfire. I hope that what ever choices you make regarding your future are successful, and give you happiness.

  151. Kinz, I totally agree with what you said.

  152. Kinz has now lived more of her life in the Kingdom than outside of it. She KNOWS from where she speaks and her advice is always solid.

    Thankfully, the blog is not alone with other women like dear Kinz who are or have been married to Saudis and willing to share their experiences and advice.

    My late husband was among the finest of men. It does not mean we were always in a total state of bliss but I always feel compelled to chime in when all Saudi men seem to get lumped in as bad apples. There are still many good Saudi men. Yet based on the cultural, tribal and legal restrictions imposed on Saudis who marry foreigners, I will not automatically endorse and encourage every young woman who meets a Saudi outside of the Kingdom to pursue the relationship.

  153. Thank you Kinz,

    I am a well educated young woman & know thast whatever decisions and opportunities life throws at me, it will be for the best or for a learning experience.

  154. We have a saying, if something bad is going to happen, may it be in the best possible way. A lot of life is just like that but we don’t know it until later.

  155. And this is why Allah swt says in His beautiful Words:
    “But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.”

  156. If that gives you peace then go for it however … humans grow and learn BECAUSE they make mistakes. You have to take responsibility for your own thoughts and life and that includes maybe trying something bad to learn that it really is bad and not just that somebody told you so.

  157. Some things you can try because no one else has and then decide for yourself if it was a great idea like mixing anchovies and mint ice cream. Who will be hurt? But if you swim against the tide when good advice is given by so many who have nearly drowned and seen others drown, then you just have to ask are you making the best choice for yourself and your children if they come along?

  158. It is wrong to generalize any culture based on one experience. People are more than welcome to share their experiences, discuss it; but the moment they start to generalize it to all of Saudi— you have stepped into ignorance.

    I’m an American Muslim. I got to know a Saudi woman. The best experience. Everyday I thank God for her. She comes from an amazing family, amazing values, good morals; summarize to be an exceptional woman.

  159. For me children would be a no no.
    It’s ok to choose life in KSA for yourself, but to subject any eventual children to it, especially if they are girls, is too selfish and wicked.

  160. Talk about sexism, who even mentions what it is like to marry a Saudi woman as an outsider? Yes, men are only half the population but they seem to get most of the press.

  161. Because Saudi women very very rarely get permission to marry foreigners. Women are property. Saudi women are Saudi property.
    For a Saudi woman to marry a foreigner you need either massive wasta and bribe money, or you have to be over 40, or in a wheelchair , you know, the dregs, the losers no Saudi men would want even for a misyaar concubine.

  162. We used to have Abu Sinan here who is American and married to a Saudi woman. He was very happy with his marriage. they never got official permission so they are living in America, and they can’t visit Saudi Arabia or go on Umrah together, which saddens them.

  163. Bottom line: we come to American to get laid! As i said b4 we come to get our degree and get laid, is there anything wrong with that? nope. Coming to America to study is what many Saudi men want, all of us know that once we get here, is sex time, it doesn’t matter if we are married or not, we lie about it and women believe it, plain and simple.

  164. Thank you Beso for telling the truth.Maybe one day women will listen. I doubt it as many like fairytales too much.

  165. Yes, Beso. There is something wrong with cheating on your wife and lying to women. Is it ok for your sister or wife to do the same?

  166. Yes, Beso, it is okay for your some men to treat your own womenfolk that way?

  167. I think it’s nice to hear truth, straight from the horse’s mouth.

    After all, you would think these guys had maybe some minuscule grain of decency left and would be ashamed of their vile, vulgar and loathsome behavior.

    So, Beso, thanks for sharing!
    And I hope your wife does the same to you as you did to her.

  168. And, fellow commentators, doesn’t it make for a warm and mushy feeling that we, who otherwise enjoy to hang on each other’s throats, are now united against evil?
    I am feeling all happy, loving and fuzzy now!

  169. First Day of Ramadan.
    I will be praying for more ways to : LIE!

  170. This Beso guy sounds fishy!an imposter most likely,pretending to be Muslim guy! like Alice in Wonderland would say -Curiouser and curiouser…

  171. Mrs. B:

    In all three abrahamic religion you are commanded to lie to further your cause. He is just being a good muslim guy and adhere to the practice of the hate and deception of religion.


  172. Bigstick,cant disagree with u more!


    Read and understand.

  174. Lying (Taqiyya and Kitman) – According to Allah & His Prophet …

  175. Mrs Bawazir is right, this Beso-dude looks like a troll.
    Let’s not feed the trolls.

  176. This is to X-Moozlum, if you are not offended. Were you born into Islam and what was the turning point for you?

  177. Mrs. B:

    Already knew your response. You are the moderate who gives a platform for the fundies.

    I understand fine on the fact that it can very well and is often interpreted just as x-moozlum provided.


    Troll or not, he is telling the truth about the right to lie to the infidel as allowed and encouraged by all Abrahamic religions.

  178. Only idiotic fanatics (a minority) would interpret as x did. is a website created by fundies, lying fundies at that.observe

    Obviously someone who provides this website is a slick liar no less. Lying is haram,end of story.taqiya maniya…

  179. Mrs. B.

    All that site state is it is true, it gives no analysis for or against. It just says, “no, it isn’t true.” In other words there is no actually challenge to the information provided by the sites.

    Here is another site that also makes the claim of lying is acceptable:

  180. wikiislam – pro Israeli site, nuff said!

  181. Mrs. B:

    I could put up 20 more and a list of scholars that state that all three Abrahamic religions allow lying to the infidel or non-believer to further their cause.

    However, you will come up with a word that does nothing but show that you are unwilling to analyze the actual textual statement of the quran, hadith, and sira.

    In addition, you put up sight that do the same or try to circumvent the actual text being listed and the context. Of course this is a form of deception.



    Don’t fast while breastfeeding as this will not be healthy for you or the baby.

  182. Thx bigstick about the last part of your message. Per the rest of your comment,let us agree to disagree shall we?


  183. Obviously someone who provides this website is a slick liar no less
    wikiislam – pro Israeli site, nuff said!

    Hmmm. Talk is cheap. It will be nice if people making such accusations and allegations will provide proof behind their cheap talk.

  184. Mrs. Bawazir,
    I once faced this situation. I fasted a lot of Ramadan but not all. Just be flexible. Every third day or so I took off and drank A LOT- hydration was important- but mostly stayed on my alternate eating schedule. A lot will depend on how much flexiblility you have and the weather- how much you have to physically be doing things etc.
    Good luck.
    And please don’t believe people who say it’s actually healthier to fast. They are not usually knowledgeable. There is a reason that breastfeeding women are allowed to be excused- and that excuse comes from a higher authority.

  185. Muslims often advertise news of non-Muslims converting to Islam, but they don’t tell the other side of the story, where Muslims are also leaving Islam. There are more Muslims leaving Islam today than there are new converts joining it.

    The sheer volume of recent apostates is unprecedented in the history of Islam …..

  186. Totally off topic X-Moozlum. Take it to the debate page.

    Mrs Bawazir, please look after your health. I hope you and your baby are fine and I do wish you kareem Ramadan.

  187. Mrs. B:

    Have no fear I will always be happy to agree to disagree with you.


    Ain’t diversity grand? (Just insert texas draw) 😀

    Humor, gotta luv it.

  188. I take my comment back, the one to X-moozlum, although it does seem to come a bit raw on top of what we were actually talking about.
    We are all off topic, I thought we were on the Ramadan post, but I see now we are on the letter to foreign wife post.
    Oh well, after 100 comments it’s natural for the discussion to change direction.

    And this thread is taking on a surprisingly rosy tint…

  189. I’m not so sure I trust Wiki with this kind of information, how stringent are their controls after all? Losing your religion in the modern age seems to be prevalent worldwide and across all major religions. Many are only loosely associated with their religion mostly by being born into it. For those who switch from Islam to Christianity, they must not be very comfortable for throwing religion completely out the window because logically one would not move backward and both Judaism and Christianity are older religions than Islam. In other words, if you don’t care for the new and improved version of faith, why slip back at all? It is understandable for people who can only see God in a loaf of bread, you will do what you have to to survive, but for others, what is the point?

  190. Kinz,u are spot on about not trusting Wiki since its very nature is shady.note this site rule,i took the liberty to investigate,allows just about anyone with access to a computer to contribute as ‘scholarly’. Contributing

    Can anyone create a login id and contribute to this website?

    Yes. Creating an account is free, allows you to remain anonymous and takes only seconds. You can also edit using an IP addressbut will have toenterananti-spam CAPTCHA for every edit. Click here to create an account. Before editing,please see our policies and guidelines.

    Plus,this site was a collaboration work with a nutjob by the name Ali Sina who infamously branded Muslims as non human thus doesn’t deserve to be protected under the Universal Human Rights Act. From this very detail we can already gather how authentic and pure is this site’s agenda.

  191. Mrs. B:

    Here is another website.

    I can keep going on and on like the energizer bunny.

  192. MrsBawazir…no shadier than the prophet (any of them really) claiming that god spoke to them and only them. No proof yet billions hang onto their every word as if the claim itself is sacred and fact. As for a site like wikiislam…anyone can change it? Sort of like holy books, hadith, scripture, tradition…anything to do with religion period. People change it all the time to suit their own desires…it is what humanbeings do…corrupt all we touch.

    One would have to believe god would see fit to protect his choice of a final religion from all the b.s. that has crept into it…than again…all he “promised” to protect was the so called message…not the practice of it. Makes sense.

  193. Coolred,i choose to strongly disagree with u! Bigstick, I am fully aware at your zeal in this full time job of yours but I am unfazed. Continue hopping my bunny B-)

  194. wikiislam is anti-islamic site. Please do not take information there. It is a place where islam haters have a field day.

  195. I think that there are sites out there posting names of people who have left Isam is just ridiculous and they are there only because of people who go out of their way to slam the religion. Of course people leave the religion and more so in countries where they don’t face death but to publicize it in this way is just childish IMHO.

  196. I agree, all these lists are very unreliable anyway, and they are silly.
    ”This is a list of Christians who converted to Islam”,
    ”Oh yeah? Well, here’s a list of Muslims who converted to Christianity”…
    Childish, silly, and of course a logical fallacy. Because these lists are not published (made up) just for an exercise in statistics. These lusts are made up to ”’proof” that ”their” religion is better.
    This is a logical fallacy, ”argumentum ad populum” The logical fallacy that a proposed argument is true because a large number of people believe it.

    The majority of humans used to believe that the earth is flat. They were all wrong. We now know the earth is a sort of a ball.

  197. I also agree that these so-called lists of “who converted to which” are beyond childish. In my book, those who put up such shenanigans are beyond even being imbeciles. There is no way one can verify the authenticity of those names and lists.

    Why do they do such stupid stuff? Obviously as a recruitment tool. But I think the underlying reason is the sense of feeling inferior to others aka inferiority complex.

    What especially galls me is that many muslim websites …. even as we speak today and despite personal and historical denials …. have on their lists FAKE CONVERSIONS of the rich and famous like Neil Armstrong, Michael Jackson, Liam Niellsen, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Sunita Williams, William of Orange, Napoleon Bonaparte, Will Smith, etc. etc. etc.

    That’s why I feel very strongly that websites like wikiislam, which few have branded as anti-islam or owned by ali sinai, do a great service in debunking such myths. All the “wikis” are a source of great information.

  198. hi
    It was very interesting to read all yr comments. Thanks for bringing up this issue.
    I have also encountered the same situation, met a saudi man, fell in love, he acted as I was the one, and we started the relationship and I could not contact him anymore, he didnt answer my calls. Like many women who fall for saudi men, I dont know his house address, and anything at all, just name and number.

  199. So you fell in love with a stranger?

  200. How much of a difference does it make it the Saudi in question is also American? If his brothers have married outside of the country (1 brother has 2 Moroccan wives), and if he does not want to get married now and is honest about??

  201. Dual citizenship is illegal in Saudi so it makes no difference. Marrying Arabs has a differnent set of rules. More relevant the brother has 2 wives- so apparently polygamy is ok in the family. If he says he doesn’t want to get married now- believe him. And believe that will never change.

  202. What do you mean it’s illegal? He has both an American citizenship and passport and a Saudi citizenship and passport (he was born here). So, should I just leave the relationship? I’m sick of wasting time for myself…he has been gone for the past 6 months… I am recently certified for TEFL/TESOL, and I think it might be time to get away from all of this and literally leave the country…

  203. You didn’t really give a lot of information, and you hsould ecide for yourself what you should do.
    But it seems you already know anyway.

  204. Well, I don’t want to give too much. I’d love some insight… I will tell you anything you want to know… I know I should decide for myself…

  205. Sandy, I personally know a dozen Saudis who have dual citizenship. It’s not illegal in either Saudi or the US.

  206. Japple,

    Do no waste your time, do not destroy your life, believe me I have been thru a lot (with Saudi people in terms of personal and cultural aspects), so I know what I’m talking about (I also considered going and teaching English there at some point of my life). If you have Western mentality and value BASIC freedoms – you should not EVEN think about coming to KSA (AND! being with a Saudi man, especially the one who has been ignoring you for 6 months).
    I know the whole deal sounds romantic, fairy-tale-ish, and adventurous, but beware of traumatic emotional experience that you inevitably will face (especially if you are already in love with a Saudi).
    I’m not being negative. You just have to know: that culture is a totally different culture to which we will never belong. Needless to say the religion plays an important role, and overall people are brought up differently in that culture (therefore, they are different from us, the Western people).
    I’m speaking from my heart, as your friend, and if you are interested in talking more about this, feel free to email me at leili1098 at

  207. Yeah, I’m not worried about the dual citizenship thing, because he has it, and that’s that. I must realize too, that some of the people commenting on here have been wounded by a Saudi and are potentially angry…But, from everything I’ve been reading, I guess I just “need” to ask him if he will ever marry me or introduce me to his family, and if he says no or maybe, then I will tell him that that doesn’t work for me, and I guess I’d have to end it. Being American, it feels sooo odd to ask someone that, especially early on (for me), but I think considering the culture he’s from, it’s totally appropriate and OK to do.

    I was thinking of saying it very soon too… BUT the thing is, I have no intention of introducing him to MY family esp. my parents. They would not accept him, especially the fact that he’s Muslim, this is just how they are, and that’s their right. From my past experiences with them I know this, and I would not want to put him or myself in that uncomfortable situation. For me, regarding marriage, it would be the type of thing where I inform my family I’m getting married, instead of asking for their acceptance… Also, I am definitely NOT in a rush to marry, but all of these comments above freak me out, and I feel like I have to pressure him to tell me if he wants marriage with me or else. For a western woman, and especially an American, this seem sooo uncomfortable and strange to do this to someone, unless you’ve been dating for 2-3 years and have reached an ultimatum point status. But, from what I’ve been reading, he must look at me as some sort of trash!?

  208. Japple,

    It’s not that we have been wounded by Saudi men. It’s just that there are some UNIVERSALS you will learn, regardless of our advice.

    Learn them thru us, without hurting yourself and damaging your emotional health.

    I know you still think we are the women who just weren’t lucky with the Saudi boys, but believe me! the culture is a totally different (sometimes opposite) culture from ours.

    I was as naive and optimistic are you are right now, and I invested A LOT into a relationship with a Saudi man. IF you have any specific questions that you want to ask out of this blog, please email me.

  209. Sorry, Wzrd, but it IS illegal for Saudis to have dual citizenship. They might have it, but in the eyes of the Saudi government it is illegal.

  210. Many Saudi’s have dual citizenship and it is totally against Saudi law.

    Japple asked if it made a difference having dual citizenship. Make a difference with what exactly? You can only conclude he isn’t using you for a green card.

    If you are only in a relationship for fun or to pass time- then a Saudi may be ideal. I would never wait to ultimatum point 2-3 years into something to know the general goals of the guy.

  211. Hold on, I’m honestly not trying to argue or make a blanket statement about everyone one here, honest to God, I’m just trying to be realistic.

    What is your email?

  212. The 2-3 year thing is moreso referring to (my idea of) typical say, American dating…people date for years 1-3 maybe then move on or marry or hold on…this is what I mean. And yes, the green card thing is out! haha

    I’m not in a relationship for fun or to pass time. I want something with a future, and I told him this many times from the beginning.

    I would like advise as to how I approach him and what to say and when.


  213. Japple:

    1. I included my email in the earlier comments to you
    2. My question is: why do you have to approach him? Doesn’t he WANT to be with you w/out any pressure involved? ISn’t it natural for him to WANT to be with you? I guess, if you want, share what exactly is going on beween the two of you in the email. I am confused.

  214. I guess what I would ask then- is he acting like a man should who is considering a relationship with a future? Not just what he says- or how you feel- are his actions matching? And I would say this for any man from any culture.

    If you you really think it’s a possible “go” for the two of you- one way to find out potentially what your life would be like is to find out how his mother and sisters live. That will likely be what he thinks a proper “role” for women should be. There are relationships that work- but if things go badly the foreign woman really has no recourse.

  215. I got it, and just to be clear, he has not been ignoring me for six months, lol, he has been gone for that long and just recently returned. We were in touch the whole time…

    By “approach” him, I mean, go and talk to him about my feelings and this issue, ultimately breaking-up I suppose. (There has never been any pressure from either side for us to be together…. it always been completely natural for the most part.)

    I would say the same verbiage if I were discussing approaching my best friend to talk about some issue or feeling.

    Also, just for the record, I am very familiar with the culture, and I am pretty aware of how our cultures can be diametrically opposed in many ways. I am also familiar with Islam, and have been taking Arabic lessons (my own personal interest irregardless of knowing him.)

  216. Sandy, if that is so, someone should inform the Saud family that they are violating the law. As well as thousands of other Saudi families.
    OPM-SANG is lousy with dual citizenship Saudi citizens.

    As for a relationship with a Saudi man, Carol gives excellent advise. Not only for Saudis, but any foreign student and even US nationals. Student relationships aren’t known for being long term stable relationships, as many students attain their degree and move away from their “college sweetheart”.
    But, humans are lousy at retaining rational thought when thinking about their relationship.

  217. The Al Saud family knows that well enough. Ask any Saudi with dual citizenship that you know if they are comfortable mentioning it to government authorities. I assure you they are not. If you are looking for consistancy in the application of law in Saudi- you aren’t very familiar with Saudi.

    Many, MANY people in the west meet their spouse at university. Yes many also move on- but it is a classic place to meet a spouse. It’s high school sweethearts people generally drift away from.

    Carol does give good advice. But frankly her description of how these guys act is as creepy as it is accurate. What smarmy posers. I would never want to be fawned over like that. It’s weird and I would be suspicious of any mans sincerety who behaved like that without a lot more commitment FIRST.

  218. Well, he just got back, literally 1 week ago, so we have not spent a ton of time together yet…kind of starting over I suppose, and I’m trying to see where he’s at and what’s the deal…seeing his actions. I guess I could say he has acted like a man who wants something with a future would act… I also must say, I would not consider him a typical Saudi. I see many of them at the language school I volunteer at, and I wouldn’t consider for 1 minute most of these guys. I mean this from my heart, and nothing weird there. I know his mom is really religious, like doesn’t listen to music and covers with gloves! He just has 1 sister, who is younger…she and his parents are currently here for her to study English. He is actually staying with them now. He has 5 brothers, so it’s just his mom and sister.

    Let’s see…I know his parents met in college, I will have to confirm with him, and I cannot say that his older brother’s 2 wives are accepted by his parents, in fact, he married them in Morocco, and is supposedly unable thus far to get them into KSA… His other brother is married by his own choosing to a Saudi woman (who happened to be in the same kin/clan as he). And his remaining 3 brothers are un-married. I know he said he does not want to marry from KSA, and only wants to get married later on, after studies. He was clear about this stuff, and actually opened the whole subject to me of Saudis who lie and hurt women here, and how he knows people who have done this, and he doesn’t like it (this was way back when I first met him, when I was just learning about this stuff taking place largely w/Saudis, so summer of 2011). This is when I said, OK, and I told him what I want, and that did not include YOU MUST MARRY ME, it included me clearly telling him, I want something with a future.

    At this point, I want to be clear on my own feeling and thinking, and sort of have a plan for what I will do…

    I feel shy sharing this stuff, but I’m looking for support and honest insight and advice.

  219. Oh, and one more thing, we are in the 27-30 age range…so this isn’t a early 20’s ignorant romance with an american girl who knows little to nothing about her love’s culture… I do my best to continually educate myself on the subject, culture and language…and to protect myself. 🙂

  220. I think you’ve pretty well covered it. See if his actions stay on track. Big concerns here are practical- legal permission to marry- if it comes to that- and the legal lack of rights you will have if you go live in Saudi. Also, if that is how his mom lives it would be very important to know for sure he would not expect that of you EVEN IF his mom pressured him about it. If you marry a Saudi man- you need one who can stand up to his mother if necessary. I would also wonder why he doesn’t want to marry a Saudi. It could be as simple as he wants to know who he marries- or he thinks it will be cheaper.

    It sounds like he does bring this stuff up. Just ask a lot of questions when he does.

  221. Also, he is from the eastern part of Saudi…by Saudi Aramco – his dad actually worked for them until retirement, so he live on the compound and grew-up around all different people including many Americans…

  222. Thanks Sandy. I feel like you’re looking at my situation for what it is, and giving me some credibility. Do you know what some indicators might be that he would stand-up to his mom? Should I outright ask him why he doesn’t want to marry a Saudi? We have discussed marriages in KSA, and how it can be extremely expensive… I believe this connects to “wasta”, no? Any insight is much appreciated.

  223. Japple,
    You are just as love-blind as I was. Same thing: I was interested in Islam, Arabic language even way before I met my Saudi.
    So, I give up on advising. Coz regardless of what I will say to you (I’m also a woman in my late 20s who was in a relationship with a Saudi male in his late 20s NOT on Kind Abdullah’s Scholarship) you will not follow my advise. You are too lost and too absorbed by the exotic adventure which by the way! ANY Saudi guy here in the U.S. can offer any day all day.
    I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but you WILL get disappointed should you choose to involve yourself seriously with this guy.
    Ewh, it makes me sick.

  224. Exotic adventure, eh? OK, stop advising, but you seem so wounded still, to be honest. I’m sorry you were hurt. I wouldn’t consider myself love blind though, or I wouldn’t be here commenting and asking. I’m informing myself. Thanks anyway.

  225. You are welcome anyway.
    I already feel sorry for you. God forbid you go thru what I went thru. But if you do (again, God forbid!), you will undersand what I meant by “different culture”. As of right now, I am more happy than hurt because I was able to rescue myself from a disasterous life.
    Also, based on your talk here in the comments, it seems like you are not sure yourself about the whole thing. That to me is a big red flag. Otherwise you would have not come to this blog to ask questions…
    Good luck and God bless you.

  226. Sandy always makes good points. And she knows what she’s talking about.
    I think that if you are thinking of marrying a Saudi man you should jot be cheap, act like a Saudi woman, get a large dowry (”mahr”, or ”money for sex”) it’s the only money women in Islamic marriage are entitled to. Keep bank accounts in the West and in Saudi, weasel as much money out of your husband as you can, transfer it to your foreign bank account, and don’t get pregnant for the first few years. Once you have children he can blackmail you because they are his property, not yours. You btw, are property yourself, until your husband decides to throw you out, hence Saudi women try to collect a nest egg. You never know when the hubby dumps you or replaces you with an upgrade #2.

    So, what’s he been doing these six months? it’s been the wedding season in Saudi. Has he gotten married in the meantime? I would be weary about marrying into a family where extra wives are common. Unless you don’t mind sharing.

    I would think though, that if he really loves you, he would never want you to live in Saudi Arabia in the first place.

  227. Yes, I’m happy to hear Sandy’s feedback, and I get a good feeling from her. What’s he been doing these past 6 months…well, he spent some time traveling with his brother, and a lot of time w/his family… I really don’t think he got married, lol… I will ask him. Now you are scaring me! Can you tell me more about marriage season, its length and why the certain time of year? Are you Saudi?

    How do Islamic women determine how much mahr they are going to ask for??

    I’m not at all interested in having a co-wife.

    Oh, and from everything I know, multiple wives are not common in his family. His older brother is kind of a rebel and has gotten into trouble in the past, and effectively marred his family’s respect…

    I agree with you about living in Saudi…but it’s debatable in a sense. Plus, I’m trying to get a feel for who you guys are and what your experiences are.


  228. StayAwayFromSaudiMen

    Can you please share more about this experience you had? I am having a hard time understanding where you’re coming from and the deep sense of pain and fear you are putting across.

  229. It is said that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. The memories are as sweet as the fragrance of a rose. Yet it’s thorns rips the flesh. This is why it is said that love can be bittersweet.


    It is obvious from your asking that this particular relationship your are in has been the most serious relationship to date for your otherwise you would firmly understand Stayawayfromsaudimen deep sense of pain and fear. For she has loved and lost.

    Ask yourself this are you willing to accept that you might be wife number 2, are you willing to accept that you might not be accepted by the family, are you willing to accept that you will be limited in movement as well as any career aspirations for the duration of your stay in Saudi. Are you willing to risk your freedom and self-determination on what is often times extreme limitations and possible abuse (if not physical but psychological)?

    Ask yourself what you are willing to live with for years to come. Ask yourself what you want to do in the future and is he willing to help you achieve your goals. Ask yourself will the two of your invest in one another and ensure that both will benefit from the relationship. Ask yourself if you will feel valued, supported, and appreciated for the totality of you, to include your intelligence, abilities, strength, humor, humility, candor, physical strength and ability to soar to the height of what you can achieve.

    Once you have asked yourself this and your are honest with yourself above all else then you are ready to determine your next step. However above all else be honest with yourself on what you are willing to sacrifice and never ask what can be changed to suit your needs. For if it must be changed to suit you then it is not right for you.

  230. Japple,
    I”d talk to him. Make it clear you’re in no rush- but you don’t want to waste your time. One thing I would keep in mind is you may be able to accept a lot of things for yourself- but can you accept them for your children? A poor school system, religious indoctrination and expectation any daughters will be expected to live dressed like their MIL and that they will never be legal adults? Also, that should any disaster strike that you lose custody? Because that is almost always the case- unless your husband or his family decides to let you have them. These are really the big questions. And even the issues you are willing to compromise for yourself. Those look different as you age. You reach a point where it isn’t feasible to start again etc. at least without significantly more hardship.

    It can and does work out rarely. But I don’t recommend it to anyone.

  231. I just want to add- not all Saudi men are skunks and scoundrels- or lying, using heartbreakers. But being a decent guy isn’t enough to make it work in Saudi. He needs to be able and wiling to live against a whole system and you need to be willing to accept no rights- dependent on his giving them to you. There are men like this. Usually as members of extended families that live like this. For a western woman it is hard to accept living in a country that doesn’t respect you at all- unless this network is in place and even then it isn’t exactly easy. Money matters- and I don’t mean in a gold digging way. But being able to spend summers with my kids in the US with my family makes a huge difference to us all. Affording good education and health care for my kids critical.
    Overall, I think I’ve been damn lucky with some choices I made when I was quite young.

  232. I agree with sandy. I’m married to a Saudi and there was never any wish washy stuff with him. He did not disappear etc., he made it very clear he wanted to marry me and stood upto his family. But I would never commend it to anyone. We did live in Saudi for a while. And for the most part I was ok was provided with the freedom and the needs to meet that freedom. However his family never accepted me, which was ok too since he stood up to them but your career will take a beating. Mine did and also it is not easy to see your kids go thru that stuff. Especially my then young girl child. We left and are happily together but then again like I said unless he’s firm and decisive there’s is no way to make it work.

  233. Hi, I want to share my experience. I haven’t understood what was going on until now. I desperately need your help who knows well about this culture, love or whatever. So any comments please.
    Here are some details

    I’m 29 years old Asian girl. I met this boy in the language classroom in Australia. I know it sounds rediculous but I really didn’t know he was that young until we fancied each other because he looked way too older than his age 18.. Oh.. God..

    Anyway, there are many things that I still can not understand about him. Well, yeah. We began to close. And unfortunately (?) I didn’t have any background knowledge about Muslims and his country Saudi Arabia. I thought we were all the same like westerns

    He said he likes me one day. BUT added.
    ” I like you but I don’t want a relationship”
    What the h***……
    He has repeated this sentence more than 100 times for 3 months if I exaggerate a bit. I thought he was joking. And it infuriated me of course. We went out alone. He cared for me. He worried about me. He always bought meals for me. I put my head on his shoulder and I could feel that he was stunned.
    One day I said I wanted to leave him because this relationship means nothing. And I added,

    ” If you really liked me, you would have a relationship with me so what you are insisting is that you don’t like me. And if you don’t hold me now, it’s the end.”
    He was desperate. He kept saying he liked me and he begged me not to leave him. I was really about to leave him because he was being so weird in my point of view.

    I kept aking “WHY NOT? And his answer was always” I can’t tell you. it’s a personal thing”

    So what he was saying is ” whatever you call it, it doesn’t matter as long as it is not a relationship” Being such a clever girl I was XD, I regarded it as “It’s okay to do whatever I wanna do and say it’s not a relationship”

    One day, my friend asked me if I wanted to join her trip. And I told the plan to him. He said if I go or not. I said dunno. He said he would go if I go. He actually didn’t care where we were going, but he only focused I was going. So I said yes and three of us went to southern part of Australia for one day trip. Everything went well until something happened in the bus changed the whole situation.

    I asked him one day if he would hold my hand. He said he would if I behaved. Oh God….if I behave..Anyway…

    On the way home from the trip, it was very dark and even my friend was sleeping next to me. I said I wanted him to hold my hand. He said no and then I said I behaved. And then he said only for 5 minutes….
    And he really held my hand..well actually for more than 10 minutes..

    Why 5 minutes!!!! It’s kinda humiliating to me!! And the worst part was the next day!! He said he doesn’t like me anymore because he felt that way after he held my hand. He wanted to stop contacting me. So 4-5 days we didn’t contact each other even on the msgers we use on the phone. We used to talk like 4-5 hours a day but anyway…Then we began to talk again. Well actually I started to talk to him and he liked it…on and on and on.. I asked the reason why he wanted to stop contacting me. And his answer was ” I realised that it was exactly what a relationship is”

    So for him, not having a relationship for no reason was much more important than me.

    Why the h*** having a relationship is a problem for him saying he likes me?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What’s wrong with holding hands??? I would like to think that he just didn’t like me but it was obvious that he had a special feeling for me. I know that.

    And finally, I came back to my country. In the day I left Australia, he hugged me. It was more like a friendship hug though it was so surprising that HE who was allergic to even holding hands hugged me first. And I came back to my country. And 3 weeks later he went back to his country Saudi. Before he left Australia, he said he doesnt like me anymore. Because I was older than him!
    He said he wants to forget about me when he goes back to his country. After 7 days So I deleted the msger(What’s app) I used to talk to him on the phone. He noticed that I deleted it. The next day, I noticed that he actually downloaded another msg I use because he was suddenly showed up on the suggested friends list.

    Yeah everything that has happened was so humiliating! Maybe you all think I am stupid … Yeah I know. I can’t believe what I am writing. So humiliating. But the worst thing is I miss him!

    He’s coming back to Australia in October and…I might be..
    But we haven’t contact each other for a month. At least it was hard for me. I don’t know how he was. Becuase it was him who wanted to end up this.

    What do you think, people? Finally has it happened because he deoesn’t like me anymore? Maybe he really didn’t want to have a relationship. Just friendship even if he liked me more than a friend.
    Or he didn’t like me. Or was he engaged? He said his sister and her mother wants him to engage soon. If that’s true… he wasn’t engaged while he was with(?) me.

    At least I want to think I was his first love so I am unforgettable to him. What do you think people, what do you think about this boy?

  234. 19, not 18.. not very different though

  235. bigstick1 – No, I have loved and lost, I know this kind of pain, which is part of the reason I am here. I am trying to be as wise as I can. I pray often about this, and my best friend and I really speak often about it. I’m a very analytic person, so I think 100 times before I do anything serious. As I said, I am 30 years old, so I am pretty well aware of heartbreak etc.

    As far as thinking about not being accepted by his family, I do realize this could happen. IDK if you saw my earlier comment, but my family would really likely never accept him, or not for a long time, like w/kids being involved, and even then, they would only accept him to a point (I think). He would have a lot of PR to do so-to-speak for himself.

    I feel really happy though that he is also an American citizen, it seems to make things a lot less complicated in ways, meaning (and this is hypothetical), we could go back and forth between countries, or is this very difficult?

    I wanted to mention too bigstick1 – that I visited an intuitive (I know this may be haram for some of you.), but I was in the middle of looking for a place to live w/a new job and was feeling confused and overwhelmed, so I wanted some guidance and clarity…I went to one that was recommended… Anyway, I did not ask anything about my love life or him, but she brought it up, and honestly, she said, “When he comes back from KSA it looks like he is going to take things to the next level.” I said, “But he said he’s not interested in getting married now.”, and she went on with this “next level” idea, and seemed very sure of it. Her conclusion, like yours and others was that I need to think very hard about the cultural differences, and if I can handle it, essentially detailing everything you have said…and since that day, not a day has passed where I haven’t considered it, and made attempts to inform myself about these differences.

    Can you please elaborate more on your mention of abuse? As in, a husband turning abusive or?? Thank you for your genuine feedback, it has added a whole new flavor to my thinking and things to consider.

    Sandy – So make it clear to him I am in no rush for marriage, but confirm I don’t want to waste my time? Yes, I agree…when though? I feel he just got back, and I don’t want to immediately jump down his throat with it, but maybe I’m coloring things differently looking at it through my own cultural lens? How long have you been in Saudi and where/how did you meet your husband? How do you get money saved before you are married? Do you mean saving my own money while I work? Or trying to get money from him up-to and into potential marriage??

    Radha- What do you mean your husband did not disappear? In what sense?? What are some things his family did to show they did not accept you? How did your family (parents etc.) feel about you marrying a Saudi and moving there?? TY.

  236. Josie, what the hell is wrong with you? Delete this guy from every aspect of your life. I can’t understand why you would want anything to do with that weirdo. You like him, you miss him…so what? Meet someone normal and compatible and you will forget all about him.

  237. It used to be for the older generation (70s and above) that polygamy was seen as backwards and old-fashioned. The largest group of men remarrying is currently in their 50s but some men in their 20s already have multiple wives so currently the popularity of polygamy is on the upswing. There is no marriage season however like in the States many couples get married right after graduation in June. Your boyfriend wouldn’t go back and get married immediately unless there was something in the works (such as a cousin) from before. If he was already engaged and went back to marry, honeymoon, and set up his new house with his wife, the six months window is plausible because it is expected the couple will spend a few months prior to marriage shopping for their new house. You’ll have a clue if he keeps his cellphone away from you and has to leave the room suddenly to take phone calls. Newly weds spend huge amounts of time on the phone and he can’t ignore all the calls he will be getting.

  238. Dear Josie,

    You can’t understand his behavior because you don’t know enough about Wahabi Islam. In his branch of religion it isn’t permitted for him to look at you, or even speak to you as you are unrelated. If you were his fiancee it would be different but as you are now, friends, he really is trying something outside of what he finds acceptable in talking to you and going out with you. A pious boy will not sleep with you or kiss you or even touch your hand. You are probably the very first woman he had a relationship with. Your difference in age should you marry one day is not a problem in terms of Islam but culturally he will face very sharp criticism and ridicule for having a wife ten years older than he is.

    You love this boy, he is probably very attractive but you have to know that you are comparing him with someone from your culture and they are very different in regards to dating. He is obviously fighting with himself. From what you say even if he has a relationship with you he will blame you for his falling short of ideal behavior. I would strongly advise you to learn more about his religion if you are so curious or at least leave the poor boy in peace. You are old enough to know better.

  239. @japple,

    When i meant he didn’t dissapear, i men like these guys do nowadays back and forth, no contact for a while back again etc., we both studied inthe same school. he was my senior and his aunt/uncle were good friends with my family and relatives. so the situation was totally diff than meeting as students etc., My family had no issues with him lik ei said my grandfather and his uncle were v v good friends in india and he went to school there so he understands the culture etc.,

    His family ( parents and some siblings) didn’t show up to the wedding and don’t acknowledge me at all. His dad never spoke to me. and when we moved to saudi ( after a few yrs of marriage and kids) i never saw him or spoke to him. I never visiste dhis house without him, and even when i di dapart from 1 sister they ignored me 🙂 so basically he went and came back quickly …

    we had some situations happen when we were there and realised it was not safe for me and kids alone there if something happened to him since his family was not exactly friendly so we left.

    Again it’s a diff situation, my kids were raised with my parents help and they visit often, we plan to retire in india near my family etc., His family who accept us( some of his siblings) live outside saudi and are also married to outsiders, we get along fine and so far we have no plans of ever going to live in saudi.

    Also even if you have dual citizenship, you need to have your marriage approved to go back and forth. and that approval process is very complicated and time-consuming…

    we moved to saudi so as to expose our kids to the other half od their culture, grandparents, relatives etc., unfortunately they also were not well received and after settling his affairs there in saudi we left sine we didn’t find anything of value holding us back there. no reason to put up with terrible schools, career options etc., and stay in line of fire of his family.

    Asfor taking it ot the next level with your saudi fella, i’d say be cautious, don’t do anything stupid without getting married. and remember even if youa re married he can always leave nad move ot saudi and without the permission you are stuck.
    I’d say the success rate for saudi student romanes int he past 2-3 yrs that i have them happen have been dismal. so if you think this will lead somewhere. sit him down and ask him and be prepared for some lies that he thinks will make you feel better . if he doesn’t introduce you to his parents an dsiblings an djust takes you to meet friends, i’d say with about 99% certainity you are his FUN…

  240. @Radha

    Ok, so when should I have this talk w/him and how? Do I do it right away? What are some exact questions to ask? They type of person I am is very specific… Since he just go back should I wait a bit of time and see how he is now that he’s back, orr???

  241. Japple, What part of Leave Him Alone don’t you understand?

  242. Japple,
    I can only give guidelines based on my experience. You have to decide precisely when/how to speak about these issues.

    Linda and Donna- are you the same person?

  243. Josie,
    The guy said he doesn’t want a relationship. Believe him.
    Also maybe wait till you’re a bit older. You seem very young to be in a relationship.

  244. Linda – huh? Are you confusing me with someone else, maybe Josie?

  245. It is ILLEGAL for Saudis to have dual nationality, whether or not it is actually done IRL. See also

  246. @kinz thanks for your sincere reply. what i think is he could have told me that his religion prohibits seeing me. always explains after problems bomb
    also he said age doesnt matter. and th reason he wanted to finish was my age. he said it was a lie. i didnt even wanna know why he lied. i always got the impression that he was not being honest.

    yeah maybe he would blame me but he should have explained

  247. thanks for all who replied.
    yeah sandy i am immature. and is it all related to his religion or is it just him? anyway this relationship has finished and im kinda heartbroken. if he was sincere he would told me that his religion matters to hin. but he said its nothing to do with his religion. yeah maybe what he had said was true. he just didnt want me

  248. TO ALL

    Every Saudi guy is a liar, and you will learn this sooner or later. Some of those lies are “white” lies, and then there are hard-core lies.

    Lying is part of the culture (, it is something normal and acceptable there. You should ask yourself why. I think I have a couple of answers. First, it’s genetical. Saudi boys not only inherit this trait in their genome, but are also brought up by fathers who lie and mistreat and demonstrate mishebavior towards women.
    Second, Saudi people are “private” people, they appreciate and protect their privacy even if it takes for them to lie. I have seen both older and younger guys who lie either all the time, or occasionally.

    Again, Saudi guys most likely have never met a male in their lives who does not lie – therefore this type of behavior is normal to them, NATURAL. Some of them lie even when pronounce the name of Allah, believe it or not (not that they are such terrible people, but because they themselves do not even realize they are lying – it’s sooo natural for them).


    I am broken-hearted too. But finally, I know the answers. If you want to talk about this or you need a friend – let me know, we can talk privately.

    REGARDING ISLAM and Saudis

    YEs they make such a huge deal out of the religion, but that is NOT because they are true believers. This is rather because they were brought up in a strict religious environment and have been brainwashed from the early childhoo years and further. Their religion is a lifestyle. I’m sure I don’t need to give an example of closing businesses for prayers 5 times a day (that’s not the worst one by the way).

    But the biggest mistake that non-Saudi people make when think of Saudis is that they are good Muslims. Not at all, folks. Look at the things they do once they leave their religious country. A true Muslim remains a good person regarless of the geography.

    So, every time you hear about good and religious Saudis are, remember this is just a pride they have because they think they are the best ISlamic country in the world, coz they have Mecca and Medina. They mask their dirty reputation behind the fact that their country is a motherland of Islam. Essentialy, that does not mean they are good people.

  249. TO ALL who are asking questions about Saudi men:

    All of them lie, whether big or little. It’s just something in their culture that’s considered to be a totally OK thing. Why? I think, I have 2 answers. First, I believe this is genetical. Second, they see their fathers lying to their mothers while still being kids. They are raised in the environment in liars (by the way Saudi men are not the only liars, women are liars too, I guess you are not surprised ha), they are taught how to manipulate others thru lying.

    Again, this is something normal and natural in their culture, I am serious: they don’t even think they are doing something wrong. Some of them will lie even when they say “wAllah”. Imagine, they can say anything when they don’t swear to God hahahaaa.

    But the whole thing is actually not funny at all. Just you have to be aware of this.

  250. TO ALL who are asking questions about Saudi men:

    All of them lie, whether big or little. It\’s just something in their culture that\’s considered to be a totally OK thing. Why? I think, I have 2 answers. First, I believe this is genetical. Second, they see their fathers lying to their mothers while still being kids. They are raised in the environment in liars (by the way Saudi men are not the only liars, women are liars too, I guess you are not surprised ha), they are taught how to manipulate others thru lying.

    Again, this is something normal and natural in their culture, I am serious: they don\’t even think they are doing something wrong. Some of them will lie even when they say \”wAllah\”. Imagine, they can say anything when they don\’t swear to God hahahaaa.

    But the whole thing is actually not funny at all. Just you have to be aware of this.

    I actually from my personal experience do not think they are religious people, but they sure are very proud of being from KSA – the land of Mecca and Medina. That’s all the have: the pride, the show-off attitude. Behind them are one of the most corrupt and hypocritical nations in the world. Those who have dealt with them on both professional and personal levels – know what I am talking about.

  252. Leili, it is very clear that you have a broken heart and a very bad experience to prompt your answers. I agree that most Saudi men will lie under certain circumstances even if it is just to help you feel better about something especially if they think they have a right to what they are doing. An example is polygamy. Since it is their right they might never tell a wife about the situation unless the absolutely must. I do not agree that all Saudi men lie all the time for every reason this is simply not true and a very racist and unfair thing to say.

  253. Back in the day if you were a different nationality and applying for Saudi nationality (when they were still allowing foreigners to have the Saudi citizenship) you had to surrender your US passport. Once you have the Saudi passport you go back to the consulate or embassy and reapply for your US passport. A dual Saudi nationality (Saudi father and US mother) already has a Saudi passport. You then apply for a US passport and they don’t ask you about your Saudi one. At Saudi Passport control in the airport prior to getting to the airline employee they will ask to see if you can legally leave the country whether you are Saudi or foreign. I was once prevented from boarding my international flight because my Saudi passport had expired they would not let me leave on my valid US one despite my assurance that I would renew it once I was outside the country. Fortunately in Saudi it takes one business day to get a new passport, or at least it did back then two years ago. Once you go to the counter to get your boarding pass, the employee will ask you to present both passports in order to make sure you have the proper documentation to enter your destination country. If you are “Saudi” going to the States you will need either a visa or a US passport. When you show the airline employee both passports he doesn’t have the power to confiscate them. If you are a foreigner leaving Saudi, your legal ability to leave the country has already been sorted at the Passport control.

    If you have a Saudi father and were born in Saudi Arabia you are a Saudi and are entitled to a passport. Children born outside the country to Saudi fathers have to prove they have Saudi fathers in order to get the passport and they will need a birth certificate that has been accepted by the Saudi govt. I think applicants also need their immunization record as well. Sometimes young children are put on their Saudi father’s passport until they have their own. There is also a document that serves as an interim travel document (a laissez passe?) something like that as very young children might not have enough time to process their documentation before they need to travel.

    So if technically having dual-nationality is illegal from the Saudi standpoint, so far they have not denied the Saudi part of that nationality. The US, UK and so forth will also not pull citizenship status just because you have Saudi nationality. The dual-nationality citizen is legal in either country as a citizen of that country. If you want to call yourself an American in Saudi you might not be accepted as they consider you Saudi.

  254. Leili, “First, it’s genetical.” is utter nonsense. That is how people were demonized, put into camps and then into ovens.
    HUMANS lie. So do chimps that are taught to communicate either by signing or by computer. One need not belong to a special group to be a liar.
    Now, if you said it is sociological, one then has a burden of significant proof. Not based upon a few bad experiences, but one must prove an ENTIRE society is one of liars. For, to do otherwise is to say that the US is a nation of liars, the UK the same, hell, EVERY nation on this Earth!
    Humans lie for a few reasons, to avoid trouble, to avoid hurting another’s feelings (women, PLEASE remember that when you ask your man how you look in that outfit that you are doubting), to gain something that is wanted or to attain power (hence, the politician, regardless of nation, cannot be an honest politician by nature of their profession and desire).
    Name one Saudi man that lies to get into a woman’s panties, I can name at least the same from every western nation. That isn’t sociological, that IS genetic. It’s the human desire for procreation and pleasure. Doesn’t make it acceptable, but it IS a fact.
    That doesn’t mean that EVERY man lies, only some. Typically, young men, especially men of college age.
    THIS man never lied to a woman to get some action, but I’ve known plenty that did. Those men lost my respect by deed, having previously been granted the respect due a human.
    Each person and culture is different. Lying isn’t cultural or sociological automatically, as many Arabs I’ve known lied to avoid disappointing a guest or even acquaintance. I’ve lied about that infamous dress.
    Blanket accusations that are stated as pure fact against ALL of a people are obviously wrong and ill considered.
    Try separating your anger, hate and disgust for one person or a few persons from an entire ethnic group! You are, I’m quite sure, a far better person than Stalin and Hitler.

  255. wzrd1:
    I really do not appreciate you talking to me like that. I did not insult anybody here, and unlike you – am not going to.
    I will just ignore what you said.

  256. Leili, I did not insult you, or at least did not intend an insult.
    I suggested, based upon your quotes, that you reconsider calling EVERY Saudi man a liar and that your claim that it was genetic is incorrect, save in that ALL humans tend to lie.
    I even gave two examples of people who DID consider one ethnic group genetically flawed and acted upon that, where I plainly said that I’m certain that you are a far better person than they were.

  257. Thank you, Wzrd1, for bringing sense to this whole discussion ….

  258. Wzrd1,
    Thank you for your response to Leili who was actually insulting to all Saudi men.

  259. Leili:

    I think the use of “all” is a stretch. How about “some” or “most?” There might be a few who are not liars or deceits. I have to admit I am unsure how genetic play into this, I tend to think it is a social/cultural acceptance of such not a genetic coding.

    Past that continue on with the Saudi sucks until they stop “Inquisition” or “witchcraft trials” or “religious BS” tactics. Until then they suck.

  260. Leili,

    It’s quite irresponsible and disgusting (and bigoted) to stereotype the entire saudi male population based on the behavior/actions of a few.
    Think about it!

  261. Leili

    I want to talk to you!!! How can we talk by the way? I want to know your personal experience and THE answer you mentioned above.

  262. I would say one big issue is whether or not the guy considers your own needs, too. If the guy (Saudi or whatever) considers your needs, desires, and life goals when considering moving to another country then that is a good start. If he moves back to his home country without an in-depth conversation on how it will affect both your lives and your relationship, and if he doesn’t at least put your needs equal to his own then the relationship doesn’t have good odds. Mix that with extreme cultural differences and the odds are even less. I have met a handful of Saudi guys that would seriously consider living outside KSA and would do so for a woman they loved, but that’s only a handful.

  263. Also keep in mind that the pressure to move back home is very strong for most Arab men due to the nature of the culture (interdependence is valued in families more so than in American or other “Western” countries, etc.), especially once children are involved. The Western woman-Arab man couple needs to be able to deal with these pressures well enough that they can still make the best decision for themselves and their relationship. The pressure can be even stronger for the eldest son.

  264. There may be a few (and I mean a *few*) exceptions to the rule, but it’s absolutely not worth the risk. If you don’t understand Arabic, especially Saudi Arabic and slang, you simply cannot risk getting into a relationship with a Saudi male if you’re a foreign female. No matter how good his English (or whatever language you speak together) is, you must learn as much Saudi Arabic as you can. Also helps if he doesn’t know the extent of your Arabic knowledge, so he won’t have to use code words around you. Because they can (and probably will) talk about you and lie to other Arabs about your relationship in front of you. They might even have sexually explicit conversations with Arab women online or over the phone right in front of your face, and he’ll tell you she’s his sister (true story!) It will help you get to know the real person and how he talks about you in front of his peers – and family, if you make it that far.

    Still not to say there’s not a huge risk in being a foreigner marrying a Saudi when you know Arabic, because I do and I still fell into the trap.

    I am an American female in my 20s. My Saudi relationship (when he was in the US) was hush-hush for a while, but I eventually did start to meet his family (although not the parents) who were all aware of our relationship. I became friends with some of his sisters and brothers. Finally I was introduced to his eldest brother, whom he idolizes and aims to please. He wanted to marry me and was begging me to come to Saudi Arabia with him when it was time for him to go back home.

    HOWEVER, he was a horrendous liar, manipulator and cheater, plus an alcoholic who used every last cent that I had. So I was the one who broke it off and let him go empty handed.

    If you still want to risk being with a Saudi, do not go into it/continue without being able to understand Arabic. It was the single-most tool that saved me from making the worst mistake of my LIFE.

    Be buddies and hang out with them if you must, but don’t expect them to respect you as a “friend” unless they come from a VERY liberal upbringing and understand the concept of male-female platonic friendships. You may develop what you think is a brotherly bond with a Saudi college boy, but if he’s a bedouin he’ll still try to have sex with you when you’re in what he thinks is a vulnerable state.

  265. @Josie,

    Don’t ever talk to him again. He might have feelings for you, but you heard it from him. He does not want a relationship.

    He also told you that it’s not about his religion. If if he cared about that, he wouldn’t

    To me it’s clear as day that it’s racism. You specified that you are Asian. The Saudi society looks down on Asians and treats them like slaves. Asian immigrants do the Saudis’ dirty work and are always mistreated and abused. Saudis are VERY racist, unfortunately Asians from any country get the worst of it. Do not take it personally – he may like you, care about you, even love you, but racism is a problem that is deeply engrained into his head and he knows he can’t be with you because of that. Saudis don’t often get married for love – it’s usually more like a contract to strengthen ties between two families, preferably within the same tribe or community.

    Of course he doesn’t want to tell you that. He wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings. He may care about you a lot, but he knows that his family won’t accept your relationship.

    I am sp sorry you had this experience and are still hurt and confused about it 😦 But PLEASE cut him out of your life NOW. You deserve to be with somebody who doesn’t want to keep you a secret!

  266. Sorry that was supposed to be: *If he cared about that, he wouldn’t have dated you.

  267. Josie,

    Sorry for a late response; you are certainly welcome to email me at leili1098 at to continue with the discussion.
    But I must warn you (and this is what a lot of people do not understand here on this blog) that I had a negative experience with Saudi men, so I will advocate my position in MY OWN way and this is what we are doing here on this blog: we are sharing our experiences.

    When I say “all” Saudi men are liars, of course I do not mean every single one of them. Who has the ability to know about all? Nobody of course. So, THOSE WHO are trying to throw stones in my yard – cool down, and simply take it as “MY OWN EXPERIENCE”. You have your own, and I respect it. But I am here to share my own, and nobody should tell me how to talk about those men, I have valid reasons to believe what I believe. If you are here to help me change my mind – you are wasting your time, but I will respect your position, and unlike y’all will NOT respond with crap. A lot of people can read from your comments and notice that you really have no compassion for those who got hurt within the context of a relationship with a Saudi student. But thank God I do have people who are supportive and compassinate.

    I do not wish anybody the same stuff I went thru.

    Again, we are not looking for the “truth” here; rather, we are sharing our life experiences.

    Also, no need to go insane and throw Hitler or Stalin into the discussion. Simply not nice.

  268. Typical White Girl:

    You are absolutely right on the racism! Great explanation. Bitter truth.

  269. Leili, you have proved me point. You are a far better person than not only the villains of history, you are a good person overall.
    At times, it becomes easy to decry ALL of a people as evil over the acts of a few. It’s the darker side of human nature.
    But, I also believe that people can do better if they simply try.

    I sincerely hope that you heal from the hurt inflicted upon you, it’s never a good thing to see good people getting hurt. And warning people, as Carol also has done, explaining your personal experience IS valuable.
    I only spoke up when you spoke from that dark part and experience, not seeming to recognize that there ARE food Saudi men, just as there are good men in every other culture and nation in the world.
    Thank you for clarifying, as some few would use your words to cause harm to others, so small is their view of the world that they must cause harm in any way imaginable.
    I sincerely wish you peace, joy and prosperity in life.

  270. @typical white girl

    thank you very much for your caring comment. i really appreciate it.
    i am getting out of my self from the heart broken mind set =] i think i got the answer about his “personal reason” that he cannot have a relationship with me. yeah it could be racism. but to be honest i never thought it that way.simply because i really don’t know well about the culture. also he never intoduced me his culture. always just hide and everything even though it was just obvious

  271. Wzrd1:

    In all honesty, I am not trying to prove anything here on this blog. As I already mentioned, I am simply sharing experiences. All of us are entitled to opinions that are unique and that usually work best for ourselves only. However, there are some universal things that should be presented to the readers of this blog by the people who are more experienced. And those are the things readers are looking for!

    I discovered Carol’s blog when I had already been seriously in love with a Saudi man who holds a serious job in KSA and is currently on training here in the U.S. He was honest from day one and said there would be no future in our relationship. But my heart thought different.

    I wish I had come across this website before I met the guy, maybe some things could have been avoided, maybe some mistakes would have not been made or less mistakes would have been made. Maybe, had I known all I know now, I would have never allowed myself to even talk with this guy!! But this is what happens (and Carol already wrote about that) that women find out about American Bedu when it’s already late….

    I, too, wish you all the best in your personal as well as professional lives!

  272. to typical american girl again
    -_- because of an error i am writing again.

    yeah now i understand. two reasons. my ethnic back ground and my age. his attitude was not nice. im talking about his lying habbit. he even acted like he still likes me even the day before he said he wanted to finish(id rather say finish instead of break up since it was not a relationship according to him)

    whatever the reason is we are over clearly. it has been a month not talking to him. i deleted his mobile number,email address and everything. it wasnt easy but i did it for myself. i was blinded bcz of my feelings for him but now i think everything was humiliated and i was not respected inthe end! acting ! can you believe it? thats so called deceiving someone. why the h*** he acts when his feelins for me are gone?for not to hurt me? do you think this make sense? EVERYTHING was just nonsense. i want to flick off my “leftover” feelings for me. i wont take long and i might be freed from this hell of culture thing or whatever it is.

  273. @leili

    yeah tell me about it. i absolutely agree with you. if i had found this blog before i met him. but i think that would have been impossible. the very reason i could find this blog is…. his unreasonable not understandable behavious which led me into crazy mood. belated but thanks to this blog and people here saved me anyway ^-^

  274. This is why I’m so happy I found this blog like 6 months ago. It has been a good resource while I’ve been involved with a Saudi. Given me great points to consider. Thank you all, I just wish I could know more of your own experiences! Is there another area of this website where the women have shared their stories?? (If not, perhaps the moderator would consider creating a new section for this.)

  275. Japple:

    On the Home page of this blog, on the left-hand side, there is a list of other blogs where women share their experiences on being with a Saudi boyfriend/husband. You have probably already noticed that there are stricktly 2 types of women in this regards: one is the extremely happy ones, and the other one where women got hurt and whose life got impacted negatively. If you are in a relationship with a Saudi man right now, consider your outcome could be one of those two. In my experience, there is not such things as “middle” or “balance” when it comes to these specific relationships. It’s just my opinion, mainly based on the fact that Saudi culture is so different from the other cultures all over the globe.

    Carol wrote once, that it is still possible to adaptate to Saudi culture without losing your own self, without changing your personality. I won’t say it’s not true, but for me: I don’t know how that would work out with me. But remember, dear readers, that Carol is a mature woman, while lots of us here are women in our 20s (I’m saying on average).

    So, Japple, I think if Carol created a separate tab dedicated to the women who are/were in a realationship with a Saudi, it would be a pretty dramatic space on this blog – it would be full of emotions and contradictions. But, personally I consider it to be a great idea, at least that way women can go directly to the source they are looking for. In my understanding, more and more women are looking for advice, guidane, general information. Some of those readers come without knowledge of Saudi culture, others come with a little bit or a lot of knowlegde yet they still yearn to find out what other women (in the same shoes) think/recommend/say.

    Here’s something I wanted to add. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a dynamically evolving society, that is actively investing in the education of its young people all over the world. More and more Saudi students come to study to the US, Canada, Australia, New Zeland, Great Britain, and many more. Fields like medical are booming with research opportunities and the need to advance technology, hospital management, huge. Saudi Arabia is globalizing more and more with each day, restructuring its systems and changing its public/international policies. It is a young country that is still developing as a world nation. Meanwhile, in the mind of Saudis there is still that notion of tribes and separate geographical parts of the Arabian Peninsular. They themselves do not know how to represent “KSA” in the world yet, just because “KSA” is still forming! But hopefully, soon they will learn how to represent their country in a descent and noble way on the international arena. Meanwhile, we, the hosting countries, have to be patient and sort of keep watching the progress KSA is making.

    Here is some food for thought:

    In 2005: 2,500 Saudi students on scholarship in the US.

    In November of 2011: 47,000

    In December of 2011: 50,000

    In June of 2012: 65,000

  276. Use the ”search box”.
    The blog is full of posts about this subject, and thousands of comments, with some very good advice from people who know what they are talking about.
    Those are usually the comments which do not perk up your hopes though. So you might want to avoid searching and keep the blinders on.

    While of course one should not generalize, the vast majority of relationships with Saudis in particular seem to end very badly for the women. They do seem to stand out as a very selfish, wicked or irresponsible group. Ask women from other Gulf countries, most of them wouldn’t even think about starting anything with a Saudi man, their reputation is that bad. There’s no reason to deny facts.

    The honest Saudi man who has a spine and brain will not even start a relationship abroad.
    Or the one who would really fall in love would be honest from the start, get married, and start a life outside of Saudi. None of this hedging and whining and lying. Who wants a whining man anyway?
    One should not generalize but neither should one lie about the truth. I despise politically correct people. It’s nothing but spinelessness and weakness and stupidity.

  277. I agree with Aafke! Thumbs-up!

  278. im just writing about my feelings now. can’t really sleep.
    miss him so bad. sometimes it makes me feel like i got over him but a bit of centimental night like this i just cant stop thinking about the time we shared and the places we went,etc. they are just running around my head over and over.

    maye i need more time to let him go in my heart. im still vulnerable

  279. Josie perhaps it would help to consider that you never really knew him- and never really loved him- you only loved something your imagination created around a person who you found attractive. You are almost certainly better off without him.

  280. Thank you Mother Hen Bedu for creating this space to share.Being informed is so very important.To all those who have responded to this letter, it gives me great comfort to hear your stories. I feel like someone understands what I am going through. I can relate to a lot of what has been being said here. Thanks to all again for sharing.

  281. is it possible to make friendship with you Mother Hen Bedu?

  282. Mother Hen Bedu,
    I understand that there are vast quantities of Saudi-non-Saudi relationships gone wrong, and I am thankful for your warning. However, I wonder how you can make a blanket statement like this when you had such a wonderful relationship with your own Saudi. I agree with most of what you said! But there are some exceptions too! Where does the difference come in?

  283. You mean, “Don’t think that YOUR relationship and your Saudi are going to be different. You will set yourself up for a harder fall.”? Because ‘there are vast quantities of Saudi-non-Saudi relationships gone wrong’!! You’re a fool if you think you are going to be the exception.

  284. i am a saudi and and when she said that there families wont accept you the she is 100% wrong, plus if ur divorced from a saudi women like many saudi student our government will allow us to marry whom ever we want, even if the saudi student wasn’t divorced he can still get married,he only need to get permission from the government which is not hard but takes some time. lost of stuff on the article is a bunch of bull****.( i am a saudi who lives in the USA)

  285. Adnan, as you are not an American woman married to a Saudi, then I don’t think you are qualified to contradict the many women who are and who know and have lived with the reality of being foreigners married into Saudi families. Non-Saudis are not considered real people by many Saudis and they do not treat foreigners as they would their own family members because they know they will not have to face the societal pressures and members of those foreigners families with their bad actions. I experienced this personally and I personally know over 200 Americans married to Saudis so I know what I’m talking about.

  286. @adnan – maybe you are one of the goo dguys 🙂

    i know a lot of scum. very intelligent, hard working , good looking educated saudi men but unfortunately they turn into slime when in contact with a woman 🙂 not all but most of the ones i see as students do. and about 80% of them dump and run. 10% get married and stay and about 10% get married, go thru the pain of approval andtake their wives to saudi and then they break up !!!!!

    My husband’s saudi family does not accept me. not even after decades 🙂 so in my case she is 100% correct. 🙂
    and approval for marriage if youa re under 35 is not easy. long process and longer wasta and bribe if you want it shortened.

    and most saudi students don’t get married to a nice saudi girl , divorce her and come to the US. they come here pure and single, find a nice girl here, get married or not , dump/divorce her and leave to go back to saudi pure and single 🙂

    no i don’t have scientific polls to back me, but i see about 10 saudi’s every sem and they seem to hold on to this ratio…

  287. Your so right there’s this guy he’s from Saudi Arabia he bearly met me like 1 month ago and he tells me he loves me and that he wants me to be his girlfriend and brings me gifts I give them back but he doesn’t take them back and he told me his traditions and how if a women Marrys him she is not able to come back unless she divorces him. But it kinda scares me sometimes because he is so grumpy he gets mad at everything he thinks he can have control of me maybe because they’re so used to being in control. What so you think I should do I’m very confused?

  288. I’ll tell you exactly what to do: run. Change your number and email and dump this guy. He’s bad news. You’re right: he is controlling and the longer you’re with him, the worse he’ll get.

  289. I can’t agree more with Donna. Controlling partners that are moody are stable, peaceful and happy relationship material.
    When you add in cultural differences, the problems magnify.
    Steer clear of the controlling type, I’ve never observed happiness come out of such a relationship, regardless of the nationality involved.

  290. All of the above. Get out now! This guy will become abusive among other things.

  291. WOW! I was curious since I have known “my Saudi” for a while now-we were always just friends really..still are and as I was promised and have experienced, will always be no matter what.

    We’ve come a long way. I have had a long and hard life and we usually talk about me. As I am very inquisitive, I have been questioning him for years about his he is a mixed blood living in KSA..At first he would give short answers to all my questions, but as time goes on, he has become more “isolated.” His answers lead to more questions…

    Our friendship has grown but for the number of years we have known eachother, it hasn’t grown that much.

    Mostly he sounds depressed, and I say this carefully-he has stated that he wished things were different, that he was born in a different time period, that I help keep him going, among other friends and family scattered everywhere.

    Since I was always very liberal with him as I am from a free-er part of the world where we are not very uptight about sharing our lives, I never saw it as a problem to share information with him. Just that after a while, it becomes quite boring and disheartening to have never seen someone who can be considered my best friend…He leaves me with so many unanswered questions as our friendship is one sided. When I ignore him, he reaches out to me, sometimes calling me and engaging in conversations that never end..

    In the beginning it was worse. Upon stumbling on this blog, I feel differently about him. I knew what to ask @ and we’re good now as I have realised that he has not shut me out on purpose, but that it’s a cultural thing, that I can live with. I had also wondered why not just explain? But sometimes it’s a better idea to agree to disagree.

    I have fallen in love with him, though not blindly or expecting him to return any of my feelings toward him-he has told me that he loves me but added that we can never be together, not ever, that his tradition or family would never accept it. He said that he only wants to love me as his sister.

    When I met him, he was in a relationship with someone and I was married so we never crossed the line of friendship. After his relationship ended, we remained friends, but after my marriage ended, our relationship changed…It started to feel ok to love him a bit more and allow for him to love me the same and occassionally, we flirt…
    He has always been too polite, a real gentleman-but now afterall I have been reading, I wonder @ his respect for me. Whether his caring was sincere, how much he has lied etc…

    He said he’s a Christian (maybe to impress me?), but I read above that Christianity is not allowed in the Islamic kingdom…

    I have told him that now I know we will never be together-ever and that’s quoting his words, then I have no problems having fun with him..he’s tried to deter me, but it has been too much of an adventure to tease him and watch the retreat. No real danger, since we haven’t met and most likely never will for years to come.

    Deepdown however, I wish we could be more than friends but I am proud that he was honest enough with me, seeing only now what the odds are, it was so easy to lie about his intentions, still he chose not to, so I am happy he valued me that much to be honest. He warned that if we were to become serious, I’d have to consider moving to KSA with him…and after knowing me for so long, that’s not ok-so we resolved to remain friends only.

    I think it would make more sense if ppl just say what it is that they want and allow the other to choose. As for me, I am enjoying going with the flow since I know we aren’t really heading anywhere and that there really is no immediate danger as I don’t have to walk blindly in a situation as he’s already prepared me.

    So in ending, thanks for posting this..of course I gave him a telling off that after knowing him for so long, he made me have to Google things about him that he rarely confirmed..

    Whatever happens, whether he tells it all or continue keeping a secret, our friendship is what it is and it’s ok, as long as we’re both comfortable.


  292. i’mshe, what your comment tells me is, he is secretive. He admits his family won’t accept you.
    You accept this, but love him.
    You’re a Jew.
    For, Shalom is Hebrew for peace.
    Which may be, if my shirt cuff analysis is correct, the heart of the problem.
    But, that is a shirt cuff, short analysis of what was said.

    That he’s secretive is important. Relationships are based upon truth and mutual expression.
    Not upon secrets.
    My wife of 31 years now knows most of my secrets, the few she didn’t know or currently doesn’t know is due to my occupation in the military.
    She’s aware of that and accepts those. They’re national secrets and she understands the difference between personal secrets and things outside of our relationship.
    It’s funny, as we laugh today over secrets of 30 years ago that she is now permitted to learn of, as they’re now unclassified.
    PERSONAL secrets are avoided, they’re destabilizers to a relationship.

    I’ll be blunt, you WILL get your heart broken when he eventually leaves.

  293. wzrd1

    I’m not Jew but Christian. He actually loves the Jewish culture and religion and follows the war on Israel closely; he taught me shalom…

    Funny thing is that he was born is KSA but his family is Indian.
    I don’t know why he is so secretive toward me as I have been open with him..He says he is like that with his own family as well, which may be true because they try hard to find out about his personal per an experience with another of our friends with them..

    I do love him, but I have always loved him as a friend and a brother-maybe it’s the newness of being free that made me even think of the possibility of us ending up together.. When he learnt that I was no longer in a relationship, he said (his voice was pained-as he called me on the phone and we spoke for @ 40 minutes) that he would pray that I get a man who would love me. He asked if there was no one in my heart or mind and I told him only him…it sounded like a joke, but I was really serious and he understood that.

    I asked him why on earth he would ever pray for that..I told him that if God ever forbids that I ever remarry, then I’ll remain single-he said then that I should move to KSA with my son. I asked him what would happen if being so close to him, I fall in love with him..and it was then that everything else followed..

    I had no idea of their way of life, except what he hinted on over the last few what would happen if someone was caught stealing or cheating etc and those he woudl answer straight away.

    We have decided to be just friends, but still the withdrawal from what we have uncovered, feels so right, it’s hard to keep our promise of just friends. I can recall in the past when we would flirt accidentally how he would go away for months and leave only a voice mail on skype to ask how I was doing. Over the years, he would hint that he may not be coming online very often…but as we grew closer, the time spend online toegther becomes more-as we now look forward to sending and receiving messages…

    It’s a terrible predicament, but he has advised me to not overthink, to just go with the flow and stop worrying about his “disappearing” as there is nothing I can do to ever chase him away.

    As I questioned him about his way of life and intentions etc..he said in his annoyance that he can’t always give me what I ask and that I should probably find someone else whom I am sure of; as he said that, he said that he needs to go sleep, but spends another hour telling me that he loves me as a sister and would not want to cause me to sin any further..that he is sorry he put these feelings in me and that we can be friends and only friends. This is not unlike him as he can be very resilient.

    I’ll recover in the case of a broken heart, as for now, I have no one in my life and don’t mind dreaming up a storm 🙂


    P.s this site helped me understand his silence, retreat and secrecy more…we have come a long way. He is challenging himself….

  294. Thanks for clarifying the Hebrew greeting.
    I’ve known quite a few Arabs and Iranians who loved Jewish culture, but are at the least, ambivalent to Israel and the nonsense that goes on there.

    As for him challenging himself, that may or may not be. He may have a family mandated relationship that is going on and you are no acceptable to the family.
    Our intrepid peers on this site can help you understand what may be the shortest path to the truth.
    I’d only strongly recommend moving on, rather than keeping close by Skype and fantasy.

    Still, best wishes and good luck in your future.

  295. @ wzrd1-thanks for your for you comment: “Our intrepid peers on this site can help you understand what may be the shortest path to the truth.” NO OBJECTIONS there…this clandestinity/ silence is killing me! It’s been 4 years of acquaintance with him and 3 years of friendship….it’s time I know who I am dealing with here and even for a friendship, it feels like I am at a crossroads; life is too serious to still be playing hide and seek.

    “He may have a family mandated relationship that is going on…” meaning?

    I am trying to move on in my heart as my mind already understands that I don’t want to start anything without a real future-not interested…

    Thanks again for taking the time out to reply to my posts, and if there’s anyone else reading who’s like to chime in, please don’t hesitate to write…


  296. Interesting article and indeed it addresses some very valid points, especially the fact that we Saudis -unfortunately- do need to have the state’s permission to get married to a non Saudi woman. With that being said, however, I just want to point out that, from a personal experience, this view of Saudi students is a bit too stereotypical. I don’t deny it applies to a large chunk of the normal distribution, but I am against propagating anti-emotional involvement with Saudis as if they are the forbidden fruit and they are intentionally barring vital knowledge from their partners in order trick them into delusions and false hopes before they eventually break their hearts and flee back to their beloved kingdom. I appreciate your honest attempt to reach out to your compatriot ladies and clarify some of the aspects that don’t usually take place in romantic settings or in casual conversations. My only take on the article is that it leaves no space for outliers of which I am a part. I was a Saudi student in the USA once, and I had genuine plans to marry my American girlfriend whom until today I found no equal to. I could not emphasize enough on how highly I think of her above women. She was literally my raison d’etre, and I am still going suffering emotional withdrawal although a couple of years have passed. I was willing to settle down in the US and abandon everything and everyone for her sake, including my motherland. I did not even hesitate back then, in fact, I went through with job hunting (which was the culprit), and unfortunately it was concurrent with the Great Depression, and US unemployment was rising rapidly. The odds of me finding a job that could sustain a decent life were thinning by the second. It is only then when I came to the rational decision that I had to go to Saudi Arabia, not for my family, not for my country, but purely economical and financial reasons. I refused to live as a bum although she was more than willing to carry my burden. I know she’s waiting for me, and I’m coming back for her.
    Anyway, the morale of my story is do not generalize. Just because we Saudis are so poisoned with the herd mentality doesn’t mean some are in pursuit of their own happiness, choosing to break free from the rusty and rigid norms of the ignoramus bedouin culture. I choose my own path, and I trust many Saudis, had they been given the opportunity and courage, would do the same.

  297. *Great Depression: I meant to say the Great Recession that hit in 2008.

  298. Yasser,

    Thank you for sharing of your experience and feelings. I sincerely hope that your dream comes true.

    While not all Saudi men are predisposed towards deception the chances of a lasting relationship between a Saudi student and a foreign woman are slim. Saudi men are exceptionally charming and may say many words about a long lasting future which they may mean at the time even though they realize too are unrealistic. This post is oriented to open a young foreign woman’s eyes and encourage her to obtain facts and better knowledge about Saudi Arabia and its customs and culture.

    I married a Saudi and had the happiest relationship of my life. However I realize that my husband and I are among the exceptions. It also helped that we met each other later in our lives too.

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM, American Bedu

  299. You had it right the first time. :/

  300. You’re welcome. You’re husband and yourself are the ones responsible for making it happen. It’s all about determination. What I believe is that cultural barriers are illusions instilled in our minds to make us think we’re different and incompatible with others, and thus create a false sense of identity. Saudi Arabia is not a homogeneous society, it’s is not a monolithic society. In fact it is much like America, especially where I come from (Jeddah) since it is merely a congregation of pilgrims who settled through out the years and incorporated their values into the melting pot. I personally found much more in common in terms of way of thinking, ideals, vision and even beliefs with my American sweetheart than I ever did with any Arab, never mind a Saudi. It was uncanny! She’s my soulmate. It’s all about choice, and if a guy tells a woman he can’t marry her because of X and Y then he’s basically making excuses. All attachments, save that of marriage and kinship are auxiliary. One has to make up his mind at some point, man up and pursue his happiness with whoever he is genuinely in love with. Nothing is unrealistic unless you chose to make it so. I refuse to play the “different cultures” card because I find it too overplayed that it hardly makes sense in this globalized world. Just my thought. Thank you for responding to my post. It’s been a pleasure interacting with you.

  301. wzrd1, no I had it wrong. The great depression was in the 30s and early 40s. What we’re going through nowadays is called the Great Recession on par with that economic vicious cycle, albeit not with the same intensity. Global economic prospects fail to identify and utilize in growth drivers. Of course Saudi Arabia is an anomaly along with the GCC due to the soaring oil prices. But the the rest of the world isn’t doing fine at all considering the US’s teetering on the edge of the fiscal cliff along with Euro debt crisis, and Chinese waning growth for 7 quarters now. Anyway, I guess this isn’t the place to discuss economics, but I just wanted to clarify 🙂

  302. One note for women thinking about marrying Saudis: nearly all of the men, sooner or later, get involved with and usually marry additional wives (talking about those men who originally married foreigners).. Sorry, Yasser, if this is painting with a broad brush, but it is the truth. I’d say 90% of the men who married Americans or British then married other women as well. I absolutely know what I’m talking about and I would not want a young foreigner woman to take a chance on being one of the 10%.

  303. Donna,

    You raise a very valid point. While most women do not like to hear or believe that a Saudi man can change after return to the Kingdom, it does happen. A woman can believe she has the most secure of marriages but over time spent in the Kingdom, her husband can change and become more traditional to the point of taking another wife. This has happened to many foreign women whom I personally know and in a lot of cases after 10 years -or more- of marriage.

    The Saudi who chooses to live and establish a life outside of the Kingdom with his foreign wife is less likely to take a second life and not go through the “metamorphosis” that seems to be typical of the Saudi man who returned with his foreign wife to live in the Kingdom.

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 3:16 PM, American Bedu

  304. Hey Donna,
    Well, if you did the survey and you somehow obtained an unbiased sample, who am I to dispute your hypothesis! All power to you. I am speaking only of my personal views and I don’t consider my case to be unique. My uncle is married to a British lady, has been for over 25 years now and he’s pretty much monogamous. Marrying a Saudi woman is too costly, and not the fact that traditionally premarital relationships are frowned upon makes it also too risky to get involved with one.
    All the best,

  305. yasser:

    What does pretty much monogamous mean? Is that code for he has misyar marriages?

  306. I don’t see how rational it would be for anyone who married someone he loves to marry someone else. It could be the other way around though, if he’s already married to a woman he was “arranged with” by his family that he experience romance and decides to marry another. I would NEVER marry anyone over my girl.

  307. Yasser:

    You did not answer the question. I asked what does pretty much monogamous mean. As in the phrase pretty much means that he is actually monogamous only some of the time not all of the time which lead to the next statement of the code for misyar marriages.

    So what does your statement mean? Is he monogomous or not?

  308. BigStick, I was wondering the same thing!

  309. Yasser: my sample is not unbiased at all. I know at least several hundred of real Western women married to Saudis and their experience is what I told you. Now that the men are getting into their 50s, it is even worse: more and more of them are marrying 2nd and 3rd wives. Whether that makes sense to you or not is beside the point. This is reality. Also, many men become wealthy and decide to take on one or more of the multitude of divorced Saudi women or go for the *cheaper* option of another foreigner, mostly Moroccans.

  310. Bigstick, my bad, I meant he’s always been monogamous. And by the way, not many Saudis actually have more than one wife, whether by choice or due to financial reasons.. And no, misyar is just a legalized booty call. lol

  311. Thanks for the clarification.


    What country are you referring to? Are in the USA or an Islamic country?

  312. Well, like I said, Donna. If you made the study, and you have empirical evidence on the matter then I can’t dispute it. You may call it reality if you wish. But from an incentive perspective I can’t understand why a man would marry another unless he did not find what he needed in his first marriage. I’m judging from my own love experience. She leaves me needing nothing. I can’t even think of another woman 🙂
    Thanks for your reply,

  313. Yassar:

    Sounds like you are already in a relationship. How long has it been going on and have you introduced/discussed her with your family?

  314. It’s been three years now, but we were classmates and friends before that. And yes, I discussed it with my family, not in order to get their permission, but to let them know if my intention. I’m an adult and I consider myself capable of making my own decisions. She won’t live in Saudi Arabia though because it’s too restrictive for her. So, I’ll have to move to the US, hopefully soon 🙂

  315. Yasser:

    Interesting and how long have you been away from her? I am actually glad she refuses to go to Saudi as it will limit her greatly, however have you discussed visiting Saudi and how children will fit into the picture, expectations, religions, and pardon me but Saudis are not known to stand against family so do they accept this or not. Also do you intend to get the marriage recognized if one should occur in Saudi? if you don’t is she aware that she can never travel to Saudi with you for any type of visitation or is her decision to never enter Saudi?

    Hopefully you have discussed at least some if not all of these points.

  316. Well, it’s been exactly a year now. Frankly, it’s not her who refused to live in Saudi. She actually suggested to move with me to Saudi. I just know her too well that she won’t be able to cope with the strict society here. Anyway, long story short, If things work out and I end up marrying her and living in the States, ceteris paribus, I don’t intend to come back to Saudi. However, my family is more than welcome to visit. I have no concerns in regards to religion since we’re both Agnostic, and we believe in Science. So far, our expectations are based on what we know of each other and experienced together, which I think is sufficient. I don’t know what Saudis are known for nor do I pay stereotypes any attention. It was a part of growing up that I developed my own views and set my own goals which I don’t expect everyone to necessarily agree upon.

  317. Yasser,

    I sincerely wish all the best for you and your intended.

    One thing I can share is that the foreign wives who marry Saudis and live in the Kingdom do get to know one another well. We became each other’s support network and ‘family away from home.’ Under these circumstances we learn much about one another and others. Sadly, I think there are more foreign wives whose marriages have suffered and changed the longer they are in the Kingdom than the public is aware of.

    It’s not only the foreign wives who have suffered either. I will never forget the time I was at a social gathering of Saudi woman when one learned her husband had taken a second wife.

    I’ve lived and/or worked in many primarily Muslim countries but have never seen or known of more men with more than one wife than in Saudi Arabia. Personally I think it is due to the culture and limited rights of the woman within Saudi than other primarily Muslim countries.

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM, American Bedu

  318. Yassar:

    Good to know. It is also good that you are thinking of her future as both of you must be able to have a good life in order for it to work. It is a two way street and that is always the best way to keep it.

    Wishing you well.


  319. @BigStick: what country am I referring to? I am talking about the subject at hand: American/Western women married to Saudis. I don’t understand your question.

  320. Thank you American Bedu! It’s really great that you are offering solace to troubled non Saudi wives in Saudi. I can imagine the culture shock and all. Keep up the good work 🙂 I think polygamous households are more common in places where traditionalism still thrives. You can probably find it in rural regions or underdevelopped countries like Afghanistan, In some cases in Utah (pun intended lol)
    Anyway, I think as feminism grows stronger, women will become empowered and independent (self-sufficient) enough to take action in case her husband considers another woman.

  321. Donna:

    So you are you saying you live in the US and women are going to Saudi and become 2nd or 3rd wives or is this occurring in the US? I have actually heard that there are many women marrying by nikah and then converting then the husband gets into other nikah marriages but doesn file it through the civil process and ends up having religiously sanction wives but not legally recognized wives. Just curious on the dynamics.

  322. Women in Saudi may become even more self-sufficient but much needs to change in order for them to become greater empowered. I know so many professional women in Saudi who could easily support themselves if they chose to…and some who want to…but are chained into a marriage rather than lose their children.

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:31 PM, American Bedu

  323. Honestly, Yasser, you sound like every golden-tongued Saudi who has courted an American woman. I could write the script for you. You care deeply for your girlfriend, you would do anything for her, backgrounds aren’t important, you want what’s best for her, you’d never cheat or marry on her, blah, blah, blah. We all heard it, believed it, fell for it and were deceived by it. Sorry, but that is hundreds of women’s experiences. I think American Bedu will back me up on this.

  324. I am talking about American women who marry Saudis and then, 10-20-30 years later, they marry other wives. EXTREMELY COMMON.

  325. Oh, Yasser, I love your optimism. But you are extremely young and naive. Polygamy is VERY common among Saudis. All the cases that I know of, the Saudi husband is very “Westernized” and not from traditional/tribal/bedouin backgrounds. I could list name after name after name and you would recognize them all as wealthy, Western-educated, worldly men, all of whom have married once or multiple times on their Western wives. As a matter of fact, the more wealthy, educated and well-traveled they are, the higher the rate of polygamy. Women: do not be deceived! Your children will chain you and you will likely stay in intolerable marriages because of them. If you do get out, you will have lost your youth and career and continually be torn between two countries and cultures.

  326. I attest and back up Donna’s comments. I suggest anyone interested in reading more search my blog using the key word “divorce” and also select the category Interviews. I have interviewed a number of Saudi men, Saudi women, foreign women and Saudi children who are from polygamous marriages.

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM, American Bedu

  327. I almost wonder if men taking a second wife is a result of a “midlife crisis”? I know a lot of 40-something and 50-somethings in “Western” countries who leave a spouse for a myriad of reasons that are (mostly) not based on sound logic.

    @Donna: Yasser actually sounds fairly reasonable to me.

    @Yasser: Have you considered getting a fiance visa to the US? Once married, you should qualify for a work permit, although it might take a few months for it to be processed. Just keep looking for jobs in the US and/or see if there are any company transfers. If not, start networking with contacts in the US with other companies (if possible). If you attended university in the US, then use contacts such as professors at the universities you attended. Use your classmates as contacts, even if you don’t know them that well. If your classmates at university know your work quality is high, they may help you network to find work. Certain majors (engineering, medicine, etc.) are also high in demand in the US. Start using LinkedIn and other networking sites. Most of all, though, don’t give up!

    Oh, and if your girlfriend can and will support you financially for a few months during the visa processing period (fiance and marriage), just do it! It will be MUCH easier to get a job if you have a work permit in the US rather than your employer having to apply for one for you. Don’t let your pride stop you from being with your soulmate, if you really do feel that way about her. Just make sure you both “sit down” via skype and talk about the budget realistically together so you both are clear on who pays what, and what money is left over for going out, buying clothes, etc. to prevent fights about finances.

  328. *The certain majors being in high demand may matter if you are considered an “expert” in your field and/or have so many years of experience, I think there is a different visa you may qualify for, making it easier to obtain work in the US.

  329. @StrangeOne: re Yasser: Oh, yes, he does sound reasonable. The problem is that 1) in the long term he’s wrong, 2) all young Saudis studying in the States with American girlfriends sound reasonable and 3) he does not have the experience me and my many American women friend do having married Saudis.

    As for polygamy perhaps being the result of a mid-life crisis, yes, I’m sure that’s part of it. However, for American couples living in the U.S., the woman is on equal legal footing. Judges award an equitable division of assets, fair child custody, alimony and child support as well as the woman having access to the courts and justice. In KSA, the woman – especially a foreigner – is, frankly, SOL (Google it). She can either suck it up and stay on in polygamy or be denied her maternal and financial rights.

  330. I think that when one is totally in love, everything else fades into the background – family, country, tradions and even values. Nothing matters except the love of one’s life – the so called soulmate. He does not see another woman, cannot even think of another, can sacrifice anything and everything for his love.

    But once the novelty wears off (due to distance, many years of relationship/marriage or having secret affairs from either side), then each may start thinking of other women/men. In any society it is easy to fall in love again and especially so in a free society. The excitment wears off. Three years is a a short time to think of it being a permanent relationship.

    Men are men wherever they are unless they strong values and respect themselves first (and not leave them at the first site of female flesh). Same goes for women. Women (white or otherwise), too, can move on with another soulmate.

    Yasser is just another young man in love just like millions out there pining for his love blind to the world, to reality. Sooner or later, he will unite with her and live a happy life, hopefully or they will both drift apart. Live goes on.

    “Time” is great thing. It cures all pains.

  331. @StrangeOne: Thank you for your advice. I certainly will make use of all legal means to be united with my love again. That’s a promise I took upon myself no matter the cost. My issue, however, is not primarily pertaining to US residency. It is rather a common problem today in the US which is employment. After graduating from one of the top US universities with a degree in Economics, I expected to gain high leverage in the job market. Surprisingly, however, I had the least bargain among my American counterparts (being non-American, having no practical experience whatsoever, versus Americans who have been working since the age of 16 or so). Besides, it was bad timing too since the US economy as you know is going through a rough patch. I applied for the OPT (Optional Practical Training) program in which I had a year long window of opportunity to search for jobs and work legally in the US. However, the best jobs I could find were minimum wage, and since I abandoned my family in Saudi, I definitely weren’t counting on any external source of income. As for having my girlfriend support me, she always has been morally. I cannot accept to levy any financial burdens on her, however. The emotional impact of this long distance relationship is overwhelming. I was diagnosed with anxiety and deep depression. I literally only feel alive when I’m on Skype with her to be honest. She is currently interning at the White House, so I had to find ways to remain on the same social strata. I became an economist at a renowned Saudi bank and I intend to gain enough experience/qualifications in order to become competitive in the job market in the US. Hopefully in the medium term I’ll come across an opportunity.
    @Sarah I may be young but I am not reckless. I know what I am getting myself into and I know it is well worth it. This is not just a whim or a fantasy for it to wear off. And I’ll stand at nothing short of bonding with my girl again. The main reason I posted on this blog is to denounce the idea that Saudis cannot be genuine in their relationships with American women or somehow do not possess the intentions and the will to sustain a long term, life-long relationship. Yes people go through midlife crises, but this again is not exclusive to Saudis. No matter what I might become in 30 years from now I’ll find a way to save my marriage. But for now, all I want is to cherish what I have and build upon it. She is perfect in all the aspects I look for in a woman. I will never take her for granted, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t pursue the paths I find leading to our happiness.

  332. @Donna,
    As far as assets being divided equally in the US, the reality is that every state is different. In some states, there is no law stating that a man (or woman) must give his (or her) spouse alimony. However (I am not sure of all the details), if the couple decides to take it to court, then I am sure that some of that may come up in the discussion. Otherwise, it is up to the 2 people ending the relationship to decide. Yes, it’s better than KSA. However, I think what you’re missing is that Yasser is actually trying to move to the US to be with his sweetheart; it’s not as if he’s dragging her to KSA. And he’s actively making decisions to be back with his sweetheart the best he can. I respect that.

    I am not sure what opportunities there are for economics majors, but I will ask around to see if maybe you have missed any major areas of work you’d be qualified for. Seriously, talk to your professors at the American university you graduated from. Networking is still a big deal in the US even though it may not appear that way on the surface. In the US, expect to get turned down a lot for jobs. Figure if you apply to 100 jobs, maybe only 3-4 will call you back (unless it’s through networking; then the numbers may be a little higher). Try to set up practice interviews because the culture/customs of American interviews (what is expected of the interviewer and interviewee) are going to be different than in KSA. See if there is any way for someone from the university you graduated from can help you with this (career center, old professors, etc) and/or if they would be willing to help you via skype. Have them also look over your resume. (I’m not good with interviews and resume writing, otherwise I’d offer to help.)

    Use the fact that you are fluent in Arabic to your advantage. If you know french, that helps, too. Maybe you could work in a field that specializes doing business in Arabic-speaking parts of the world. You could look into international sales, too. Don’t limit yourself simply to economist jobs; look for any related to business/accounting in general.

    I’m sure you are already aware of the jobs you are qualified for, but just in case this helps as a starting point:

  333. @Yasser,
    You and your sweetheart may also find that it is easier for you both to find work outside the US. However, it’s going to depend on where, when, and what major(s) are in demand. You could try places like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Europe, etc. Also, know that it may be harder to get hired in the US without a US address irregardless of whether or not you have the proper work permit.

  334. @Sarah,
    Some people fall fast into love. I know I did. After a few days, I knew. After 2 weeks, I changed my life, my future plans, to be with him. Though we’re still newlyweds, I love him enough that it scares me but not once have I truly regretted my choice to be with him. Sure, it’s tough in some ways and we have our share of ups and downs, but I can’t help but think that it only gets better with time.

    When I met my husband, everything did not simply “fall away”. If anything, my husband brought me more responsibility, more difficulties, but at the same time, he gave me his unconditional love. I have yet to meet another person with such a big heart that loves so deeply. That’s why I fell for him, and that’s why we’ll be together for years to come.

    I’m sure I could move on if I had to and eventually find someone else to love as deeply, but the truth is that I don’t want to. I found someone who is a perfect match for me (and I for him); why would either of us want to change that?!

    Maybe Yasser found something similar with his love. If he did, then I can only wish him the best with his love.

    Overcoming cultural boundaries is not always easy, but it can be done. It sounds as if Yasser and his sweetheart are working on that issue.

  335. @StrangeOne
    “what you’re missing is that Yasser is actually trying to move to the US to be with his sweetheart”. No, I didn’t miss this. My point and American Bedu’s point as well (I believe) is that we are talking about the vast majority of Saudi men who come to the U.S. as students and then have American girlfriends and what the likely outcomes are. Of course there will be exceptions. Of course there will be differences between individuals. But there most definitely is a general pattern that these relationships fall into. Almost all Saudis eventually return to KSA. Either the gf will be left behind or she will marry and follow him. The most likely result of the latter will be polygamy, restrictions on her, separation from her family, loss of career, income and financial independence and being forced into accepting an unacceptable life because of her children, and, in most cases, divorce. Yasser quite possibly is an exception. But we have to make decisions on most-likely outcomes and not bet our and our children’s futures on a slim-to-none chance that things will be different for us.

  336. StrangeOne: I salute you on your ability to understand where I’m coming from. You definitely nailed it, and I feel much better knowing that at least someone can affiliate with how I feel. Yes, she is DEFINITELY a one of a kind. I have NEVER met a girl neither as beautiful, nor fun, nor as smart as she is. I will never stop until I have her. Thank you so much for trying to help me. For the longest time I was by myself, desperately looking for a way to be with her. Honestly if it weren’t for the internet, I probably would have lost my mind. Just hearing her voice gives me the daily fix I need to keep breathing. Anyway. As for the job hunting. I’ve been trying everything. Honestly, I have had a couple of interviews that went really fine, but whenever I was questioned about work experience it was like a slap to my face. I failed to provide any satisfactory answers and eventually ended up with minimum wage which to be honest doesn’t do any good given rent and other financial commitments. I cannot have her pay the bills if I’m gonna be the man of the house. It doesn’t bode well with me. Also, I don’t want to take her outside the US because then she will miss her family and friends, and unlike me, she has a very strong relationship with her family. I can’t bring myself to ask her to sacrifice that. But anyway, I’m currently working in Saudi and doing very good, so as time goes I should more BATNAs, I want to prove myself worthy of whatever position I am applying to and have some achievement to talk about in my future interviews. To me, I hope this is all about time, a matter of a year or two. By then she will also be done with her internship which makes it ideal to propose to her as a well-established man 🙂
    Thank you so much StrangeOne. It’s been so long since I opened up about this to anyone. I know this is a public blog, but I really feel relieved venting out to y’all lol.
    Wish you a happy new year, and a happy marital life…

  337. Yasser; “I cannot have her pay the bills if I’m gonna be the man of the house.”

    Hmm. What’s wrong with her being “the woman of the house” albeit temporarily. That certainly was a bigotted statement in this day and age. Like I have heard … you can take a saudi out of arabia but you cannot take arabia out of a saudi :)-

  338. @Donna,
    I’m an exception to many “rules”. Possibly just me being alive is an exception to more than one “rule”. I know the way I choose to live my life is. I’ve found that my life does much better when I forget societal and familial expectations and simply follow my heart and intuition. I do, however, use logic to get there. In the vast majority of cases, I know it doesn’t work out. However, when we are talking about specifics, then we have to look at the specific case not the general and stereotypical ones.

    Thanks for your kind words. I wish you the best in the New Year, too.

    If your sweetheart wants to stay in the US, then I understand. I would recommend asking her what she wants, though, just to make sure. It can be very hard to be away from family, but it can also be very rewarding both to personal, financial, and career growth by working internationally for a year or two.

    Don’t feel like you have to change 100% for her and do everything for her; she can meet you halfway, too. If she’s the independent type, then don’t take that away from her by trying to do too much for her. Only you two know what’s best for you, though. Take my words with a grain of salt as I have studied abroad for a year and enjoy travelling, even if it means I’m away from family and friends.

    @Yasser and @HonestAbe,
    I understand both your points. I think it’s a pride issue (as in “I should be able to support the person I love”) rather than a bigotry issue. I honestly feel the same way as Yasser (as far as I should be able to provide for the household whether or not I actually am), and I’m a woman. Go figure, right? Ironically, most men in the US would also want to be the breadwinner. I think Yasser understands better than any of us what will work in his relationship because he knows his sweetheart best. At the same time, though, I don’t think Yasser should let his pride get in the way of his happiness.

  339. @Yasser,
    You can use your educational and internship experiences as part of “work experiences” I think 2 years of work experience is the “magic” number for college graduates.. I would definitely recommend mock (practice) interviews, etc. for you. Also, get some help with your resume and if you have been working in KSA for a year already, then it’s time to start sending out your resume again! Get some help determining which of your experiences might qualify as “work experience”. Definitely get some help with practice interview questions, etc.!!! Remember that KSA culture is different than US culture, and so you need to work with someone who understands US interview processes. You may also want to read books on how to nail interviews. Can anyone here recommend any books/study materials/ideas on how to do well in US interviews?

  340. Yasser,

    If you have not done so, look at joining where you can network. I endorse Strange One’s decision to capitalize on your language capabilities. You also write and express yourself well, too. Perhaps you may wish to look at the World Bank, IMF or opportunities at the UN? Aramaco in Houston? What kind of a position do you hold now?

    On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM, American Bedu

  341. @Honest Abe,
    I know what you mean, and what you’re saying would be the most rational thing to do given my tough situation. But as StangeOne said, it’s mostly about pride. For over 3 years, the only argument me and my girlfriend ever had was when I needed money badly and she offered me some and I couldn’t take it. She got really upset with me and didn’t talk to me for about a week. I still can’t get over accepting money from the woman I’m supposed to be taking care of. I know it’s an Arab culture influence, and I got rid of much of it, but something like this would probably hurt my self-respect as the provider for the family. I accept gifts though, and she had bought me so many expensive ones on various occasions, but taking money from her out of pity is a different story. I know you may not see eye to eye with me on this so let’s leave it at that.
    @ StrangeOne, You definitely have been giving me the most valuable tips and really boosting my morale. Bless your heart! As for asking my girlfriend to compromise things, it will never come from me. If she was willing to move away from her family, she would have hinted one way or another on her readiness to make that compromise. I would never exert any pressure on her, psychological or otherwise. This girl is way out of my league, and I am grateful enough that she took it upon herself one day to make me the happiest man on earth. I devoted my whole life to be all about her. She’s the center of my universe. It’s hard to express how I feel towards her no matter what I say to you. She’s the first and only love of my life. Perfect in every respect. Every day I see her I have goosebumps and tremble like it’s the first day I met her, and until today her smile melt my heart. I’m telling you, I’m totally charmed by this girl. I sold her my soul and I’m not getting it back.
    Anyway, with that being said, I actually did take dedicated courses in business writing and performed both mock and real interviews. I interned at the economics department at my university, and tutored Math at US school districts for 6 months. I have a neatly compiled resume and I do have a LinkedIn account. The issue is as you said, a couple of years of experience should hit the spot. for the next time I apply for jobs.
    @American Bedu:
    I currently am an economist writing economic reports for a major Saudi bank’s executives. I work closely with the IMF and occasionally US treasury delegates as we routinely exchange various economic sentiments, especially when it pertains to Saudi Arabia’s monetary and fiscal policy, oil prices, etc…
    I think I am on the right track and so far have established rapport with numerous respected economists and financial analysts worldwide via my reports.
    Thank you so much for your tips and suggestions. I almost feel nostalgic talking to Americans every now and then 🙂

    Anyway, if any of you guys would like to keep in touch, here’s my email address if you’re interested:
    Happy New Year!!!

  342. Yasser, Happy New Year 2013! Just think this: you are not alone 🙂 there are other saudi’s out there that did the same thing! I personally know saudis relocating from jobs inside the kingdom to reside with their wives in the US/Europe.

    The marriage process will be easy abroad, but the most challenging thing as you say is employment, but dont forget you can use your end of service for a while!

    Check also if your wife can work as she could hold the couple for a while, it is totally acceptable at first.

    You could then give it back-you are partners after all and this is the great thing in good marriages, partners support each other through hard times.

    Then once you are all settled, she can let you do all the hard work.

    It is important that you marry first -a very easy process abroad, so you can have your residence and work permitt.

    That is very essential when applying for a job! as essential as your work experience.

    PS.DONNA: no saudi has to be westernised or the wife arabised! The important thing is that the couple has those qualities- which are unique each time- that create balance.

  343. Thank you Gigi! Yes you’re right. I’m going to go through with the marriage proposal. paperwork, etc.. as soon as we’re both emotionally stable and have a clear path on how things are going. I’m pretty stubborn on the fact that I won’t give up this love, but she on the other hand, is a bit reluctant because she feels the whole world is against us and it’s too stressful. What can I say? c’est la vie…
    Being a Saudi is such a hard thing when you have so many social stigmas to deal with lol, and with all the scapegoating I feel like we’re the Jews of the 21st century!!
    Thank you again for your comment/suggestions!

  344. Dear Yasser,

    it is great to hear that young people like you are truly so enpowered not only in their studies and work, but also in leading their personal lives and accepting a certain amount of sacrifice in exchange of following the path that inspires them and feels right to them.

    I am really happy of the new saudi generation- both men and women.

    There are also ladies that are deciding to marry foreigners and even some leaving on KASP scholarships at 27+ feeling that as they have not married yet and as women in KSA their time is up and hey 🙂 ! Then they came back sometimes with a new foreign or saudi husband that they met abroad.

    Remember that you are not stigmatised- but you will be admired for your successes.

    Sometims in this life we can try to calculate or predict, but at sometimes we simply have to ‘ jump’ in a new situation and take things from there accepting some amount of reasonable risk.

    Take care and wishing you all the best! and remember there are many other saudis following the same path as you.

  345. Thank you Gigi, your words of encouragement are all appreciated. I am well-aware of this cultural change in Saudi Arabia that is becoming increasingly evident in Saudi youth. However, I fear the winds of change are being opposed by those of tradition and decades if not centuries of ignorance. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere. I consider choosing my spouse to be a natural human right that no government or family has the right to oppose.
    Best regards,

  346. My one word of caution I do put out there to a Saudi student who wishes to marry is that if he or she came abroad on a scholarship then there is a requirement to fulfill. If one was abroad for four years, then the scholarship recipient is expected to work for their scholarship sponsor for at least four years.

    On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 8:20 AM, American Bedu

  347. That would only be in the case they are sponsored from their job – if the scholarship comes from the ministry of higher education and their job is not involved, this is not a requirement. That is actually excellent as these scholarships give the freedom for the participants to work and live anywhere they want around the world after achieving their qualifications.

    For scholarships that go to permanent staff in different posts around the kingdom, then they have to check in each case what are the obligations and also how flexible they would be if their personal circumstances change.

    Ultimately nothing is written in stone 🙂

  348. American Bedu,
    it seems Gigi got it right already. LOL @ nothing is written in stone, so true!
    Unlike the US where you can have legal documents containing detailed fine print of “terms of agreement” that you can easily step on a legal minefield, in a high context society, just a few bold general rules suffice, the rest (even in business deals) is worked out implicitly depending on how far on the “wasta” meter you can scale lol

  349. Yasser:

    That system exists in the US it is call renegotiations and often times it based on wasta. You will be amazed at a person’s ability to alter the fine print particular when wasta is part of the equation.

  350. Oops. well, I guess the US never claimed to be a utopia. You might find that to some extent. But I think because the US demographics aren’t tribal on par with Saudi, it’s probably limited in scope. I think such elimination of favoritism in the US is embedded in the constitution, and no one is above the constitution; one of the aspects that makes people feeling a sense of equality, hence why it’s such a great country. But man seriously, nepotism in Saudi Arabia STINKS

  351. Yasser:


    You are getting contractual agreements confused with constitutional laws. Contracts are between two parties whereby you can design it in a variety of ways using strategy, leverage, and influence. All that is needed is for two parties to agree and if you choose to re-negotiate the terms of the agreement and both parties enter into such negotiations then the tango begins again. Contracts are far easier to change. However, getting into the concepts of contracts and the constituation and the like would fill reams of books let alone a blog site. 🙂

    You are right tribalism sucks and it is a great partner with corruption and brutality. 🙂

  352. True…
    I’m not well-versed in law, but my point was that in Saud, certain people get get away with everything simply because they have the right last name lol
    It’s a ticking time-bomb…

  353. Yasser, why don’t you try and approach the WB/IMF/IFC crowd. Your gf is in Washington, so it should be all local. If you are currently an economist writing reports at the bank, it should be a close enough transition.

    Just be aware that as a recent college graduate (I am not sure if you have a BA or a Master’s) you WILL have to start at the bottom when you find a job and pay your dues before you can call yourself well-established. That’s the unfortunate reality that a degree alone cannot guarantee anything. And in many high-prestige places, really a Master’s degree is the minimum price of admission. But I would look into international organizations if I were you. I believe the WB has a process for Saudi nationals. too.

  354. I fell upon this blog article by chance and was transported back more than thirty years when i was a young program advisor to (mostly young, unmarried) Saudi students/trainees undergoing training in institutes and universities all across the USA in the mid-1970s. (BTW, that program already had the rule that no student could marry a foreigner without prior permission from the company/government.) I established a sisterly relationship with them, while paying their tuitions/ allowances, following their grades/progress and helping to resolve problems that arose at school, in communities or among fellow students.They were always polite, respectful and appreciative of my efforts.

    During more than three years, I must have had a hundred phone calls from young women (and sometimes their parents) who were involved with “my trainees” and were hoping to be taken back as brides to Saudi Arabia. I always encouraged them to learn more, to read “At a Drop of a Veil” (at the time, the only narrative by an American wife of a Saudi man in publication) and to seriously discuss the important issues of the extended Saudi family’s expectations, concerns and traditions regarding marriage/famly life. I reminded them that they have only known “their guy” in America, while he is adapting to American culture, and not seen him in his home context, responding to his family and social obligations, which always take precedence over individual preferences. I take the point that human beings are “mostly the same” everywhere, but in marriage, one takes on the family/social culture, not just one other person.

    I loved your article because it is kind and respectful, while at the same time honest about the challenges and the differences involved.

    I’ve been living happily in Jordan for almost 25 years with my non-Arab husband and our multi-cultural circle of Jordanian and other friends. The underlying social traditions are similar but less extreme, less narrow and less close to the surface. Yet American wives still need to learn how to adapt their relationship with their Arab husband when living here among his family than when living together abroad. The ones who succeed in adapting (not submerging) are extremely happy and productive members of society, as are their bicultural children. Some can’t adapt easily or, at the other extreme, lose their own identity under pressure to conform entirely. I think this can happen in any cross-cultural marriage, even among “more similar” cultures. I wish all the ladies good luck and may they keep their eyes as open as their hearts.

  355. @NN,
    I have already applied to several DC-based positions, but like you said, a BS is too common and it’s nothing to impress employers who get daily applications from people with MA + experience. I know it’s doable but takes time. We’ll see how things go.
    Thank u so much for your help 🙂

  356. I’ll never understand what people mean by “I’m not religious I believe in science.” Science is not a belief, it’s a study of our physical universe based on theories that after being tested repeatedly produce the same results become facts. Religion is a belief involving our non-physical universe. The two are not mutually exclusive and deal with completely different things. I have never actually met someone, religious or otherwise, who doesn’t believe when they drop an apple it will fall with an acceleration of 9.81 m/s^2 tried and true so it still puzzles me that people choose to respond to religion-related questions in that way, as if there can only be one or the other.

    Having that said, I have a non-legal marriage with my Saudi, have met his parents, got support from his siblings and mother, and it’s just his father now to speak to. It’s quite the ordeal however and certainly not something I was prepared for. If anything, I hope Saudi men read this post (and not so much Western women) and be encouraged to be honest with their partners, be it sexual or otherwise, about the cultural and legalities that are in place for a relationship beyond the scholarship.

  357. It would have been nice if one could follow both science and religion had they not overlapped. Religion has its own version of how the universe began, assigns a purpose to life, and predicts the end to it and an afterlife. Science, however has empirically found that the universe began in a totally different way, and that the four forces of nature that emerged planck times after the big bang govern everything in it. All events are merely consequences of these laws. It makes a lot of difference if someone believes in superstitions and enforces others to live upon then, or follows the scientific methodology in understanding the universe.

  358. When it comes to creation, science vs religion is a chicken and egg debate. If everything came out of a tiny speck, where did the speck come from? Science astounds us when we finally are able to comprehend some of its hidden secrets. The majesty of those secrets does not rule out a Creator and a Creator does not rule out science. If anything they point to each other.

  359. That used to be a true analogy. I followed it since I started learning about cosmology and astronomy in my freshman and sophomore years. At first the second law of thermodynamics and entropy always left gaps in the creation of the universe where only God could fill. But when I went deep into string theory and quantum mechanics, it slowly started ruling God out of the equation. That’s when I knew that things can come out of nowhere. In this sense, no one has to cause the big bang. And since they discovered the Higgs boson last year (if it really is Higgs’) then Science will advance further towards understanding the initial state, just plank times after the big bang, where you basically don’t need god in order to understand how the universe sprung into being and and how life occurred and evolved.

  360. Ah, the ”God of the Gaps” fallacy.
    I don’t know x
    Therefore God/Magic/The Force did it…

  361. Kinz:

    Religion has no bearing on whether there is a creator. That fact could stand alone. The creator itself could just be chemicals that come about in a specific way over billions of years or it could be a being that put it together and started the process with no concern. Of course who created the creator, the being. Religion is a seperate issue which has no direct tie to the creator or science. It sole purpose is to capture the concepts and then use them in a manner that control the masses. Religion is not an extension of anything but man’s attempt at dealing with the fear of death to nothingness wrapped up with a political message of control. No God/No Science need apply.


    Buddy. ; ) Still waiting for your economics study on genders and why your sexist as you put it. Would really like to see how this study was formulated. You know the baseline, accounting for variables, population samplings, etc.

    Who knows this study might enlightment me greatly on the emotional state of women. Just can’t wait to see it. Could you let me know when that might be? You offered it to Aafke and AB was also very interested. 😀

  362. I think most modern people have their doubts about religion but not necessarily about God. It depends on what each person believes is possible in our universe. All the scientific fact piled up doesn’t not negate the existence of God or Creation. No one can unless they die and come back. Those who have have in the majority come back believing in God.

    In the past it was a given that there was only God and no real science, now science is winning an upper hand and it will become fashionable and accepted that there is no God. These are simply the ying and yang of our wondering about our reason for existing. Somewhere the pendulum should swing back again, perhaps in a thousand years.

  363. I find the yin-yang contradictory to you earlier statement that God and Science do not negate each other. Once someone becomes accustomed to reason and the scientific methodology then how would superstitions still exist? It hardly makes sense if I come to you demanding logical explanations and scientific evidence on everything you say, and then suddenly claim to believe in a deity up in the sky without me myself doing the same. Scientists and science followers must practice what they preach. The scientific methodology is a way of life, a way of thinking about and analyzing natural phenomenons. It has to be consistent

  364. Yasser, my comment is about the nature of thesis. Which is the process of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis, You can see this in the example of economic theory where Communism and Capitalism were opposites and nowadays we have many examples of societies whose economic structure falls somewhere in between.

    To say there is science, therefore God must be a superstition is to make an assumption without proof. When it comes to the knowledge of the existence of a Divine being, no one can state they ‘know’ for sure only that they don’t know.

  365. BigStick. I offered to show it to Aafke to back up my stance on sexism. So if I decide to put it for the public I will let you know.

  366. Yasser:

    I can supply an email and we can discuss it without it being public. Are you game?

  367. Kinz, I agree that most societies today had to adapt “hybrid” market structures where free market is regulated just enough to provide social safety nets where egalitarianism can exist, and foster competition where social Darwinism can ensure the survival of the fittest. That’s in practice, and due to so many exogenous variables, can not be represented in any economic model. That’s when economic schools of thought became more philosophical, as Keynes’s famous quote says: “In the long run, we are all dead”. And it’s due to this ubiquity of uncertainty that animal spirits are taking over rational behavior in financial markets. This led to the emergence of behavioral economics, in order to account for irrational decisions humans make in times of crises or panics. That’s why economics, and psychology are labeled as Social Sciences, where it’s distinguished from natural science. In natural science you must be relying on empirical evidence which entails a systematic approach to epistemology that uses observable, testable, repeatable, and falsifiable experimentation. Your analogy is interesting still, and I look forward to discussing more on this subject with you.

  368. bigstick, ok.

  369. You are kind to mention the difference between the natural sciences and social sciences, where does it say that belief in a Creator has to fit in the natural sciences?
    We all accept the notion of time and divide it and measure it but surely you can’t hold it in your hand or make any of it yourself. We notice the passage of time as such things around us like people, plants and places change. We see these signs and accept there is time.
    Perhaps the problem in having faith is in trying to believe in a long-held and erroneous image of what a Creator looks like with long-flowing beard and white robe. Centuries ago mankind wasn’t ready for the full reveal so we were given what we could comprehend.
    We do not live in a chaotic void, everything is numbered and ordered even the absence of what we would at first perceive as order.

    I think we live in an exciting age when we have better tools and better means to share ideas and information than ever before. Who knows what we have still to learn?

  370. Yasser:

    Here is the email address:

  371. Ok I know that reply wasn’t for me but I’m wondering if those last two letters in your address are for ‘my friends?’

  372. It certainly could be. 🙂

  373. @Kinz,

    Have you heard of the God of the gaps?

  374. @MoQ, well yes but only recently. Sometimes terms are popular but also misunderstood. I understand it to mean in popular speech that when there are gaps in natural science some jump in to say ‘well that’s God.’ That is seen as a weakness for those who don’t believe in a Divine force because they feel in time all scientific secrets will be revealed.

    My argument is that science and God do not cancel each other out. Finding out how some of the phenomena work should be inspiring instead of casting doubt. The fact that we can’t figure out everything right now doesn’t mean we won’t at some point in the future. An example, my grandmother makes a fantastic apple cake. I don’t know how she does it but one day I might make the same cake. Does this mean my grandmother never existed?

  375. Well, my point is exactly that faith does not belong to natural sciences, and thus, it won’t be with scientific means that we will verify God’s existence. Hence, I decided to become an agnostic while keeping an eye for scientific progress. It’s so hard to assert that there is a conscious being responsible for the physical realm no matter how much orderly you think it is. In fact it is asymmetry the reason why gravity emerged, the reason there are atoms, stars, and eventually us. Chaos is always undervalued because we as conscious beings always assume nature works the same way we do when creating things. We plot, make schemes, blueprints, and putt hings in order. Nature hardly has anything at all in order.

  376. What?? Nature doesn’t have order? That must be a typo. Nature has almost perfect order. Otherwise the world would have devolved into chaos eons ago.

  377. @Kinz,

    “My argument is that science and God do not cancel each other out.”

    That depends on which god you are talking about. If you are talking about a god with specific powers as in the one described in popular religions like Islam and Christianity, then sure Science cancels out the concept. We know the creationists stories in these religions contradict science at 100% certainty.

    If you propose a God that is generic as a divine being but do not explain what properties this god has, then you can say science really does not impact such believe. But then what is the point of the claim if you cannot describe this god. Also, science does not cancel the existence of very improbable things like fairies, big foot and the monster under the bed. However, we usually do not think believers in such legends are rational.

    “An example, my grandmother makes a fantastic apple cake. I don’t know how she does it but one day I might make the same cake. Does this mean my grandmother never existed?”

    I am not sure if you’re implying by this example that a god existence is probable. If that is the case then your analogy does not work for the following reasons:

    1) We have observed gradmas make cakes. You may even have seen your grandma make one. No one saw a universe making god make a universe
    2) We know grandmas do exist. Actually it has been proven billions of times.
    3) We know cakes can be made by a person who has the same physical abilities as your grandma. Again that was also proven Billions of times. Hence, your grandma making a fantastic cake is not improbable.

    Now, if you do make that fantastic cake, do not forget to share 🙂

  378. So Yasser:

    I provide the email address, when can I expect the paper?

  379. It appears to be in order because of our definition of what we perceive as orderly. The laws of physics over time have managed to put the universe’s initial state which was extremely chaotic and random into what we now see as order. But without this chaos of the initial state we would have definitely not had the universe as we perceive it today. It’s exactly a butterfly effect that descends from being totally chaotic into a perceived much orderly situation or stasis. That’s called deterministic chaos

  380. @bigstick, that depends on when I have time to find it.

  381. If the universe was in perfect order as it is believed to be by some. In theory, the big bang would have produced (at best) particles of matter (not hydrogen atoms) that are scattered across time-space continuum with exactly the same distance from each other, and thus they would be pulling on each other with exactly the same force, and no concentrations of matter would occur to create higher density and gravitational pull which was necessary for nuclear fusion to occur in the early blue stars.

  382. Monsters under the bed are more terrifying to the average child than just about anything. I know my fear of such monster kept me in bed until dawn. Yes, it’s irrational but a great tool for parents to get some sleep at night. What I don’t remember is if someone told me about that creature or if the fear grew naturally without prompting. As a child, a fear of the dark made the possibility of a monster under the bed plausible even if just for the fun of being scared. Later in life, some of us are given the chance to see Mercy and this reinforces the belief in the Divine. If someone hasn’t seen or recognized this then it’s easy to understand the inability to believe in the existence of a Creator. A person who believes in science and God will say there is no conflict in Darwin’s theory, it is merely a better understanding of the process species go through over time. As far as chaos in the universe, so what? Either we don’t see the rhyme and reason yet because our science is incomplete, or you don’t need perfect tranquility for life/our universe to exist. Who says there must be cosmos in everything? A stronger system can take a little chaos in stride.

  383. I agree with Kinz on the God/science debate. That’s one reason why I prefer not to identify with any religious (or lack there-of) label. There’s so much left to discover.

    For instance, there were supposedly 3 (or 4?) different races of people (genetically speaking) that were alive at the same time and place in history. What happened? Did they all intermix with each other? What made one group different from another? Where did they all come from? If they were all born here on earth and evolved, then how did they evolve separately of each other while still sharing the same/nearby location? Obviously, they are similar enough they were able to intermix. What, then, would account for the genetic variations? Why are there at least 3 different genetic adaptations to high altitude in humans of today? How is spider “silk” made? And the list of questions goes on and on and on…

  384. @Strangeone,
    What makes you assume humans were always able to intermix? For the longest time, humans lived in isolation whether for natural geological reasons (Such as the case in Finland, French Canadians) or social/cultural reasons (such as Ashkenazi Jews), bringing a small sample of the variation in gene pool, forming tribes and then societies with the same alleles since they share the same genetic heritage. That’s how after long enough isolation, genetic drift takes place, and you end up with a whole population that has its own distinct genetic traits.

  385. I don’t think you can put gods and science in the same question, Science is fact based, and gods are myths and superstitions with not facts at all.

    You can’t compare facts and fairytales.
    Of course you can believe in the toothfairy, santaclaus, or god. And it’s fun. But there are no facts involved.
    So you don’t need to have problems with science and facts, They are just facts. And you can always believe in gods and tooth fairies, because they are make believe. If the make-belief clashes with the facts you just change the make-belief. I don’t see why people think there is a problem.

    Of course the magic books are wrong when it comes to the origin of life and science on the whole, but just skip those bits. Concentrate on the spiritual aspects, and ignore stuff like slavery and pedophilia if your magic books endorse that, and everything will be fine.

  386. @Aafke: One can also easily argue that evolution theory (science) is a ‘fairytale’ too…it is ONLY a theory. You are entitled to your view, but please have respect for other views. You are rather ironic, because on one hand you are ‘concerned’ for people of the world, yet your tactic is hardly humanistic. Rather, your tactic is purely ethnocentric, with you asserting that your cultural views are superior to others. You are spreading hate, not dialogue and understanding. If anything Aafke, you are the poster child for capitalism and modernity — political elites and the like love people like you…that’s exactly what they want to you think.

  387. Okay folks….take the non-related comments/discussion to the DEBATE page. This post is to discuss Foreign Women who are Attracted to Saudi Students. If it continues to get hijacked I will have no choice but to start deleting comments not related to the post topic.

    On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM, American Bedu

  388. @StrangeOne,

    Your comment highlights the God of the Gaps concept. You are proposing that since we cannot answer every question then there must be a higher power which accounts for it. There are 3 issues with this:

    1) You create a new and much larger gap that needs to be explained. i.e. how do you explain the very existence of such superior being.
    2) The God becomes an ever shrinking concept as we fill the gaps. As an example not far back the God of the gap was the explanation of almost every natural phenomenon from earth quakes to how lightning is produced. With our current knowledge that God has been shrunk to fit into a small time slot measuring a fraction of a second at the start of the Big Bang. And that may change soon.
    3) The reliance on the God of the Gaps can produce a state of indolence. Everything we cannot answer can be put aside and explained as the magic of the deity.

    I view the first 2 as benign, but the third as a major issue. As an example: all of your questions do have explanations and they are easy to find with just some research. Yasser provided a good answer to a few of those. Some of the others can be simply explained with the process of Natural Selection.

    I got interested in your question about Spider Silk as I had just a vague idea of how spider silk is made. Within 1 minute of searching on Google I found this:

    There are plenty of detailed papers online about the topic also.

    I know you are a young person from your writings here. Keep your spirituality if you desire, but please do not deny yourself the opportunity of discovering what we already know based on the gaps concept. Further, you may even be an active participant in finding more answers!

  389. Escort diary.
    A scientific theory is in vernacular English a ”proven fact”.
    If you do not know the basics of language you should not be discussing here.

    I keep noticing a racist bias in your comments. You should let go of your racism and just discuss the points in question. After you’ve done some research in the proper use of English.

    You are also obsessed with hate. I do not mind if people believe in fairies and magic and gods, until they start harming other people. If the made up religious books start supporting slavery and pedophilic marriages something has to be said about it.

    Now I know you are only angry with me because you do not like these things either and you really do not like to be reminded Islam has these nasty things written down.
    But don’t start spewing hate my way. Clean up your religion instead.

    And this is something foreign women should be wary of when getting involved with a Saudi student, his religion and culture are stacked against her, women are second class beings in Islam, they are chattel, same as in Christianity. In Saudi Arabia they are really chattel, by law, they not even considered adults, capable of making any decision themselves. This taints the way people are being brought up.

  390. Sorry bedu, I was typing at the same time as you were.

    Shoveling my feet and moving to the dungeon (debate page)!

  391. Thanks, MoQ!

    On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM, American Bedu

  392. @Aafke I don’t like to combine God and religion in the same sentence, they seem to be very far apart.

  393. Dear Carol,

    While the comments haven’t been on getting married in particular you cannot deny that religion is a huge part of life in Saudi Arabia, the laws are based on it and there are sweeping cultural expectations as well. I have been participating in this tangential debate as a person who has lived in that society and has had years to compare what we know in science with what we have been told in religion. So many debates of the either/or type really aren’t necessary. I think some people here insist that a belief in God means you must also agree with a religion. You don’t but if you are going to make a try of living in Saudi you will have to be cautious in how you frame your arguments. In fact you might find it wiser not to comment at all.

  394. Dear Kinz,

    I have no objection to the discussion but it should be moved to the debate page since it is detracting from the topic of the original post.

  395. Yasser:

    Interesting…….that you are unable to produce the paper when you were quite eager to provide it to Aafke to prove a point of women and their inability to deal with emotions, finances and logic. Does this mean that this paper might not exist?

    Curiousier and curiousier………….

  396. Honestly, I think Yasser may have chosen not to “put himself out there.” Let’s face it, folks here can be pretty critical when they want to be.

    On Sat, Jan 19, 2013 at 5:33 PM, American Bedu

  397. AB:

    I gave him a way to provide it so that he and I could talk privately. If he was going to provide it to Aafke then there should be no problem in providing it to someone else. Aafke is quite vocal as well and quite critical on many points.

    So………I think the whole put himself out there agrument fails based on that and the fact that he chose to use it for his position. If you are going to use something as a point of your position and offer it out then do so……….otherwise your position is weak.

  398. @bigstick1,

    I remember the broad claims Yasser made in his direct sexist remarks. Then he blamed it all on some research he and his colleagues made. Even if he produces the paper it is not evidence. There are many papers out there on many topics. Any graduate student can produce one. What matters is if it becomes acceptable through the scrutiny of research by others. I am sure if his paper was even worth reading, it would have been online and would have some collaborating research by other team(s) of researchers. Chalk it up to unwarranted boasting or Argumentum ad Verecundiam.

  399. MoQ:

    I agree but it is worth calling it out don’t you think? After all if he plans to use some hidden form of research as a basis for why half the population is incapable of dealing adequately with their emotions, finances and logic then you should have the moxie to produce it. Therefore the only conclusion one can take from it is that the alleged paper is woefully inadequate with numerous holes or you are dealing with a typical religious Saudi mentality whose research techniques employ the same technique as by those researchers that found that women would lose their virginity if allowed to drive. 🙂

  400. A lot of catty remarks here. Maybe he’s just swamped with work and not as free as us housewives and retirees? Don’t be so spiteful guys..

  401. Mrs. B:

    Just because I have retired from one field of interest doesn’t mean that I am not employed in another. So spare me the not as free as notiion and who is spiteful, pointing out the facts is not spiteful only reality. He apparently was going to readily offer it to Aafke but all of a sudden poof………no can find it now. However, it is typical that you want to back the guy that make little of your sexes abilities.


  402. Oh Bigstick, I don’t know how your mind works to come to such harsh accusation of me. My point was not everyone can suddenly conjure up whenever YOU desired. You’ve certainly made up your mind that I hate my own womenfolk don’t you?! As long as you’re happy, say what you want.

  403. @BigStick,
    As for my research paper, I did offer sending it to Aafke if he/she demanded further details on the findings. However, I do not reckon I mentioned when. I tend to preserve some of my coursework that I think would highlight my analytical skills to future employers (since sometimes they request samples). I have managed to keep a few favorites ready upon request, while the rest, especially those written for elective courses in my archives; which would require some time to locate. Note that it also has been over a year since I graduated, and I have started my career which also involves heavy writing workload. Don’t get the idea that this research paper is unique or that it’s a pioneering discovery. It just confirms several hypotheses in a new emerging field which fuses economic models of rational behavior with human psychology to give a better understanding of real-life dynamics. I will list my professor’s publications on the subject for verification just in case someone finds the variation in indifference curves and optimum choice across genders to be so intriguing. Just be patient, I’m not good with nagging nannies 🙂

  404. Yasser:

    Oh, I have no doubt that I will be waiting for a long time. The nagging nannies is an interesting ploy as well. If your professor has publications then it would be easier itup as well, what University, Department and provide a name. If you don’t want that information provide online then all you have to do is provide it to the email address I provided.

    I find it interesting that I can assess my research for my studies and thesis quite easily as I have saved them on flash disks and back it up on external drives. I would have thought someone of your age would have the whole technological aspects down………but I guess not… oh but didn’t you say you only had a Bachelor’s Degree?

  405. Ok, I can’t guarantee a specific time frame since I hardly have enough time to get to this in my priority list. But I definitely have it on my to-do list in the back of my mind. Anyway, I have no problem revealing my school or my professor’s names. It’s professor Bill Harbaugh, University of Oregon. And the research paper was based on multiple experiments we conducted throughout the course regarding altruism and the ultimatum game across genders. Yes I only have a bachelor’s degree, but even an undergrad is required to take upper division classes with grad students in order to graduate. Beside, since I did not require an orientation (due to my English proficiency), I had an extra year of collage in which I took numerous elective courses.

  406. Yasser:

    See debate.

  407. Yasser, your research has already been done and published:

    Now women involved with a Saudi man should realize that in Saudi they consider this real research, and they fully believe this public improvement film to be scientific fact.

  408. Help! As a mother, this is the exact story of my daughter. How can I get her to understand that what she is engaging in has no future but heartache? She feels her Saudi student is ‘different’ then all the others. But this could be his story, he is EXACTLY like the article that Mother Hen wrote. Is there anything else that I can show her to help her believe? Please, I need your help.

  409. Lisa,

    My heart does go out to you for what I have seen based on years of experience is that each young woman is so convinced her Saudi is different and unwilling to listen or hear from others who say anything to the contrary.

    My advice is to encourage her to get answers to the ‘gaps.’ What is his complete family name? Where is he from? Can she speak to his mother or sisters via Skype? Can YOU be introduced to his mother via Skype? Encourage her to read and learn the culture, customs and traditions. Encourage her to reach out to Saudi female students and talk/hear from them about relationships, culture and family traditions.

    Wishing you the best,
    Mother Hen Bedu

  410. Thank you. She thinks that life for her will be different like I said. She has followed your site and told me about your site and I have enjoyed reading your history, thank you for sharing. She can be a very independent girl, which could get her into much trouble. But she is also very naive about life. He says she could do what she wants if she went to Saudi, even though every site we look at tells us something very different.

  411. Lisa, that’s a load of crap and you and I know it (that he is different and that she can do what she wants in KSA). As a Saudi male he lives in another world entirely and may not even realize how circumscribed her life will be on both legal and societal levels. If you’d like I can speak to her on the phone and answer all her questions.

  412. Thanks Donna, I will talk to her. You are very kind.

    Mother Hen, she says that she has talked to a sister of his but in this day and age of the Internet, I can’t help but be a little worried about fake people, ie look at what happened to Manti Te’o.

    Thank you for your support, any advice is helpful.


  413. Lisa, American Bedu’s advice above is very good. It is especially important that “her Saudi” and his family know that your daughter has a family and mother who care deeply about her, want the best for her and that she isn’t a “person without morals,” as sadly, a lot of young American/Western women are portrayed in media/TV/films. If your daughter is a “secret” to the Saudi family, that’s not a good sign – secret = shameful. If he loves and respects your daughter and if there is the thought of some future marriage/life together, esp in KSA, he has to demonstrate respect in the way he presents her to his own family. You (also her father or brothers!) would be an important part of that package. Asking respectful questions and doing her own research on life for foreign wives in KSA is also a sign of self-respect – and this is critical in her relationships with any man, from anywhere! Wish you all good luck and encourage you to keep asking questions and helping your daughter make wise and informed decisions about her own life. Your love for her shines through!

  414. Lisa, Arab society in general is far different than American society overall. Memories live far longer, over many generations. Grudges over things can remain for centuries, making the Hatfield–McCoy feud seem like a two week long TV season. Families align for far longer. Tribes, even longer, overall.
    Those are foreign to the American mind. They run deep, far deeper than mere blood, into the culture and society of the citizens.
    That said, it is variable, based upon where one is in the Arab world.
    There is part of Egypt (that gets *really* complicated), Turkey (again, rather complicated), Iraq (again, rather complicated), Kuwait (really, really complicated), then into the GCC, such as Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE for starters. There are a few other players, each even more varied. It’s complicated. It’s annoying.
    The primary point is, to the Saudi, any other Arabian nation are what to us are hillbillies. At best. The Saudi considers all other Arabian cultures to be contaminated by Western (or other) values.
    I’ll not go into Iran, that is an entire book and we don’t look very good in it and overall, it’s ugly.

    In Saudi culture, your daughter can do whatever she wants. In her own mind. If her husband doesn’t permit it in the HOME ONLY, it isn’t going to happen at all. Indeed, if she doesn’t obey, he is duty bound to beat her into obedience.
    Public displays would result in at least whipping. Such as 150 lashes, over six months, permitting her to recover to receive more. Maybe.
    It’s that ugly.

    That said, Arabian culture and even Saudi culture isn’t pure ugly.
    It’s like everything, pretty mixed with ugly. Women have no say in Saudi society. At all.
    We shared that until the early 20th century, though far more permissive.
    Arabs are in general, the best of humanity and as well, the worst of humanity. To be honest, if I had to offer a space alien an example of humanity, I’d offer a Qatari. Not an American, we’re too martial. I’d not offer a Saudi, too suppressive of anything not in a certain framework.
    There are no saints in this world, there are plenty of sinners.
    Then, there are the bastards.
    For women, that would be Saudi.
    I’ll refrain from the others, as I’d commit a felony and also end up wanted in well over a dozen nations.

    I suggest you follow Um Dunya’s advice for the males presenting. As you have no voice (OK, extremely little, as in no in western terms) voice in Saudi culture.
    Today. In a decade, who knows?

  415. @Lisa,
    Bless your heart.
    By the way, I know exactly how your daughter feels. It’s hard to reason with her and keep in mind that when she’s emotionally involved, reason has no place. Give her time to mature, raise up concerns so that she may gradually start thinking seriously of the consequences. I’ve done that countless times with my girlfriend and had to make our sacrifices.

  416. Thanks for all your help. I wonder why he keeps dating her when he know that her parents do not approve. I know that I need to ask, but he does not come to our house, he only has her to his apartment.

  417. @Lisa,
    First of all, him not coming to your house is not a good indicator. Usually when a Saudi guy wants to get married, he will be eager to build relationships with his intended’s family. When I was in the States, my girlfriend’s dad was a little bit over protective and skeptical until over time I won his trust and I became like a son to him. Her mother on the other hand, was a sweetheart from the first day I met her, and made me feel very welcomed. I helped them move from their old house, and I kept visiting them when ever possible; on various holidays, even when she was not around. The point is, if he is willing to take the risk of being on his own, and defying his family, then at least he should try to make you and her dad become his new family. It has to be regarded as a full-fledged new start.

  418. My final comment for Lisa is: If you think that your daughter is intent on this relationship, you really have to ask the guy to show up and be seen/met by you (and your spouse -the father is really important). If he won’t come, that’s a bad sign. “Allowing” her to go to his apartment alone could be seen as already “approving” or “not caring” what his intentions are. It’s very different from how Americans today look at their own and their children’s same-culture relationships. I wish you all luck, full disclosure and peace with whatever decisions are made.

  419. Lisa,

    I think you are being given great advice and insights. Yasser is a Saudi man who studied in the States and I’m glad he is sharing from the Saudi male perspective.

    Yes….definitely another big red flag that she goes to his apartment and he has not come to your home to be introduced to the family. To me, that shows a disrespect on his part for her and her family.

    Although my late Saudi husband and I were in our 40’s when we met and both outside of our home countries, he insisted on calling both my mother and father to introduce himself to them, let them know his intentions were both honorable and serious and for them to ask any questions of him. In spite of our age, approval of my family was very important to him.

    On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM, American Bedu

  420. Well if your daughter is an adult there’s not much you can do, Advise her and point her to someone or someplace which deals with this i guess.
    I remember being 22 and with F and i didn’t want to listen to ANYONE ( let alone my mum) .. but with a saudi man, if he’s serious he will make an attempt to meet her folks and ensure she meets his.

    Life in saudi is never easy , more so if you are raised with certain freedoms and more so if you are not muslim. the extent you lose your freedom cannot be taught – just experienced 🙂 without a loving spouses support you are toast. but with a true partner it is a fulfiling relationship like all otehrs. as long as they are in the states you shouldnt have to worry, plus if he’s a student there is no easy way for him to get with her and take her to saudi without their marriage being approved .
    As for him just playing with her … i don’t know she has to experience it to understand i guess.
    Its hard being a mom .

  421. I would like to agree with Um Dunya. A man who is unwilling to spend time with a girlfriend/fiancee’s family is highly suspect. My husband became a part of our family and we did everything together, picnics, trips to the beach even camping. He was and still is a member of my family. When I went to Saudi I was also fully incorporated into his family and was always there for weddings, funerals, family dinners, baby’s coming, hospital sick stays, Friday lunches, Eid celebrations, shopping together, dining out, the whole nine yards. Many of my friends have been blessed with good Saudi husbands but none of them ever avoided his intended wife’s family. This is a huge red flag. Unfortunately not all men make good husbands and LIsa’s daughter’s boyfriend might be better ex-boyfriend material.

  422. I have been reading some of the posts here and there is a comment to make: yes, I do understand if someone is serious he has to introduce the girl to his family and also according to saudi culture ‘ not date her’.

    Nevertheless one has to consider that many western girls in their early 20’s would be terrified if they hardly knew someone and within say 1-2 months he wanted to marry her! without even dating for some period of time. In anything that would be viewed as suspicious.

    I do not think many women would accept to jump in marriages like this and in these cases the saudi man would have to understand that dating her is not out of the norm and it is expected of him as the first stages before considering marriage.

    Women in the west dont go around looking for husbands at college, it is not so popular any more. They want to meet fall in love and see how it goes and if it works out they marry. That’s it.

    There are women that are clear about that: they would simply not accept to marry otherwise.

    I dont think the above has affected any saudi-foreigner relatioships the slightest as the young generation of saudis do appreciate that they are dealing with someone from other traditions.

    As long there is a genuine like and understanding between two people, no one would have to follow the other persons norms and they would be finding their own balance, which in every case is unique.

  423. @ Lisa

    I dont think that any guy nowadays would stop dating a girl at least in the western world just if her parents did not approve unless she was underage.

    It is simply not done. Whether saudi or not, people do have relationships that their parents dont approve.

    The fact he has not come to meet you is not a good sign, I agree-it is not even polite, but that could have happened with any other guy- saudi or not.

    Yes, I would not be comfortable if my daughter was in a relationship with someone that did not want to meet me and my husband, but I would actively invite him over.

    Nevertheless I would not expect their relationship to simply stop because I did not approve- that is not realistic.

    Relationships have their own paths and dynamics that either make them continue for certain periods of time and possibly lead to marriage or end.

  424. Hi Lisa,
    I can’t add much to what you’ve heard hear already. I’ve been married to a Saudi for many years- it really doesn’t look very promising that he does not meet his girlfriends parents if he is at all serious. Of course, if he is not serious about her it makes perfect sense. If he told her she can do what she wants if she moves here- that is a fantasy. He doesn’t have the power to change the laws. He can however make it much easier or harder. But even with an “easy” husband it is hard. I would recommend strongly she ask him what his mother and sisters do. This is generally the strongest indicator of what he will really expect if he were to marry her. Do they really “do what they want”? Are they educated? Do they have drivers? Are they allowed to leave the country when they want? Does your daughter realize once she has children there they are his. It is the law.
    It really isn’t that easy for him to just bring home a bride- so most likely, based on his behavior he is just stringing her along for a comfortable and convenient relationship while he is there. He might also be well intentioned but totally naive about the realities of his own country. Guys that aren’t restricted who leave when they are young are sometimes a bit clueless.

  425. But why do all relationships have to end to marriage? One can date anyone, saudi or not and it might not work out.

    Maybe even Lisa’s daughter doesn’t even think about marriage to this guy!

    I think there is the implication that all girls dating a saudi want to marry him. College girls in their early 20’s are NOT looking most of the time to settle down. Most are looking for experiences and a career. Usually in their mid-late 20’s they consider marriage nowadays.

    Possibly in the 70’s and 80’s they were looking for marriage, but not nowadays.

  426. I agree, Gigi, that not all college students are looking for marriage. However, if a Saudi guy talks about marriage to a foreign woman, she must know about the culture and governmental regulations.

  427. Gigi- I agree. If he is not misleading her there is no problem. But I got the impression from Lisa he is telling her daughter what life would be like for her in Saudi etc. and that she is interested in a permanent commitment. And even if a girl isn’t desparate to get married. Who wants to waste their time on someone they know is going to be Mr. Wrong- or at least Mr. Uncompatible.

  428. @Lisa,
    I don’t think I’ve ever met a Saudi man who would tell me that they could do whatever they wanted to in Saudi, let alone that a potential wife would be able to. Did your daughter come to this conclusion alone or did her Saudi tell her this?

    Most of the Saudi guys I met as friends complained to me about the lack of freedom in their home country. Even the one I had the displeasure of dating never lied to me about the lack of freedom in Saudi. In fact, at one point he half-heartedly talked about forgetting his family and moving to the US with me (though I did not believe he was being realistic or serious at the time).

    Although most Saudi guys I knew would say it’s not as bad as Western media makes it out to be and preferred to move home after their studies were done (due to missing family, culture, language, etc.), they would all say that places like the US, UK, Australia, etc. are nice because they are a lot freer.

    There are still plenty of girls in college (in “Western” countries such as the US) that hope to marry their significant others and are looking for marriage as an end-result to their relationship. Some don’t have sex until marriage. Of course, there are plenty that are not looking for anything serious while in college. This is not limited to “Western” women, either.

  429. Run run run, as fast as you can.

  430. To clear one thing up, We have meet after a couple of months of dating, we had to force her to bring him to our house. Not a good sign, we told both of them at that time that we did not approve of her going to his apartment alone, (she is only 19, he is 24). She has asked him what life for her would be like, such as coming and going from the house or leaving the country and he said that she could come and go whenever she wanted. I am just looking for other ways of letting her know that he is leading her along, that he doesn’t have any intention of making a relationship her her lifelong.

  431. Lisa:

    You are going about this all wrong. Now you need to embrace this young man into your life. You need to bring him into the fold. You need to invite him over, shower him with praise, and get him talking like a member of the family now. Seriously, there is a reason way they say keep your friends close but your enemies closer. The only way you are going to know how this character ticks is by fully embracing this relationship and wanting to get to know more about this fine upstanding gentleman. I hope you fully understand what I am stating. The best way to find out about someone is to pull up a chair and get comfy. Only then can you find the information you seek. 😈

    Now as you get to know him and find those pesky little holes and unanswered questions then you subtlely drop questions out there for her to think about and after awhile she might start asking him about those holes or conflicts in statements. This often proves to be a far better tactic than head on confrontation. Take it from experience.

  432. Oh…..I forgot you have to start with your daughter doing the inviting by having you tag along. Be chummy and accommodating.

  433. But every woman who goes to SA reports on ”The Change”, it seems that Saudi men are completely different individuals when in another country, but the moment they get off the plane in Saudi Arabia things change dramatically.
    They change into completely different men (not for the better). The only way to know a Saudi man for whom he really is is to see him back home with his family.

    Linda, you and your daughter need to read this advisory document:

    And you really need to realize that most of American women married to and living in Saudi are desperately unhappy, and ”tolerably” married at the best.

  434. But considering your story I would say that your daughter’s boyfriend is just stringing her along, using her for sex if she has agreed to that, and will drop the western slut the moment he’s finished his studies to go home and marry a ”pure” Saudi girl. (if he isn’t already married)
    And sad as that is it’s the best solution.

  435. @LIsa,
    I agree with bigstick1’s idea. There’s a lot of things left unasked and unanswered.

    Complement her boyfriend, mention things like “I’m sure he’s missing home-cooked meals”, “we’ve missed having him over”, etc. Perhaps even make him some cookies or other sweets just to be nice. Try to be like the perfect “girlfriend’s parents” so your daughter’s boyfriend will open up. Let your home be his home away from home. Let her boyfriend say the wrong thing and let your daughter figure it out. Don’t openly judge him; by doing so, you take away space for him to put his foot in his mouth and make yourself look like the bad guy. And if he turns out to be a better guy than originally expected, then it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

    Also be open to the idea that maybe your daughter’s not serious about her boyfriend.

  436. When you are with an Arab man in your own non-Muslim country and you go to his country to have a better look it is like climbing into the lion’s den to have a better look. Yes, your view might be unobstructed by those pesky bars (being shy away from home) but then if you’ve gone back to his country, you’re too close to get away.

  437. As I read your letter, Its like you were writing my story:
    Your heart will be broken its a promise. My Saudi BF came here to Arizona to study at the University of Arizona. He graduated and went back home. We were together for 4 years. I thought he was the one. He entered my world my family adored him. He was my everything, my world. He wasn’t only my boyfriend…he was also my best friend. When he got back to KSA we still communicated. He was suppose to come back but he didn’t get his Visa Approved by the Gov’t. He would email me, text me and even call me (he would lie to his mama and say he was going to a friends home). In July 2012 his communication with me was getting less and less. My intuition told me something was going on.

    I found out he was engaged to be married….My whole world shattered. I fell in a deep depression and was angry at the world. How could he do this to me? I must say that this was much harder for me to deal with then the death of my own father. I have such a strong faith and mind and this was bringing me down. I’ve cried so much for him. I’m not angry….I’m just hurt. I didn’t deserve this. I wrote him a letter and told him that I found out he was engaged. I told him how I felt and that I wished him the best and always. He never responded.

    Its been 6 months since I last heard from him, his last email to me said he “missed me” soo much. I miss him a lot, I miss laughing with him, I miss holding his hand, I miss him telling me stories about his country, I miss cooking Tacos for him, I miss telling him my hopes and dreams. But most of all I miss him telling me that he loves me, his “suger face” (his nickname for me).

    I have no regrets, these 4 years that I shared with my “Binky” were the most amazing years of my life. With him I found the meaning of True Love. But….If I could’ve pressed the forward button and saw the outcome of this relationship, I would do things differently. I’m still very heartbroken and still love him very much (he’s probably married already). He will always be someone very dear to me.

    If you read this and are dating a Saudi Student, take a Step back and THINK of the consequences you will be facing once its time for him to go home.

    I know….I’m paying the consequences now.

    RAC ❤

  438. Great, great blog. Any doubt of the road I did not take to marrying those many years ago is put to rest with reading these postings and the reality check they provide. Although Mohamed wasn’t a Saudi, in general, the cultural, religious, and familial challenges I would have faced in his country parallel those described in this blog. While he still holds a place in my heart and is woven into the fabric of my life, I am blessed that my intuition overruled the romantic in me. Thanks to all of you. Great reading!

  439. I need some advice. I am a 30 year old female who has been with a 27 year old Saudi student for 3 yrs. We are really in love and want to spend the rest of our lives together. The only problem is he is from a big, very traditional Bedouin family, and they literally only marry 1st cousins, so the blood line is 100% pure. Recently on a trip to Saudi Arabia, he spoke to his parents about marrying from outside, which I only found out a few days ago. As you can imagine they refused, and didn’t want to hear of it, but I don’t want to be without him and him me. I’ve converted to Islam which is nothing to do with him, as I wanted to convert before I met him, so that may make things a little easier, but I just don’t know what to do. We have agreed to keep fighting to be together, but how much fighting is this going to take!? I’ve been trying to find something in the Quran that suggests his parents should not disagree to him being  with me, but to be honest i’m still learning how to understand the surah’s, so they are not so clear for me at the moment. Allah said Muslim men can marry good girls of the book (Christian/Jewish). Well I was born into Christianity and now converted. I’m confused because firstly Allah allows mixed marriages, and second prophet Mohammed (pbuh) had wives from outside, so how can his family have a problem with it, when Islam is the most important part of their lives, and the religion is allowing it?  I also stumbled upon the issue that the Quran also says parents (especially mothers), should be obeyed, they come after God and should be treated with kindness, respect, and care at all times, which of course is right, and I should hope everyone is like this towards their mothers, but do they have to obey their parents on marriage too? Because the Quran states sons can have a choice of who they want to marry, however it’s respectful to take the  parents approval to save any issues. Is there any surah in the Quran that can be useful in persuading the parents regarding this matter? Anything I can say to remind them that refusing their son to marry from outside is not Islamic? In my eyes if Allah has no problem with it neither should they. I Really need some help and advice??? and please no rude answers, because I’m really cut up about it. 

  440. To Kat: you can’t assume that finding something in the Holy Qur’an or Hadith will convince his Saudi family to accept you if they are against the marriage idea. It would be like assuming that every Christian person would take Holy Bible verses as the only /strongest thing guiding their feelings and behavior. Even among the most observant followers of any faith, there will be social-cultural, family and personal/individual factors that weigh in with varying combinations. We are all only human, not divine. Maybe try to understand more about his particular family, parents, their backgrounds, etc. But do not allow wishful thinking to blur your brain. There is no magic surah and they might not appreciate being told what is “not Islamic” by a recent convert to their religion. If the man chooses to make a married life with you against his parent’s wishes, it could cost both him and you a lot – not only meaning financial support or access to work in his country, but “belonging” which matters a great deal to most Arabs–and all human beings for that matter. Individuation is not something very much valued in traditional Saudi society – there is quite an overwhelming pressure to conform to parental, famililal and social norms/expectations, and acceptance/support for individuals relies on this. Having read the comments in this blog, try to be realistic, painful as it is. I wish you luck but also awareness/acceptance that you may not get what you want.

  441. Um Dunya gives good advice.

    Also, I wonder at your comment that the family really only marries 1st cousins. That doesn’t make for ”pure” blood, it makes for contaminated blood with a lot of genetic disorders. Saudi Arabia is well known in the medical world for the very serious health problems in its population due to unwise and constant inbreeding.

    You might want to give your boyfriend a medical check up to see if he is healthy enough to have children with, or you might have to resign to never to have children with him.

  442. Kat, be careful what you wish for. If you marry this guy, your life will be hell. Bedouins are very difficult people and wanting to be accepted by them will never happen. They may barely tolerate you…if you’re lucky. Why would you do that to yourself? Do NOT marry this guy either here or there. Treat your 3 years together as a wonderful experience. Sort of like going to college where you have your good times, graduate and move on. This is not going to end well if you try to force your relationship to continue.

  443. Kat,
    It sounds like you are in a complicated situation. What are his family’s expectations of him? How close to his family is he? How independent is he? Have you been introduced to his family at all? Would that help in gaining acceptance? Where do you plan to live after marriage?

    It may help for his family to meet you via skype.

    Keep in mind the problem with family acceptance has more to do with the tribe and less to do with Islam.

    Pray, meditate, discuss with your habibi and see what you both feel is the right option. While I understand respecting parents is important (and keep in mind I’m not Muslim), it is better to obey Allah/God by doing what you believe is right in your heart. You can still respect his family by saying something like, “We love you and understand you want what is best for your son, but the two of us love each other. We believe that it is what Allah wants. I hope you can respect our decision to marry each other.” Although, you may want to start out first by gaining family approval. It will not be easy for your significant other to give up his family, nor should he be forced to. However, he shouldn’t be forced to give you up, either. Whether he chooses you or family in the event he is forced to choose will not be an easy choice for him. Respect that. Make sure you want to spend your life with him before he is forced to make that decision. There are plenty of other eligible Muslim men out there, so keep that in mind, too.

    I was accepted by my husband’s family, but I also met them within a couple weeks of meeting my husband when my husband introduced me as his wife and NOT his girlfriend. I think they were a little shocked at first, but they accepted me as part of the family over time because they knew my husband and I truly love each other. They also know that my husband will stand up for me if they forced him to choose between them or me, and they wouldn’t want to lose him. However, they have never forced him to choose because they are more open and accepting. They love him and want what is best for him. They lovingly accepted me into the family, and for that I feel very blessed.

    And if you have any concerns about birth defects, seek a genetic counselor.

  444. Dear Kat,

    There is nothing you can find in the Quran or Hadith that will change their mind about your possible marriage to their son. A traditional Bedouin family is different from a Hijazi family yet marriage to an ‘outsider’ is not unheard of just the same. I agree with Strange One that if you are introduced as a wife and not a girlfriend you might have a better chance of winning them over eventually. Some women never do even though they are truly paragons of Islam and are motivated and willing to be a part of their husband’s family.

    My in-laws tried to find a wife for my husband all the years he was a student in the States with me and for a year after he returned. Finally he told them if they wouldn’t help him bring me over, he would leave. I spent many fine, long years in the Kingdom as part of his family alhamdulillah.

  445. Hi all, 🙂

    Thank you so much for all the responses. I respect and understand all of what has been said by each of you. @strangeone: he is very close to his family and independent. I have met his dads brother, and spoke to him on the phone a few times, and also a couple of his cousins. They seem to like me & are very nice, but one never knows what they are thinking. His parents of course expect him to wed a cousin in future. One that will be chosen for him I should imagine. I know he does not want that though, and that is also the horrible thing about it. I would never ever come between him and his family, because I know he would blame me for the rest of his life, and if I put myself in that position, I would never want to lose my family forever, so would never try to encourage him to do that. I definitely would want the approval of his parents before anything. I like the idea of being introduced as his wife and not just his love. However, I wonder how much danger that would put him and myself in if they took it very badly. To take the mothers job away of finding a bride for her son is almost criminal in their eyes, so I doubt she would welcome me with open arms. I suppose I could try to get the family members I have met to talk to his parents, but who knows if they would. Maybe they only really view me as some meaningless fun for him while he’s here. I’m aware that many family members will turn a blind eye to the actions of a male while abroad, especially cousins. I do not really know what I was hoping to gain by writing on American Bedu, I guess advice, a sympathetic ear, people to talk too about my situation. I’m a typical case of a silly girl falling in love with someone who to all intent and purposes is off limits, and forbidden fruit, but I have found it next to impossible to stay away from him, and have always held strong onto the belief that “we’ll find a way”, as all girls do in this situation, so now here I am 3 years later. I guess I am waiting for a miracle hhh. Peace and happiness to all of you and thank you again 🙂 

  446. Kat,

    A real fear I have is if you and your Saudi go ahead and marry, that would not stop his mother from searching for a wife. She’d still choose a Saudi wife, a cousin for him, and it’s to her the majority of the family would support. After all, she and the family assets are all combined along with a tribal history that probably goes back for decades. Could you accept that? Would you be willing to live in another country knowing that he would likely also spend time in Saudi with his Saudi wife?

    Trust me, I know all too well the love and charm of a Saudi man! I know his sincerity and ability to make you feel on top of the world. I would like for every couple to experience the joy of harmony and common values with the one destined to be their life partner!

    Virtual Hug, Mama Bedu

    On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM, American Bedu

  447. I forgot to mention also that I have spoke to his brother briefly too, during a phone call from my man in Saudi. He’s also let me speak to niece/nephew. Don’t know if that indicates how serious he is or is not about me.

  448. Thank you mama Bedu. Yes I also have this fear, and the answer is no I would not accept him to take a second wife. The thought of him with his hands on another woman makes me feel physically sick. I love him so how would I cope with that!? :(. I have considered in the past allowing that to be an option, just to be able to stay with him, but when I think deeply about it, there’s no way I could do that. Most Saudi women don’t accept that anymore, so how about an English girl lol. Thank you for your response. May I ask are you married to a Saudi?

  449. Kat, mama Bedu, aka American Bedu, aka Carol, was married to a Saudi man for a number of years. She lost him to cancer while she was battling her own battle with cancer.
    They met and eventually married well along in their adult lives and Carol had quite a lot of knowledge of the region and culture, due to her career with the CIA.
    No, it’s nothing fancy or James Bond nonsense. However, she was stationed in a region that she became expert with.
    As I recall, they met while both were posted to Pakistan. It’s somewhere here on the blog site.
    It’s a touching story, one that I honestly wish would have ended in death at a ripe old age together.
    We’ll suffice it to say that she’s an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in both the culture and faith.

    May we have many, many, many more years of mamma Bedu!

    Kat, I suggest you have a long, heartfelt discussion with your man and ascertain what his heart of heart intentions are. Will he obey the wishes of his mother over his heart?
    I’ll be honest, I suspect that he will. That said, when I’m espousing a pessimistic view, I’m always delighted when I’m proved wrong.
    Or will he go the polite route, not willing to disappoint you and go on with his family wishes, if you are married or not and if your marriage is recognized by the Saudi government or not? Arabs hate disappointing others, especially once a personal relationship begins, which it usually does, even in business.
    To be honest, you have three possible paths.
    You can move on, as painful as that will be.
    You can marry him and convince him to make all efforts to have the Saudi government recognize your marriage and honestly, be ready for his compromise of his mother picking his second wife from the tribe.
    Lastly, you can convince him to abandon his family and nation.
    Because, in reality, life is harsh and choices occasionally are that harsh or even worse.
    I strongly suggest a heart to heart, full brutal honesty demanded and given.
    Indeed, that was the secret to my over 30 year marriage.
    Honesty of heart, mind, deed and word.

    I mulled over your plea for help all day long, right after it arrived in my inbox. I considered the words of others.
    Best wishes and hopes for your eventual solution to your dilemma.
    But, to be honest to the above standard, it’d be easier to toss the moon out to where Pluto is and replace the moon at the same time by tossing Pluto into lunar orbit than to achieve your goal.
    And honestly, I honestly believe it’d be a Pyrrhic victory in the end.
    For even my own wife would chafe at Saudi restrictions and I’d end up dumping too many religious police in the desert to go unnoticed, to live in Saudi.

  450. Kat,
    I agree with the points that wzrd1 brought up.

    Also please keep in mind that my husband is from the region, but not from specifically Saudi Arabia. One thing I don’t understand, though, is why your Saudi has introduced you to other family members but not his immediate family fully. That seems a bit odd to me, but maybe someone more familiar with Saudi culture could give insight into this?

    When I met my habibi’s family, it was more like “Honey, I’m talking to my family (via skype). Come here and let me introduce you to them.” And it was the ones he was closest to that I was introduced to first. A bit overwhelming for the beginnings of a relationship, but it let me know he was serious. And if he hadn’t been serious, I wouldn’t be with him today.

    Maybe your Saudi is beginning to get serious, but I don’t know? If he doesn’t introduce you as his wife, then maybe there is some other respectful way he could introduce you?

    From what you want, you basically need to sit down and talk it over with your Saudi and see what he perceives is the best way to approach his parents directly. Get advice from other people who ended up married to their Saudi, such as Carol AKA Mama Bedu. If he wants to convince his family he is serious about you, then at some point, he is going to have to introduce you to them. If his family isn’t willing to accept you and your man can’t live without them, then it’s time to move on.

    To me, it sounds like your man either isn’t serious or is trying to figure out the best way to talk with his family. If it’s the last one, then he needs to man up, come up with a plan if needed, and just tell them. If it’s the first one, then it’s time to move on.

  451. Kat:

    Why is it that women are so easily able to give up their culture, family and traditions with little thought to what it really entails. In addition, women readily embrace a man’s religion/culture which actually insults them and further tells them it is okay for him to have additional wives. Are you willing to be a multilple wife? What does he expect of you in dresswear? Do you really want to give up your mobility and freedom by going to SA and becoming a dependent who is technically owned by a man? Is this really the culture you want to embrace? Seriously, have you asked him to explore your religion, traditions, family and the thought of staying in the USA. If he cared for you at all he would NEVER ask you to give up so much and go to the prison that is SA. In addition, it isn’t all about you but your future children. Do you really want your daughters life to be dictated to by men, to have no control over her dresswear, her movement, her employment, her life? is this what you want? Do you really consider your self to be an external sexual organ? Seriously, start thinking about what your future, your aspirations, your freedom, your opportunities, your ability to make your life decisions because if you decide to go to SA, then you stand a good chance to loosing all of that. You really need to get to reality and not some dream world where love will conquer all because it often times fails on all accounts in such a hell hole as SA.

    You will get over him and you will have a better life with someone else. Once he returns to SA then he will more than like revert to someone you never knew due to the family influence and expectation. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but it is better to severe the relationship now and just chalk this up to a learning experience.

    Start asking him what he expects of you if your married and went to SA. What he expects from a daughter as well. Find out how traditional they are and if you are going to have to live with them. Ask if you will have a driver at all times, ensure that you have a written contract in both arabic and english on the do’s and do nots of the marriage. Understand that in Saudi they honor nothing but backwardness and men’s rights to the detriment of women. But is it still best to have a written contact but still never trust anyone in Saudi to uphold it as they are quite corrupt and backward and hate everyone but their own (even some of their own they hate). Remember Saudi still kills witches and are going through the inquistiion phase.

    By the way, I have no intentions on being nice just providing a reality to you and hope that you avoid the pitfall.

    Maybe you should visit a blog called Under the Abaya. It might give you a different perspective and then try to place yourself in the situation. Then ask yourself the hard questions on whether you could be facing her reality at some point.

    Ask yourself if it is a reality you will be able to accept. Then ask yourself again why doesn’t he stay in the USA where he knows that you can be who you are and have the freedom that has made you into who you are. Why would anyone ask someone to give up something so precision as the right to determine their movement, life choices and abilities to the fullest? If he loved you he would never ask you to give this up in the first place.

    Piece of advice. If you can distance yourself from him for about a month and ask yourself the questions, plot your life, determine what you want for yourself and children, then re-ask yourself. Do this without his influence or his presence for a while. Unhinge yourself long enough to focus on yourself first and what you want and what you are actually willing to accept. Then re-evauate the situation. If you return to him and going to SA then so be it but this is the time to be honest with yourself and really look at the situation from more than an emotional connnection but also from a realistic one as well with day to day to day aspects that tend to diminish the wonderful aspects of fantasy after a while. I hope you understand.

    Yes this is long but really you need to think not only about you, but your children and the impact this has on your family as well. You need to imagine what could go wrong because once your in it there is no do overs…………….. the fantasy dies and the reality begins.

  452. He’s already told them. They said no to the idea and probably a few other things as well, but he said we will keep on trying. We have agreed on that. I just wondered if there was a best way to convince them, but I guess there isn’t any specific way really. He is serious about me, but he’s just scared, which is normal because he knows how strict his family are. And I’m very sorry to hear of mama Bedu and her husband :(. Mama Bedu I hope your better (hugs for you), And thank you wzrd1 for your advice. It’s touching to know people care enough to take the time out to reply. I don’t hold much hope out for the future to be honest, but I think like you say a good heart to heart is needed. Your care for my situation has astounded me and I am very grateful 🙂

  453. I’m not in the USA I’m in England. I’m English.

  454. Kat:

    I would not say there is nuch difference in USA and England when it comes to freedom vs. SA.

  455. @ big stick I respect what you say. Your just giving your take on it and that’s fine. I do have to say I don’t think personally it’s as bad as that. I’ve read plenty of western womens accounts of Saudi Arabia within Saudi families, and they have been treated with the upmost respect, kindness and warmth. Don’t always believe everything you hear in the media. And yes I am fully aware to a free westerner Saudi is suffocating at times, but I do believe manageable. Sometimes I feel suffocated in my own country. I don’t like the way I see people conducting themselves here in England, the drinking culture, the openness about sex and the behaviour of people here. So even in this free society I feel suffocated and alien. However, I am very grateful that your concerned I will be put in a bad situation. Of course I know Saudi life wouldn’t be easy, as it’s such a different one to British life. However, I have every faith and belief that Saudis are very warm, hospitable and welcoming. Not the monsters many people make them out to be. I have saudi friends who are nicer than some of the British people I know. We all have our differing opinions, and I will respect that. 🙂

  456. Ah, Kat, you are determined to be blinded to reality. Bigstick is 100% right on this. Many of us thought like you: Oh, it really isn’t so bad over there; Saudis are really generous, good-hearted, welcoming people. Reality check: re-read what BigStick wrote. Then read it again. Repeat as necessary until things sink in. If you want to ruin your life, that is one thing. But think of your future children. Mine (especially my daughters) castigate me for giving them a Saudi father. The oldest was forced to run away from KSA and went so far as to legally changing her name to removing her father’s name from it. My second daughter is plotting her escape from KSA, so to speak. Almost for sure at some point your husband will take another wife. Don’t believe anything he says now will stick years and decades in the future. What will you do then when you are well and truly into it with multiple kids, no legal rights and no way to support yourself if and when you get out? Over 80% of Western women eventually get divorced from their Saudi husbands, and many who remain wish they could leave.

    Your in-laws will smile to your face and stab you in the back. They are forced to be publicly nice to you, but you will ALWAYS be an outsider and not a real person deserving of acceptance BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT SAUDI AND NOT PART OF THEIR FAMILY.

    Wake up, sister. Your first loyalty is to yourself, the second to your future children, the third to your own family and then way, way down the list is to a man you’ve had an affair with who will only bring you grief in the future.

  457. This is a very good discussion. “In every head is a little wisdom.” Kat appears to be an intelligent and caring person. She has the benefit of many perspectives and will make her choices, hopefully with more serious explorations of them with her Saudi love, more information and weighing of consequences. I’m not so up on the details of Saudi law but in Islam, there is a written marriage contract and that contract can include all kinds of details such as permission/approval to work, have a car/driver, travel, continue one’s studies, etc. You can insert the provision that the wife has the right to initiate divorce. Why not put in “no other wives” for that matter? The thing is you need a “male guardian” to negotiate/insist on these provisions and to make sure they are in the contract when signed.Many men are ashamed to make such demands on other men – as if it is dishonoring them to ask for their sisters’/daughters’ rights in Islam. What if you married in Islam with such a contract in the UK, with an appropriate male guardian figure representing you and your rights? This is just an idea of something to explore….and it’s only a paper, not the real people and real situations you would face if you went to live in SA. Good luck.

  458. Kat: really difficult situation and only time will tell.

    The UK is a much more tolerable place- at least for me. Good education for children, choices in sexuality, religion and marriage, freedom of movement for women, etc

    You have drunkeness in the UK- come and see here other ‘bad behaviours’ : bedouins car racing every weekend, killing themselves and spectators….for example.

    Now: lots of people married over the centuries despite parents wishes, so I would not really worry too much about that- if he wants he will marry you.
    I know cases they married against his parents will and in the case they were too much harassed by his family they moved to another city in saudi or reduced ties to them. Nevertheless it could well be that your partner might not be strong enough to do that- you dont know.

    I suggest, before you plunge into marriage- a life time contract the following:

    come for a 1 year work contract to saudi to check out the society as a whole and how things work. It will give you a much much better perspective.

    I would not marry somone and just go and live in a foreign country that I do not intimately know.

  459. Kat, you should think about whom of his family you have spoken to, did you speak only to his mother and sisters, or did he let you speak to his male family members. If it is the latter that is a very bad sign.
    he cannot be both independent and close to his family. If he was truly independent he would already have made the only possible decision which is marry you and not continue a clandestine, sinful (in Saudi Islamic view) relationship. And he would have decided to live with you in a western country.

    The family from the little you described seems to be the worst choice for a Western woman to marry into. You should realize that the Middle East all Western women are automatically regarded as whores. We walk around free, we show our sinful hair and faces, we talk to men. You talk to men therefore you are a whore. You even have a relationship (however platonic and innocent, it doesn’t matter) therefore you are a whore. You are definitely not a ”pure” Saudi girl who has been hidden since she was little.

    It is therefore very bad if your boyfriend has allowed male family members to see you and/or talk to you.

    Life for a woman in Saudi Arabia is extremely restricted, and once there you are at the complete mercy of your husband whose property you will be by law. And even if your husband is the ideal husband, if anything happen to him (there are for example about 15.000 deaths in traffic a year) your family, who will not ever like you, wil not be nice to you. Unless your husband puts up very good provisions for you in case of his death, including a nice family member who will gain ownership of you and your children after death you will be screwed.
    There are western women who have had their house, for which they helped pay, taken away (women are not allwed to own real estate) and have been put into a decrepit, rotten apartment, their children denied education, they were not allowed to leave the apartment and if they were they were forced to fully veil.
    And btw, your boyfriend may do this himself when he arrives in Saudi because he will immediately turn into a very different person from the one you knew and married.

    And your children are not yours, They belong to your husband and his family. They may also decide to throw you out of the country and keep your children and you will never see them again. Your husband may do the same. You will have to understand that when married and living in Saudi you will be nothing, you will be worth nothing and you will always be suspect as a western whore. Your children will be taught in school that you are a whore. I am sorry it sounds so bad but this is reality.
    Your conversion to Islam will always be suspect, you will never be good enough. You will never be a Saudi cousin.
    If your boyfriend truly loves you he would never want you to live in saudi Arabia. If he doesn’t understand the hardships and the sacrifices you are making if you were to have to live there he is not worthy of you and you really should look elsewhere.
    And his sacrifices will be little in comparison if he leaves his country and lives somewhere else with you. Why should you be the one to give up all. and risk all, you life your freedom your future, when he would risk very little by remaining abroad??? That is a very unfair proposal and if he truly loved you he would never ask it of you. It shouldn’t even come to discussion.

    I strongly suggest you read this:

    Therefore, again if your boyfriend truly loves you and has any kind of backbone and care for your happiness he would marry you yesterday and make a life for the both of you outside of Saudi Arabia. Any country but Saudi Arabia

  460. Kat, the media doesn’t even come close to reality for women in Saudi Arabia. There is at the moment a western wife with broken bones lying in a windowless room, locked up by her husband, he has left and taken her children, (his) children, and left her there without care. Her only contact with friends is via Skype but they just moved and she doesn’t even know her exact location. She doesn’t even have windows to describe the neighborhood. Her friends are trying to get her help. He has beaten her so badly her bones are broken remember? But they can’t do anything. This is what happens when the bubble bursts. As soon as something goes wrong you will know.
    If she dies there he won’t be punished, women are property and foreign women are worthless property.

    A few years ago a female blogger disappeared, she was a western wife, a very pious convert to Islam, she spoke Arabic fluently, and had even gained Saudi citizenship. She wanted a divorce and she was getting it and apparently had even managed to keep her children. An unheard of victory for a western woman in Saudi Arabia.
    A few months later one of her blogging friends told what happened:
    Her husband beat her up so badly she is now permanently brain damaged, she can hardly speak, doesn’t know Arabic anymore, and now he has her and her children forever, he can torture her, marry other wives and of course does not get any punishment for his crime. She is his property, a man can do what he likes with his property.

    This is the country you are thinking of moving to? When you already know his family (all important in Saudi Arabia) doesn’t want you?

    It is clear from your comments you do know nothing about the country about reality of life for women there. Therefore you think it’s ok to move there. It is not.

  461. Um Duniya, In Saudi you can write whatever you like in your marriage contract the judge will rule against you. Especially if you are a foreign wife. They will never uphold a clause which forbids a man to take more wives. They will say it’s his Islamic right to marry four wives and one wife has no right to take his Islamic rights away. Also, most men will marry extra wives in secret. A family will welcome it if their son will finally marry a real pure Saudi girl and push the foreign interloper to the side.

    If it ever gets to court of course, because as a sub-human a woman cannot go to court on her own, a woman is not a legal entity, she needs her owner, ”mahram”, to do it for her and that happens to be her husband so guess the chances?

  462. Kat, no normal Saudi wife accepts to be a co-wife just like that. They may have to tow the line because they have no rights, but only Western converts, who are indoctrinated into the believe that it is their ”Islamic duty” to accept a man’s ‘right” to have multiple wives are so dim as to think it’s ok.

    Btw, Saudi wives know what they can expect, so on the whole they have a vast and close social network and family, which you won’t have, and they try to get as much money out of their husbands as they can, by cajoling, lying, making up household expenses, to save up a nest egg, because they can be replaced, dumped, or cheated on at any time. They make sure their husbands never know they are saving, where it is, and how much they have.

    And you think there is no drinking culture in Saudi Arabia? They drink and drug same as everywhere else, only they are hyprocrites about it. The outer facade looks pristine but you don’t want to now what happens behind.
    You think they don’t have illicit sex? They do. Moreover, they have a lot, really a lot of gays. SA is considered a gay paradise. as long as you don’t flaunt it too much you can do what you like there.

    Trust me you will feel more alien then if you were to colonize Mars.

  463. Some valid points:

    – Yes, if he introduces you to male members of the family, it is not considered normal in the ‘ tribal’ sectors of the community.
    They never meet/speak to the wives of their brothers, uncles, etc

    – To have power as a women in saudi, one of the following has to hold true:

    a. you have an exceptionally loving husband that you have build a life together and he sees you as an equal partner

    b. have a very strong and influencial family- he will be scared of them

    c. be yourself rich – many women pay for their freedom actually, even if it is not done directly.

    eg. you want to go out and so on, travel, etc….sponsor him a new car….as ridiculous as it is he will sell the freedom. Business is above all here.

    But most importantly whatever is said in this forum, you need to come here and see to get your own perspectve before marriage.

  464. In the case you decide you want to marry him after all, be sure that:

    1. you are not a stay home mum- make money while you are here so he values you more.

    2. get the citizenship in case he wants to cancel your residence permit and throw you out

    3. make sure you get lots of pics of him if drinking/flirting with other women to use them against him in case of a court.

    4. put in your contract what happens if he dies/ if you divorce? what happens to your children?

    5. state that you want a home and even specify the city- best far from your inlaws

    6………….protect yourself and your children as much as you can….7.

    7. note your inlaws will be a large tribe,,,,so it will be like 1-100,,,,not easy to handly. they love weaving traps for foreign women to put them into trouble…

    7. Ideally live abroad with him! MUCH easier.

  465. And make sure you don’t have any babies! Wait at least 3 years, better 5. As soon as you have a baby they can (and will) use it to blackmail you! So don’t have babies!

    And again, with a man who comes from a family with generations of inbreeding on inbreeding you really want to check for genetic defects.

  466. I can’t remember which one of you said that it “seems a bit odd that I have only spoke/met male members of the family”, but I forgot to add that he did pass the phone to me one day while he was on the phone to his mum and told me to talk to her, but I completely freaked out and refused. 

    @gigi I am fully aware of Saudi Arabia and what goes on. I read up on saudi Arabia nearly every day…the good and the bad points. I am fully aware that gay acts go on all the time there. Many saudi men do not even consider themselves gay if they “without seeming too crude” (are the giver not the reciever), because they think upon the other man like a woman, and themselves as the masculine male, which I had to have a chuckle about because they are kidding them selves. Also I know they drink and take drugs, and u don’t even want to mess with Saudi drug dealers!..a lot of them go to Bahrain at the weekends to have their fun. Drag racing well that’s a hobby they take out of boredom I guess, but the difference is they don’t flaunt it publicly like here, which I am quite happy with. As long as I don’t have to see it, I don’t mind. 

    My partners family have drivers, they work (even the female members) and University educated. They are upper class Saudis, so there does seem to be some freedom
    for the females in his family. 

    I would like to ask though, I’ve been told by my bf that any Saudi student on scholarship has to by law return to the Kingdom once the study is this correct? Because it didn’t ring right when he said it. I would also like to know can a Saudi man live and work outside the kingdom permenantly? I am speaking hypothetically, because I’m not sure even if he would ever consider that. We haven’t spoken about that yet.  I have read that they can, but want to clarify this. Please bare in mind that I’m in England and laws may differ a little between Saudi & UK and Saudi and USA. 

    I have taken a lot of valuable advice from what I have read. I cannot argue against the women on here who have experienced hell in Saudi first hand. I cannot deny your sufferings, and I am really sorry for your bad experiences, but it still does not mean some success stories do not exist, and cannot exist. I guess we all take that risk when involving oneself with a Saudi. 

    @um duniya,  I have already thought about what I would like in the marriage contract if ever it came to that, and him not taking a second wife is one thing i’d like on there, but as someone pointed out, maybe Saudi government could over rule the marriage contract in order to satisfy the needs/wants of the male counterpart. That is not to say my bf wants to take a second wife, but if his mother begged him for it, and made him feel gulity then…..well we all know. 

    It is such a risky business, and one that I know I can’t go into with my eyes wide shut. All I can do is lay down what I expect in the future, what I want and need. Let him do the same and then make a consecutive decision based on whether we come to the same sort of an agreement/conclusion or not. I’m not a dumb girl, and I will most definitely insist in the future that I either speak to female members of family by Skype, or take a 2 week visit there to see it for myself. This is only of course if there’s any chance of being accepted, and if my bf even feels he wants to be with me in the future when more time has passed, because who knows whats round the corner. We may fall out of love, and find others, although I can’t see that happening from my side, don’t know about his….who knows 😒. 

    We have took the decision recently to fight for each other, but still really need that in depth chat about every single point, so that is what I intend to do.

  467. @ kat

    the good news is that he is not obliged to return at the end of his scholarship- King Abdullah Scholarship Program and that is the great thing about it.

    If you are married in the UK and he has a work permit, he can take a trainee post for a year and then go on to have a job.

    No one is forcing him to return.

    Usually they return for family ties or because they think they can get a job easier- which is not always true anymore.

    Some jobs- if for example they have a job already in KSA and the scholarship is through them, they might ask him to work for a given number of years for them. Nevertheless if he quotes that he has family commitments in the UK- they will let him off as this is considered paramount in this culture.

    Now: you cannot travel for 2 weeks unless on some sort of business visa which is hard to get for women. Also even as a muslim you cannot come for umrah /hajj without a male mahram/guardian.

    That is why I suggested a 1 year work contract. Have you considered that?

    Additionally: not all suggestions are based on bad experiences.

    Some women had a good experience, but that does not necessarily mean that they did not take a risk and ultimately it is up to you to take it.

    What would scare me most is the power he would have over me and my children even in the case of life and death!

    If it is a risk you are prepared to take for yourself and your children, then it is totally up to you. Ultimately if something goes wrong you should be prepared your best to handle it.

  468. The contract won’t matter. The judge can easily rule that any agreement that infringes on the man’s right is invalid. Including 2nd wives. There is nothing to arrange about any children. They are not yours they are his and then his family’s. If he cannot stand up to his family- I would not come here. I don’t understand what could be “suffocating” about people being allowed to make their own choices of how to live (UK) but if you prefer a life of being told how to live on practically the cellular level maybe Saudi is for you.

    You are right that Saudi’s are not necessarily bad people. But the system is very bad and you will have no rights. That is the reality and his family will no doubt believe they know what is best for you and for your children and they will be in charge if your husband doesn’t take a stand. If you’re ok with them running your life it might work.

    You might ask if there is much polygamy in his family. It’s not an exact indicator- but if it’s prevalent you are in more danger.

  469. @ Sandy, polygamy is not prevalent in his family, well not the modern family….what happened hundreds of years ago maybe a different story. I have asked him about it, he said, no it doesn’t happen in his family, and that even his mum is very against 2nd wives. She believes it’s wrong and old fashioned.

  470. Sorry sandy I sound like I have contradicted myself, as I said before that there is a risk of the second wife scenario if his mum is not happy about her son being with me, and now I have said to you that she is against polygamy. Well she is against it, but people may react differently and unpredictably when angry and upset, so maybe she doesn’t believe it in now, but if she hated her sons choice in the future, there could be a chance she may change her mind about polygamy. That’s what I’m thinking.

  471. I understand Kat. And it isn’t a hard and fast rule only an indicator. I’ve seen many a person surprised by it in families where it doesn’t happen. It’s the local “mid-life crisis” with everlasting results

  472. Kat:
    Try this: Have a six month trial to see if you can stomach this.
    Stay at home for six months, don’t go into the garden, you will not get out of the house unless you can get you boyfriend to drive you somewhere, you will not go out without abaya and niqab, You can only have friends come over when you get permission. You can’t have men friends. You can not talk to any men unless you closest family. If people come to visit you will have to separate men and women in different rooms. You (and the other women) will serve the men.
    You can only go to the store fully covered in abaya and niqab and if your boy friend comes and takes you there.
    I assume you will act like a Muslim and don’t have intimate relations (don’t know if you do have, but if you do then don’t)
    In Saudi, in a traditional Bedouin family you will have to wear niqab, and probably gloves as well, to hide your sinful skin.

    This will also test his resolve to accommodate you. he will ahve to make time for you, drop his own activities when you need him, and forgo his rest when there’s shopping to be done. because without him you cannot do anything.
    And expect this to be the best kind of life you can have there. If everybody is nice to you, if his family (who will constantly be in your life) love you, and nobody will make life hard for you and your husband will be there for you and support you. This will be the best you can expect.

    If you can stomach this kind of life, if you can like it, then you will be better prepared and you will know you will be able to cope with the basics.

    You have plenty of time to do this, do it and you will realize what you are going to get into. This way you know what your lifestyle will be for the rest of your life, Hopefully you will live a long life, so this is what you will get (best case scenario) for the next 50 years or so.

  473. Hey everyone, don’t waste your breath. Kat knows best. Her guy is great and different from every other Saudi who ever existed. Her in-laws will accept her and love her and her bf will never take another wife. Her iron-clad marriage contract will protect her from all harm and she will live in the near-paradise of KSA happily every after in her bf’s big tribe of welcoming members. It’s the rest of us who are paranoid and delusional and, well, we’re just making stuff up to scare her off so we can have KSA all to ourselves. So back off and leave this poor woman alone so she can get on with her plans for wedded bliss and leave the evil West.

  474. “I’ve been told by my bf that any Saudi student on scholarship has to by law return to the Kingdom once the study is this correct?” Kat, Kat, Kat, this is his “out”. It is not true, but since this is what he’s telling you, it means that this will be his excuse for leaving you high and dry once his scholarship is over and he leaves back to KSA. I know you cannot believe he would deceive you so, but Saudis are expert and practiced liars, especially when it would take courage to face an unpleasant situation.

  475. Donna 🙂 The Wicked West gives her the right to do as she pleases. Don’t deny her the opportunity to see life from a completely opposite perspective.

    Sandy, *being told how to live on practically the cellular level*
    Snort! I know it’s awful but that was very funny! :mrgreen:

  476. Kat of course am Saudi man can spend the rest of his life abroad. He can even pop by in SA to visit his family. And that’s what a Saudi man who truly loves you and cares for your well being would do.

  477. Sandy, if one can be commanded on the cellular level could you command my cells to shrink a bit, the ones who keep holding on to all those fat-reserves I don’t need?

  478. Kat do you know that a great and deeply respected Saudi scholar Bin Baz, gave out a fatwa that it is ok for (male) students to marry while studying abroad so they can have a woman to have sex with and to work for them and they can dump her the moment they finished school? According to Bin Baz that would not constitute temporary marriage because the man would not tell the woman she’s only temporary fun.

    This has actually happened to some women. As soon as ”their Saudi” finished school and had packed his bags, he divorced her and went back to Saudi never to be heard off again, leaving his ex-wife, and sometimes a child devastated.

  479. Actually, while it may not be enforceable- depending on the scholarship- yes- he has to return and work for at least awhile. It is a condition of the scholarship.

    Saudi’s can live abroad anywhere they can get legal permission to do so- just like anyone else. I believe they can automatically live in the GCC countries.

  480. While all these negative examples can and do happen- that is not necessarily the case here. But I still wouldn’t recommend marrying and coming here. Even with a best case scenario you just have no recourse if anything goes wrong. Really none. And since he doesn’t seem like the type that can stand up to his family- it will be a miserable existence IMHO.

  481. @Aakfe art I have to be completely honest…I don’t go out, I do stay at home all the time already, I don’t see friends very often at all. I am a bit of a recluse to be honest, because there is nothing in England to go out for. I like this kind of life & feel more comfortable with it. I’m not just saying this, but this is the way I live. Of course I like to go out occasionally, but i’m honestly not bothered about it. I’m not one of these extrovert people or someone that likes to be out and about all the time. I’m quite happy at home. I don’t work at the moment & I don’t drive which I have decided I never want to do, because I just dont like to be behind the wheel. I don’t trust myself hhh. I spend nearly everyday alone apart from evenings, and have done for the past year because circumstances have prevented me from working, and work is something I would be expected to do if I ended up with my bf, which I have no problem with, because I want to work. 

    @ Donna as always I respect what people are saying, but I detect a lot of sarcasm within your speech, which I’m not comfortable with. Of course everyone is entitled to say what they think, and thats what I’ve asked for, but there are more respectful ways of saying things. I’m not implying that your not a respectful person, but I have not come here to seek sarcastic remarks/comments. Only to gain people’s polite views on this matter. If you read back over my last big post you will see I am not denying or being ignorant towards what people are saying. I am well aware some truth lies there, but I should not just cast my love aside like that without throughly checking everything properly first, as one person’s situation is always different from the next person’s.  I would hate to make a rash decision and be wrong, all because i’ve been told to run for the hills. Thank you all again for your advice. I think this topic could actually go on for ever and ever. I’ve gained what I came here to seek, which was opinions, therefore I will say bye to you all now and I thank you all for your time and effort in responding to my situation. God bless you all…Salam. 

  482. I was just wondering how do I delete my posts off this site? I don’t want them to be left on here. Can anyone tell me please? Thanks 🙂

  483. Dear Kat,

    In theory a Saudi student is supposed to return and make a contribution to Saudi society but there is no enforcement as of yet. There is always the worry that the student will have to return the scholarship but so far I haven’t heard of anyone who as had to. What is difficult to get is a second nationality for your Saudi. That is expressly prohibited, then again they have to find out about it first. Many Saudis have secondary citizenship or residency in Canada or the US, I’m not sure about the immigration requirements for the UK.

    You should seriously think about what you would want to put in a marriage contract however while it may cause you some sense of security to put in a contract that your husband won’t take a second wife, when that day comes he will simply say he is entitled by Islam and nothing on a piece of paper will change that. If he wants to have a second wife (and after 10 years or so back home he may choose this for himself no matter how happy you are together) he can.

    Saudi law currently states that any man married to a foreign wife has to allow her to leave with her children at will. In the past they were able to hold on to the children or refuse that the wife leave, this is no longer possible.

    The fact that you haven’t spoken to any female relatives is no surprise unless he has sisters. If he only has female cousins then they are not supposed to be alone together or at least you shouldn’t find her in his bedroom where the computer may be set up for privacy. I doubt your habiby would have a laptop in the family room with Baba and Mama hovering about. Chances are he’s in the mulhaq, a room where males entertain their friends without allowing them into the house proper. This is a very popular arrangement and one you won’t find any females visiting.

    It’s too bad you missed out on speaking to his mother. She will either think you are up to no good and afraid to speak to her or she will think that you know that you are speaking from a weak position and are ashamed. Neither scenario is a good one. Next time simply say to her Salam and Kaif Halik if she doesn’t speak English.

    Yes, Saudi Arabia is a difficult country to live in and in some ways it can also make life easier for you. If you are a working woman and your husband can afford household staff, you can concentrate on your career and/or child-rearing. I myself didn’t go to work until my youngest child was 5 and then I started out part-time. Nannies can be a problem, you cannot blindly trust anyone around your children. I was a full-time hands on mother and my children still managed to be abused by ignorant household staff.

    I can’t tell you if I might have been happier in the States because I lived my life in Saudi and that would be speculation. What I do find difficult is the increased animosity towards Muslims and you no doubt see a lot of that on this site where people are at least halfway educated about Middle Eastern affairs. It is heart-breaking to have your precious children go forward into a world that is stacked against them. If only for their sake, I would ask you to reconsider marrying your Saudi. Whatever battles and abuses I have experienced, it is much more difficult to see things visited against your children.

    The wise and less-painful route is to love your habiby for as long as you can and move on with your life or, if you are truly going to embrace Islam, make peace with the high potential for being one of several wives. It is not a religion ala carte.

  484. Yes, I have been sarcastic but that is only born of frustration for your Polyanna-ish counter to everything people have told you which you blithely brush off. If you keep steering a toddler away from hot stove but they insist they know best and that they won’t get burned if they touch it, you’d snap too after the 30th time. Good luck.

  485. His mother’s and father’s and grandmother’s and grandfather’s and the local imam’s and the King’s opinion on polygamy is no indicator at all. If he decides he wants a second wife he will take one. Don’t fool yourself.

  486. Hey Aafke, nothing wrong with doing as the Romans and wearing the abaya and tarha is not a burden, only the niqab because it hinders your vision. In all my years in Saudi I never had to wear it. If you are in Jeddah it isn’t expected and the women who wear the niqab there are usually either illegal aliens, expressing their religiosity (not necessarily religious as niqab is not required), or bedouins who are following their custom. Some men will try to get their wives to wear it and some insist. Ask him how he feels about niqab. My husband’s aunt never wore abaya or tarha even when she went to Mecca. Yes, she almost caused a riot but she never did wear the black. Only in later years did she start to wear a scarf simply because she got fed up with waiting for society to catch up to the modern age. You can only be a nail for society’s hammer for so long.

    Wearing the abaya means you can go out with your nightgown on underneath. Wearing shorts is risky because many abaya fabrics are not completely opaque but sweat pants, whatever, no problem. When I go house to house I wear a thobe and tarha only and throw my abaya on the back seat. No, I still can’t drive where I want to go but the traffic there is brutal and I have to admit there is something very nice about having a chauffeur pick you up and drop you off in a car that is clean and air-conditioned. I drive when I’m outside the country and enjoy it but then I am on the road with people who respect traffic laws. Driving is a CHORE in Saudi, not a pleasure.

    For all this talk about women being chattel, trust me they give it out as good as they get and they know their way around the system. Yes, not everyone is from a privileged stratus in the society but from what Kat says her habiby’s family is well-off and educated. There are laws to protect foreign women but still, after all my years there I would NOT recommend living there. Why have to deal with this much sturm und drang?

  487. @Kinz
    Thank you so much for your reply. You are a very kind person I feel, and have a great way of communicating with people. May I ask about your personal experience? Are you living in KSA? How are you treated by your husband and his family? Do the female members of his family treat you equally and nicely? How much freedom do you find you have each day? do you have a driver? are your husbands family Bedouin? Non Bedouin? Sorry I would just like your account of life there. Forgive me if I have got it wrong, but I got the impression you live there. I would be grateful if you could give me a detailed account of your life there each day, your responsibilities, how often do u see your husband? Apologies if I’m asking too much lol. I’m just intrigued to know.

  488. It is difficult to get a Hajj or Umrah visa but you do not need a male guardian. You can come with a group of women and I’m sure the UK has oodles of such groups. Most of my ex-pat friends go for Hajj and Umrah with female-only groups. What is difficult is if you come for Hajj the program is quite intense and there is little free time to go and visit his family. Not only that most people get pitifully sick on Hajj, it is practically an epidemic. I used to get flu and meningitis shots every two years while living in Jeddah, especially if I couldn’t be out of the country at that time.

    Umrah visas allow for more free time but if you divert from going for Umrah or Hajj (and never go or don’t go first) you will have to make a sacrifice in compensation.

  489. Kat,
    I am the one who asked if you talked to your habibi’s mom. If you get a chance to do so again, don’t freak out. Even if all you can say is “Hi. How are you?” in Arabic, use the Arabic you do know to show respect. Have your Saudi translate the rest. Or talk to her even if you do freak out. 😉

    I asked my husband about it and he said that your significant other probably waited to tell his parents out of both fear and respect; it’s normal for him to be this way.

    I understand your thoughts and feelings on England as I lived there for a year. I find the US to be a little more conservative than England, so you both could always check out the US. I found that hanging out with my friends from more open Arabic-speaking countries (such as Qatar and UAE) seemed to alleviate my homesickness while I was in the UK. If you want to live closer to his family, why not the UAE?

    I honestly don’t understand why you hate England so much in general though. There are good and bad things about every place. If you can’t appreciate the good and bad of where you are from, then how do you expect to do so in a completely different environment? But then, maybe you need to experience something different to gain appreciation for where you live. Good things about England are public transportation, national health care (even though other European countries have better ones), multiculturalism, museums (so many free ones to visit!), and bright clothing (which I always felt was in direct contrast to the weather).

    Driving a car isn’t that bad. I would actually suggest you learn at some point in case there is an emergency and you need to drive just in general.

    Yes, a Saudi on scholarship is supposed to go back to KSA or be prepared to pay a huge fine in order to get out of it.

  490. Dear Kat,

    I think most of your questions about how I lived in Saudi are answered in my replies. After living for 6 years with my husband in the West, I joined him In Jeddah. Jeddah to the Bedouin is considered the Paris of Saudi Arabia. Not because it’s full of great museums and fine wines but because there is a sense of freedom there that you don’t find in Riyadh. Riyadh is far more opulent and the stores and homes are grander but there is a crushing sense of being powerless there if you venture outside the home as a woman. In recent years and in select places, I have seen women enjoy the freedoms you find in Jeddah,in Riyadh even going out without a tarha (headscarf).

    While I lived in Jeddah (and I still retain a home there) I spent the first 10 years at home. As an ex-pat there were women’s groups to join and I lived on a compound so we were provided with transportation, recreational facilities, a library, a clinic and a supermarket. That compound is now a thing of the past it has falling to disrepair and neglect. We moved into private housing and next door to my in-laws. By then I had had some rough years but was firmly established in the family as a go-to person for hospital visits, hosting parties, organizing trips to the beach etc.

    My husband’s family is firmly HIjazi without a jot of Bedouin. His uncles are business men, politicians and officers in the military mashallah. Back then we sat together in mixed groups. Women who felt uncomfortable mixing would sit in their own salon with their modest clothing and tarha. In the Hijaz it is customary for women to wear a white headscarf if she wants to sit in a social setting within the home and many women (especially the older grandmother generation) wear white tarhas all the time no matter how close the relatives are.

    I was grateful to have time at home with my children while they were young and when the youngest started kindergarten I secured a part-time position in an all-female office. We had a tough time of it becuase we were pioneers in our field but we enjoyed some success. Later I switched to the technology sector and helped build a company from a single establishment to a company with regional offices. For a time it was quite formidable competition and had an excellent name in the field. It was over-reaching with government contracts that caused the demise of that company. Unless there are very deep-pockets most small and medium businesses can get burned by such projects.

    While building and maintaining that company I still worked free-lance from home which is possible if you have marketable skills.

    Now that my children are older and studying abroad I spend more time in the States but I have that option because my husband supports me and I never burned my bridges here.

    I feel sorry that you are a recluse. I’m guessing that you wear hijab in the UK and don’t like to be that nail for society’s hammer. I would understand your reluctance to be out there but at least the UK is used to seeing women in head scarves. Maybe you feel you must wear the abaya. There is nothing sacred about that. You can dress modestly without all that black and go out and enjoy what living in the UK has to offer.

    It would be unfair to stay that my experience in Saudi was typical but it is similar for those of my friends who also reside in Jeddah. I have friends in Riyadh who also had a very nice life because they were active in society and joined various organizations and volunteered in charitable societies. Some of my ex-pat friends are businesswomen as well.

    Almost no one is completely happy, some have great marriages but suffer at work, some have terrible marriages and can’t work or don’t feel confident enough to and some have it all, great marriage and a good job. Everyone has a different experience in life. No one will say living somewhere will automatically make you happy but at least in the UK you have so many of your rights and so many more options.



  491. I’m late joining this conversation but thought I’d add my 2 cents’ worth: married my Saudi student when I was 21 & he was 24, he was failing out of university due to too much drinking. We were married 9 years and are now going through a divorce due, again, to his drinking – 24 beers plus a bottle of hard liquor some nights, no sleep in the house for anyone, and a complete disaster to clean up 5-6 times a month. During the 9 years, each of his brothers lived with us for a few months, I met his mother & sister for a weekend when they came to set up the sister at college in Arizona, his father, stepmother, and another sister visited the city we were living in for 3 months one summer. His mother (divorced) always accepted me and was very loving and open, however his father never really admitted that I existed until I became pregnant with our daughter. Now I am faced with raising a child alone, his father insists that the drinking was all my fault and will not send any financial help, my husband will be living with his father since I was always the breadwinner and he can’t afford to stay in the US. I dearly love my daughter and wouldn’t give her up for the world but if I had it all to do over again, I’d tell my 21-year-old self RUN!!!!

  492. @clodfelter I beg to differ, but I have not brushed anyone off, and I don’t know where you are getting that impression from. I have said numerous times that I appreciate, respect and understand what everyone is saying. Furthermore, if u read back to all my posts u will see I’m not looking through rose tinted glasses, and I have clearly stated in my posts that I am fully aware of all the risks and negative parts of Saudi life. I’m even questioning everything within my posts, not trying to get people to say what I want to hear, or trying to excuse every single bad point of Saudi. I’m looking fairly at everything from all angles, and it does slightly irritate me when someone says to me I’m ignoring what is being said, when clearly I am not. Anyone thank you for your luck. Take care. 

  493. *anyway

  494. @ kinz thank you for allowing me to know about your life in Saudi. Was interesting. I do feel my experience if I end up with my Saudi, may be a little different from yours, as they are pure Bedouin. I actually don’t wear the hijab, and the reason for that is because English converts suffer abuse on a daily basis here. I have met two British women who have married Arabs and both cover. One of them covers from head to toe in black, including niqab. This lady told me sometimes she goes out without the niqab on, and just wears hijab along with black Abiya. One day she was out shopping on her mobility scooter, without niqab on. She just wore hijab, so she was visibly a British convert on that day. She was going along her business, when a grown man came up behind it, smacked her as hard as he could across the head and called her a “f***ing traitor” before casually walking off. This is not an isolated incident either….she suffers abuse all the time here. She’s spat on, swore at, she’d had things thrown at her. The same for the other lady as well. No body realises how much prejudice there is in the world until you go out wearing a hijab. I knew English were racists, but that is something else. So thats why I would not go out in the street wearing hijab. 

  495. Sorry “came up behind her”, just noticed error in sentence.

  496. @kat,
    I’m sorry to hear that about your friend. Where I lived in England, it was really quite mixed; I saw women in abayas alongside women in miniskirts. This mix was considered normal. And once, a friend of mine commented on a woman wearing both a hijab and miniskirt as being odd, but not in a bad way. I never really noticed any abuse, but I’m sure it’s different when you’re the one wearing the hijab and/or abaya.

    In some parts of the US, there is prejudice. In others, there’s not. Where I live is multicultural and nobody seems to care about a woman in an abaya, other than that perhaps it’s a bit exotic and different than the norm. However, I haven’t noticed any abuse or discrimination in this area. The only exception to this is that someone commented on my husband’s arabic music once but as it was an elderly woman, he just brushed it off. I wish I could have been there to comment back; I would have put her in her place. For this area, I would consider this an isolated incident.

    Anyways, I hope that you and your habibi are able to get everything worked out so you can both be happy together.

  497. @Kat & Strange One:

    The King Abdullah Scholarship Program has definitely not a fine associated with it at all. You can go and study anywhere you like and stay there to work( of course if you have a work permit).

    I know many young people on KASP, there is absolutely no such regulation.

    Most want to return because of family ties and the belief they can get a job easier in Saudi, which is not always true now.

    Some have actually stayed on for a few years abroad to enhance their CV’s.

    The only people that HAVE a contract to retun are ones that got scholarships related to jobs they already had before their departure.

    This is another case and again if there are family reasons pending for their lack of return- and proof of it of course- they can either postpone the date of retun or nagotiate their resignation from that job.

  498. @ Kat : in my opinion, there are so many wonderful things to do in the UK or even take the occasional cheap flight to Europe:

    museums, theathers, cinemas, concerns, hiking, going out for picnics in nature….what more can a mother give to hear child than that!

    excellent education, opportunity to meet people all over the world.

    opportunity to chose their own path in life, without any reprecautions, e.g chose a partner, chose religion, etc.

    I dont say that saudi does not have some good stuff, but most of the time it would be limited unless you are a keen businesswomen and are here to make money + he is very liberal. But again you want to weigh the risks.

    Beyond that it depends on the person how they want to raise their children and what opportunities they want to give them in life from young.

    Regarding the hijab: frankly it is only a detail of islam and really not important at all – after a while it feels suffocating and inconvenient.

    Let alone that most women- from what I have seen- end up loosing lots of hair because their scalp does not breathe at all from the constant covering.

    and mind you…most saudi women would rather marry a non-saudi man 🙂 i can tell you that! but unfortunately most of their families dont let them.

    dont think that saudi men would turn nasty only because you are a westener….many cases they abuse their saudi wives….either emotionally or physically ( it is not considered bad if he beats you lightly from time to time, it is actually his duty to keep you in line)

    young girls divorced after 1 years marriage, because she wanted to go out a lot to shop at the mall, or because he had a flight with her brother he didnt even go to see her giving birth!
    other cases: know a lady- her husband left on those KASP scholarships and told her she would follow- she was so excited looking also to study- her chance!- in the end: he divorced her BY MAIL.
    and now she is a 20 something divorce in the society that cannot remarry! she can only be a second wife to some old man or get a younger, but visitor only husband.
    Another case: 22 year old with 4 children!! and her husband wanted to remarry!

    But Kat you have to COME AND SEE with your OWN EYES. All the rest is talk. The most important is you and your decision after experiencing things.

  499. @Gigi,
    Thanks for the correction on the scholarship information.

    I believe in the “hijab” as far as dressing modestly (since modesty is cultural) for the society one is in. However, this is not a mainstream belief. Some of my friends who are devout Muslims do not believe that covering one’s hair is a requirement for dressing modestly according to Islam.

  500. Can someone please tell me how I delete my comments on here?

  501. Kat,

    Once comments are posted to the blog, only the blog administrator can delete them. I personally think it would be a shame to have your comments and the responses deleted as they will also help others in similar decisions. If you search on the blog about relationships, you will find that your experience has many similarities to others. I’m sure you’d benefit from reading about them and the subsequent comments.

    Those who have commented are not being mean. They are speaking with experience and candor.

    On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 7:08 PM, American Bedu

  502. I know it may come as a help to others, but I worry that someone who knows me will come across my comments, or worse my bf or someone that knows him will come across them and guess that it’s me writing into here. My bf really would not be happy to know I’ve been writing about our personal situation, so I would prefer to have them all deleted. I just wanted the advice which I have and now I’d like to be wiped out the conversation. How do I contact the administrators?

  503. Kat,

    That’s not really being fair. When you choose to write on a public blog there is an understanding that your comments are placed to stay. I know you may feel like what you wrote is identifiable but believe me when I say that your words have been written (pretty much identically) by many others before you.

    If –in the unlikely event– your bf would ever discover your comments, perhaps it would help open his own eyes too. You raise many valid points and people with experience have given you answers.

    On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM, American Bedu

  504. Kat, Everything you write on the internet will stay there for quite a while. Internet keeps caches.
    And you wrote nothing which points to an actual person.

    So your boyfriend might not like it? Well… oh dear… He’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it, won’t he? Of course he does sound like a spineless douchebag from your description of him but then he might learn a valuable lesson and it might turn him into a better man.

    * I just wanted the advice which I have and now I’d like to be wiped out the conversation.*
    You are writing for days on an open forum. you knew this when you started writing. You wanted information and when you got it you now want your part deleted? Making a nonsense of the blog???? What about all the people who were kind enough to spend a lot of time and effort to write to you to give you all this advice?

    Waw, the mind boggles! Superselfish, egotistical and ungrateful are the words that come to my mind.

    I hope your comments will remain here forever. It is clear you ahve no respect or gratitude, and you certainly are resolved not to profit from what was given to you, but for others this could be life saving information. And your comments are part of it. So I never ever want anything changed or deleted in this thread!

    Anyway, do go and marry ”your Saudi” (are these guys pets or something? We do not ”own” other people), and go and live in Riyad or Qassim please and let us know in ten years how you like it.

  505. Maybe I should contact administration and ask them to make all your comments into BOLD CAPITALS



  506. Ah, bedu makes a very good point here. You really have very little to worry about Kat, you are just one of many, many women who write almost verbatim the same story and also react exactely the same as you did.

    Except for the selfish request to have all your comments erased after you ”got what you wanted” you added nothing new to an endless ever repeating, never ending stream of young women who want to marry ”their Saudi” and want ”advice”.

    Your reactions are absolutely following the norm as well:

    1 – Can anybody help me, I am involved/engaged/inlove wit a Saudi what should I do?
    2 – Oh this sounds really bad I will talk to ”my Saudi”
    3 – He says it will be ok, but his family doesn’t want me but we will not give up
    4 – Oh, you are happily married to ”your Saudi”??? Please tell me more I really only want to hear about women who are happily married and I will ignore all the other posts
    5 – you are all being mean to me. you are all racists and I am the victim
    6 – ”my Saudi” is different and I will hope and wait and hopefully marry him and everything will be fine because he is my true love and i will even accept it if he marries another wife

    The only thing in which you are truly exceptional is:
    I just wanted the advice which I have and now I’d like all my comments to be wiped out the conversation.

    I think this is so unique we can’t make a point #7 out of it.

  507. Kat reminds me of a Western woman I knew who attended another woman’s child’s birthday party in Jeddah. The whole thing was videotaped which was obvious the whole time. An hour afterwards (maybe after woman #2 talked with her dh?) she went back to the hostess’ house and insisted that she erase the video, ruining the tape for the lady who put on the party.

  508. Exactly, Aafke.

  509. @Kat,
    I was in a relationship with a Saudi. Now, I am married to someone from a different country in the region. There were some minor differences, but also many similarities in terms of culture. There were, however, major differences between the two men individually- which is why I married one and not the other. The one I married I never have to worry about taking a second wife because of the quality of person he is. I can’t say the same about the first guy (the one from KSA).

    The first one I was with I refused to live in KSA with because he did not introduce me to his whole family, he wanted me to give up my dreams and teach English in KSA because it “was good money”, and didn’t want to try living in my home country (USA). (We met in England.) He had an easy job in KSA and didn’t want to have to work hard for the same kind of job in a foreign country. He wanted an easy life in a culture he was used to near his family and expected me to change for him.

    In contrast, the one I married would never expect me to give up my freedoms in the US to move to a country such as KSA. In fact, he doesn’t like the restrictions in KSA, either. We may eventually move back to his country depending on a lot of things, but this would be many years in the future after we have already established our careers. We would do it in order to help give more opportunity and give back to the community where he’s from, but it would be a decision we would make together that would depend on a lot of factors.

    Do you understand the difference?

    I have nothing against Saudis. In fact, I know a couple of Saudi men that are friends of mine that will, IMHO, make great husbands some day. However, it really depends on the guy.

    I don’t think anyone will be able to recognize you on here because, as Carol and Aafke put it, your story is quite similar to other ones. Search for “The Love Story That Almost Was”. It’s my story, and you might find some similarities. The difference is that now, I have a husband (non-Saudi from the region) who makes an effort to explain some of the cultural differences, so I understand the culture a little better than I did before. However, I still don’t understand it all so I would still recommend asking others who are married to Saudis, who are Saudi, or are from the region.

  510. @ Kat

    Dear Kat, dont be disappointed to hear these comments ALSO dont worry- I can tell you it is VERY VERY rare that a saudi guy will frequent this forum to search for advice.

    They dont enjoy reading too much in English anyhow 😉 If he wants he would be considering Arabic forums to read. So you are safe.

    These comments do not necessarily reflect ‘ broken hearted’ ladies, but they are warnings that you need to take into account.

    I mean a marriage is not just about you and him- it is the children also.

    You need to be very clear on how you want to raise them and if your views agree.

    For example, when I took my children to school, I wanted to check it out- to hear information from other about it. I wanted to know the curriculum, what are the ethics of the school, etc.
    Definitely I wanted to visit, before registering my children.

    Imagine now if I wanted to take them to a different country with totally different regulations. Would I want to know and have visited the place myself? or I would just sign any marriage contract and jump in it and put them in potential danger or sign off their future rights?

    I could not live wtih myself if I did that.

    It is fine for some ladies, if they chose to live a externally controlled and limited life- it is their choice, but why should they remove the same choice from their children? It is not fair at all.

    Thus you need to vist and then think very hard about your future and CHILDREN above all with him. That is the most important in my opinion and you cannot do it having not lived in the middle east to know first hand.

  511. Sorry, I have to disagree with something posted here. I know someone quite involved with the administration of the scholarship program. You are supposed to come back and work- or pay back the scholarship. True it isn’t often enforced but it absolutely is in that agreement in writing.

  512. Good point, Gigi. If you have boys in KSA, you can never go in their school, meet or talk with their teachers, attend their sporting events or even attend their graduation! You have zero say in their education.

  513. While understanding the educational benefits of Kat’s posts and the responses to them, I feel her request to have her comments deleted should be respected — despite being on a public blog, etc. Even facebook, with all of its strong slant to sharing everything with everyone and sneaky changes in policies about what is automatically public, allows a person to remove items. That’s just my personal opinion….maybe the administrator could post a comment summarizing the issues/questions that Kat posed without identifying details…so that other comments would make sense. This has been a valuable conversation for many, including me, but why not respect a woman’s request for privacy? Peace.

  514. Because she made the choice herself to write in an open internet forum. You can’t just come in here, use hours of other people’s time and then say, ”I got what I wanted (the story of the one person who is quite happily married) and so screw everybody else, screw the blog owner and her work on her blog and I will a mockery of it because I am a selfish ………. (insert expletive of your choice here)”

    And as Carol said, if these comment can actually be brought home to her then every other woman whining about ”her Saudi” could be her as well, and every lame answer made by ”her Saudi” has been made by every Saudi boyfriend we have ever heard of. So she is in a strong position to deny everything.

    Also, I do not believe ”her Saudi” can ever identify with her fairy-tale description of his tribe and family: A traditional, 100% inbred bedouin family who travel, where all the women have studied and they all work and have drivers.
    Yeah right…
    No tribe or family will only 100% marry their cousins, they would have died out by now, they would have inbred themselves into extinction as drooling idots with very bad blood diseases ages ago. Genetics are brutal.
    So the 2% of women working in SA apparently all come from this one tribe and family?

    Trust me, Kat’s ”Saudi” will have no clue his lame ass is the subject of this discussion. It’s too far removed from reality.

  515. @aefeke art I don’t like your attitude. It’s not about saying I’ve got what I wanted so screw everyone else. They are my comments, they belong to me and if I want them deleted I can. I have thanked everyone numerous times for their help and support, I have respected every single one of you on here, so now respect me. I have a reason why I want them deleted, because I feel uncomfortable having them left on here. No one else has got a problem with it so u shouldn’t either. If you cannot be polite about it, then don’t say anything at all.

  516. Sounds like your a very bitter lady….don’t take your bitterness out on everyone else.

  517. And if you can’t have an adult conversation and talk like a mature person, then you really should not be on this forum dear!!!!!!

  518. @um dunaya. Thank you for your respect and understanding sister. It’s not about wanting to be selfish and deprive others, as Aefeke art so rudely pointed out. Its about the fact that I don’t feel comfortable having my situation left online. I have thanked everyone on here for the advice and it doesn’t go unappreciated, but as you have pointed out, I do think that my request to have them deleted should be respected by all. I take it with your peaceful, respectful and understanding  approach your a muslim :). Peace to you….Salam 🙂 

  519. @Aefeke art I find your last comment very very rude, insulting and offensive. What gives you the right to talk about a Saudi family like that? you have a massive chip on your shoulder which is not going to go down too well with me. Are you bitter and twisted because of a failed relationship/marriage with a Saudi? Sounds to me like you have massive, harbouring issues which you should deal with before u come on here saying a lot of untrue things about Bedouin tribes, and basically insulting them at every corner. Do not talk about something you know nothing about. I know who my boyfriends tribe is, I’ve read about them on many professional websites and I can assure you they have pure unmixed blood. To call them inbreds, and whatever else u have said about them is absolutely disgusting. U really need to drop the attitude, because your going to look like the idiot at the end of the day. U have really got on my nerves and I don’t let that happen very often, but u have crossed the line big time. Your being offensive & nasty plain and simple.

  520. @ Sandy: that is impossible Sandy- I know more than 20 people on the KASP scholarship and I was even involved in that program at some point!
    So I am talking from personal experience- it is very different from job scholaships and NOONE asks for money back if you stay abroad.

    I have now more than a 3-4 people that decided to continue with jobs in the medical sector in the UK and not come back.

  521. @Kat,
    There is no such thing as “pure unmixed blood”. Chances are that what you read in a forum online isn’t 100% accurate because you don’t know where the women who married into the tribe are from. Are they from that tribe or a different one? Typically, the information on the women in the tribe will not be released- online or anywhere else. I am not sure where you got the idea that this would be so. While typically men will marry within their own tribe, there are times when they marry outside the tribe because they fell in love or for political reasons.You can’t be sure about the “pure blood” of his family from reading about it on an internet forum. Thinking this is very naive.

  522. I meet a Saudi girl on a trip, we click we spoke everyday, she left to Saudi and came back she change, she don’t want to tell me whats wrong more then she said i know we dont have future together my family will not accept you.. I am half kuwaiti half from a european country ) born and raise there and my speaking is bad.
    I love her so badly i dont know what to do, i dont want to lose her but because i am getting annoyed by the mentality i start to nag, and i do things i never done before.. I never thought i would be with anybody from khalij country because i just to say my mind is not like them and i meet this amazing person… I am losing her and dont know what to do… first time a girl brake me down this bad.. i am cold person but against this girl i cant be cold… i dont know what to do.. I cant stop think of anything, i am so in love that first time in my life i don’t care about my company since she said that to me i have not been at work and i cant think of anything more then her… she stop answer my calls and answer very short on bbm.. she say she love me and i am what she has been waiting ofr all her life, we bought are old 27 year old… last night she sent me bbm dont send me message give me pace and let me think what i want.. but i know she love me alot… but her family make her this way.. i dont know what to do…

  523. Kat, I see that have not read my comments. Calm down and try again.

    You are 30 years old, adult, and you choose to put your comments in an open forum on the internet, they are now Public Domain.

  524. Kat, you’ve learned a big lesson. If you don’t want things made public then you shouldn’t say/write them. You chose to write on a blog that is read world-wide. What were you thinking? It’s done already. Get over it and move on.

  525. Confused: wrong forum. (American Bedu – I think this is a case for deletion.)

  526. @Gigi. I said it’s not being enforced. It’s in the contract however. Which means it could be.

  527. If the family is claiming 100% pure blood that isn’t quite possible. There are some that are pretty excessively pure- and yes that makes them inbred. There are a lot of genetic disorders popping up in some families. I knew of one family that thought they were just fine and then a significant percentage of the following generation were all “out of the blue” born with the same disorder. So very very sad.

  528. @Gigi,
    Just to clarify so we don’t go back and forth- this occurred about 6 months ago- perhaps formats change. My understanding is the government can’t provide enough jobs to the graduates and are actually glad when someone takes a job elsewhere as thats one less job they have to provide. So in the current situation- there isn’t really an issue. However if the scholarship is being paid for by a company- they expect you back and working.

  529. @Kat
    Your story isn’t recognizable- but maybe the info about you is. Truly it’s unlikely a Saudi guy would come on this site. And this thread will get buried. What does concern me however is that you seem afraid of his reaction. Please think carefully about that. It almost seems you think you wouldn’t be “allowed” to research a very important decision? It’s an anonymous board. It doesn’t seem it should upset him.

  530. Dear Hani,

    I think it is even more pulling on the heartstrings when a foreign man falls in love with a Saudi woman. There are more obstacles that must be overcome for the relationship to work. In your case, it certainly sounds like she is receiving intense pressure from her family and it even makes me wonder if they are looking at her texts or other electronic correspondence, given how adamant she is for you to stop contact. I’m truly sorry.

    @Kat, et al: Even if Kat’s comments were to be deleted, it is as already pointed out… the comments have already been cached/stashed and picked up in other places and sites on the Internet. That’s something everyone should realize and remember whenever posting anything, whether on a blog, forum, email, FB or any type of electronic/digital medium.

    On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM, American Bedu

  531. Nothing naive about it strange one. If you knew which tribe I was talking about then you would understand more, but I won’t be giving that away. Trust me I know what I’m talking about, and I don’t ever say anything without doing a lot of research first. It’s up to you if you want to believe otherwise…. I’m not here to convince anyone of anything. I want to add that I know you didn’t mean anything in an offensive way :). Your one of the ones that have actually remained respectful and polite on here. 

    @ Wendy you get over it please. I wrote on here with the confidence that I could delete my comments after I had received the advice I need. Like um dunaya said, Facebook gives the option to delete anything that anyone writes and chooses to delete afterwards, so I should have the choice to do the same here. Its my personal situation that I do NOT want left online. I got my advice, and now I dont need my comments left on here. They are my comments, this is my situation and it’s up to me if I don’t want it left on here, so with all do respect you get over it. I cannot actually believe how damn right rude some of u are, but then again what can I expect!!! From what  I’ve found there are only a few decent, kind and truly understanding people on here who are um dunaya, Kinz, strange one, Sandy and Mama Bedu. Forgive me if I’ve missed out anyone who has actually provided me with constructive criticism, kindness, respect and understanding. For those of you who haven’t, shame on you for not responding maturely and kindly. When you respond to someone who has throughout shown respect, thank fullness, appreciation and diplomacy, you should respond back to that person in the same way, and I’m very disappointed that some of you haven’t…think we all know those individuals. Not once in my previous comments was I rude, nasty, or unappreciative, until one individual decided to be highly offensive earlier today, and another person this evening decided to not be very understanding. People… you should show kindness, peace, understanding and love to your fellow human beings. If you can’t do that what can you do!? and if you can’t be nice to people, how can you expect people to be nice to you!? I think some of you need to embrace God and peace in your lives and learn to be better people. I have always followed American Bedu. Always thought how great it was, and how nice people were on here…always so helpful and providing good advice, always understanding, so that’s why I chose to write to here. For the most part ppl have been lovely, but because a few of you could not act like decent human beings, unfortunately that has slightly ruined my opinion, as I’ve found some of u to be impolite and rude for no actual reason. I think some people just like to be spiteful for the fun of it which is a shame. @Mama Bedu,  I completely respect your forum, and I still think its great for people. I have the greatest respect for you, and I wish you the very best, but some of your users ruin it. Mama Bedu could you tell me how I can contact the administrators to get my comments removed? I would be very grateful if you could let me know. Thank you :). 

  532. @ sandy…just to clarify it is generations and generations and generations and so on, of cousins married to cousins within his family. All his family are married to family and have been for centuries and centuries. If you knew the tribe I think you would see what I mean but for privacy reasons I can’t say that.

  533. Kat:

    “She just wore hijab, so she was visibly a British convert on that day. She was going along her business, when a grown man came up behind it, smacked her as hard as he could across the head and called her a “f***ing traitor” before casually walking off. This is not an isolated incident either….she suffers abuse all the time here. She’s spat on, swore at, she’d had things thrown at her. The same for the other lady as well. No body realises how much prejudice there is in the world until you go out wearing a hijab. I knew English were racists, but that is something else. So thats why I would not go out in the street wearing”

    I would like to point out that this is not racist. Raism is based on a biological distinction between individuals such as the color of skin. The dislike towards a person who believes in a particular theology is something quite different from racism.

    Next that same aspect has been actually done to women who are not wearing the hijab/islam garb but there are many who are being killed or tortured for not wearing the garb daily even in western countries. In France a women was burned alive for going through a “muslim zone”, in australia girls were raped for not wearing the garb and called “meat”. Given these problems that some muslims create on women I can fully understand why some have a strong dislike for the symbolism. In addition many view the gard to be an embodiment of a hate symbol toward there gender such as a noose is considered a hate symbol toward a certain population segment in the US.

    Question: Generally when a person is confronted with a symbol that they view as a hatred toward them or their loved ones they generally don’t take it well particular when they see their gender or family subjected to discrimination, murder, violence, rape due to the lack of wearing it but also due to the fact that the dresswear relates that women are sin or walking external organs and the property of men and somehow this tripe is upheld by a sky fairy. So……if you wear what many see as a hate symbol or a object which has been the cause of suffer, death, torture of your gender in public then you should expect some to have revulsion to it. However they should never hit the individual just ignore them and the hate symbol and ideology they support unless they speak upon it then just state “I do not agree with the fairy that you support or the hatred/oppression it invokes the fairytale supports and ask that you keep the nonsense to yourself.”

    Then just move on.

  534. Question:

    Dog gone it, I apparently erased the question.

    Would you be happy with a group such as KKK if your were a person of color? The same can be said for others who view the Islamic dresswear in the same manner.

  535. @Kat – one tribe I know of that must first marry a cousin is Al-Saud. However, usually after marrying a cousin wife, there is more leniency to take a second wife who is not a relative, but do not expect the first wife to be accepting of such a situation.

    On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM, American Bedu

  536. Kat, on February 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm said: “therefore I will say bye to you all now and I thank you all for your time and effort in responding to my situation. God bless you all…Salam.”

    And you are still here almost couple of days later posting and responding after saying “goodbyes” and “blessing” us all. And especially after you accused many of being rude and impolite and racists. What gives????

  537. @Kat,

    This is not FB where you have an option to delete your comments. FB is secured with an ID and has that functionality. It is a blog comment site where when you write comments you are not given control to delete them. You certainly should have known that going in and should not blame it on others.

    What you are asking for is having your request respected, but you have not thought that others also have rights in such an exchange. There are many people who wrote comments based on the topic which you chose to start. If an administrator removes your comments then those other comments will not make any sense and other commentators efforts are lost and/or they look silly. Sounds a little selfish don’t you think?

    Further, I think Sandy brought up a good point. If you are so scared that your boyfriend will be upset with you and it may impact your relationship, then you need to think hard about his quality of character. If he can be so controlling while you live in a place like the UK and have full freedoms, think about how controlling he will be when you go to a place like Saudi Arabia where he will hold all the decisions over your life.

    Finally, I think you are only looking for positive feedback about Saudi. When commentators gave you the real truth about their negative experiences, you dismissed them readily by indicating your situation is different. But is it really different than all the others?

    Actually I think you will be fine at the end. The outcome of this relationship will likely be that he leaves at the end of his scholarship and you will never hear from him again or worse he will string you a long for a year or two. In which case, you will have a broken heart, but you will get over it with help of family and friends. Sorry, I am not trying to be harsh here. I am trying to prepare you to the eventuality. In many respects that will be a much better outcome than moving to Saudi and losing all your freedoms.

  538. @Kat,
    I do understand. And Mama Bedu is right likely there are several second wives in there through the generations that “polluted” the blood lines. Almost certainly as all those generations go through slave days etc. Anyway- you don’t need to name the family. There are several like that. And if it hasn’t happened yet it’s a genetic time bomb waiting to go off. When generations inbreed like that it’s inevitable. So they should actually be ENCOURAGING intermarriage with people as far away as possible.

  539. @ sandy: that is exactly what I said: you dont have to return on a KASP scholarship, unless you already had a job and you got the scholarship with the involvement of your job to upgrade your skills and return.
    And again in this case they are provisions and people did not return.

    All other cases from KASP directly from the Ministry of Higher Education can do as they wish and stay abroad if they can get a job and a work permit and a number of them did just that. That were people very fluent in English and very confident that could survive anywhere.

    Others that returned some have a job and some dont. There are no guarantees that is why there is no limitation for them to return to KSA.

  540. @Gigi,
    That is not what I’m saying. It is written in the contract. They are not enforcing it or likely too- but they can. It is there. And I don’t believe there is an expiry date on it either. Though I’ve been trying to find that out- and if you know I would be interested if you could share.

  541. @ Sandy : I was involved with these scholarships, that is why I know the regulations. That is why I was also quite curious about this discussion on saudi students and their ‘ relationships’ abroad.

  542. The most concerning I find is this:

    – how can someone marry a man and relocate with him, KNOWING that this person has a life and death power on them.
    No matter how well one knows him, what if he turns and KILLS the wife by accusing her of adultery for example to justify himself. or even starts to abuse the children and still be unpunished.
    I know these are extreme cases, but then again it is there.

    The point is that the latest story of the small girl being raped and killed is a big shock for me. I did not know that men held SUCH power.

    How did ladies felt about it when marrying a saudi or any man that his country allows for this? ( whether their relationship turned good or bad in the end) Did they decide to oversee it? or consider it next to impossible?

    I would be interested to hear about it.

  543. @Kat: you are right, that is not racism but sectarianism. Interesting that you are (rightfully) outraged on women being attacked for their clothing but want to move to a place that is famous for exactly that!

  544. @Gigi,
    I just called someone right now who is in the middle of this process. Yes. It is on the list of conditions that you work or pay back. He was told it is has not been enforced- but YES it is there. Seen with his own eyes. Believe what you will.

  545. @ Sandy: Impossible Sandy, maybe you are misinformed.
    Thus is is up to you to believe what you will after this.
    I have seen it with my OWN eyes and not just talked with people over the phone. Unless he/she has a scholarship offer through his./her job.the KASP per se does not have such a rule as it does not gurantee positions immediate upon return.
    The student is free to come back if he likes and search- or free to stay outside and search. It is simple logic.
    There are no contracts with non enforcable clauses, especially if they dont make sense in the first place.

  546. @ To ladies married to saudis, I wonder this and I am really curious about answers no matter if your relationship worked out in the end or not.

    – how can someone marry a man and relocate with him, KNOWING that this person has a life and death power on them.
    No matter how well one knows him or the region, what if he turns and KILLS the wife by accusing her of adultery for example to justify himself. or even starts to abuse the children and still be unpunished.
    I know these are extreme cases, but then again it is there part of sharia law for him to use if he wishes, bedouin or not.

    The point is that the latest story of the small girl being raped and killed is a big shock for me. I did not know that men held SUCH power.

    How did ladies feel about it when marrying a saudi or any man that his country’s legal system allows for this? ( whether their relationship turned good or bad in the end) Did they decide to oversee it? or consider it next to impossible? Did they feel that it was worth the risk they took for themselves and their children?

  547. The reason I’m still here is because I am trying to find out how I can get my comments deleted. I don’t want to discuss things further about any matter. I just want to be respected! I’m not interested to argue my point anymore. I have been respectful to others who have been respectful to me. I have listened to what people have said, and not once did I say my situation is different. Not once did I say that I am not listening to what others have to say, and not once did I say I want to only hear good things about Saudi, so please do not misunderstand. I have been polite and said thank you to all that helped, but some chose to be rude towards me when there wasn’t any need, so I’m just standing up for myself, which everyone is entitled to do. Please I’m not interested now in any more comments about any situation, I would just like to know who the administrators are for this blog so I can remove my comments. I am not scared of my bf of course, but I don’t feel comfortable with my situation being left on here. Your all entitled to leave your comments up that were in response to mine, but as for mine I don’t want to. I’m not arguing any further…American Bedu how can I get my comments removed?

  548. @American bedu the problem is I can’t find any option for contacting administrators. Where do I find this?

  549. Unless things have changed, boys can attend a ‘mixed’ school until they reach a certain age (maybe second grade?) After that they transfer to an all-boys school. If you want to speak to the all-male school administration on your own you can call. It may still be possible to visit the administration office but they might insist you bring their father. My kids had to attend a school with all-male administration briefly, I sent their father to take care of things. Once they were in a less traditional setting I was able to handle everything myself.

  550. @ Kat:

    Now, why are you so afraid? What you asked for is information and voicing your concerns. This should be acceptable to anyone and you did this in a anonyomous fashion. So again why are you so afraid? Answer that……..then the rest may fall into place

  551. No, I think Confused has a point, not all Saudis that can’t get married are male and to only reply to ex-pats thinking about marriage to Saudi men is not fair.

    For Confused, your girl must have decided to try something different while she was traveling but when she went home she decided it isn’t worth it to fight to get married to a non-Saudi. The Saudi women in our family who married non-Saudi’s are happy but they paid a price for their decision. She has changed her mind, let her go nicely so she has good memories of you. If you push her she will only hate you. Let her go akhy.

  552. Kat, I am sorry but I have to say, however shocking it may seem, that you do not seem respectful at all.
    On the contrary, your latest comments have the strange effect as to make it seem as if you are very disrespectful to Carol, the owner of the blog.
    Your choice of words make it appear as if you are disrespectful and ungrateful to the many women who have taken time out of their days to try to help you and inform you and support you.
    One is made to think that you have no respect for their advice, their experience and their time. The one commodity which can never be replaced once it is given away.

    I can imagine how it must shock you to find out that we mistakenly got such a bad impression of you.
    I hope you will on reflection understand that you need to rethink what you say and how you say it.
    And how you need to stop making unreasonable demands on the blog owner whose guest you are, so that, in future, you will come across as the respectful, considerate, unselfish person you really are.

  553. AA:

    I know you think she is being disrespectul but sometimes people who are acting in fear do irrational things and think in an irrational manner in hopes to find help, even if the information is so general that she would never be identified but in her mind the situation screams it was her. If a person is abused in some form they are fearful of many things including being found out………… this respect, I can understand her request. She might simply be living in fear and now thinks she is in a desperate situation. You never know where a desperate person may go or what they may do so………sometimes it is just best to grant their wishes by taking out what they think will identify them and leave the rest.

    Just my two bits.

  554. Thanks big stick that’s all I wanted is a contact for admin. I appreciate it :). Well I’m not afraid….I just relised it was a bad idea that I spoke about my personal situation on a public forum. Won’t be doing it again….thought it would be easy to delete things afterwards, and also didn’t know deleting my own personal comments would offend so much. I’m not being selfish, and if it seems that way I apologise, but i’m sure people will still benefit from other people’s stories similar to mine when they write into American Bedu, so really people are only losing out on reading about one person’s story. I also didn’t really like some individuals tones on here. Was quite rude, sarcastic and offensive at times which quite honestly I didn’t expect, as I didn’t feel there was any need for it. I’m all up for constructive criticism, but there are right ways and wrong ways of doing that. Regardless, I still really  appreciate the advice i’ve been given, and I will be taking every constructive comment (not offensive ones) that has been said to me on board, which I’ve said throughout the time I’ve been on here, even though some are adamant I am just brushing things off which I’m not. Anyway thanks again. Bye 🙂   

  555. Aefeke Art I’m leaving the forum discussion tonight, but don’t want to be rude and leave without replying to you. I fully appreciate those who have taken time out of the day to reply to me. I have always said how grateful I am, and I know everyone is trying to help in their own way, but calling people inbreds, saying they are riddled with medical problems etc etc is offensive and not constructive. Some of the comments I’ve read have not been helpful, because instead of helping me in a polite way or wording things in a critical but polite and non offensive manner, a couple of you have made me feel attacked, and like you want to just be spiteful. If u want to get your word across it should be done in a way not to upset others, and yes today I have lost my cool, because of some of the things I read this morning. If u read up until today I have always been respectful in my wording and polite. However, since a couple of people got rude with me, I got rude back…that’s just how things work with us humans. If you feel I’m being selfish I apologise. If you feel I’m being disrespectful towards Caroline that is not my intention. However, if I’m not comfortable with something anymore then…….anyway just wanted to acknowledge your message. Take care.

  556. Kat:

    Then why are you so fearful of being identified by such common place situations as you have described? These events in no way singles you out as many women have the same accounts as you.

    Next blogging can be a little tough on first timers as it is all about being personal since you are putting your views out there and they are going to take a hit as there are many who will disagree or view it differently. That is what is so interesting about blogging and after a while you will find that you open up to different aspects, appreciate people who blog with you even if you disagree with them or their ideology just because they have taken the time to relate something of themselves to you and in that they have provided you with a gift of sharing their experiences and themselves with you.

    If you can see it from that perspective that many feel they have provided you with a gift that you are throwing back at them then maybe you can understand it from their perspective of why they feel insulted.

    Good luck to you in whatever choice you make and I hope for a bright/happy outcome.


  557. And big stick yes you are right…I was acting out of desperation, because I’m upset about it everyday. Just wanted to turn to people for help, but do regret putting everything on here because of being found out. You have hit the nail on the head. Nothing bad would happen and my bf is sooooooo lovely and understanding, but it’s my own personal worry, rather than a worry that my bf would be angry. Thank you for your understanding really. Take care

  558. Kat, your post was so vanilla as to be anyone from England of a college age. That’s only a crowd of millions, of that crowd, even money, there are hundreds to thousands that are involved in some manner with a Saudi.
    I mean, really. It’s around 51% of young women in the UK are going to college now. You’re lost in a vast crowd.

    As for inbred, many tribal types are heavily inbred and do experience significant medical problems and severe birth defects. One can breed inward only so long, as many royal families of Europe discovered. Hemophilia, epilepsy and more were common in those families.
    Wikipedia gives a brief nod in their inbreeding article.
    Arabs still tend to hide their deformed and mentally challenged, rather than show their misfortune to the world. While I was deployed to Qatar, the Qatari government had a massive campaign about birth defects not being a shameful thing. Over time, we’d see those children coming to the malls with their families, which was unheard of years prior.
    I was there for 5 years, I had read in briefings about the problem, but when people started bringing their birth defect riddled children to the malls, it truly drove the point home far better than even the best intelligence report can do.
    All of the GCC states have begun various efforts to lessen the stigma and educate about the dangers of breeding too close, with variable results.

  559. There is a campaign here in Saudi now because of the widespead genetic problems. They insist on medical screening before people get married to make sure the are genetically compatible. THey don’t enforce it though- and sadly most go ahead and get married anyway- ’cause they need to marry in the family. And yes wzrd you are correct they keep them at home.

    I don’t know why your offended at the mention of the inbreeding and genetic issues in the tribal families of Saudi, Kat. It is a real issue and one that might effect you if you were to marry into a family like that.

  560. Kat,
    While I understand why you might be scared, if you are that paranoid then why post at all? Short of posting you and/or your Saudi’s full name or other identifying information, no one will know who you are.

    While I agree with bigstick1’s point, I have to say that I find it quite rude that you would post on here with the initial intention of deleting your comments. It’s not as if you got scared; you deliberately planned to delete your comments from the beginning. This is what I find quite rude and disrespectful, which is what Aafke is probably talking about.

    Oh, and BTW, I wouldn’t go posting comments on facebook with the intention of deleting them later. People are going to read your comments, and they are not anonymous as they are here. Between posting them and deleting them, people will see what you write, and they will ask you about it later. Just talking from experience, although I don’t write things with the intention of deleting them later.

    When I was with my Saudi-ex, I came here looking for answers since my ex wouldn’t give me any. The fact that I had to go to someone else to find the answers to my questions was a red flag for me. If you’re worried about the situation, then maybe you need to quit asking us and go talk to your boyfriend. If he won’t explain what life is like in KSA or refuses to consider living abroad, then this would be a problem.

    I showed my Saudi-ex this website and he freaked out. He thought it just had bad things to say and wouldn’t take the time to actually read the articles. I didn’t like this, either.

    You don’t need us to answer your questions. You just need to trust yourself and your boyfriend. If you don’t trust him, then don’t move to Saudi Arabia with him. It’s that simple.

    Oh, and my Saudi-ex had a family member that married outside the family. Know who he is? No? Then how are we supposed to know who your Saudi is when his family marries inside the family tribe?

  561. @strangeone. Firstly my bf is very open about Saudi Arabia and his family. Secondly my initial question on here was nothing to do with life in Saudi, the culture or wheather my bf is honest or not etc etc. I was simply asking what is the best way to persuade Saudi parents for a mixed marriage, and people chose to go on and on about culture, the life etc etc, which I already know about anyway. That was not my question. If people chose to write a whole 3 or 4 paragraphs about things that are not relevant to my question it’s not my problem sorry. I don’t see the problem in deleting comments, and I know plenty on Facebook who write and delete….again I don’t see the problem with that, and I would not have any problem with someone else if they wanted to write and delete when I’d took 2 minutes to respond to them. I would just respect & understand their wish hhhh. In fact it wouldn’t even enter my head to get pissed off with that, cuz I don’t know the person to care. Anyway take it easy guys lol. I won’t be coming back on here anymore so really no point in writing anything else to me (with respect). Don’t want to be accused further of been disrespectful when you take some more minutes out of your busy schedules to respond to me lol. Only came on here to check if my comments had been deleted as I have requested with admin. Hope if anyone else does this in the future u will respect their wishes a bit more. Bye Toodle pip

  562. Sorry Kat, your comments are here to stay.
    What happens on the internet stays on the internet.

    You do not have the right to get your comments deleted on a blog. Realize that and live with it.
    Other people have rights too. As you are so respectful you will be happy to respect other people’s rights.

    I am sorry you found other people’s comments on your questions so irrelevant. Which is not at all a disrespectful thing to say of course.
    You must have been very bored the last few days… reading all these irrelevant comments, asking people about their personal life and having to read all that stuff too…
    Especially as you clearly are an expert on Saudi life already and have a far more reliable source of information.
    But it is great you remain polite and respectful.
    I am so sorry that we did not respect and understand your wishes, but understand this can always happen on the internet.

    Anyway, if you come back here in future you will be happy to know that all your comments are still on here and will be very useful to other visitors to this blog. It is always a wonderful feeling that you are helping others, and that your words will live on on the internet for ever.

    It’s always great to have knowledgeable and respectful people coming here and commenting. And being able to read back even years later.
    I am sorry you are leaving, but thank you for your contributions.

    I would love to hear later how your relationship pans out, I hope you will come back at some point and tell us about it.
    For now, goodbye and I wish you happiness and lots of luck.

  563. Kat, you don’t go out and ask people, and especially strangers, whether or not your man is being honest. There are good and bad in all races, religions, cultures, worlds. If you have to ask then you’re relationship is doomed anyway. Somewhere I read here that you are 30 years old. Where have you been hiding? You seem quite naive.
    Anyway, all of this will blow over very quickly and especially if you and everyone else stops posting on this thread. Nothing will be deleted but nobody will be bothered to read it either. It’s time to move on.

  564. Yes Sandy, that has been my experience as well. Saudi Arabia still has a staggering unemployment rate and a very young population. Perhaps the government treats the scholarships as a way to build the marketable skills of the younger generation, if they find employment it is a boon. For people sponsored by companies, they fully expect their sponsored students will return to work for an agreed upon number of years. If a person wishes to reneg on the contract, I’m not sure how much enforcement there is.

  565. I’m saddened to hear about a random and senseless attack against a woman no matter what she was wearing. When I was a student in Florida my blonde, bubbly roommate was riding her bicycle along a quiet road wearing shorts and sandals. Some jackass in the passenger seat of a passing car struck her off her bicycle and when she looked up she saw him pointing his thumb down. It was deliberate. No matter how much abuse Muslim women may experience in their own countries, I’m sure you agree that whether or not a person holds an opinion that to dress modestly is a sign of that oppression, he has no right to harm the woman in any way. There is an old Arabic saying to dress to please your neighbors and eat to please yourself. In this still misogynistic world, who knows what clothes will offend whom?

  566. You don’t have to marry for centuries to have problems with marrying too close. I know a family where several first cousins got married and their recessive gene emerged. Several are albino with all the related difficulties. When I used to go to the university hospital with some patients they had a treatment center where I heard a patient wailing with pain because she had to have a blood transfusion. Her problem arising from being the product of a too-limited gene pool. Some members of a prominent tribe have a staggering number of people afflicted with cancer and diabetes. My friend’s sister-in-law had an Rh incompatibility with her baby and the poor thing had to have its blood changed. The husband and wife are merely related by tribe and not by being cousins. Marrying too close causes problems. Kat wouldn’t necessarily bring matching recessive genes to her children but should be aware that her husband might have quite a few of his own.

  567. @Kat,
    You said: “Well I was born into Christianity and now converted. I’m confused because firstly Allah allows mixed marriages, and second prophet Mohammed (pbuh) had wives from outside, so how can his family have a problem with it, when Islam is the most important part of their lives, and the religion is allowing it? I also stumbled upon the issue that the Quran also says parents (especially mothers), should be obeyed, they come after God and should be treated with kindness, respect, and care at all times, which of course is right, and I should hope everyone is like this towards their mothers, but do they have to obey their parents on marriage too? Because the Quran states sons can have a choice of who they want to marry, however it’s respectful to take the parents approval to save any issues. Is there any surah in the Quran that can be useful in persuading the parents regarding this matter? Anything I can say to remind them that refusing their son to marry from outside is not Islamic? In my eyes if Allah has no problem with it neither should they. I Really need some help and advice??? and please no rude answers, because I’m really cut up about it. ”

    And the rest of us answered with our opinions on why his parents might be refusing your marriage to their son. We also told you to be careful and reasons why you should be careful

    Let me add that you can’t force his parents to feel a certain way about you. That is their decision. We can’t tell you a “magic” solution to make his mother love you. A lot of it will be how your Saudi approaches marrying you and how well he stands up for you. Also, it will depend on how much people within his family respect him. Again, you can’t really control this. If he’s scared to talk to his parents, his parents may not take him seriously or may think that they can control him and get him to do what they want.

    There are a lot of factors, and you can’t change his family’s mind. You can only change your reaction to it. That’s why people recommended that you live with your Saudi outside KSA where you have more rights as a woman and it’s further away from the influence of your Saudi’s family.

    If you want to gain acceptance, the best way to do that is to start talking with his parents. Maybe they’ll love you; maybe they’ll hate you, but you’ll never know until you try.

    My husband’s family accepted me because they have good hearts and minds, and they know my husband and I love each other. They also know that I love and care about them, too. But it’s not always this easy. Plus, his family is more open and accepting in general. They’re good people. However, one cannot always choose the family, and if you love your Saudi then you have to accept his for better or worse. That doesn’t mean you have to live in the same house as them, though.

    Chances are that your Saudi will have to keep saying “no, I don’t want another wife.”

  568. Regarding genetic problems, I believe there is a lot of deafness in KSA from cousin marriage as well.

  569. There are many papers written about the rising amounts of birth defects in the Arab world. They are linked to in-breeding. Saudi Arabia has the highest rate of birth defects in the world, and Saudi Arabia has the highest rate of intermarriage.

  570. There are also lots of birth defects in the ME because of the Gulf War chemical and other attacks, Aafke

  571. But most of the birth defects are genetic defects. Anyway, maybe Bedu should write an article about it. It would be interesting to compare birth defects related to chemicals used in the Gulf war in the ME and US, because the US-soldiers got a lot of weird diseases after the Gulf war.

  572. Want to help me co-write a post on this, Aafke?

    On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM, American Bedu

  573. Yes of course, I don’t have work enough to do…
    We’ll see, it will need some decent research to be based on serious grounds and not hearsay and gossip or on the other hand glossing over and ignoring the facts.

    Maybe we can get a health professional in SA to help us.

  574. AA:

    Also here is some studies on the Amish and inbreeding. This might provide a lot of information on disorders as well.

    It should be an interesting topic. Can’t wait to see it. Happy writing. 🙂

  575. Hum, Bigstick, if we are going to write this article I was thinking of less tendentious articles as the first one you posted, but more in the vein of actual scientific research. I was always led to believe that the once in a hundred years cousin marriage doesn’t do much harm. But a breeding program based on inbreeding will have very serious effects. So I would like to find out what’s what.

  576. AA:

    Just giving you a wide berth of information that contributes to the problem. Up to you to decide what you want to include. 😀

    However, you should include what they consider father/daughter relations as the first article makes a point.

  577. Saudi Stepford Wife did an excellent article on marriages between relatives when she was still able to blog. I actually got to meet with her when I was in Riyadh. I miss her and do worry about her well being.

    On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM, American Bedu

  578. “However, you should include what they consider father/daughter relations as the first article makes a point.” This is inflammatory bullshit totally unsupported by Islam or real life facts.

  579. Donna:

    A lot of what Saudi does is not part of the Islam text but they do it. So ……..I don’t think it is inflammatory at all……..just a reality in Saudi based upon the absurd.

  580. The British Medical Journal mentions consanguinity and birth defects.

    When considering inbreeding, another term to look for is “founder effect”.
    Let me know if you need more scholarly articles on the subject. While, I don’t have access to Ovid, I’m pretty good at searching for medical articles via open source means.

  581. @BigStick: Are you referring to me calling b.s. on Muslim fathers marrying their own daughters? You imply now that that happens in Saudi. The burden of proof is on you. I still call b.s. and inflammatory b.s. at that.

  582. Donna:

    Actually no the burden of proof is not on me: All I stated was “you should include what they consider father/daughter relations as the first article makes a point.”

  583. Donna:

    Also by name you I am refering to you directly.


    I am so having fun with this.


  584. Thanks for your reply. I wasn’t asking if you referring TO ME, I was asking if you were referring to me CALLING B.S. ON MUSLIM FATHERS MARRYING THEIR DAUGHTERS and then saying that that is what happens in KSA. And if you say to take that b.s. and consider it as fact, then yes, you do need to prove it.

  585. Bigstick I read that article and I think it’s a nasty piece of anti-Muslim propaganda. Very far sought. And it has nothing to do with proof that fathers routinely marry their daughters in SA.
    You did make the claim, the burden of proof is upon you, you did not provide it, now drop this subject as it is completely off-topic. Go to the debate page if you must.

  586. Donna;

    I would not put anything past Saudi on the sexual conduct. You are talking about a country that was forced to officially end slavery in 1962 and still in many respects practices it. A country that forbids its women from driving, currently women are property of men, etc. Fatwas such as wipe out the boob to feed men to work with them are issued in the state of religious absurdity, virginity is lost due to driving, and on and on and on. Hell the royal family had one of the princess shot and these bastards still believe in witches and behead them. They even have week long classes given to the hate police on how to deal with a witch. So do I believe that they would do this……..YES, yes I do. Now would it be widely accepted if some did this or just no spoken about? Probably not spoken about.

    I would put nothing past the hardline religious including this and they would just lie to you, anyway. After all lying to the kuffar is perfectly acceptable according to their evil texts. Now if you think I have a low opinion of hardline religious anything………Yes, yes I do.

    You should know that I am not the one that has brought it up. This topic has been discussed in the Islamic circles and for some there is split opinions. Just like there is taliban islam, Al-Queda islam, Wahhabi islam, other types of islam……..any vile thing you want to do can be justified somewhere somehow with the religious hate books.

    Of course my opinion of religion is pretty low anyway.

  587. AA:

    Read Islam monitor.

  588. AA:

    You have reading comprehension problems as well. However, just because you don’t like the article doesn’t mean that what was offered does not exist. It was something I told you to look into as the first article made a point not that I supported it however ………….would I put it past some of them……, i would not.

    Look at the father that rape and tortured his kid and if the international community was not getting involved it probably would be swept under the rug and the guy let off to do it again.

  589. Time to go to the debate page, folks.

    I not only was married to a lovely and honorable Saudi but lived in the Kingdom for a period over years. The majority of the people are kind hearted, generous and good people. Debate is the appropriate location for anyone who has differing views and wants to discuss further.

    On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM, American Bedu

  590. Actually, Kat, I am a roman catholic, no longer practicing, but have lived almost three decades among muslim friends, colleagues and soul mates in Arab countries. i read from all the world religions and i have learned from every one of them. i remain a student of human nature and the divine. idon’t think being a decent human being and respecting others has anything to do with what religion a person was raised in or chose later in life. i am saddened by the tone of some of these posts. i wish everyone peace.

  591. Thank you Donna for being sane. Bigstick is merely being provocative and that is probably a racist website. Even is someone is born of adultery, it is not enough proof for a husband to say so just because he desires to have relations with his daughter. That is merely finding an excuse and no one will support him. To falsely accuse a woman of adultery is a grievous crime. There is no avoiding that incestuous relationship can occur in a closed society but they also occur in ‘open’ societies such as in the West. Even if a child was proven the result of a relationship outside of wedlock that child does not carry the stigma of his or her parent’s actions. The whole concept of original sin is rejected in Islam and you cannot punish a child for the actions of their parents. The argument posed by the article wants to suggest that such relationship are common and approved. Also it is necessary here to put aside some assumption that all stories from the Talmud and Bible are to be accepted by Muslims. There are many instances where there are stories mentioned in the Talmud and Bible that are not repeated in the Quran. The Quran also has more details of certain religious characters than others, Mary is an example. There are more references to Mary, mother of Jesus in the Quran than there are in the Bible. If the first two holy books were unadulterated then there wouldn’t have been need for the Quran. That is Islam 101.

  592. Surah An-Nissa (The Women) 23. Forbidden to you (for marriage) are: your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your foster mother who gave you suck, your foster milk suckling sisters, your wives’ mothers, your step daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in – but there is no sin on you if you have not gone in them (to marry their daughters), – the wives of your sons who (spring) from your own loins, and two sisters in wedlock at the same time, except for what has already passed; verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

  593. Kinz:

    Go to debate page.

  594. In response to Confused’s comment:”I meet a Saudi girl on a trip, we click we spoke everyday, she left to Saudi and came back she change, she don’t want to tell me whats wrong more then she said i know we dont have future together my family will not accept you.. I am half kuwaiti half from a european country ) born and raise there and my speaking is bad.
    I love her so badly i dont know what to do, i dont want to lose her but because i am getting annoyed by the mentality i start to nag, and i do things i never done before.. I never thought i would be with anybody from khalij country because i just to say my mind is not like them and i meet this amazing person… I am losing her and dont know what to do… first time a girl brake me down this bad.. i am cold person but against this girl i cant be cold… i dont know what to do.. I cant stop think of anything, i am so in love that first time in my life i don’t care about my company since she said that to me i have not been at work and i cant think of anything more then her… she stop answer my calls and answer very short on bbm.. she say she love me and i am what she has been waiting ofr all her life, we bought are old 27 year old… last night she sent me bbm dont send me message give me pace and let me think what i want.. but i know she love me alot… but her family make her this way.. i dont know what to do…”

    She might love you too, but she knows that being with you will be so difficult (to many barriers). Thus, ignoring you is all she can do. Perhaps you were on a route of great love that had no destination…

    Sorry to hear about your story, and hope you can stay strong. Try to find some comfort in reading poetry.

  595. Why will dr sambol give out my email when i specifically told him that
    my work with him was to be kept a secret i think i have to contact him
    immediately to stop further exposure see my friend am sorry i cant
    discuss that. all i can tell you is that my problem is solved and i am
    happy together with my two kids and also my husband with the help of dr sambol again. i paid drsamdol all i owned him then why should he discuss me with his client
    this must stop if not i shall stop speaking of his good works as i
    have been for him helping me to bring back my husband

  596. NOt all Saudis are alike , and Saudi is Changing very much because of the new generation ( Most Saudis Are young -30 years ) , a note : some Saudi mothers dream of picking there sons wife & having a weeding thy believe its there right – Crazy yes -,

    Notes :

    if a man respects you he should marry you this is a sign of respect in our culture , even if its only you & him .

    Some ppl consider Saudis as a risk will some non Saudis are more likely to have STD ( Hiv , herpes 60% of Americans , etc… ) at least Saudis are less likely to have STD , because its hard to have sexual relations in Saudi Arabia outside of marriage & even if you want to get married you need to have an STD test before you get married this is the law in Saudi Arabia .

    but any women should not have unprotected love with any [ man – boy ] if her partner is not series , wither Saudi or not that’s the moral of the story , infact its better not to have sex at all tel you are serious & have an STD .

    any mom her should give this advice to her child .

  597. I wonder if I can leave a message here? 599 replies? Wow..

  598. Okay, since I just had no one to speak about or understand this situation, I came here gain to comfort myself. I had a kind of a miserable break up with a Saudi guy yesterday. I left some messages on this page last year and this is the rest of the story.
    I just want to know if this is a culture thing or generally he is making excueses to cut me off.
    Here is the story… So we met in the classroom in Australia. We had feelings for each other but he refused to have a relationship with me even when I was still there. However, we went out together alone, had dinners and held hands in the end. He did not persue anymore saying he did not want to make it like a relationship. And then I came back to my country last July and he is still there. We kept talking on the messenger, however, he said he lost his feelings for me since I am 10 years older than he was. So I dicided to cut him off from my life and I did not contact him from that time one even when he kept sending messages on the phone, facebook or email. I did not react and ignored all his messages even though it was not easy. I tried to move on with my life.

  599. However, I accidently send a message on the messenger last month and we started to talk. He was so different from last year and what he confessed was how he missed me a lot and still wanted to talk to me “as a friend” which has greatly annoyed me and explained how impossible to have a relasionship with me since his family and culture will not accept this relationship (age gap) and he does not want to have it as along as it cannot be end up with marriage. And then he finally asked his mum if he can have a relationship with me. His mum of course, was angry and said she would not forgive him if he had a relationship with me. He then said he would gonna get marry after the relationship but that did not help either. Well, before this happened, he was more like a normal guy in a relationship. However, after he had a conflict with his mother and family, he is gonna abandom me. No, he actually did it yesterday saying he loves me and want me but there isn’t any way he can do. After his asking to his mum, his family was so distressed now and he either has to move to Germany with his sister or get engaged next year. Well, actually they are the same options because after 3 months in Germany, he’s gonna get engaged, too.
    I said… it’s not all about his family and stuff but it’s him who does not choose to be with him which is normal in the perspective of my culture’s view.

  600. He says he loves his mother more than me and he has no choice. I cannot understant this part. Well, he has a choice, does’t he? He is not a poperty of his family. He has his own will. Why does he have to follow the family’s decision on his own life? So if mother says no, then no? Is this the typical Saudi culture? He begged me to understand his situation and believe his feelings were true. What’s the point of believing his love when he finish this relationship?But well, break up is break up. He CHOSE to follow his family’s decision. This part annoys me the most that I was abandoned by his decision even if he says it’s not his. I know that asking to his mother triggered this situation but this is not the first time with the engagement issues. Well, whenever it is, it would happen anyway. So I am heartbroken and dysfuntioning.

  601. Josie

    You should wait give him some time maybe tell him when he moves to Germany that you two can talk about it and if he still loves you get married and of course convert if you haven’t already done so yo show that you really mean it. After all he had shown Hus commitment to you.

  602. First, you didn’t “accidentally” send him a message. Second, spare you, him, his family, your family and us all the drama.You have chosen to get your heart broken and make yourself crazy. You might ask yourself what you’re getting out of all this to perpetuate this insanity.

  603. @ Donna

    I’m sorry but I seriouly sent him a message by mistake. I never expected to talk to him again. And I don’t see the point that you should be so harsh like this.

  604. Josie:

    She is not bring harsh just realistic.

  605. I hate phone typing fat fingers so

    Bring is being

  606. @josie
    Let me explain something for you:
    A big/huge/gigantic/gargantuan/extraordinary difference between Saudi (and other Arab) cultures and Western cultures are the interdependence vs. independence dynamic.

    In cultures where interdependence is valued, the man is going to choose what is best for the whole family, not just what is best for him as the rest of is family is expected to do the same. If his family doesn’t want him to marry you, it is going to be a tough road ahead because he’s basically saying that his family’s opinion doesn’t matter. This may not sound shocking to a Westerner who puts him/herself before the good of the whole family when making personal decisions, but to a culture such as Saudi where interdependence is valued, this can be looked upon as disrespectful. This is particularly true in a culture such as Saudi culture where the parents, especially the mother’s opinion is highly valued. Keep in mind that most of the time, grown children will continue to live with parents as this is usually best for the family from a financial, logistical (more people to pitch in for household chores, babysitters), etc. standpoint.

    Contrast this to Western culture where children move out of the home as soon as they can afford to (or sometimes even when they can’t) because it’s frowned upon for grown children to live at home with their parents. Of course in this situation, it is going to be more important to choose a life partner who will be able to help you through all the difficult times rather than who your parents like because at the end of the day, your parents are not going to be the ones helping you; your spouse is expected to do that. It’s two completely different ways of looking at the family dynamic. If you don’t understand this and learn to appreciate interdependent cultures (I’m not saying that you have to live one; just understand and accept the positive and negative values), then your life with any Saudi is going to be very difficult for you.

    Your Saudi is basically being forced to choose which lifestyle he wants- an independent Western-type culture where he is married to you or an interdependent Saudi-type culture where he lets his family choose the woman for him. It sounds like he wants the Saudi lifestyle. I know it’s hard to hear, but if his family isn’t going to respect you and that’s the lifestyle he wants, it’s time for you to move on. You can cry and beg and whatever else as long as you want to, but it takes two to make a relationship work.

  607. Josie, first, whenever I chose to cut ties with someone, I blocked them from contact. I blocked social media, I made mail filters to trash the messages automatically, etc. I don’t hear from them again by choice.
    Before I became so proficient at filtering mail, I just deleted the mail unread.

    You obviously retained messages/mail and contact information, else that “accident” would never have occurred.
    I use quotes for a reason, in situations such as yours, where there is great emotional investment, accidents like you relate are typically not accidents. They’re either intentional or subconsciously intentional, but consciously unintentional.
    Either way, you face what StrangeOne mentioned.
    Further, you have to consider one further thing: He was raised immersed in the interdependent culture. His life revolved around it until he left Saudi. Even then, contact was still maintained and retained repetition of patterns of behavior. Hence, such conditioned responses remain intact. His return home did not remove that pattern of behavior.
    Assuming honesty on his part, he’s probably not even aware of that pattern of behavior in himself, after all, we was raised immersed in it, returned to become fully immersed in it, it just is his world.
    The cultural and social gap between you is vast beyond your imagination.
    The only reason I understand Arabian culture in general is shared cultural patterns from my Sicilian family. Something that is easily understood when one considers that Sicily was held under Islamic rule for centuries.
    Unlike him, I bucked the family’s wishes in my marriage with my own wife.
    31 years later, we still feel the wrath from that useless spawn from hell.
    And yes, I mean it that way. Every decent member of the family has the least possible to do with them.
    For, Alex Haley had “Roots”, we have weeds.

    My advice is simply, in life, one can fish or cut bait. It’s time to cut bait.
    Hell, it’s time to cut the line and tie on a new hook, the old one is fouled hopelessly.
    Or, follow bigstick’s advice. And remember these words: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”
    Save, that Dante’s inferno was cold. Yours will most assuredly be hot. Empty quarter hot.

  608. Josie, your story is very common. read the other experiences of women who fell in love with Saudi students on this blog.
    This guy probably never had any intention but going home and marry a ”pure” Saudi girl, and meanwhile have some fun and get laid in the West.
    You may have been honest with him, he was not honest towards you.
    This louse is not worth you spending 5 minutes feeling bad about him.
    Never have anything more to do with this loser. Don’t talk to him or mail or anything. They often love to play around and play the victim card even after they got married to their ”pure” Saudi girl. Don’t play along and waste your time.

    Go out, get yourself a nice haircut and some new clothes and enjoy your life and forget this douchebag. You will find somebody who is different, who will have decency and honor and who will really love you, and who will stand up for you. You know? A real man.

  609. Actually it sounds to me like he was pretty honest. From the beginning he said it wasn’t going anywhere and though he was pursued it didn’t go beyond hand-holding till he asked his mother- and then he said no. He said he only wants to be friends- and she’s mad about it. What difference does it make culture or personal choice? If someone says they don’t want a relationship it’s best to believe them.

  610. I don’t understand why so many people are obssessed with “the accidently sent message”. I deleted his number and his texts and email automatically went to trash. I did not even know when he texted me. I noticed them moths later when I had to check the spam box to delet the ads messages because my stupid phone sometimes shows spam ads messages even though I definately put them as spam.
    And concerning Facebook, I did not add him on my Facebook. I was
    not an active user. I do not have any clue that how he could find me out on Facebook to send messages. My name is very common and my email account for Facebook is not the email that I usually use.
    Maybe he searched every page of whom has the same name with me or I don’t know. It’s nothing like I was still friend with him.
    I believed I have totally cut him off from my life and I was really happy without him.

  611. @bigstick1 @Aafke @wzrd1 @Sandy

    Thank you for reading my comments and sincere answers. I sincerely appriciate it. Those precious comments make me less hurt. Thank you guys.

  612. @donna @bigstick1 @Aafke @wzrd1 @Sandy

    Thank you for reading my comments and answering the best. I sincerely appriciate your care. Thank you guys.

  613. Josie read, understand and believe this quote as it’s applicable to you right now and it’ll be true if you don’t pay attention to what people are telling you. The man has not changed and certainly isn’t above using you to pass away the time.

    “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”

  614. @Josie,
    What I mentioned about interdependent vs. independent cultures I mentioned it because I’ve lived it and have listened to others going through similar issues. I brought it up because it’s an important concept to understand if you want to be with an Arab man (or anyone from an interdependent culture). I can’t tell you how many fights in Arab/Western relationships could have been prevented simply by rephrasing a statement or learning to respect the other culture.

    Try telling an Arab man or anyone from an Arab culture that you need space and time alone to yourself. Then try explaining to someone from a Western culture why you are so busy when you have guests over or why children should live with their parents after they turn 18 (and possibly even after they are married with children). See what happens. Then tell me it’s not important to understand this.

    Sure, your boyfriend could choose you, but please understand that it’s not as simple as which shirt he’s going to wear to work. If you can’t respect how difficult this may be for him if he loves you and his family, then it’s probably best you don’t marry each other because you’d probably end up divorced later. If he really wants you, he’ll push the issue with his family because being with you would be worth his family potentially disowning him. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. It would depend on their family dynamic.

  615. @Wendy I’ll keep it mind. Thank you.

    That interdependent culture you stated was really helpful. It helped me a lot understanding his decision. So basically, the engagement is set by the family and I think it’s almost impossible for him to have options since his family gave options to choose which ended up getting engaged anyway.
    It is surprising to know that Saudi family “may disown him”. Does this seriously happen? How can family disown their family members? No contacts and hated by them whatsoever? ( No offence. I just don’t get it. Even if my sister marries someone our family never wants we still have her as a fmaily member.) His family is rich and educated. Does this still happen regardless of how decent people they are?

    And to be honest, I didn’t have a knowledge of Saudi culture at all. I didn’t even know children should live with their family even after getting married. Now I understand why it is important to follow their family’s decision because they actually should live with their parents.

    I know he really tried to persuade his family particularly her mother and had arguments only to make the situation worse, getting engaged next month or 3 months later after staying in Germany. I expected a breakthrough if he choose to go to Germany but no. And he is the youngest of 9 children. What can I really expect from him to choose for his own life?

    If he has to be thrown out from his family, this is obviously not thing that happens to his life as well as my life. I understand what you’re trying to say. Yeah, I might end up divorced. I know nothing about his culture and his attitude was so difficult to understand before I get the information you posted. He tried to restain himself from me while his affection was so obvious. He was not promiscous at all. He was respectful. He says since his fate is decided and our relationship is getting nowhere, we should stop here to protect both sides. Well, I know. I understand with my brain but not with my heart yet. But I soon will hopefully.

  616. * not the thing that I want to it to happen

  617. edit function.. *not the thing that I want it to happen

  618. @Josie: Don’t worry about the whole thing and let it aside .
    But let me tell you this:
    If we really wanted it, he would have done it, e.g. get engaged/married, relocate from Saudi, etc. even if he came from a traditional family.
    Why I say this: I’ve seen it happening.
    In the worst case, his family will be upset for a while, his tribe will gossip for a while and that’s it. Life goes on.
    Thus yes, culture plays some role, but it is not everything. Not everyone would say ok, mum chose my wife when he has someone in mind that he knows her family will accept him ( in Saudi) or that she is ready to be with him/marry him ( from abroad).
    This matchmaking is done because otherwise there is no otherway he can be with the opposite sex and marry.
    Also you do not need to delete him from a contact- you can chose to remain friends if you both are comfortable with it. Many breaks up happen for many reasons and people either decided to remain civil/ friends or ‘ delete’ someone from their lives.

  619. @Gigi

    Thank you for the comment. My Saudi female friend says “He did not go extra miles for you”. Yes, it’s true. Foriegn marriages indeed happen as you mentioned. Why didn’t it happen to me? Because I was not even considered as “an option”. I’m still so angry that he insisted “I love you BUT” phrase. But Guys in love will make it happen no matter what. As far as I know, this is universial knowledge.
    My conclusion is that I’ll just regard everything as a lie and move on with my life. Maybe he THINKS it was love and he BELIEVES he was in love, but in my perspective, it is not.

    For a couple of days, I thought I was falling apart, but now I’m gonna keep it together. =) I really wanna get out of this. The worst relationship that has ever happened in my life. I want to get out of this complicated twisted drama and forget about him completely. I’m so thankful that this blog is actually helping people in the same situation.


  620. Please keep in mind love is NOT enough for a marriage- and maybe he knows this. Mutual respect, COMMON values etc are needed for a lasting relationship. He may well have loved you but could see you were incompatible. Be glad that he could. Because down the line would have been a disaster. Love does not conquer all- and it shouldn’t always try.

  621. @Sandy.

    Hi, Sandy. Do you live in KSA? =) Thanks for the comment. As I’m turning 30, I understand what you mean. However, when strong emotion is involved I think we tend to go blind.

    And apart from the cultural perspective, what you have said about marriage is so true when we talk about general marriage. I’m kind of an emotional person who can be carried away by emotions. I hope I could be more rational.

    I’m trying to reduce my pain sticking to this blog and re-reading what he has said to me. I’m trying to think this situation without cultural understanding. Then the answer is very clear. There is nothing complicated or mixed that I have to suffer from translating what he really means. To make it simple, he loved me only to choose to get engaged with another girl and what explanation do I need more? And why do I have to belive he loved me?

    Thank you, Carol and all. I have learned a lot. And I’m so glad that you’re here reaching out and helping people like me.

    Love Josie.

  622. @Josie,
    “when strong emotion is involved I think we tend to go blind”- I think there is a lot of truth to this. I have seen good marriages fail and bad marriages begin over strong emotions. I have found that it helps to be somewhat analytical while still considering emotions.

    That said, when I met my husband, I just knew. In what way? I felt deep within my soul that it was the right thing, the best thing, to create a life with him. I didn’t want a relationship at that time, but it just happened. A lot of people thought I was crazy for moving so fast with him, but as they got to know him, they (as well as myself) understood better why I fell in love with him. He understands me better than anyone, and we have a lot in common albeit we’re from different backgrounds. Sometimes, though, culture is still an issue we have to work through. Still, I wouldn’t have my life be any different.

    May you find the right person for you when the time is right. You don’t have to look for it; when the time is right, the right person will find you.

  623. Ladies, if you are with a Saudi man, do NOT look for straight lines.
    If you do decide to stay with him, don’t sell yourself short or be a doormat. Test his love, have the upper hand. If he really loves you, he will let you have an elevated position. Do realize that love doesn’t have to translate to marriage (many Saudis cannot marry for love, so expect that he CANNOT marry you).

    Since he isn’t going to marry you, you have three choices: (1) stay with him and be a doormat and be used; (2) stay with him and have HIM compensate your time with gifts, devotion, affection and benefits; or (3) CUT HIM OFF completely.

    I have been with a Saudi man for over 2 years, who admitted he cannot marry me. I made the choice to stay with him. We love each other immensely. As a result, he has been my devoted ‘slave’ (these are his words) and best friend. He proved his love in many ways, both emotionally and financially. Our future as hubby and wife will never be, but it doesn’t mean our love cannot grow. Maybe it will not grow, but we still have an experience of being love for all these years.

    I wrote about the cultural/political barriers to Saudi marriages here in case any are interested:

  624. Hun, you have drank the Koolaid. Saudi men are every bit as capable of destroying marriages, neglecting children and all the unlovely things you said about ‘Western’ culture. While you would blissfully and easily slip into the role of a second wife you don’t seem to worry the tiniest about what it means to his legitimate wife.

    Men tend to be fascinated with women for four years while ‘in love’ less for many of them who take the misyaar option. Yes, they will remember you hopefully with fondness, like one remembers a fine meal in a restaurant on vacation. When it comes to real life, few men will hold themselves up to the heavy criticism they will get for marrying a woman who is not from their social class or better. That part of fairness and equality still hasn’t pierced the Saudi mentality although it exists in Islam for centuries now.

    And if your ‘sheikh’ is really that well-placed he can marry whomever he pleases. Yes you come from the ‘hospitality’ industry and will have a black mark against you the rest of your days in that world but if you had come from a different background and you have the strength, motivation and patience you can become as key a player in the family hierarchy as anyone.

    I am happy to hear from someone as kind as you are in support of Saudi men and happy even more that you found someone to help you out of your situation. I pray for your sake (not so much his) that your relationship is kept discreet so that there is no harm to other parties. This will earn you more longevity where you might think about planning for a different future.

  625. Without responding to the caliber of the average Saudi man or their ability for destructiveness/longevity, I thought she had some interesting points.

    I had wanted to mention this idea before a few times in real-life conversations. I do think that there is nothing wrong–assuming the improbable situation is in place where you can handle it and both parties are on board–with engaging in a loving relationship with a clear end in sight. Would I necessarily advise it? Maybe not, but to some people this is a viable option.

    I wound up marrying my Saudi, but I was one of the lucky women who knew the reputation of these men long before I met him, and so for most of our pre-marriage relationship, I tried to keep myself grounded. I was never exactly a possessive or emotional woman, rarely jealous, and not interested in marriage or children. So I had what I believed for a long time to be a real, exciting, educational, and loving (yet temporary) connection with him. I operated under the assumption that his claims of love and his desire for marriage were overblown, somewhat false, as other women have found, or, at the very least, would be unable to be realized even with the best intentions after he graduated. This ultimately turned out to not be the case, but I did not see this outcome coming, and it never detracted from my enjoyment of my time with him beforehand. In fact, one of the greatest, most ongoing challenges of our relationship before marriage was convincing me that he was serious and getting me to trust and marry him!

    So I have thought of saying what escortdiary said before, but I did not for the obvious reasons: I went on to marriage, so my opinion on this became somewhat void in the absence of a conclusion. Even if things were going well in my arms’ length relationship prior to our engagement, I never had to put it to the ultimate test, which would be the breakup, to see if, in the end, I had really been as strong as I thought I was being. Maybe you are right, and one day this man will think of her fondly and nostalgically but without love (or, since you compared them to a meal, maybe without respect and similar things), but this can be mutual. I had my fair share of clean breaks with men where I can still recall the nostalgia of being with them, the remnants of love that make me glad that I had such a human connection. But if these men are out there somewhere throwing darts at a picture of my face, what does it matter to me? Their feelings of our past do not diminish or in anyway affect my affinity for my own past experiences. Even as a married woman, I think there is a lot more to both love and life than only the things that prove permanent.

    But I could be wrong.

  626. That article misses the point on so many levels. Western culture did not come in and sully a wonderful tribal/Patriarchal culture. However, modernization in thinking is starting to lead to some progress in the status of women and others. For example slavery is now over. Are we sad that’s gone too?

    Also, there are actually foreign wives here who do not take the number 2 slot.

    I don’t think most women who are asking about marriage issues are looking for a “devoted slave” who won’t marry them- but who proves his love in many ways including “financially”. That’s a completely different kind of relationship.

  627. This has been a fascinating read. Thank y’all!

    I am a 29 y/o Saudi male, ex-muslim, never been married, and I’ve been planning on getting out of here since I left Islam. Now, the easiest way for me to take the first step is to complete my studies abroad, as there is no sane person who’d sponsor the visa of a stranger Saudi, no matter how qualified s/he is, because we usually don’t integrate well into other cultures. I came here while researching on the subject of marrying a foreigner, which I intend to do as part of my new life.

    I am sad to read and hear all of these sad stories. Although reading them has made me sad – because, well, I am a Saudi! but I also feel these stories may make my future wife change her mind – I really can’t disagree with the negative points made about most Saudi men. But I’ll try to be objective and chip in with an advice based on my little experience, which might be useful to other frustrated women.

    1. Our culture is a tribalistic, racist culture. Marriage here is mostly a tie between families, not a celebration of a loving, caring relationship between a couple. When a male wants to get married his parents will first look for “a good family”, then they’ll “pick” a girl from that family who’s “ready for marriage”. My parents (both Saudis) got a divorce when I was 12. Neither wanted to get one. But one of my mom’s relatives has figured out that my father’s lineage wasn’t accurate, i.e. my father’s tribe is not as he and his family have claimed when they’ve proposed to my mom’s father. This caused an uproar within my mom’s family, which, after a couple of years of suffering and negotiation, resulted in a divorce. My mom’s father did NOT agree with the divorce, but he didn’t stand up against his brothers. And I have seen the exact same situation happen again with my mom’s sister and her husband. These kind of stories happen here all the time, but no one has the courage to talk about them.

    2. Family disobedience is something that’s very shameful. Many people do disobey their parents, but it’s very rare for one to disobey them publicly, such as leaving Islam or getting married against their well.

    3. We are all expected to live and die here in SA. And based on 2, almost all of the students will comeback and continue their lives here. Even though some students are having fun and enjoying living abroad, almost all of them WANT to be in SA around their families when they settle down and raise their kids, because the western life style is viewed by most people here as a complete contradiction to both 1) the Islamic life style and 2) the conservative Saudi culture.

    The bottom line is: If the student is planning on coming back to SA, be very wary! If 1) he won’t introduce you to his family (for any reason) AND 2) he is not willing to abandon SA and live with you AND 3) you are looking for a long-term relationship, then call it off. The second point may be relaxed if you’re willing to live with him in SA, which I strongly advice against, except if you’re a Muslim.

    Lastly, a relationship requires compromise. If both parties can’t *prove* that, the relationship is probably not going to last.

    I wish you all the best!


  628. This is my first time ever commenting on a blog in my life! I feel I better be careful because I don’t want to say anything I will regret later! :$

    I realize this is an old post, but I thought I’d give it a shot. :$

    I am less than a week from marrying a saudi I met 3 years ago; everything is set. Long story short: he is firm in his decision about marrying me, told his parents about his plans to marry a non-saudi, mom-opposes, dad- is fully supportive (deep down inside I know it’s a 100% non-approval). He has opened the subject with his mom a few times while he’s been away on a visit; just made her upset and not wanting to talk about it. Although of his mother’s disapproval, he is determined to be with me. It was a shock to me considering how much saudi boys are attached to their mother. After talks with his mom, he would come back and speak to me saying “well she didn’t like the talk, but this is my decision! what can I do?!?!?!!”

    And although I have been reading fantastic, informative and well written blogs like this one (thank you so much American Bedu) throughout the years trying to prepare myself for what my future *may* hold, it wasn’t until this night, after reading all of these posts, that it hit me. I do not think I can see myself living Saudi Arabia. As I write this post, I am crying, because I guess I am coming to terms with maybe issues I skipped over in my previous reading/researching. For example, having and raising children in Saudi arabia (especially with lack of family acceptance). Imaging the isolation, lack of my family, support system in saudi (besides my husband which will always be away working, etc, etc), loving inlaws, mobility to take my children out; how rapidly my mental heath could decline. What will the quality of my life be then? I always wanted to live in an islamic country and study islam in the best of environment, but saudi does not sound like the ideal place for this!! I guess I am also coming to the realization that I wasn’t being *selfish* enough. Selfish in a good sense! You know, as in looking out for my own happiness, goals, desires and dreams for MY future. I have been so fixated on how *our life in saudi with be, government marriage approval, blah blah*. That I have forgotten about myself (lately the emotional stress has seeped into the physical)! This post has made me imagine the nitty gritty of every day life that takes place in saudi that may deny me of many things I dream of for my future. Annnddd although I have many saudi female friends who tell me about the daily life, it just never clicked! Well I guess they can bare it because many of them have large loving tight knit families, which I WILL NOT HAVE. :/

    What really hit home for me was someone’s comment above about “Not being able to go to your children’s school and speak to the teachers”… I cannot even begin to imagine myself being in a situation where I cannot advocate for my children! ESPECIALLY ABOUT THEIR EDUCATION!! (VERY important to me).

    The thing I am struggling with is trying to figure out if: a) i am having anxiety/jitters about the life change that will take place next week b) getting cold feet c) starting to think rationally about my future (since it’s a few days away, you know, crunch time, time to be *logic*…… I don’t know! 😦

    In any case, it felt really good to let these thoughts out of my head… maybe if anyone can relate to how I am feeling, has ever felt this before, any little words of wisdom are welcome 🙂

    At the end of the day I consider myself a smart girl, and I highly value the wisdom and knowledge of people who have *actually BEEN though* the whole process and have valuable knowledge to pass on. In my opinion, what you have all offered of your experiences is Priceless.. and your words of wisdom on this post have really helped me this night, and I thank you for that. ❤

  629. The Saudi man I met was charming at first, then turned out to be a cheat and lied to me. He is back in KSA now where he became engaged within 5 weeks of leaving Australia even though he claimed to love me..He neglected to tell me about the 10 other girls he was communicating with sexually. Finally, degrading comments about Australian girls being ‘dirty’ were sent to my phone and I just got tired of the stupidity. I was not a ‘virgin’, so he could not marry me but he could still send naked photos of himself to my phone even though he was now officially engaged to be married to a ‘good Saudi girl’. The men I met were just roll your eyes idiotic. Please stay out of Australia if that is the attitude or wear an abaya like the women do , so I dont have to see your face again.

  630. @WakeMeUp, I strongly suspect that it is A, B and C all together.
    Rightfully so.
    First, you are planning on making a major life decision next week that is really a big deal for young men and women.
    Second, you’re planning on making a major life decision next week that is bigger than 99.9% of your peers, as you are considering living in Saudi Arabia. Complete with a lack of rights in ways unimaginable to a person born and raised in our western culture.
    Finally, it is encouraging that you are thinking ahead about life in Saudi Arabia and especially about children being raised there.
    Frankly, I’d strongly suggest that you have your husband and yourself live in your country, where both of you have rights. If not, I’ll be honest, I strongly suggest you bail before you get into a situation with no way out. It’s not like you can buy an airplane ticket and leave, you need your husband’s permission to do that.
    If he really does love you and wishes to marry you in defiance of his family, he should have no problem living abroad in your home nation. If he doesn’t, the question is already answered and you shouldn’t even be looking at marriage with him.

  631. @Mota, I suggest that if you reach the stage of a relationship with a young woman where it is “serious”, you show her these pages and similar pages.
    Show her the ugly side of Saudi culture. She’ll be initially be taken aback, but far less so than if she thinks later that you were hiding this from her. Be honest always.
    In a relationship, friendship is chief, honesty is king.
    For, honesty isn’t the best policy when wanting to have a long term relationship, it’s the *only* policy.
    Something that has worked for myself and my wife for nearly 32 years.

  632. @Mota,
    I agree with wzrd1. Also, if a girl falls in love with YOU (and not some strange idea of what love is), she will be more concerned with how you will treat her rather than how a whole group of people may perceive her. Besides that, if you treat her with respect and educate her on Saudi culture (and the fact you don’t want to live there), then it won’t be as big of a deal. The only big deal would be if and when you wanted to visit your family in KSA and/or have a wedding there.

    My husband is not Saudi but is from the region. His family has accepted me whole-heartedly and keeps asking when we’re moving back “home”. So it can work out. It’s even easier if you are wanting to adapt to her culture rather than the other way around because Western culture is a bit more free and independent, which can be hard to give up once you have it. (And by free and independent I mean, for example, simply the ability to choose one’s profession such as doctor, businessperson, etc. I am not referring to anything sexual.) It’s just the interdependent vs. independent values in a given society.

    BTW, you might want to be aware of the fact that mota/molta is a slang word for marijuana in Spanish.

    I think it’s going to be a difficult road ahead for you in KSA, but if his family grows to like you over time, it will make things easier. Otherwise, unless you and your (soon-to-be?) husband are living in your own space, I would imagine it is going to be somewhat difficult. If problems do arise living with his parents, I would suggest you ask him if it is possible to move into your own place near his parents, but not with them. If your husband travels with work, you might want to live in a neighboring country in the region (e.g. Qatar, UAE) so that way, it is easier for you to do shopping, etc. while he is away.

    You can always teach your children the important things at home and/or send them to private schools (if you can afford to). You could also look at doing a homeschool program based out of the United States or whatever country you’re from. So there are alternative educational programs. The only thing I would keep in mind is that the school environment is where your children will get to meet other children and socialize with people their age. So this is all something I’d recommend discussing with your (future) husband. If you really love each other and are willing to sick it out together, just take it a day at a time and remember to love each other.

  633. @Kel,
    Obviously, the guy was simply using you. Why don’t you block his number or change yours? Most Saudi guys aren’t serious about marrying someone from outside their culture, but there are the occasional good Saudi men who respect women no matter where they’re from. This seems to be an exception to the rule. I would recommend learning more about the culture if you plan to date any more Saudis even if you’re not looking for anything serious.

    Guys who are worth keeping won’t worry about whether or not you’re a virgin, so be thankful you didn’t marry him. Be mad at him for time wasted, but be thankful he left you in the end.

  634. Hi WakeMeUp, yes, for the longest time a one day expat doesn’t have to think about what it will really mean once you are over in Saudi. Some people adjust much better than others but for all of us it was a shock. I know a lot of American women who have gone to Saudi Arabia and made a fine life but it is with its challenges. It will really be an uphill battle if your mother-in-law is against the whole thing but then again so was mine until she met me. They are afraid for their sons and the potential of having a broken family. What mother would want for her son to go through that? There are so many stories of women who have come over, and from many Arab countries even, who simply found it unbearable. The breakup many times means the children are not able to live with both parents or even visit. It is heartbreaking and the children do suffer.
    When I met my husband-to-be there wasn’t much out there to base my decision to travel to Saudi upon. I loved him, he loved me, both my parents left their homeland to come to America, I would do something in reverse! I always figured with our close relationship my husband and I would always find a solution and work things out.

    Much of what has been worked out has been uneven, it is mostly the wife who has to adjust, make herself smaller, think more of her children and others and put her own needs on hold. I think women every where discover that when it comes between your child having shoes for school or your having a new handbag, the choice will be for the child. Most Saudi men adore their children and you might find yourself being lumped in last place in the family totem, just slightly above nanny.

    Every woman’s situation is unique and any bride will have cold feet. It is normal. The situation nowadays is nothing like it was when I first went out to Saudi, so many more people are exposed to the outside world and its products and customs. Valentine’s Day is a huge underground celebration, there are parties where couples get together to dance and you might be shocked to discover that Pizza Hut pizza is better in Jeddah than it is back home. But if you don’t know Arabic and have a hard time learning the language you will be at a disadvantage. If your husband turns into a jealous ogre and never lets you go out or have your friends over you might turn to despair. Oh and again, those couples dancing are probably not yet married, that all changes once a couple is officially together.

    Take a drive down some scenic part of the road, crank up the radio, and let the wind blow through your hair. It might be another decade before you can feel the same way in Saudi.

  635. Hi Mota,

    Some people who have left Saudi and left Islam find themselves returning once they are older. Life is a journey, sometimes you wander so far and wide you find yourself back where you started. Don’t be surprised.

    I wish you the best on your life’s journey and hope that you do find yourself many good adventures and experiences. What is the good of a life un-examined?

  636. Agreed Strange One.

  637. @mota
    how old are you? are you planning to marry? planning on to have kids?
    how much money do you plan to earn? ask yourself these questions. now ask yourself can you handle marrying a girl with family members with drug addicts. what area are you going to live in the usa. kids in schools here are having sex and dating dont think you will be able to control it. the kids are sneeky. im just saying the worst. but pray for the best and expect the worst.

  638. Thank you sooo much to everyone who has replied to my post ^_^ means a lot to me… ❤ ❤ ❤

  639. thank you w1zrd, StrangeOne and Kinz ^_^

  640. Mota, thanks for contributing your comments, it’s always great to hear from a Saudi. Would you like to do an interview for the blog?

    To women who consider having children with a Saudi huasband and in Saudi Arabia itself, you need to realize that, unless the whole family approves of you, you will lead a very sad and restricted life. Also his family will push him for years to marry another acceptable Saudi wife who will be #1, and you will be the lowest in the family. Your children may share the discrimination as they will be considered to be polluted by their western mother.

    As far as education goes, they will ahve to go to Saudi schools, where they will be indoctrinated into a very restrictive form of Islam, they will be taught to dispise their foreign mother, who will be called a ”whore” by the other children. Their education will be very bad, very limited.

    Girls will be taught to be obedient and accept their role as second class human beings.

    Also; your children will not be your: they are legally the property of your husband and if he dies of his family. Never yours. Your daughters can be married/sold off at a very early age and your opinion is not asked for.

  641. @wzrd1,
    You’re absolutely right! I’ve already saved a version of this page to my computer, as I’m planning on asking her to read it.

    I think good treatment can be a false measure of how your future would be. That’s why many do feel in love with liars IMHO. But I do agree that it’s a fundamental trait that every relationship should have.

    I know about the name 😀 .. But what can I do? It really is my name 😦 – well, a truncated version of it actually.

    Hi @Kinz! I understand your point, and you could be right about me wanting to come back after a while. However, because I was living a lie in SA, I’ve basically lost my social life, and I have had many suicidal thoughts. It might be hard for me to leave my mother who’s been dependent on me for a long time, but I don’t think it would be harder than staying there and dying alone (or even worse, committing suicide), as I won’t get married to someone who doesn’t know me well, and I will not, ever, raise my kids over there.

    Although I’m Saudi, I really don’t like neither our culture nor our values. While I was questioning my beliefs I abandoned most of the principles that have been instilled into my head. So no, my daughter being in a relationship won’t be a problem. At least not an honor problem. Perhaps I’d be protective, but I think every father would.

    You’re very welcome. I’d be honored to do an interview! (if I could keep myself anonymous)

  642. Wake-me-up, If your fiancee really loved you, or has any idea about the reality of life for a woman in Saudi Arabia he would live with you in another country where you would still have freedom and human right.

    You must realize that you will have neither in Saudi Arabia, you are literally the property of your husband, you will not count as a sentient human being. If your husband dies, the next male relative will gain ownership over you and your children.
    You must realize that you can do nothing without permission from your owner, your husband, from going outside of the house to receiving medical attention, for every single thing in life you will be completely dependent upon your husband.
    Do you really want to live such a life?
    Do you want such a life for your daughters?
    Do you realize their education will be very substandard to what you have received yourself? Is this fair towards your children and especially your daughters?

    Do you have government permission? Without government permission, a lengthy (minimal 5 years) and expensive process you will not count as his wife in Saudi Arabia. Do not go to Saudi Arabia unless your marriage is legal! Women and men are not allowed to even talk to each other if not very closely related or married on pain of imprisonment, torture, and for you deportation. Men under 35 will not get permission at all unless they have ”wasta”, influence, somebody form the royal family who will ”arrange” matters for you in this deeply corrupt country.

    You should not go to Saudi Arabia unless his whole family welcomes you with open arms. In Saudi Arabia you do not marry a man, you marry a family. As a woman you will be confined to the house and be expected to spend most of your time with the female part of his family, while he goes off with his friends and the male part of his family.

    If you really want to go to Saudi Arabia I strongly advice you not to become pregnant in the next 3 or four years, because as soon as you have children you love, you will be chained there for life.

  643. Mota, Super! Of course you can remain anonymous!

  644. @Mota,
    I’m sorry but I’m not sure which comment of mine you were referencing when you said “good treatment can be a false measure of how your future would be”? I wish I could put into words what I felt when I met my husband, but let’s just say that being with him brings peace, joy, and love into my life. He’s got the biggest heart out of any man I’ve ever met which is why I chose to stay with him and why I hope we have many years together. I was planning to go back to live in the city I fell in love with, but instead I fell in love with my sweetheart. I couldn’t leave him; my heart, soul, mind, whatever wouldn’t let me. A lot of people would think I am crazy for it and I’ve been through additional hardships because of it, but I’ve never regretted my decision because my decision to give my husband a chance (that ended up paying off in the end) brings me peace. And language, religious, and cultural barriers weren’t enough to stop love and passion from forming between the two of us. We love each other unconditionally, which is rare. If you find unconditional love with passion, don’t let her go.

    As a note, though, I told him a while back that if he expects me to conform to his culture in certain situations, then he had better explain to me what his expectations are and not just assume that I’ll automatically understand because although his culture is normal for him, it’s something I’m still learning. So just be patient when you explain to the woman you love your culture (or whatever parts of it you still intend to adhere to or expect her to understand when speaking with your family). Needless to say, there’s learning to be done on both sides. 🙂

    Oh, and don’t kill yourself- ever!! If you are having trouble coping with some big problem, take it day by day. Look for creative solutions. Just don’t give up on life! It’s hard to live away from your mother, I know, but you have to live your life for yourself, too. You can always visit your mother (though probably not as often as you’d like). Save your life, whatever that means to you.

  645. Dear Mota,

    The urge to commit suicide is a sign of despair. You must feel very lonely but believe me to your mother you are the world. For her sake please don’t consider it. Mothers sacrifice so much for the sake of their children most of the time they can’t even tell them for children shouldn’t live life with the burdens of their parents problems. Every child should have the chance to live life clean and free.

    There is much truth in women being unhappy in Saudi but they don’t have to be an ex-pat to feel that way. Many Saudi women are also unhappy. I think the ideal of the passionate and loving relationship is mostly based on myth or if it exists it is only for a certain time. It is truly rare to find couples who both want to work on a relationship and hold each other dear.

    If it is any comfort and if you are comparing yourself to others, most people will try to present their best image even if in their heart of hearts they are as cynical or full of doubt as the next person. To admit you might have doubt or difficulty should be a platform to discuss, learn and explore but for some reason it is considered a grave sin in that part of the world.

    I don’t know if Aafke is reading this but ex-pat women have new rights towards their ability to come and go to the Kingdom. Prince Salman has announced that women may be sponsored by their children if they want to visit the Kingdom and they are not Saudi nationals. In the past, divorce meant many times giving up children but this will not be the case. There is more awareness of the reality of life than every before and while no one wants to encourage divorce, the children must be still looked for in the eventuality that it happens.

    Not everyone forces their daughters to get married or stay married in fact it is a newer trend that parents are telling their daughters to go ahead and ‘leave the bum’ they often promise better matches if they will. If that ever happens is anyone’s guess but at least there is less stigma to go home if things don’t work out in a marriage. Sounds like a step backwards to go home? How many families in the west have grown sons and daughters returning to the family home due to social and economic difficulties?

  646. Kinz, the children would have to have a certain age, and I suspect they mean ”boys” as girls are not legal entities.
    And I said it ”could” happen, not that it would. But it is something to subject your daughters to isn’t it? Substandart education, subhuman place in society, no human rights, being covered in a black polyester bag their whole lives, etc etc. I think you must be pretty selfish to do such a thing to your children.

  647. It would be nice for the rest of the world to say that the oppression of women only occurs in one country in one corner of the world but unfortunately this happens everywhere. Today I was saddened to hear about the death of an 8 year old girl in Yemen who was so abused on her wedding night to a man 5 times her age, she died from the injuries. No child should ever have to endure such pain and suffering. Not too far away in Utah you will find young women who are married off to elder men even if they already have 18 other wives. It’s sick and its everywhere. The Swiss have recently decided to raise the age of legal prostitution from 16 to 18. Now I don’t think there are any Swiss girls working in that trade, so where exactly are they getting their employees? That’s Switzerland with its anti-war, amazing chocolate and fresh air Alps. Yes, you want to read it again.

    As far as the abaya, it appears shocking to those in the west but women in the countries that use them don’t feel the same way. Yes, they feel immodest without such clothing and it can cause a hazard with over-heating and tripping but you will be hard-pressed to take it out of the hands of all women there. You could compare it to how nuns used to wear habits in the past until they abandoned this practice.

  648. That is interesting, Kinz, as polygamy is illegal in Utah.
    As I recall, there was one group in Colorado, who left Utah for that reason, whose leader was convicted of said practices. His name is Warren Jeffs.
    Now that he’s in custody, it’s the general understanding that his new fiancee is Bubba.

    As for nuns abandoning the practice of wearing habits, that would be a significant shock to the nuns who live in the convent a mile from my house.

    My wife rather enjoyed her abaya. When we went out, she wore very little under it, so the heat was not an issue.
    That said, where we were was probably different, as there was a constant wind that instantly evaporated one’s sweat. Said wind only died out in August through part of September, when the humidity then shot up to 100%.
    Few wanted to go out then.

    As for Swiss prostitutes, it’s possible some are Swiss. The rest are likely from former Soviet states. Something common throughout Europe.
    That said, what one *chooses* to do for an occupation is their own business if it is both their choice and said employment is lawful.
    If someone is forced into said employment, they need all protections possible to prevent being forced into it. But, if they willingly choose said employment, well, I never was issued the “I am God tee shirt”, so I’ll refrain from either judging their choice of employment or forcing them to go penniless and starve.
    That said, in the US, the largest share of prostitutes are supporting drug habits. They also require protection and treament for their addiction(s).
    The rest, well, see the tee shirt bit.

    As for the young “bride” in Yemen, to me, it was two things simutaneously. It was nauseating and enraging.
    It’s also a problem in Yemen that immediatly stopping it would literally start a civil war.
    It’s uncommon in the cities, it’s illegal in the nation, but remains rather common in rural areas.
    The Yemeni government lacks a solution that doesn’t involve a civil war. I know of no other source of guidance that could offer a solution that doesn’t involve civil war. If you have one, the entire planet will thank you!

    But then, I remember my mother telling me of when she was married in Pennsylvania, that being both a woman and 18 years of age, she could inherit nothing from my father. At 21 she could get some inheritance, but not under that age. I also recall other states and territories that prohibited women inheriting property and other assets from their husbands entirely.
    Those practices were changed, the laws changed. For the latter instances, those changed before my mother was born. For the former, early in the course of her life, shortly after she was married.
    Change requires the populace to embrace it, not some imperial decree attempting to force it.

  649. Kinz, covering women up un black polyester is unnatural and unhealthy. Human beings need movement, fresh air, and sun on their skin to stay healthy. nd you should know by now, it has been said often enough, that the abaya was forced upon the women of Saudi Arabia about 30 years ago. Sure some women wore abayas and niqaabs (btw I consider peer pressure and social pressure and religious superstitious pressure ”force”) but many women wore their colorful and practical traditional dresses in rural areas, women in cities wore all kinds of clothes, including western fashions, and they were forced by the government to wear the abaya.
    This is in living memory. The abaya is not traditional to Saudi Arabia, it is not culture. Saudi Arabia’s traditional culture has been wiped out and replaced with an experiment in social engineering.
    The abaya is part of that modern, artificial, social engineering project.

  650. Wzrd1 polygamy may be illegal but it is thriving among certain sects of the Mormon community. Those that practice it are the ‘orthodox’ and those who don’t are the ‘reform.’ Still it exists and those old men who are promoting and forcing it tell themselves they have the t-shirt to prove its ok.

    I didn’t mind the abaya when in Jeddah, its the tarha that I find annoying. Some women must have pins in place or some headgear on underneath that keep sit from slipping but wearing it without such devices means constant adjustment, slipping and I remember once when I was trying very hard to be respectful and cover my bangs my then waist-length hair fell out the back. Kind of like the short sheet on the bed, pull it too much this way and your neck with show, too much that and your bangs fly out, just a little to the left and the whole thing comes apart. The amount of adjusting required looks like someone has a tic. Women who have attained menopause don’t have to cover their hair at all but most of the religiosity ilk will still wear it as they would be genuinely uncomfortable without it.

    Now for nuns, I happen to be related to one and the dear wore her habit until the day she died. Other nuns do not wear habits as a matter of course. You might check out some BBC programming or documentaries where the nuns aren’t airborne with their headgear. Don’t you just love Sally Field?

    And for imperial decree, wasn’t it Kamal Attaturk who pulled Turkey out if its past? What about Peter the Great modernizing the Russian military and Catherine the Great? The current king of Saudi Arabia has done much to promote education and business opportunities for young people, more than anyone else has in recent history. Obama as the leader of the US has made it possible for the uninsured to get health insurance. Yes, he didn’t do it by himself but he sure did give it his full support.

    Women’s rights of inheritance are shockingly backward in many countries. It was only in the 19th century that women were able to inherit from their husbands in the western world. Islam decreed 14 centuries ago that women are entitled to inherit from their husbands and fathers. You are no doubt familiar with primogeniture, where only the first born son of a family inherits? You can understand that in smallholdings it was necessary to keep the farm intact but this applied across the board forcing second sons into the military and third sons into the priesthood. Fourth sons probably crossed the Atlantic and started over.

    Oh dear, is this a rant?

  651. Not a rant, just a deep discussion!
    Patriarchal religion curtails the rights of women, inclusive inheritance rights. Islam curtailed inheritance for women to be less than that of men.
    Khadisa was wealthy due to her inheritance, an independent woman who proposed to a much younger man, and ran her own international trading business. Mecca and Medina worshiped goddesses, hence women will have had more and better rights than under a patriarchal religion, the Kaaba was tended by seven female priestesses, Mohammed installed seven men.
    Europe was much better for women before the Christian church messed it up. Inheritance actually could go via the female line. In some of the oldest European aristocratic families the title can still be inherited by the female line. The nasty anti-women laws in ”the west” are remnants of what the church introduced. The firstborn son inheriting, estates being entailed to the male line etc. are later inventions. if you go far enough back in time you will always find, anywhere on earth, that women had a much better lot in life before patriarchal religions were invented.

  652. OK how do you explain that GOD or “Mother nature” favoured male over female in most maters ( examples females get pregnant , there bodys get affected , Hormonal issues , they get older faster , men are stronger , female unfortunately get raped etc… , is god or “Mother nature” patriarchal .

    in Arabia pre Islam thy used to kill little girls alive , only the elite female had an advantage , Levirate marriage was in-forced etc… islam stoped that .

    universally & historically women in general were in a disadvantage position , except some elite female .

    God Grated a perfect world but made it difficult

  653. @Saudi 11,
    If women get “older faster”, then why do women outlive men on average (barring violent crimes, etc.)? And men aren’t favored over women in most matters. There are actually only slight differences due to hormones. For instance, although men may be physically stronger then women on average, it is thought that women have better endurance and stamina. Also, women’s bodies are equipped to better handle pain (or so I’ve read as women’s bodies have to be able to release hormones during childbirth to prevent the pain from becoming unbearable; I may have to recheck my source on this one). Also, the same hormone differences that make men stronger and help their muscles recover faster are also the same ones that allow women to think better under pressure. So imagine women as the ones who are best suited to running a society while the men are the ones best suited to hard, physical labor. That said, the differences are actually so small that it really only makes a difference in events such as the Olympics (where body shape can also make a difference), professional sports, etc.

    Ancestry, in my opinion, plays a bigger part in physical and mental traits. For example, although the males in my family may be stronger than me, I am stronger than a good deal of men (even if I don’t look it). And before you say anything about countries, I had a lot of male Saudi friends (who were like brothers to me) and probably only half of them were physically stronger than me, if that.

    And more important than genetics is working at a given skill until you get it right. Most people are lazy, which I think plays the larger role in differences in abilities. For instance, one person could be predisposed to be great at math, but if they never study then the person who struggled in math but studied hard each and every day is going to do better than them. A large portion of the differences in strength between men and women is probably due to how much they workout and train each week.

    As for women being more prone to get raped, men are actually less likely to report sexual assault against them. Also, the difference could be blamed on men’s physical strength AND because women are better able to think clearly under pressure due to hormones.

  654. @Saudi 11, if “God or Mother Nature” so abandoned women, please explain why women live an average of seven years longer than men?
    Explain why women are capable of surviving greater physical stress than a man, by a factor of approximately one third greater?
    Explain why women can produce work far longer than men at their maximum capacity?
    Explain why women’s immune systems are far stronger than men’s immune systems?
    Explain why most primative societies have women treated far better than societies that incorporated Abrahamism into their culture? On every continent at that!
    “God Grated a perfect world but made it difficult”, put that in your garden. It’s already composted and would make even the most barren soil highly productive.

    @StrangeOne, the advantages are present, as we’ve both outlined. Those advantages were largely advantages for birthing children, but exceed the requirements by a fair margin.

    You are right about people being lazy. I actually believe that it is a survival trait, preventing work that exceeds the nutritional input, etc.
    Men tend to have greater physical strength, largely upper body, due to the influence of androgens.
    But, women tend to keep the part of the frontal lobe that tracks multiple tasks longer than men do.
    If my frontal lobes still worked, I’d be envious! 😉
    I’ve long discarded the nature/nurture argument, as I’ve come to firmly believe that it’s nature *and* nurture that combine to create that which is unique.

    In regards to your sexual assault/rape argument, you are spot on. It’s a pity that there is anything to do in regards to “homework” on that subject at all.
    Regrettably, some men choose to use testosterone as a neurotransmitter.

  655. Have you seen this article? Permanent residence for foreign-born wives of Saudis which means they can come and go to the Kingdom without a sponsor even in the case of divorce. I think this subject is worth its own heading. Is any one still posting new subjects on this blog?

  656. Hey t here Aafke, I am not the defender of the abaya I think it is contrived, uncomfortable and many times hazardous as I have had friends fall and break limbs wearing them. I myself have taken a nice stumble boarding aircraft. You can imagine what it is like to do this in the heat, carrying baggage and struggling up a narrow staircase with a lengthy garment catching at your feet and a slippery headscarf that threatens to blow away. Put them in a pile and burn ’em. I don’t mind dressing modestly and nowadays many times will only throw the abaya on the back seat of the car in case I run into some very close-minded and bossy individuals. For me I feel at ease wearing a thobe with matching scarf and go visiting this way. This I think is less risky than my friends wearing their abayas with only their undies on underneath.

  657. Wow, I thought only my wife did that one, Kinz.
    Well, a bikini.
    When we’d return back to the villa, she’d pull off the abaya and hop straight into the pool.

  658. I so totally know what you are talking about. Many times its such an urge to jump right in as soon as the gate is closed. My impish boys used to give our driver a toss or two, cellphone and all. Various cousins have also taken the plunge. To this date the pool has claimed at least three cellphones.

  659. I find this website horribly offensive to both Saudi men and the female sex in general. I’m married to a Saudi, and your description of Saudi men does not match my guy. He’s not romantic, not at all, He certainly doesn’t woo me with words or make me feel more special than anyone ever did. He sucks with words and never ever tried to impress me with his money (he doesn’t have any) or his things, and I love him for it. We’re simply compatible, that’s it. We like the same music, tv shows, and alcohol; we want the same things in life, and we have the same values. In fact, i have more in common with him than the American guy I dated for 3 years before leaving him to be with my man. My ex was actually a more romantic, chivalrous man than “my Saudi” (ugh!). I was attracted to him for his looks (yes, he is dark and handsome), our compatibility, and the fact that he is willing to follow me and my career, wherever that may lead. He’s depending on me to make and decide our future.

    I’ve discussed many issues with him, and I don’t have to hold back. I knew about his culture before (I’d been to Muslim countries, studied Arabic, took courses, etc.), and I knew what I might be getting into; so, believe it or not we talked about it. He knows I’m an atheist, and he accepts that we will not raise our children as Muslims. Though, of course they will be exposed it Islam the same way they will be exposed to Christianity (my family’s religion) and atheism.

    Another thing that makes me sick when I read this, is that you make women look weak and gullible. Believe it or not, some women don’t fall weak at the knees whenever a good looking man gives them goodies and attention!, Some of us are on the look out for the weasels you describe!

    I’ve suffered a lot of grief because of this website! I’m really tired of it!
    Yes, there are some Saudi men who match this description, I’ve met some, and they’re pathetic. But, the guy I married is more than just his nationality, or his religion, or his culture. He is an open minded person who has been living back in SA for more than a year while we wait for his visa. And, we have been in constant communication (everyday!) over the course of this long and difficult period, and not once has he wavered on any of the agreements we made before marriage. Not once has he ever attempted to lure me back to his country, and even though he is in conflict with his family over coming here, he has not once reconsidered. He is also not different from the person I originally met and fell in love with, no werewolf scenario here.

    Since being married I’ve moved to a new town, and it really bothers the shit out of me that some of my new friends’ source of information on Saudi men is this blog! They think they know him before they’ve met him, and it not only reflects badly on him… it reflects badly on me.

    I’m not denying that the stories here are true, I fully believe it. Like I said, I’ve met Saudi and/or Arab men who match this description. But, seriously, the fact you’re extending this to all Saudi men ever is absurd.

  660. It’s not the blog’s fault if your situation is an exception to what goes wrong. And it’s your fault if you take it so personally as a commentary on your husband. I certainly don’t take it as a commentary on mine. Maybe you need to find new friends and stop reading this blog if it’s making you so miserable?

  661. Dear WTF: Get back to us in 10 years. And please heed Sandy’s advice. Stop poking yourself in the eye if it hurts when you do so.

  662. @wtf, I’m married to a saudi too and he’s nothing like the men described here, but that doesnt mean a lot of them aren’t. i interact with quite a few saudi students daily and yep most of them are as described here and yes women need ot be wary ,
    i certainly dont take it as a reflection on my husband or my marriage . and the description of saudi men here has never made me miserable..

  663. @WTF, That’s sad that he doesn’t make you feel more special than anyone else ever did. Good luck with that marriage though. I hope his family lets him come back but just don’t be surprised when you find out they got him married to another while he was there. Not that you would probably even learn that fact anyway.

  664. Honestly though WTF. Your Saudi does sound like an upright guy. And I know they exist because I’m married to one. But your letter also was a reminder that it is not always the Saudi’s fault things head south. I’ve seen the foreign wives submarine a marriage as well.

  665. True enough, Sandy. Either a wife or a husband can and all too frequently does torpedo their own marriage.
    One does not need a faith or nationality to do it, just be unwilling to give the trust and commitment required to sustain the marriage.

  666. @WTF, erm, you clearly stipulate that there are quite a few Saudi men out there who aren’t the best as a choice for marriage.
    You admit that there are quite a few who have had a positive experience as well, as you apparently have as well.

    Your entire objection appears to be that you have friends who pre-judge others based upon what is said on a website about a group of men and that all women are not like you.
    Here is a small hint: It is what it is. Your mileage may vary. Pick the cliche that you like.
    The reality is, there are many, many Saudi men who are not the best choice to have a relationship with and there are many, many young women who do not enter into relationships with their eyes open.
    So, indeed, I see a woman who is judgmental, who suffers through having judgmental friends and decries the result.
    I’d suggest you try finding a better group of friends, but you have to improve yourself first and realize a few things.
    1: Not everyone is like you.
    2: Be happy for that fact.
    I’m happy for that fact.
    For, a world full of people like me would be boring.
    A world full of people like you would be intolerable.
    I simply suggest trying to do what I do. Try to be a better person tomorrow than you were today.

  667. Donna, be quiet.

  668. Lynn. they can’t force him to marry against his will. Really, they’ve tried and have given up.

  669. One always has to appreciate the guest who urinates on the drapes as a show of appreciation.
    WTF, try behaving like you are a civilized person. I know that it is difficult for you, but I’m sure you can manage a degree of civilized behavior.

  670. I take it personally, because my relationship with him is the most important, deeply personal aspects of my life. BTW, when I said “he doesn’t make me feel more special than anyone”, I meant I was never desperate.

  671. The emotionally secure rarely feel the need to shrilly defend that which they care about.
    The insure one however, that one will continue at great length, resulting in all listeners finally understanding that the poor, shrill speaker is an not worthy of further conversation with.

  672. one of the most**

  673. @WTF – ‘they’ve tried and have given up.’
    And you know this how? Did his mama tell you that? Are you also in constant contact with his family? Do they even know he is married to you? Or are you just taking HIS word for it?

  674. I’m emotionally insecure, because I’m not only separated from the person I love, but I also have to endure others’ skepticism and criticism of my marriage to someone they don’t know. And, it bothers me that blogs like this color their image of my relationship. And yes I am sensitive to the views of others in regards to everything… I’ve been to a counselor about it. It doesn’t change the fact that what is being presented here perpetuates stereotypes in that it, in fact, seeks to discredit or put down women who have a different story, women who say “my Saudi” (I still hate that) is different.

    I probably won’t be as touchy about this when my husband is finally given his visa, and we can be together again (that’s an emotional can of worms in and of itself). But, for now, this blog is lemon juice on a paper cut.

  675. I’m sorry you mistake my irritated brazenness for being “uncivilized”. Of course, the women who are predicting the fate of a relationship of two people they don’t know are so much better.

  676. And, on that note, ma salama, ladies!

  677. Taking your ball and going home because others with years of experience and knowledge are telling you how things are? Many of us here are cynical because we have had DECADES of experience and know things you have no inkling of. Please continue to be smug that you and your DH are special snowflakes and exist in a vacuum. May it ever be so.

  678. WTF,

    Congratulations in finding one of the very rare Saudi men who wants to live outside of his country and respects you career

    As a women who is both strong in character, and secure in her choice of husband, it will be easy for you to deal with this website, the advice of people with many years of experience in Saudi Arabia, and those of your friends who have been reading the posts and comments here.

    I suppose you accidentally named yourself the acronym of ”What The Fuck”, because that somehow is not a moniker which you can expect to inspire friendly discussion.

    I am happy you also don’t like the silly ”my Saudi”.
    I never got that. These guys aren’t pets.
    If a girl wants a pet, go get a nice dog.

  679. Don’t know about that one, Aafke-Art.
    My wife prefers cats.

    She knows I’m no pet, I’m untrainable and most certainly not housebroken.
    There are times I think she only keeps me around because I can cook and sew.
    The rest of the time, I’m sure of it. 😉

  680. Cat, rabbit, horse, whatever… They are all great!

    wzrd1, untrainable… not housebroken?
    Probably that’s what she makes you think!
    But cooking and sewing? That gives you a lot of extra points! I adore men who can cook! I can imagine she thinks you’re a keeper 🙂

  681. Hehe, after I retired from the Army, I was contracting and had my wife to Qatar with me on “an extended visit” (of a couple of years).
    Our best friend was a Saudi kid who was married for a year and a child born shortly after their first anniversary.
    As a kid far from home and family, with a new Romanian wife and baby, we kind of took the new family under our wings.
    That Saudi man was also an exception to the general rule. Good man, good father, he also cooked and cleaned up after himself.
    We used to hold parties at our villas with 30-40 guests at a shot.
    He cooked, his wife cooked, I cooked, my wife cooked, we quite enjoyed feeding so many people and they enjoying our foods.

    He also regaled me of the side of Saudi that Carol discussed so well here.
    And some things she didn’t dare talk about, as it might sound as coming from an official source.

    But, the difference between my close personal friend and the majority of other Saudis was, his mother is a US citizen, born from Italian immigrants to the US.
    While her parents were from Naples, mine were from Sicily, that difference becomes forgotten in the US in the face of adversity to immigrants in the early years of their life in the US. It is erased in later generations.
    So, we jelled when his parents came to visit. His family “adopted” my family, as we had “adopted” their son’s family and helped guide them through the infancy and toddler stages of their children’s lives.
    Because, every parent knows, children *do* come with an instruction manual: Grandparents. 🙂

    I tend to call Saudis, as well as many other Arabian nation’s citizens “Good Catholics”.
    They’re pious when required. They also enjoy the haram as the next human, as well as the rest of our foibles.
    But, having a Sicilian heritage gave me further common ground beyond bad habits.
    I was literally present when said Saudi grandparents first saw their grandchildren.
    I recall quite clearly the Masha’Allah!
    I recall similar exclamations uttered by Sicilians and Sicilian-Americans under the same conditions.
    The intent is to invoke the creator to avoid the evil eye.
    Found a lot of other similarities in culture. Something understandable considering the history of Sicily.
    Understanding can help build bridges. One knows where to not try to sink a foundation or piling and where it is safer to do so. One builds from there, but recognizes the gulf of difference between the bridge culture site and the primary culture.
    It actually is a rather lengthy course in my old military career, a social science course, to learn how to build bridges, but recognize gulfs that can create hazards.
    It came in handy when things went sideways during the cold war and we were helped by Roma to get onto the right side of a solid line on a well recognized map of Europe. It worked quite well when dealing with Kurds in Iraq. It worked quite well in those really annoying mountains in Afghanistan.
    But, we, due to our unique duties and training also knew that there was that gulf. A gulf that can open up unannounced and has done so, to one’s grave peril.
    For a man in many parts of the world, that might still be survivable. For a woman in many parts of the world, not only Saudi, it most certainly would not be so.

    To go back onto our original OT thread…
    My mother was a journeyman seamstress. She was also quite a good cook.
    It is a family joke that is rather true, my father strongly advised me to learn from her, as once I grew up and moved out, I’d not be allowed to move back in, so I had to learn to feed myself.
    I took that lesson to heart, with an inward chuckle. I always, throughout my entire life, loved and still love to learn something new each and every day. Be it in hard science, professional medicine or a new way of canning food.
    Indeed, I learned of a rather new canning jar lid made of plastic that some really experienced canners are having some trouble with. I also noted the rubber seals that are sold with the plastic lids. I also recall how my own canning jar lids rust when the coating finally fails, the seals fail (they’re rubber) and how easily they get bent and never seal.
    Since I cook and can up about 2 1/2 gallons of pasta sauce at a shot, that is a rather big deal.
    I also found storage lid seals made of food grade silicone.
    Food grade silicone is temperature safe well above the boiling point of water by federal requirements in the US.
    So, that is a test I’ll be performing shortly for a group of home canners.

    But then, as I said, I love to cook. So does my wife.
    For me, it’s a stress reliever. One of two primary stress relievers, the original primary is denied to me now as a civilian.
    For, the good Lieutenant did say, “No murder-death-kill, John Spartan!”. 😉
    When my mother died in 2001, my grief and hence, function remained intact by my cooking for the literal hundreds of family members who came to call.
    A few wanted to relieve me of that job, I explained that it was the *only* thing holding me together at the time.
    Finally lost it at her graveside during burial services.

    As for sewing…
    Well, my wife used to sew on industrial machines. She tries to treat our home sewing machine like an industrial machine for rate of stitch per second, with predictable results. I also had to sew on my own rank and patches in the field when promoted in the field.
    I also had to sew soldiers and some civilians.
    I’m very seriously hunting for an old treadle sewing machine for my wife to use.
    I’ll keep my mother’s excellent sewing machine with dozens of stitch cogs.
    Though, my wife has to suffer with an occasional creation of mine.
    One that can never be shown to the public. 😉
    Our exchange then is, “You’re a dirty old man!”
    “Good thing I married a dirty old lady, huh!”
    Mutual laughter, jibes that would result in non-communicative couples stabbing livers out, then “our time”.

    I suspect that I’m going on a lot. The pain medication is finally taking effect from my latest injury.
    A stupid fall by not looking for an obstacle when entering my father’s room when he had a bad, late night dementia moment.
    Tripped, my leg collapsed, as it’s known to do, secondary to an old injury that left permanent nerve damage to that leg, resulting in a fall full speed into his dresser. That resulted in a fractured rib.
    I’d accept having to remember the pain of a fractured rib, but for one thing.
    My wife was hot on my heels.
    She fell over my falling body and also managed to get hurt, badly bruising rib two and her scapula.
    It’s not been a lot of fun here since last Thursday night.
    Add to it that she has night shift with my father and I have day shift.
    Well, when each of us awakens, it’s ugly.
    As in it takes ten minutes, literally, to get out of bed. The mood isn’t really good.
    Then, the fun begins.
    For me, random, but frequently five minutes apart calls to change a DVD or other assistance.
    For her, random calls to get up at 3:00AM and eat breakfast, pay the cab “that he just took home”, a man in the bedroom, etc.
    Our marriage is only strained.
    All because I gave my word to my father. I’d let him die in his own home, preferably, in his own bed.
    I never learned how to quit. I also never learned how to break my own word of honor.
    This is the hardest test of both I’ve ever experienced. The same is true for my wife.
    Still, tomorrow I hope to be a better me than I was today and work to achieve that goal.
    Occasionally, I succeed. Other times not so well, still others utterly fail.
    On occasion, I’m an as-erm, bunghole.
    As is true for many of us.
    We all have bad moments. Few of us try to achieve better each and every day.

    Our finest joke was while we were in Qatar and I joked about “converting” and getting a second wife.
    “Like you’d find one to accept you!”
    “Well, I found you! Oops, there aren’t that many women who aren’t so bright, are there?”
    “Obviously not!”
    Good night. 😛

  682. Hi there it is obvious from your post that you are going through a lot of strain and part of the battle is trying to change people’s pre-conceived notions. Believe me it is hard on all of us who are married to Saudis and have half-Saudi children. I never thought I’d raise them in such a world and I have cause for grief frequently due to other people’s racist notions. Would someone believe a mother who says her children are decent, respectful and know how to treat others?

    I am glad you have found a person, regardless of his nationality, that you can get along so well with. It is rare indeed and I hope you continue to have many happy years together. This is no doubt one of the most difficult times for you but things many times work out for the best whether you believe in fate or not. We only have to believe and trust.

  683. @wzrd, very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother and the current strain you are going through with your father. My parents are getting up in the years as well and I have started living with them part-time to help keep them healthy and in their own home. I am ever grateful that so far things have been manageable. I remember helping my father straighten out his socks the other day. It reminded me of taking care of one of my kids when they are little. It’s very humbling to see the person I had leaned upon so much now need help from me.

    God bless you and your wife and give you the strength to carry out your promise with grace and fortitude. You and she are an inspiration to us.

  684. @wzrd1, You and your wife sound like awesome people. Sorry to hear about your recent injuries.

  685. @wtf
    what kind of visa is he waiting for that takes over a year to get? if he is young and trying to get a visit visa to usa. kinda hard maybe if there is no real reason to travel, school and medical. have you talk to his mom yet? if he is different than the rest of the jerks then you should have then. period. and all saudi are the same unless they were young and left the country for long periods of times. good luck on the man who drinks the same booze with you. and maybe stop telling people you are married to a saudi. he is a man right not a country. give him a new name for the strangers…my my. i like Danny.

  686. if you are a woman, DONT TALK To ANY SAUDI GUYs even as a friend. This is what they would expect in their country that you wouldnt talk to them as a strange woman. Just let the men talk to them and dont worry about it.

  687. Hi Ben, treat people as people first and as a nationality second. Not every ‘Saudi’ is a hard-core idiot when it comes to women. Some are cultured, gentlemen and you do them a disservice. Blanket judgments are unfair. That said, some of the nicest guys will never start a conversation due to being incredibly shy and some of the worst boors will start up a conversation. Look at the setting, if you are at school or in an office chances you will have a better chance of meeting someone genuine instead of in a bar or nightclub.

  688. I wish to marry a girl of Saudi because I love Saudi very much. I am 33 years old Pakistani. Please need help in this regard urgently.

  689. If you love Saudi, then you will leave Saudi women alone. It causes a very hard life for them to be married to a foreigner. P.S. In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t a dating site.

  690. I’m a Saudi woman and I’m struggling to marry a first generation Saudi even thou we share the same religious background but somehow my father’s side of the family oppose the wedding even though it’s supposed to be in two weeks from now the whole thing might be canceled…Saudi men really have it easy!!

  691. First off, I’m a Saudi man. Despite the fact that you mentioned all the unfortunate points in your article, I have to say I agree with most of what you wrote, however you mentioned that (Saudis do not have that experiences when it comes to dating) that doesn’t apply for everyone. Saudis do date from their own kind, Saudi men date Saudi women under the table. My own brother has been on a long distance relationship with a Saudi girl for over 5 years now and he will eventually marry her, also; you can easily notice people dating in public in spite that it is against the law, but people do it anyway, that being said that NOT all Saudi men can easily fall in love. Moreover, I do agree with the hard effort that a Saudi man has to put in to get the marriage legally approved and to get his foreign wife accepted by his family and parents, but if the Saudi man is willing to make this marriage work got to do it all, otherwise he shouldn’t have engaged in such a relationship in the first place. I for one, wouldn’t practice hypocrisy to trick a foreign or local girl into a relationship,so; It all depends on the person himself not his nationality, and that happens everywhere. I do not defend my nation as I said I agree with most of what you said. And I should mention that there are Saudi players who will say anything just to get laid and to keep the relationship as long as he could, without any intensions of marriage. Finally, I agree with you except the dating experiences that you said all saudi men don’t have as there are whom have that experience.

  692. Josie
    The part you didn’t understand probably because mothers and parents in general should be treated good and obeyed in Islam, but not everything. Anyway people get culture and religion mixed up which makes it confusing sometimes. Anyway, if he told you he will get engaged and that he bugged you to believe that his feelings were true, then they were true alright . But im not sure that he even tried to make it work with his mother. He might have chosen to tell you that to avoid all the drama that he was going to go through with his mother/family and not actually told his mother about you. So he just came up with an excuses to leave without getting his mother/family involved into this. I could be wrong though 🙂

  693. Saleh, I’ll admit, there are honerable Saudi men.
    There are also a lot of less than honerable Saudi men.
    For some, it is the Arabic tendancy to not wish to disappoint.
    For others, it’s sowing wild oats.
    So, it’s really a guess who is who, here, in the real world. :/

  694. I waited two years for my Saudi man to come, and he is finally next to me now despite the protests of his family. Maybe he isn’t typical, but he is proof that not all Saudis are just sowing wild oats. I’m so happy to finally be with the greatest husband who is beyond anything I ever dreamed of.

  695. ” I’m so happy to finally be with the greatest husband who is beyond anything I ever dreamed of.” May it always be so. Statistics are not on your side.

    -Dont expect this to be easy, You will go through a lot trials if You want to continue your love story with your Saudi love: cultural shock, religion, TRADITIONS (the hardest part)
    -Dont expect your Love to be some type of super hero who will change the country from day to night for You, sometimes he will need to travel and because you dont yet have a permission you will feel lonely
    -It is a hard job for him convincing family, tribe and so on
    – The Saudi Mission WILL give him a hard time- Stand by his side when he is charged with a 400,000 Bill (my husband case)
    -If He is under 35 (my husband case) IT CAN WORK – We currently living near the border in Bahrain was the only option we found

  697. I met my husband when he was a student, He took the scholarship cause was the only option for him to be with me, after some time he got dropped because he hated his major and was charged with a high bill and had passport almost cancelled (probation) So? We just keep on going. You need a sorta crazy type of Saudi cause He and You will know it is worthy and BY THE WAY the more people tell Us NO the more We want it! 🙂 He is younger than me and under 35. Together almost 3 yrs! His family knows about me but expected him to dump me (which he didnt and won’t) We love each other dearly! And Now I am living in the Gulf but NOT ksa

  698. @Donna, “Statistics are not on your side.” and neither are racist people…

  699. “Racist”…LOL, good one!

  700. Hi Camila, If you are in the GCC you are probably in a better place than Saudi. Why do people always act like it’s some destination? If you want to go for Hajj or Omrah, ok but to live? It is good to have space between a husband and wife, it keeps the relationship fresh. The only problem is if he can only find work in Saudi you will see him on the weekends. They told my husband it was impossible to get married to me and bring me to Saudi but we did and I went. In our case we got the permission first. It is now many, many years later. The people who tell you not to get married have the wasta to marry as they please. Good luck to you, no one knows how long a marriage will last no matter where you are.

  701. camila, where did you get that out landish amount of a fine on your husband for marrying you but at the same time you dont even live in saudi which you should sinced he paid for it- 400,000 big ones?, right or not. saudi guys are notorious for story telling and hes got you basically on the sidelines playing dash over the bridge. who pays for your living expenses and do you have kids. i bet he knows your every move. do you know his? just still wondering what mission are you talking about. you should get proof to read it. saudis dont pay back scholarship money. are you from the usa?

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