Saudi Arabia: Just Ask Bedu…


I have to remember that not everyone has been following my blog since its conception in 2006.  Some readers are newer to the blog and would prefer to have questions answered directly rather than use the blog search option or category search option.  I don’t mind.  It’s always a pleasure to respond to requests from readers.

“Since you traveled around to so many countries, why did you pick a man from Saudi Arabia to get married to knowing what kind of life women have over there?  Why are you no longer living there with such a grand life as they are enjoying in Saudi Arabia these days with such high economical success compared to the US being next to being in poverty?  What kinds of problems did you have with his family accepting you, or was it easy for them to accept you because of your high power compared to an ordinary American woman?”

carol 2006

It’s not so much as I deliberately “picked” a man from Saudi Arabia but rather I fell in love with a man who shared my same values and outlooks on life.  He just happened to be a Saudi national.  Back in 2007 I wrote a post about how we initially met and our continuing love story.  If my husband and I did not have shared values I doubt I could have fallen in love with him.  I knew with confidence that once I agreed to be his wife he was going to provide me with a good life in Saudi Arabia.  However, I underscore that our courtship was over a period of several years and I was well familiar with Saudi Arabia’s customs, cultures and traditions prior to arrival.  Our families were also known to one another.

As to why I am no longer living a grand life in Saudi Arabia…that is another story unto itself.  The insidious disease of cancer is why we left Saudi Arabia in 2009 in the first place.  My late husband had a rare and aggressive leukemia.  His only chance towards extending life was to have a stem cell transplant.  Both of us arrived in the United States optimistic that after my late husband’s treatment, we would both return to our life in Saudi Arabia.  However, as we know, the best laid of plans can be thrown a curve ball.  My husband took a turn for the worse and at the same time, my own cancer relapsed.  Abdullah did get to return home but it was to say ‘goodbye’ and be laid at rest in his homeland.  I continue to fight my own battle against Stage IV breast cancer to this very day.  I’m not making that statement for pity or sympathy but simply stating the facts.  With Abdullah’s death and my own battle, I have chosen to remain in the United States close to my family who helps take care of me and support me.

Thankfully I did not encounter problems of acceptance with my late husband’s family.  They made me most welcome.  My mother-in-law was my champion.  She presented and introduced me to the extended Saudi family.  From the first day we met and hug, she treated me as a daughter.  When I had a mastectomy while in the hospital, it was Mama Moudy who stayed on a small cot in my hospital room beside me.

I never viewed or thought of myself as having “high power” as compared to an American woman.  In the eyes of my husband’s family, I was the woman he had chosen to love and make his wife.  That was what mattered most to them and to me.  I know they accepted me for who I am as a person and not because of my nationality or past achievements.

Thank you to a reader for asking these questions.  I’m always happy to respond.  –American Bedu

nb:  I encourage readers to also click on the hyper links within the post for additional details which add to the substance of the post and the questions which were asked.


10 Responses

  1. My mother-in-law also loved me as a daughter. It is time we finished with the stereotype of the nasty m-i-l. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing, djd! I agree.

    On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM, American Bedu

  3. Are people not aware that anyone, anywhere can have a bad marriage or “life”. Are we not passed all the stereotypes people have of the middle east? I am aware not all of us have the luxury to travel to broaden our intellect about other countries and cultures…pick up a book, surf the web…and start breaking down the walls of ignorance. Thank you American Bedu for your continuing success of educating people!

  4. I think the reader asked fair and honest questions. After all, unless one has lived in the Kingdom, it really is difficult to gain a sense of understanding for what life is like there….even from a distance.

    On Sat, Jan 26, 2013 at 4:08 PM, American Bedu

  5. I enjoyed reading this! I was very lucky and blessed to be accepted by my husband’s family, too. (He’s not Saudi, but from the region.) In case someone was wondering about family acceptance, I would imagine it varies from person to person and family to family. As for me, I think my husband’s family see the more or less positive influence I’ve made on my husband’s life and that my husband and I love each other, so they respect that. I think this is part of the reason why his family has accepted me so readily. The other reason is that his family is very loving and welcoming in general.

  6. No one can understand what it is like to live in another country until they live there. With all the arranged marriages there it is very hard for a man to get to marry outside of the family rules or it was back in 1985. One man I know from KSA took his American wife to Jordan and that is where they are to this day. Evidently his family did not want to accept her otherwise I don’t think they would chose to live in Jordan instead of KSA. It is wonderful that his mother accepted you as a daughter. That is very special and his mother and many more women of Saudi Arabia are becoming more tolerant and accepting it seems. A man from there asked me to marry him after he went back home to get married to his arranged wife. We did not get married and he has been married to her for 27 years now. I always wished it had been me and to this day wish it had been me. But he went along with his family instead. We just got back in contact with each other a few months ago. We both know there is something special between us, but after all these years, we are better off being friends only. He will always hold a special place in my heart though.

  7. Why shouldn’t a Saudi family love honor and respect the foreign wife anyway?

    I think my husbands family should be delighted and grateful to have me in their family. Any family who doesn’t realize that I am the cat’s whiskers is composed of morons.

    And if I were married to a Saudi, and if I (or any other western woman) consented to live in that distopian limbo for the love I would bear my husband, they should thank me on their bare knees for the sacrifice I made.

  8. Thanks for sharing A Bedu. I can tell by the spirit of your writings, your responses, and topics on blog, that your love for your partner was truly happenstance.

  9. yay for great mothers-in-law, saudi or otherwise! 🙂 thus far, my saudi in-laws have been absolutely amazing. they made sure i was introduced to all the members of the family and became irritated if any one of them deigned to treat me any differently than they would have treated a saudi 3aroosa in the family. 🙂 when i arrived, my mother-in-law and father-in-law skyped with my parents and assured them that they would take good care of me, as i was their daughter now, too. and so far, they have lived up to that promise. ❤

  10. That’s exactly the kind of Saudi in-laws you want to have, Nicole!

    On Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 6:34 AM, American Bedu

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