Saudi Arabia: Saudis Who Marry Women from Asian Countries

Saudi marriages to foreign women are always a hot and controversial subject.  Most of the earlier posts which I have written on the subject (approximately 397) have to do with Saudis who marry Western women since that seems to be the norm when ones hear of bi-cultural marriages with a Saudi.  Western women in the context of this post are defined here as Americans, Canadians, Brits, Europeans, Malaysia, Australians and Russian.  Women from Asian countries in the context of this post are women from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.  Asian countries which can be an exception are Japan and Pakistan.

In my own exposure, I am aware of more Saudis who may have taken a Philippine wife as compared to one from other Asian countries as defined above.  The Saudi may have met the Philippine woman while he was perhaps in the Philippines working or as a student.  In some cases, the initial meeting happens within the Kingdom where the woman has been working at a hospital, education facility or as a domestic servant.

I believe a marriage between a Saudi and an Asian woman can have more cultural challenges than a marriage between a Saudi and a western woman.  Regardless of whether an Asian woman has come from a well-known family and is a professional, within Saudi Arabia she will oftentimes be viewed as inferior.  She will be viewed by many Saudis as inferior to Saudis and as compared to westerners too.

The Saudi society and in turn, an extended Saudi family, may have a tendency to view the Asian woman more as a domestic worker than as a wife of a Saudi man.  A Saudi family will likely expect her to cater and serve them more so than a westerner who has married in to the family.  Society in general will often assume that the Asian wife when out in public is the housemaid rather than a wife.  Even when she is out with her children, whether the husband is in attendance or not, the initial thought is that she is a housemaid.

Many Saudi men who have taken a Philippine or Indonesian wife already have a Saudi wife.

The children of such unions can find themselves in challenging situations.  They may be enrolled in Saudi schools as they are Saudi citizens.  Yet the Saudi children can be cruel and let them know they do not belong nor are they accepted.  They are made fun of for having different shaped eyes or because they may speak tagalong better than Arabic.

Women from Japan and Pakistan can be exceptions to the overall public perceptions of Saudi/Asian marriages.  Perhaps because Japan is viewed more as a first world country whereas many of the other Asian countries are perceived as second or third world countries, there is not the same stigmas attached between a marriage of a Saudi man and a Japanese woman.  Pakistan is a third world country yet there have always been close and deep ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  As a result, there has been greater acceptance of unions between Pakistanis and Saudis.  Also, there is little concern of a difference in faiths.

As with any bi-cultural relationship with a Saudi, regardless of nationality, it is strongly urged that a marriage does not take place unless knowing the background and family of the Saudi man.  No woman should enter into a marriage with a man from another culture without having had exposure to his family, his country and his traditions.

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206 Responses

  1. Why oh why carol are you going down that slippery slope :-) saudi’s marrying asians.. hmmm

    i agree with you100% in the last sentence, read , learn, absorb the saudi culture and their opinions of asians before attempting marriage or else marry and take you saudi male/female and leave.

  2. I guess I try to cover all angles, Radha!

  3. I have never heard of Saudis marrying women from Indonesia or Philippines. That union would seem bizarre given the poor way some Saudis treat their maids and drivers from those countries.

    I don’t think those couples would ever live in Saudi, do you?

    Have you met such couples that live here?

  4. My husband’s business associate is an American married to Fhillipina. They had to leave Saudi Arabia because everyone was thinking that she is a maid. She got yelled at, insulted, constantly asked for her documents, when alone. In designer’s bootiques she could not purchase anything without clerks suspecting that money is stolen… Pretty bad…

  5. They may treat their Asian wives as maids, but they treat their maids like animals. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67P17420100826

  6. hey susan. this is my 1st time reading ur blog.as you know im malaysian n we r known to be asian to not western lol. i guess u make a minor mistake with this sentence ‘Western women in the context of this post are defined here as Americans, Canadians, Brits, Europeans, Malaysia, Australians and Russian’. but some how this thing freaks me out, because as you know malaysian , indo n phili we have similar look. so it means saudi will just insult those who have asian look just because of their status?

  7. I dont know about Saudi men but I know lots of Bahraini men married to Phiipinos or other Asians. Many of them openly admit they married them simply because those cultures raise their women to be extremely obedient to their husbands…no talking back…no saying NO…etc.

    And yes, disrepect towards these wives is common…and towards their “mixed breed” children…dont even ask.

  8. Yes, I do know Phillipinas who are married to Saudis and live in the Kingdom.

    Yes, I know Malaysia is part of Asia.

  9. mmm..
    what about iranian ladies married to suadi men…?
    I have seen comments on asian women and western women …
    but what about iranians?

  10. Sorry, I take it back. Civilized people don;t even treat animals like that. I am at a loss of words for this incident.

    from nytimes

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/saudi-employers-hammered-nails-into-maids-body-sri-lanka-says/?hp

  11. So true.
    Saudis consider them selves superior in comparison with 3ed world countries.
    They are mostly racist – even against their own race.
    They judge people not only by nationality but also by their skin color.
    and to lili..
    one of my relatives is married to iranian lady, but we are shia so its not problem. I believe sunny saudis hate shias. If a sunny man tried to get marry to shai lady, he would be putting his life in danger. I think if she was Sunny Iranian it would be okay I guess. :)

  12. I would agree on people being judged by their skin color. You see very few Saudis, or any Arab men, marrying western ladies of African descent (African-American, African-British, etc) who are anything darker than sand. In 10 years of living in the Gulf, I have met countless white westerners married to Arabs, but only 2 African Americans.

  13. I am Filipino and proud to be one. This information just blows off my top and makes me hate Saudi Arabia more because of the ugliness in their culture. I am currently on my fourth week of traveling alone through different countries for the sheer pleasure of it and have met so many people from other countries and cultures (but no saudis) and I never had any bad experience caused by the color of my skin, my nationality or because of the fact that some of my countrymen go off to work as domestic helpers in other countries.

    I wrote something awhile back and I thought I’d share a part of that in here:

    “Division and Exclusion are the biggest transgressors against humanity. Religion might be an expression for some, a way of life for others, non-existent for some others and still for others it is the ultimate definition of their being. However, when religion begins to exclude simply by basis of a person’s uniqueness, that religion has transgressed humanity. It stunts humanity from flourishing and realizing its purpose and we stop learning about one other. We are not so different beyond the color of our skin, beyond our way of clothing, beyond our religious affiliations. All of us eat, all of us love, all of us want for a better life, all of us respect our family and all of us watch the world news, simply because we do care about others at the other side of the world. Boredom is just an excuse. You do care; other people different from you interest you. Give it a chance and you would know that we share the same sentiments and values though expressed in different languages and in different ways.

    It pains me that some culture looks down on others. It pains me that a culture physically separates two souls who have found each other. And it pains me that these souls will never get to spend their life together because uniqueness is transgressed upon. The universe is accepting and so should we. The very powers that exists to make our existence possible would never discriminate or why else did it put us here very different from each other as night and day. It placed us here as different as can be and that’s what we ought to be naturally. We cannot turn each other into our clones but we need to let each other in and learn. That power wants us to stand beside each other and realize that we are one and therefore need the other.”

    And FYI, Filipinas are not raised ANYMORE to not talk back to husbands or for any male who deserves to be talked back to. We are quite capable of defending ourselves and of commanding respect anywhere.

  14. Gypsy Girl,
    For whatever it’s worth- I live in Saudi Arabia, and while I cannot deny how many Saudi’s and the culture tend to treat Filapinos/Filapinas, there are some Saudi’s that are trying to raise awareness, and some who treat their helpers very well and with respect. I really hope the situation improves.

  15. That’s great to know Sandy… I realize that not all Saudis approve of some aspects of their culture as I have a couple of Saudi friends. But I didn’t realize that we are treated so low there. And my friends NEVER told me about what Carol had written about.

    Slavery have been abolished in my country when we kicked out the Spaniards responsible for more than 300 years of colonization, yet some of my people are running straight to Slavery’s arms in exchange for money that would buy their families three meals a day. How could Saudi’s praise Allah five times a day and be so cruel to other humans?

  16. I actually know about half a dozen iranian women who have married Saudis. All the Saudis I know who have married Iranian are Sunni. Yet from my observation, religion did not seem to be a factor regarding the couples and their marriages. All these couples are living in Saudi. I’ve not observed or known of any challenges in regards to acceptance or any other aspect of life.

  17. Gypsy Girl – I know many Philippine women who are strong, tough women and they certainly need to be when they leave their homes in the Philippines. I’ve observed that the women are not subservient anymore and that is great! Canada has many, many Philippine immigrants and guest workers and they are well respected as they should be. Most major employers will help with immigration proceedings if the guest worker has done well and wishes to immigrate.
    Many countries have a long way to go but I’m hoping they all will eventually ‘get there’ with their respect for all peoples.

  18. Gypsy girl…I made that comment regarding how they are raised…I meant it more along the lines of how Arabs perceive them…the generalization regarding them etc. I didnt mean it as a fact that all Philippino women are actually raised that way.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  19. Hi.

    I wonder why AB put Malaysia in the same group as western women in this post… Perhaps there’re some stories behind it?

    I myself am a Malaysian, married to a wonderful arab guy who is half Saudi and we are currently living in the Kingdom. One thing for sure, some of the Saudis think that i am my husband’s (and his Saudi aunts’) Indonesian maid… and i played along sometimes (insert cheeky face here). Imagine their facial expression when they see me holding my husband’s hand… ;P

    However i must say that the Saudis i’ve met were polite and nice even when they thought i was a maid. :)

  20. Nikkita – ‘ Imagine their facial expression when they see me holding my husband’s hand…’

    Seriously? You could hold hands in public?

  21. Lynn,

    We live in Jeddah.. nobody ever come to us to scold us when we hold hands in public…(which is usually while crossing the road or in the supermarkets or cafe). Not that we hold hands all the time.. :)

  22. There are a huge number of saudi men who marry Indonesian women when they come here for a “holiday”. They divorce on the way out of the country. I also find it bizare that Malaysian women are treated as westerners. They are just as Muslim as Indonesians, plus, not necessarily wealthy, so I can’t understand why they are the exception.

  23. me either tracey; im malasyian too i dont see myself as a western

  24. Just found your web,nice info anyway! I just don’t understand this: Malaysia and Indonesia are the same country with moslems majority. And the same with tracey,Malaysia is also not necessarily wealthy. Where’s that point of seeing malaysia as a western from??? In fact,Indonesia is more liberal than malaysia IF you see on country’s law. Malaysian people see Indonesia as”western”and Indonesian see malaysian as”old fanatic”.Maybe you can stumble on topix.com on malaysia forum and see your self how these 2 countries people are debating..(not to mention that they’re actually fighting)..

  25. @linzt true!!! n dats y i never want to involve with this forum. wats da point of fighting right? it leads to nothing

  26. From observations, Malaysian women seem to be more respected as compared to women from Indonesia or elsewhere in Asia if involved with a Saudi. I don’t know why exactly but that is what I have seen.

  27. My 2 cents:

    Most Malaysians in Saudi work as professionals and our nurses are in high demand in the kingdom. While most Indonesians in Saudi are maids and drivers.

    Another thing, almost all of Saudis i talked to have been to Malaysia and they simply love our country.

    Perhaps that are some of the reasons for different treatment given to Malaysian and Indonesian women.

    I may be wrong…

  28. @AB
    So if a woman is respected more that qualifies her to be Western now?

  29. @Gypsy Girl,

    No; that is a misrepresentation of what I have written.

  30. I didn’t think there were many maids of indian origin insaudi, i thought it was the men who usually came, since there are so many restrictions on women.. i may be wrong, + there are usually a ton of indian drs in any clinic i went to . so being mistaken for a maid kind of surprised me..
    also i wondered were they blind, wouldn’t they look past your face to see how you were dressed and jewelled :-) and how the husband talks to you and points stuff out.. which maid gets too hand off a wailing kid to her master :-) people only see what they want .

  31. There are actually quite a few Indian maids in Saudi. Many of them accompanied their husbands or managed to come in to KSA and stayed on as maids.

  32. What a coincidence that I happened to stumble across your website, obviously I’m new and I did not take time to read the terms but I hope I remain anonymous. Anyhow I felt compelled to post something coz this thread affects me in a way. I’m sorry to sound off topic, and make this about me, really I’m sorry. I must admit that I was ignorant about M.E. My knowledge of the world was limited to Africa, North America and a bit of Asia. I have never heard of Saudi Arabia, until I came to Australia to study. I attend uni with lots of Saudis. Reading these comments really touched me and left me sad, although honest. Why? Because I’m in a relationship with a Saudi student, we knew each other for 6months prior to our relationship; we are just 3 months away from our first anniversary. After reading these comments I want to leave the relationship. I have concluded that the whole thing is fraudulent, and I’m going to end up badly hurt. He is 28 and I’m 30, we are emotionally interdependent, we know each other’s moves, we share stories, ideas, ambitions and more. I feel like we are destined. He is very attractive and well built; honestly I was shocked when he said ‘hi’ to me, not with the bevy of younger beauties around uni, from all over the world. I’m wondering to myself why he would associate with someone so lowly viewed in his country, does this not go against the values he stands for; I’m black by the way.

  33. What are his intentions? Is he intending to return home? With you?

    There ARE some black Saudi’s BTW. But yes there is racism also.

    But I would talk to him before jumping to conclusions.

    Also- What are YOUR intentions? Did you intend to move there? Did you intend for him to live with you somewhere else?

  34. I am surprised you said that Saudis marrying Pakistanis is more acceptable due to close ties and same religion. I have always heard that Saudis were pretty racist to Pakistanis. Also, can I ask about Saudi WOMEN marrying foreign men, that I assume is a very big no no?

  35. Thanks love, actually we have talked about our intentions, but as individuals not as a couple yet, he would like to go back home, I doubt he would have it any other way. He still has couple of semesters to get through, so do I. He is been here though for few years learning English, about three years before I came. I got here last year February. You know for me, I had talked to my mum that should someone that I love and I see a future with them comes into my life here in uni, I would settle with him. In essence…yes I would go with him if permissible. I’m not sure if it is soon to ask him about his true feelings for me, like if he sees a future with me or if I might the 1 for him. He told me he loves me and I told him I loved him too…He has said though before that he turned down a few girls that his family introduced him to, because he didn’t ‘like’ them. And really he sees marriage only after his studies. But I’m not sure for how long he will be able to refuse offers. You know Sandra I did not plan for this to happen, I’m now so into him that should anything happen, I’m going to spiral down, I’m not so strong, like I want people to believe.

  36. Also really I have no intentions of breaking my uni studies to have babies or get married. I think this is it for me as far as studying is concerned. So I would not jeopardize it for anyone. our intimate moments are always secured no mistakes there.

  37. Kitty2010, I strongly advise you to use the search button on this blog and look up what people have to say about relations with a Saudi man/student.
    It is a pity, but most Saudi men just use the freedom and gullibility, and trust and honesty of western women to have a bit of fun and then dump them as soon as they finish their studies. They may even marry and divorce them as soon as they go home.
    One other commentator has explained that there actually is a a very famous muslim scholar who advocated this action so the men can have halal sex and have somebody to do their housework, and as long as they don’t tell their wives it is only meant for the duration of their stay.

    Read also on what it means to live in Saudi Arabia where women are slaves in all intents and purposes and are at complete mercy of the men who ”own” them. With no recourse to laws or a justice system for protection.

    But considering you are black I would be extra super careful; because even if a lot of Arabs consider all western women to be whores, and up for sale, Arabs actually still refer to black people as ”abid” or ”slaves”.

    Really, go through this blog and read what knowledgeable people have to say about these subjects.

  38. Joe, Saudi women are not allowed to marry foreigners.
    sick Only if they are in the ”worthless’ category: over 40 or with some kind of disability.
    Their children will not get citizenship.

  39. Aafke, that is not exactly true. Technically, no Saudi is allowed to marry foreigners without special permission.

    I have known Saudi women who were young and not “worthless” with no dissabilities who married foreign (even Western!) men. It is true their children do not get citizenship. One of the women told me she felt in some ways it was easier than a man getting permission. Of course, their families backed them. That seemed to be the most critical piece.

  40. @Kitty,
    I agree with Aafke that you should probably read more in this blog. I wouldn’t word things quite as she does- because I have know too many very good Saudi people, but everything she says can and does happen. Especially important is your legal status here, which is that of a child dependant on your husband. Which means he can call ALL the shots.

    I would never knowingly have entered into that kind of arrangement. My husband did not realize the full extent of it when he tried to tell me about life in Saudi. There was no internet then. So all I can say is I’ve been damn lucky my husband has no desire to “control” me. And even luckier that this remained the case over many years.

    I have seen many foreign women where this is not the case. Or where he hits mid life crisis and takes a second wife- or divorces for any reason and you have to leave and he gets the kids. It is a very risky position to put yourself in. And even when it has worked out- as in my case, I don’t like it.

  41. Thanks Sandy and Aafke-art…wow I’m shocked, really…I am. Yes I would find time and go through the blog and learn more. I had a glimpse on ‘Dear Bedu’ and I got a sense of what life might be like for women there, I wonder why he hides all this stuff from me, because I thought we were open with each other. There is one blogger who mentioned that Muslim men have split personalities; he said the man you are with outside KSA is not the same man you will find inside KSA. I wonder what he’s like in his home country; I guess I will never know. And Sandra, I’m happy that you got to spend your life with your love. Some girls have all the luck, and Aafke what’s your story love, are you a Saudi or a wife to a Saudi?

    I guess I will have to break up with him, there is a two weeks break coming soon, I will use that time to dump like he is hot…It will devastate me, but life goes on…I have no reason to use, but I will his smoking against him , the man smokes like a chimney .

  42. @Kitty
    I’m a black woman in Saudi from South Africa married to a black man.Came here with my husband. I don’t know where to begin.I used to defend Saudis/Arabs when everyone said so much about them,up until I got a job here in Saudi and worked and talked to them. I still believe people can never be the same,so I will say this is what the 90% of them think about other people.To the Arabs the white woman is a whore,this is from their mouths, anything black is a slave,asians are maids.They have pride,they are so blinded by their pride.They have no peace,it’s not just Saudis,it’s the Arab nation as a whole,they are recist among each other as well,like everyone wants to be superior.
    All I can say is May God help you if you really love this guy.Some things are just not worth it.

  43. Thanks susu my dear…I really appreciate that. I really learned a lot this past days. I don’t know if you could see the post from me I posted at 6:21pm, it says its on moderation,i accidentally spaced my name. Anyway I have made up my mind, it’s not easy but I have decided that its over, God knows how I will survive for the coming days. Really he has not done anything to me, my problem is that he may see this as a fling, I don’t know. His reaction will tell me how he felt, not that it will change anything.

  44. Susu, Sandra, Aafke-art…thanks ladies. I know you meant well, something’s are better brutally said no matter the insensitivity. My post have been removed I guess the site could not read my spaced name. I accidentally spaced it. Anyway in it I had said I would make time to read the blog at length and learn for myself and get a sense from other people. It’s worthless at this time, but it’s no harm either. I had written some other stuff too, I can’t remember.

  45. Kitty, if you wrote your name different your comments are most likely in moderation.
    Carol herself is undergoing treatment and may not always be up to do these things asap.
    I am sure your comments will be taken out of moderation soon.

    Susu, thank you for being so honest and sharing with us.

  46. @Kitty,
    Judging by the Saudis I have met where I’m at, I’d say that there are some really kind, loving ones out there that aren’t racist. Some of the ones I’ve talked to wouldn’t think about taking their significant other to KSA to live there unless they truly believed their significant other would be okay with it. However, it really depends on the individual, his values, goals, etc. If he’s talking about moving back, then that’s probably not a good thing for you, although maybe he isn’t sure what he wants yet and is considering all options? He may also be worried about what his family will think and how this will affect his relationship with them, particularly his mother.

    The fact he hasn’t brought any of this up to you is a bit of a problem, in my opinion, as good communication is important in any relationship. He could be keeping this from you for a lot of different reasons, but you won’t know until you talk to him about it and he is willing to open up and share everything with you. You know him better than we do, so use your judgment and knowledge to make the best decision for you!

  47. I’d like to jump in and say that I know some black women who are married to Saudis and I know some white women who have married black Saudis.

    What I have observed is that a Saudi man and especially a male student out of the Kingdom will enjoy “sampling” what he can not have or is difficult to obtain in the Kingdom, such as an intimate relationship. However, he is usually even less likely to consider a serious relationship leading to marriage after such “sampling.” In the Saudis eyes, that usually taints the woman as wife material.

  48. It is very shockingly revealing to stand at where “other” people from different cultures have come to know the dark, ugly side of the Saudi culture. This side sadly demolishes any good quality that any society claims to have. Now, I just realized why most Saudis are disliked by many around the world.
    My LOVE for ALL.

  49. @Kitty
    I’ve been there, I send you all my love dear.

  50. Thanks @strangeone…if I didn’t know better I would say you are seeing my man behind my back (smiles)…either that or you are good. But I will go with the latter. Seriously you could not have articulated it any better that was well put, since now that you mentioned it, it dawned on me the burden he might be carrying around. I guess I’m been selfish to recognize that he may want to try and bring together both his worlds painlessly. Yes…mum is his rock, he doesn’t talk about her often but I do get a sense that if there is one person that he would die for it’s her. I will try and bring up sensitive topics bit by bit; I will use my womanly instinct to decode the meaning behind it all if he is not forthcoming. Losing him is not an opinion for now; as much as I drop the word ‘break up’ in my heart I know I’m not ready to do it.

    @Bedu…Lol as much as I’m not amused by these guys’ behaviors, I could not stop giggling on the ‘sampling’ part. Geez!! What are we flavors? Vanilla, custard, chocolate, strawberry….take a pick guys…lol. Anyhow let me on this, what happens to a 25yo Saudi woman with kids, say she is a divorcee, or widowed. Would men see her as redundant and not wife material; are chances of her finding love again with someone closer to her age non-existent? because she is been with some man before. Don’t tell me her options are horny 80yo.

  51. @Gypsy girl thanks my dear. I had no idea what I was letting myself into, I wish I knew of this website before it all.

  52. @Kitty,
    (smiles) Let’s just say that I’m in a somewhat similar situation at the moment. I just consider myself lucky enough to have great friends for support and advice. (Some of whom I met through this website; people on here generally care about you even when they may disagree with you).

    You sound like a very intelligent woman, but I would just say to remember that having him in your life isn’t a necessity, however much you may love him. That goes for any relationship. However, being with someone you love a lot who loves you just as much can be very rewarding.

    Some advice I’ve been given that I’d like to share is this: Don’t plan your future taking his future plans into consideration as well until you’ve gotten married, or at the very least engaged (basically, when there is a lasting commitment) because you cannot predict the future.

    Also, remember that compromise must come from both sides in a relationship in order to keep it balanced. Don’t give up on your dreams for him. If he’s not willing to compromise and make plans that include your dreams alongside his (should go both ways when you are ready to make a lasting commitment with one another), then he’s not worth your love and you are better off without him.

    I’ve heard of too many unhappy women who complain their husband isn’t supportive of their dreams, never listens, etc. from all walks of life and situations (i.e. not just talking about Saudi males here). So please, don’t give up on what’s important to you. :)

  53. @ Kitty2010 and @ Strange one,
    neither of you can have any idea what you are getting into.
    As long as you have not been in saudi arabia, and have not seen how your boyfriends behave in saudi arabia, you do not know who they are.

    You really do not know who they are.

    I get comments and even more personal mail from so many woman who ahve been dumped by saudi men who they thought were the men of their dreams.
    I have had a woman tell me how she (muslim) was married for three years to a saudi student, and when he was preparing to go back to saudia he divorced her three times and threw her out of the house.
    Her life is devistated because she does not understand.
    The truth is, he only married her to make use of her. As per fatwa of BinBaz.

    Strange one you do not understand his friends will supoport him not you. His saudi friends will see you as his toy. if he has let you meet his saudi friends he is only using you and has no real intentions.

    I am sick of the heartwrenching letter I get in mail by women who are treated badly by saudi students after they have had their fun.

    And even one Omani woman. who was asked in marriage but her family found out he was allready married in saudi.
    None of you have possibillity to find these things out.

  54. @Strange one i have to be serious here. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I read you on the other posts about relationships with saudi men. You want attention, and you want people to validate your choice and trust in a saudi boyfriend.
    When all older women with real experience in saudi told you it is not a good idea. it is very dangerous. Life is very bad for women in saudi. Saudi men can mostly not be trusted.
    you did not like it.
    you kept on going asking because that was not wat you wanted to hear. You went on until finally some women with less experience backed you up.
    And then after asking advice you said nobody was going to tell you what to do. Like a teenager.
    A bad reward for all the very nice women who put in a lot of time and dedication to spare you sorrow.

    You walk around with rosy glasses of love.
    You refuse to listen to warnings of women with real experience.
    You refuse to listen to the warning bells in your own heart, I know you have them.

    You are not in a position to encourage another western women to keep up her relationship.
    I am sorry to have to say this.

    @ Kitty2010,
    Yes to many Arab men women are but toys to play with to choose the flavor, and to throw away when they have had enough.
    Or when they want to get married to a real decent woman. A woman who consents to be a girlfriend is not decent. a woman who has sex with them is n ot marriage worthy.

    I will give you a list of what shows serious interest and honesty in a saudi man. And don’t forget that even then they can lie and feel quite good about it, like the Omani woman who was approached correctly but the man kept secret she would be the second wife.

    good is:
    ~he will NOT introduce you or show your photo to male friends and family
    ~he will show your photo and let you talk to his mother and sister. Females only!
    ~He will be protective of you, he will be protective of photo’s he has of you
    ~he will keep his distance, no intimacy until after marriage

    bad is:
    ~he shows you to male friend and family. That will only mean: ”Look at my western hussy”
    ~he shows other men photos of you. this also means he is showing off his hussy
    ~He doesn not introduce you to his mother and makes very clear you are the woman he wants to marry
    ~he will have intimacy or even sex with you

    Presents and gifts mean nothing. You would still be cheaper to have around as regular visits to a ”professional”.
    Marriage is very easy for men in Islam, and even more for saudi men. A woman has no power or rights in saudi. it is so easy to get rid of her, only say divorce three times. A woman has no access to law in saudi. no rights after divorce. Once in saudi a woman has no rights. the stipulations of her marriage contract will be null and void. once a woman has children she can be blackmailed into prisoner for the rest of her life. Or until she is divorced and thrown out of the country without her children.
    I can go on and on.
    The chances that YOUR saudi boyfriends are suddenly the great and very rare exeptions is so infenitessimally low that you should really be very careful.\

    I do not reccommend a relationship with a saudi men to anybody except a woman who just wants a bit of temporary fun and some good presents, and then dump him after a few months.
    Please take off the rosy glasses.
    Please do not advise other women in relationships until you have lived with him in Saudi Arabia. For you do not know who your boyfriend is until you do.

  55. sorry but I remembered another thing.
    Compromise.
    I notice that in a marriage to a saudi man the compromise comes from the wifes side always. She is the one who gives up her home, her family, her firends, her freedom, her rights, the education and future of her children, everything.
    He gives up nothing.

  56. Kitty, a woman of 25 who is not married yet is regarded as an ”Old maid”

    a woman of 25 (or younger) who has been married and is divorced or widowed, is not virgin, therefore ”used goods” and her market value is low. Now of course some will manage to marry again, but I understand their options are limited. or they have to be satisfied with being a second wife. or a misyaar marriage. which is like a halal mistress with all the rights for the man and none for the woman.

    A married woman of 25 is ”getting on” and we actually had a Saudi man commenting here that as his wife was at thet advanced age of 25 he considered himself fully in the right to get an ”upgrade”.
    he deserved it after all.
    And he would still pay his first wife’s expenses so she had nothing to complain about.
    (except her advancing years and lost beauty)

  57. @Save the Women and others,
    I’m not looking for attention, I just happen to be talkative and speak up when I feel it’s necessary. I am a social person, though sometimes a bit insecure (something I’m working on). I do not need anyone else to validate my relationship with my Saudi. If I needed that I most certainly wouldn’t be looking for it on this blog! :D I just don’t like watching a whole group of people be attacked. It doesn’t sit well with me (never has, having been picked on a lot myself in the past). Whether or not the majority are that way there are exceptions to every rule.There are good qualities about every society, although more with some than others. You are right that those who have lived/are living in Saudi Arabia with their husbands have more experience in this matter.

    I was not completely disagreeing with you, just stating that my particular situation is a bit different. I was friends with multiple guys from Saudi Arabia (and close friends with a few of them) before being in a relationship with my current one, which changes things some. They all understand that I’m not easy, slutty, etc. (or at least the ones I know well). As I said before, I happen to be a very social person. Having met people from various backgrounds and walks of life, most of the time I am able to correctly guess a person’s character after spending time around them, or at least tell when something doesn’t seem right. Whether or not I’ve felt this way in my current and/or any possible past relationships is nobody else’s business, really. I also have lots of people I can turn to for advice, which I feel really blessed about.

    As for asking various people on this blog, it was to get more than one view. I wasn’t looking for a particular view, just looking for more ideas on what to expect to better understand what it would mean in the event I moved to Saudi Arabia one day since that is what you all say one should plan for. What I got was a lot of people saying the exact same few points which have been mentioned over and over and over and over, etc. on here rather than providing any new additional information that might also be important. Sometimes when I wanted more clarity on a particular issue, I didn’t get it; I just got people stating the same thing they had already mentioned in a different way. I feel like I’m watching a US news channel or something. How many times must the same information be repeated in a few hour’s time before people retain it?

    I also must admit that I overreacted a little because I have been going through a bit of a stressful time recently (again, not really up for discussion on here). I apologize to anyone if it seemed I over-reacted a bit towards you.

    The only reason I am giving my input in this to Kitty is because I know what it’s like to be in this situation as I’m in it currently. I understand how stressful it can be to have all these new doubts about a relationship come up simply because of all the extra difficulties that comes along with being in a relationship with a Saudi male. It’s not easy, and it’s not exactly what I would call simple, either. Whether or not it’s worth it is up to the individuals involved.

    There were things I did not say because I believe that others have said them better since they also have more experience. Thank you for including the information on what is good and bad in a relationship with a Saudi male. I had heard it already, but hopefully it helps Kitty out.

    Additionally, most of my advice was general relationship advice. I gave it based on my experiences. I did not mean to invalidate anything anyone else had said or mentioned, merely to add to it. I think everyone has given relevant advice.

    I think that for some people, when you really care about them, it is easy to get caught up in caring for them while forgetting to care for yourself. I have seen this happen in a variety of cultures, and it is never a healthy thing. I was merely pointing out that it’s also important to care for yourself. And if he expects you to do all the compromising, then keep in mind that’s probably the way it will be for the rest of your relationship. If you don’t like it now, then you probably won’t like it later so it’s best in the long run to end it.

    Different people have different strengths and weaknesses, and if you are aware of your significant other’s strengths and weaknesses, sometimes it may help to explain why he does the things he does. If something doesn’t seem right, or you think information is being withheld from you then trust your instincts. If he explains something to you and you still think information is being left out for some reason, trust yourself.

    I don’t walk around with rosy glasses of love, though I do love my Saudi a lot more than I would have ever expected. However, I still happen to have a part of me which is very cold, cynical, and calculating that I do not always share with others as it’s not very pleasant and can be harsh at times. I didn’t “refuse to listen” to others’ advice. Unless you know me personally, you do not know what motivates my decisions and/or how I decide to act in terms of my current relationship. Please do not make assumptions about me that you can’t back up with facts. I’m sorry if this came across mean in any way as that’s not my intention.

  58. Let me just say- I don’t mean to bash all Saudi’s or even most of them. And I don’t think most people here do. But I absolutely bash the system. You are completely at it’s mercy if you come here. And it doesn’t matter how most Saudi’s manage it- only your husband and his family.

  59. heeee, new avatar? ;)
    That seems a very good point, about the family being the thing which really matters.

    I bash what needs to be bashed, and I have Saudi friends, and all over the world really :)

  60. So far, I’m seeing my same ol’ avatar. But thanks for the info- it should be changing.

  61. I see a real avatar, instead of the default generated one.

  62. So based on the comments and posts I’ve read over the last couple of years, I’m curious about a couple of things, if anyone thinks they have any insights :-)

    1 – The new generation of Saudis versus the older ones, especially ones who were born elsewhere and/or have traveled a bit. I’m hearing that things are changing, especially since there are so many young people in Saudi, but I’m wondering if anyone has any insight on how they might differ from their more traditional counterparts? Specifically in relationships but also culturally, education-wise, etc. Just curious.

    2 – I also know that a lot of commentators talk about Saudi students living abroad and “dating” and couples living in Saudi. What about those who date (long-term relationships) using technology? (Ergo each partner is in a different country and they actually visit only a few times a year). What’s the deal with those types of relationships? (I know of several myself and am curious as to how they fit into all this).

    Thanks!

  63. Thanks @save the women…your screen name is self explanatory. Your advice is welcome as all the other advices. I however was unsettled with the choice of words in your post. You came across as condescending and belittling to our situations. I understand the headache you must endure in trying to help us the gullible non-Saudi women. At this point it has registered; I now know what I could face in future depending how far we go. The advices I have received are varied but share the same sentiments in content. Aafke-art , Sandy, Susu and strange-one, all gave as good as they could. The unsettling part which I speak of is when you say I quote ‘Or when they want to get married to a real decent woman’ Ouch! Really…How did we get to the name calling…? I’m not sure if you are suggesting that I’m a slut and probably slept with the whole Saudi community. I’m sure, I think a woman can be real and decent and still leave in the west. Stereotypes have no basis in reality. Could he have met sluts …I don’t for once doubt that. Let’s be honest Australia is aplenty with Arab women too, some of whom are just as loose as their counterparts, he has a lot of them as facebook friends(150+), I’m pretty sure plenty of them he has had affairs with, he has been here longer. I don’t want to speculate but he does seem to have settled of late.

    I understood the qualities you gave for good Saudi man,

    ~he will show your photo and let you talk to his mother and sister. Females only!

    I understand but let’s be honest, I’m not Muslim and not Arab either, for him to do that for us he would have to ease his parents, it won’t be easy I would think, so let’s say he is buying time.

    he will NOT introduce you or show your photo to male friends and family

    we are friends on face book but I don’t have a photo on it, but what I see is a lot of women half dressed and pouting their lips to the camera on his profile…yes that’s right Arab women. He does not have a photo of me, if he wants to see me, he knows the way.

    I would not go far as to say I’m after his money, I really had no clue what it meant to be Saudi student, yes they have a lot of money and drive good model sports cars. I only found this after we got together. I do not demand anything from him in exchange for intimacy. That’s tantamount to whoring one or ‘professional’ like you put it.

  64. Thanks aafke-art, I guess at this point nothing is shocking. I have heard it all. Interestingly I know a Saudi girl who is studying here; she is 27years, no husband. Her sister is about 25 and single too, Gosh now when I see them, I’m going to remember the’ old maids’ stuff.

  65. Two strikes against you – not Saudi and especially not Muslim.
    You could always convert but I don’t recommend it unless you REALLY, REALLY understand what Islam is about.
    If you don’t care about getting your heart broken then enjoy yourself with him. I do know of Saudi/non-Saudi/non-Muslim wife relationships that have worked but they are few and far between and the woman has to be strong beyond belief to maintain herself as a person and demand her rights as far as having a passport, becoming a citizen of Saudi, etc.
    What has been recommended here by some of the women is that if you really want this relationship have him remain in the USA. That might not last forever either and you might want to read another blog that starts out positive and then gets a little depressing for the wife IMHO ….
    http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/ by a woman who married a Saudi and was expecting live forever in the USA until her husband decided he wanted to return home.
    Life and love are not always easy – just be careful dear.

  66. I remember some good advice (there really is a lot to learn here especially in the comments in post about relationships)
    The advice really is that while you may not be from the culture and not muslim, he is, and that is very important. You may be wanting to give a little here and there, and chalk many things up to difference in culture, but from what I understand that doesn’t count from him. Most Saudis are firmly convinced they and their culture are vastly superior. They have been brought up to think so. That is why you will be the one who always has to ”comprimise”. You are to give way for the superior culture, your family will have too give way for the superior family, your wishes will have to give way for the superior partner in the relationship.

    How is he with your family? If he did not do the things STW described then he is taking you for a ride and only uses you to ”sow his oats”.
    I have Arab friends and they really confirm this.
    The negative comments STW makes are not to you, it is what he and his family and friends most probably think of you. Really, even if it is bad to have a girlfriend, to have sex, to minlke with women, from an Arab point of view it is not his fault, it is yours. The women are always to blame. men are never blamed for anything.
    Really, read about Saudi Arabia: if a woman is raped she will be punished. Because it is her fault.
    So the family will blame you for:
    A. the relationship and debouching their beloved son
    B. the sin of having sex (if you are intimate with him)(and it is a sin make no mistake)
    C. Anything they don’t like he does.

    I have read STW blog, there really are some heartrending stories there, I can imagine she is getting frustrated.
    I have read the same sad stories on Susie’s blog. Susie herself is an example how lonely her life is. How confined she is, how her husband changed, how she is left alone by the family now the novelty has worn off.

    I have also read too many stories of how badly relationships with saudi men end for western women when they are only used for a bit of fun. They believed their boyfriends but they were lied to.
    I do think the chances of an Arab man lying to you is about 99%.
    You want to take that bet? With your future and happiness and your children at the stake?
    Almost all women, even if they are in a happy marriage, end their advice with: ”It’s not worth it”” and ”Love is not enough”

    I am getting tired too of the girls, and there is a small but steady procession here on Bedu alone, who get the warnings, who get the advantage of other women’s experiences, and yet keep repeating thet their Saudi is different, that their saudi’s family is different, etc.
    While everybody tells them how small that chance is.

    Dont forget you are only a woman, and only a western woman, and only a black woman. from an Arab point of view we are whores, slaves, whatever. So lying to us is apparently not a bad thing, and all his friends and family will support him and not care for your feelings. I just have read it often enough. You spend a few years reading these blogs and you will see a pattern emerging.

    Really, if he has not talked to his mother and sisters about you he is not going anywhere serious with you. If he is so scared of his mother and sisters that he doesn’t dare to talk about you what do you think that means in terms of you being accepted? (maybe he is even ashamed of having a black girlfriend) And his backbone in defending you? in a country and culture where his constant understanding and empathy and strong defense of you and his standing up for you and allow you some rights and freedoms is your only chance of happiness?

    And you are not muslim? You will be expected to ”convert”. If you don’t they will ate the very least think you are deficient in intelligence: you have been shown the one true faith and you did not convert? There must be something wrong with you. But you will burn in hell anyway, You think you could convert to a religion which systematically puts women below men. Can you consider yourself a second rate human being, deficient in intelligence strength and virtue ?

  67. Thanks aafke-art. Every advice counts, this obviously needs to be said and exhausted as much as possible. You can never have enough advices. I, however is confused, with the Muslim men, esp. the younger generation who had the opportunity at exposure to cultures other than their own. There is no shame/harm (to an extent) in wanting to be believe one is superior than the next, it is obvious in ‘races’ tribes, countries, nationalities even religion etc…. I reckon we know about the Jews claiming to be the ‘chosen ones’. Yes Islam preach superiority to man in all aspects of life to the detriment of their women, one is reduced to a faceless, voiceless invisible commodity with nothing but a heartbeat. I guess we can sum Muslim men as tools for Islam to retain and uphold their beliefs. In essence they are sheep…albeit powerful sheep. They think the same, have no differing thoughts, and share the same ideas, lazy to think beyond a fatwa, gosh could they have the same IQ? The lack of individuality is astonishing; the Muslim man you meet at the supermarkets is not different from the one you passed on your way to the supermarket. I take my hat off for them for the consistency it must take a lot of energy. Obviously it is their culture and they would defend till the end.

    But seriously, for me I did not get into a relationship looking for presents and gifts, these are material stuff that one can do without. I would still have enjoyed my studies regardless. I would like to believe I’m more than a lunch date with a $500 shopping, regardless of what he thinks, if he indeed believes so and just because he believes and says it, it does not automatically make it true. There are loose women true, but being intimate with your man does not qualify as such, in my book anyway. True, advices have been given on this blog; some readers identified and took heed. Maybe you guys talked and he did express his shame at my blackness, but I’m certainly not ashamed of my ethnicity. Actually I’m biracial; my mum who is Black had to leave with the taunts from my dad’s white family, so I guess history is repeating itself. I want to believe if that’s how he feels, he would not have talked to me in the first place, God knows I did not put a gun to his face and threatened his life. It maybe a standard for Saudis to get seal of approvals from females, that’s shows one has a backbone, but he had refused the girls they thought were good enough for him, for me that’s guts. The reason for not introducing me to his family, are only known to him, are they sinister, he only knows, or is he giving us the chance to know each other better, which I have expressed to him before…only time will tell. Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking arranged marriages are happily ever after. And as for who has sinned and who goes to hell, let’s stop playing God shall we.

  68. Oh i agree, being intimate is an honor and should be kept in high regard. men should be grateful and thankful and humbled by any woman who deigns to give them their time and love. But that is not the mindset in the east. They still live in midieval mindset, full of fear of magic, jinns, hatred against women, witches, etc.
    As other people have said here: that rigid midieval mind comes out the moment Saudi men touch home soil.
    Some very few exceptions excluded.

    Obviously not all men think the same, but what I hear from older people is that the younger generations are actually less flexible than the older ones. Don’t forget that the religious people have now had full power over education for quite a long time, and they make sure all children are indoctrinated to their ideals.

    I think it is not a good sign that he is not talking about you to his mother and sisters. Saudi men have no backbone when the family is concerned. If he is serious he should talk to his mothers.
    But maybe you two have no serious thoughts for the future anyway, I don’t know.
    Anyway, I do think life in Saudi Arabia is pure hell for women unless they are insanely religious and love the deprivations and submission to men.
    And I would be particularly concerned if I was black, and dark skinned.

    What do we really know? Your catch might be the right one. In that case I suppose he would be willing to remain and live abroad with you. There are some very worthwhile Saudi men. It is just that the chances of catching one of them seems to be exponentially smaller than if you look elswhere for a dreamrabbit.

    And I do not think anybody has been really convinced by the other mature and experienced women warning them. 20 years ago women had no idea what they were letting themselves into. Now they do but I have not the impression that it makes a difference.

    I think religions are constructed to keep people under control, and one the biggest assets is telling them they will go to hell if they don’t do ”god’s will”.
    Which coincidentally always happens to be the will of the religious leaders in power at the moment.

    My motto is ”Think For Yourself”
    On the other hand you should be aware of what you are thinking about. Hence the long posts.

    And let’s not forget that the whole of the human race originated in Africa, so as far as that goes we are all African in descent, although mine emigrated a couple of ten thousand years earlier.

  69. Kitty2010

    Aafke is right…there is almost nothing you could do to make it “right” if he is afraid to tell his mother and family. You can’t change years of indoctrination of thought/attitude/culture by love and understanding. It simply doesn’t work like that.

    Remember and never forget you are looking at it with Western eyes and culture. He is not. You both can see the exact same thing and interpret it entirely differently. Just the fact that he is a man will make you both view it differently…the fact that he is a Saudi and the difference is practically guaranteed.

    I’d like to offer a piece of advice. Don’t complicate men too much. Don’t depend on your “womanly instincts” to decode what he “really” means. You will almost assuredly give it much greater meaning and weight than it actually has and therefore interpret it incorrectly. They are not that complicated. If you ask him, “what are you thinking?” and he says “nothing” chances are it IS actually nothing. Women are FAR more complicated than men. He MIGHT have a hidden meaning in the depths of his soul…but I doubt it…the far truer reality is what you see is pretty much what it is. Listen to these ladies and also that little voice inside of you that is there to protect you. If it feels fishy…it probably is.

  70. @Aafke Art, I don’t think it is just the case with Saudis that women think they will change. So many young girls wear rose coloured glasses when it comes to loved ones and it is only bitter experience which removes them. So many think they can ‘change’ their men.

    But in the case of Saudi it is the laws which are the problem. If a problem does ocur the immigrant woman will have absolutely no protection or help. Also if the husband dies then she will face great obsticles.

    I don’t think all women should be warned off (I’m an optimist at heart) but they should definately be realistic about the situation. It’s not always easy to live there even when you know that you have another home waiting for you,

  71. True that, only women should feel demeaned by the intimate moments between them and their partners, after all women are juvenile, pawns without a sense of thought. On the contrary men should be as you put it ‘be grateful and thankful and humbled by any woman who deigns to give them their time and love’. Intimacy after all was made for men to enjoy while women just need to consent whether they wish or not. I’m happy for I don’t live in that world. Funny you should mention the medieval mindset of Saudis…he has this tendency to shut all the windows, cover the mirrors , and cover himself with blankets , I never used to understand this weird behavior now I get, it’s ‘the fear of magic, jinx, hatred against women, witches, etc’. He hates his reflection, poor thing he thinks he is haunted by his reflection; maybe he should run home and hide behind mummy.

    I find it odd that you would assume the younger generation are shackled by the doctrines of Islam, wouldn’t they shun the modern technology and embrace magic as their ideals. I won’t go into explicit details after all this is not a thesis on Islam. Actually the hatred of black and dark skinned people is widely spread it is not confined to the east, a black person can and will be attacked just about anywhere in the world. The KKK has cornered that market. The east has nothing on these people personally I would preferre the east than US any day. And I find it disturbing that you would bring my ethnicity into every post and at every chance, he does not have a problem with it, I sincerely wish you would accept it too; yes Arabs are racists, who isn’t? We love each other, could I have found the right man for me? I never had a premonition of my wedding, I’m sure if I had one and my husband was from a land where women ‘love the deprivations and submission to men ‘ I would have given him a cold shoulder. I’m beginning to think the true you is coming loud and clear, if you catch what I mean. Asking for advice and ideas does not equal stupidity or that one is less capable of thought.

  72. I think it is good to share experiences and observations on all issues, to include relationships. However an individual will make own decisions and be responsible for the consequences – whether sweet or bittersweet.

    In my opinion, I think the extended family has the greatest impact on whether a relationship will work or not, at least for a bi-cultural couple who choose to have a life in Saudi. Extended family also have the greatest impact for success or failure when Saudis marry one another too!

    Therefore, I’d just like to stress to a bi-cultural couple that solid communication and awareness of each other is a key to success.

  73. @kitty

    I can see you’re getting defensive with the advice you’re getting and are ascribing some of the viewpoints Aafke and Savethewomen are describing to them. They personally don’t believe the viewpoints they’re describing regarding race, etc. What they’re trying to do, in their kindness, is reveal the mode of thinking of Saudi Arabians that has been formulated from their culture, religion and economic advantage and it’s 100% true.

    I agree with them because I lived in the Gulf for 9 years before immigrating to Canada. I am black as well and I know the extremely backwards views of women and non-Saudi ethnicities manifests itself in the lack of legal protection for those women and non-Saudis. You really would be at the complete mercy of your husband and his family if you go to Saudi Arabia, providing he is serious with you and not just playing around, which Saudi men are likely to do cause they get no opportunity for interacting with women back in their countries.

    The best advice is that if he really loves you and wants to build a future with you, it needs to be done OUTSIDE of Saudi Arabia. But before that, you need to determine if he is serious and you’ve been given steps to determine that.

    Btw, not to get into a racism discussion but racism in the West is no comparison to racism in the Middle East. At least we are considered fully human in the West and we can fight for ourselves via the laws in those countries. Slavery was only banished in the 1960s in Saudi Arabia and that was done only due to pressure from the West.

    I know you love this dude and it’s hard to listen to this advice but listen to it and observe your guy.

    I say this as someone who was immersed in the culture, speaks the language and have deep friendships with people from the Middle East, i.e. Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese, Sudanese. They themselves, knowing how the Saudis are, wouldn’t live or involve themselves with men from there.

  74. @Madelenas,
    I think it’s worth noting that slavery was not race-based in Saudi. There were white slaves as well.

  75. @Sandy

    Could be but blackness and slavery are so intertwined in their perception that the word to describe both is the same: abd. Not so for the white slaves.

  76. The word to describe slave “abd” is also used in many Arabic names, Abdullah, Abdul Kareem, Abdul Quader etc. etc. with no suggestion of color making any difference.

    Either way, white or black if you’re a slave you are a slave. The intertwine of black and slave is more western than eastern in my experience (where slaves could be of any color).

  77. Sorry this is out of topic.

    @Sandy,

    Yes there were slaves who are not black, but their numbers were so small they were insignificant. The only reason it is discussed is to defend against the argument that Arabs have been and continue to be extremely prejudice against blacks.

    Arabs have enslaved black people for thousands of years and we need to face up to it at some point. Even when whites were enslaving blacks, most of the dirty work of raiding villages was done by Arab raiders. There are many reasons why blacks were a good target for enslavement.

    Slavery is about opportunity. Prior to European colonization of Africa, there were many areas of Africa with small Chieftains, which made them more vulnerable for well equipped and well trained raiders from the Arabic north. These conditions still exists in places like the Sudan. A slave trader will go for the weakest link and will not try to raid in places where there are stronger nations. In addition, blacks have distinguishing skin color and facial features. It is easier to spot an escaping slave.

    The tradition of treating blacks as less human in the Arabic world still continues. Using words like Abid to refer to a black person is so ingrained that most people do not even recognized how horrible such term is. Even in the best situations a black man may be called Khal, which is a derogatory term equivalent to the N word in the US.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but Arabs have not even begun the process of dealing with these prejudices. Comparing the situation of the Arabic world to the US today is just not valid (in reference to Kitty’s comment about the KKK). You will have to go back to the early 20th century in the deep US south to be at the same level of prejudice.

  78. @Sandy,

    Sorry, I was writing at the same time as your last comment.

    - Using the word Abid followed by one of the names of god is not the same as calling a race of people Abeed. In Islam all Muslims are slave servants of god so it is a source of pride to Muslims to have such name. But not of teh word Abid is used singularly.

    - We are only slaves if we believe in an enslaving god. So referring to all of us as that is your concept based on your religion. Some of us refuse such terms as being a dignified way to refer to humans.

  79. I don’t completely disagree MoQ. But I’ve not personally seen anything here like the level of predudice in the deep south and I mentioned white slaves simply because it is true. But yes they were few in number- and yes there is a great deal of predudice here.

    As far as how people “look” there is a lot of intermixing actually- in Arabia and in Africa. You cannot always tell by look who is what.

  80. I’m on my way out- but I have to comment on “refering to all of us as that is your concept based on your religion”.

    I’m not refering to “all” of you by that. I am only showing that Arabs use this words for many things.

  81. @Sandy,

    You know I am from Arabic background and I can tell you referring to a black person as Abid is not used in the way you imagine it. It is used because people think blacks are inferior. You can sugar coat this, but you are off in your analysis. By the way, Saudi’s are less prejudice against blacks than northern Arabs (Jordanian’s Syrians, etc.) You even see these prejudices in US based Arabs against African Americans.

  82. Kitty, I am trying to point out to you that whatever your concepts of race relations in the west, they will be nothing to what you will encounter in the east.
    You have misunderstood every sentence of my comment, you are a very prejudiced person, but as I see that you are also a fake in ”asking for advice”, wasting people’s time, and then going on about how you two love each other and everything will be alright, well, ok, your life, your problem.
    Enjoy your life.

  83. @Sandy

    Moq gets it. On a personal level, I am sure there are kind Saudi’s and other Arabs. Hell, I know a lot of them. But the slave trade between Africa and the Middle East that has lasted 1300 years has really impacted how people of that area view blacks. And as Moq said, they have not even begun to grapple with the problem of ingrained racism. The most common response is:

    - Racism in the West is worse (it definitely is not)
    - Islam says we are all equal

    Denial and a refusal of deal with facts is the most common response. Furthermore, the tools to enable Middle Easterns to deal critically with the issues of racism are lacking. The tools of self-awareness, reflection and critical thinking are stifled and non-existent hence the inability to deal with not just racism, but misogyn, sexism, and a host of other social ills.

  84. Hello all,
    Well, we are all products of our own experiences. I am one of those rare Saudi/Western alliances that had no introduction to the family prior to marriage (his family had given him grief with his other choice–I guess he was sick of the drama), was intimate with him before marriage, and he actually mistook me for a stripper when he met me!! Not the most auspicious of beginnings, no matter what your culture!! :)
    But we have been married for over 7 years now, have four super kids, and both wish we were back in the USA!! LOL. Yes, my husband is very westernized. And I have noticed everything that is being said in this blog–the racism, the superior Saudi attitude (his family didn’t think I was good enough, you see), the fling while in the West, with marriage to a “real” girl in Saudi–is totally true for the most part. Kitty needs to just ask her boyfriend where they are going and if there is any chance in hell for them or not. Then she needs to deal with the answer, which is hopefully truthful. I wish her the best. Here in Jeddah, I talk to LOTS of Western moms married to Saudi men where my son gets therapy, and 2 out of 3 are unhappy about how their life here has turned out. It makes me sad. I always say it–Saudi is like the USA back in the 1950′s. Proud, racist and ignorant, but with a lot of potential!!! Lol. But the change is slow and true. Now Saudis can marry foreigners. Maybe women will drive in our lifetime. I hold hands with my husband all the time, and we saw it all the time in Riyadh! Affection isn’t ash taboo. Now that we are in Jeddah, I can wear crazy abayas and have fun with them. I have never covered my hair in this country, although I’m Muslim, and no one has given me grief. But facts are facts. The odds are against a successful, happy lifelong union, I’m sorry to say.

  85. Perhaps I’m not very clear- or perhaps I’m not understanding. Or perhaps it’s both or neither because I’m functioning through a sleep deprived haze.

    To be clear: Definately racism is worse in Saudi than the US. So while I don’t think it’s as bad as the deep south during slave days- it is very bad. And not just about color- about nationality- though definately whiter is better.

    I will look more into the usage of abid. Truly people I know don’t use that word to my knowledge. But I really like the people I associate with and maybe I’m just in a good crowd, I mean they put up with me!

    Oh- and yes I know about the slave trade and the Arab involvement with it. It doesn’t change the point I was trying (ineffectively) to make. Truth is EVERYONE was in on it- including Africans selling out their weaker neighbors.

    That’s nice Lissaana no one gives you grief about your hair. I have strangers give me grief (usually in the grocery store??), but I just don’t really give a rat’s ass anymore what people think.

  86. @Sandy,

    I think you’re getting my period reference wrong. I said early 20th century South that is about half a century after the end of slavery in the US :)

  87. I believe the racism in Saudi is more towards nationality than color. Case in point is that salaries of expats are based on nationality.

  88. @ MoQ,
    Yes you are right. As I said I’m (sub)existing through a sleep-deprived haze right now.

  89. @Madelenas…I was in no way trying to be defensive against any advices I have been getting. I have personally thanked each and everyone who openly offered advice, some things were harsh and hard to hear, but nonetheless necessary. The comments have obviously thrown a curveball, in our relationship, from my end anyway. I’m more than ever going to be vigilant at his words and conversation; sooner or later he will drop clues.
    I had mentioned to him at our earliest courtship that I wish we take things slow, I knew better than rushing a man, of course it did not occur to me that he is not just any man, but a Saudi.

    It was only that my Blackness was thrown at my face, that I changed tune, but in no way rude or arrogant. You should know more than anyone at how we are sensitive as a race. Blacks are at mercy of everyone in this world, in all aspect of life. The constant reminder that we are black and somehow people will be ashamed of us, I find that offensive. If someone is going to advice me and at the same time go on and on about my race, as if to remind that; you are nothing, you don’t deserve happiness, you will fail and as a ni**** you know your place. Sorry but it ain’t gonna fly with me.

  90. Regarding the salaries..

    Examples of nurses approx. basic salaries according to nationality (passport):

    Indian- 2000-3000
    Philippino- 3000-4000
    South-African:7000-8000
    Malaysian: 9000-10000
    Arab countires:10000-12000
    European:14000-16000
    USA, Australia, Canada: 16000-18000

    So if a philipino has a Canadian passport, they will recieve the canadian salary and so on.
    They “base” this on how much the nurse would earn in their home countries and how much the money will be worth back home.

    For example what the philippino nurse can buy in the Philippines for the salary they earn in KSA; often they are supporting family members, they are house-owners and can live a very good life with that salary, even it sounds ridiculous compared to the others.

    Its still not fair to pay different amounts for the same job though..

  91. @Kitty,

    If you are so insulted by comments on a blog explaining the situation in the Arabic world, then I think you should reconsider any plans of living anywhere in the Middle East (not just Saudi). What you were told in these comments is the absolute truth.

    You sound like a proud person and would not want to be subjugated to such prejudice. The fact is no matter how wonderful the man you are with is, you will encounter this type of prejudice at every turn.

    I know you are not decided yet, but take all the positives and negatives into consideration when you are ready to do do so.

    Good luck…

  92. @oby, thanks I heard ya, I assume you are a man, (my apologies if you are not smiles)…. @lissaana, I love happy endings ;)

    MoQ and Sandy very enlightening conversation, but I would not go far as to say racism is worse there and better here, racism is ugly period. MoQ were the Jim Crow laws not outlawed in the late 60’s, the outlawing of these laws did not automatically mend the race relations in the US. Obama’s presidency has only removed the lid on the race issues, US is only showing its true colors. Not that race relations were resolved to begin with. The one thing that seemed to rectify matters was because, blacks were told to know their place. What I’m trying to say is that the east may be open in their racism but the west too still a long way to go, the tools that Madelenas so ascribe to the east, are very much needed in the west, too. The west may rag the east about their race relations, but who listens to them anyway and hope for some perspective. The same people who will punish others of the same thing they are guilty of. Hypocrisy is their middle name. Morons.

  93. @MoQ….I hear ya…

  94. @Bedu..Sorry for my bad manners that was never meant to go through. The m- word I meant…

  95. Hi @Kitty2010,

    You do what you want!! I wish you the best. You (as I did) have many things in this relationship wroking agi
    anst you. I agree with Bedu when she says it is the extended family that will determine the success or failure of the relationship for the most part. My husband almost divorced me when his family raised such a fuss about our relatioship. He was VERY hurt by their attitude, and was ready to give up, but thankfully he didn’t. It took a lot of strenght to stand up to his parents—he was a momma’s boy too, lol—but he did it and we are both glad. Will your boyfriend do the same for you? Why don’t you ask him? Just ask if he wants to marry you. Ask him if your color will matter to his family. Ask him if you can meet his family or speak to his mother or sisters soon. See what he says to all of this. If, for any reason, he tells you “Not yet, but soon” then you have your answer. Basically that he is not going to infroduce you as a suitable mate to his family. I had already met my husband’s father. His father thought we should marry so my husband could get citizenship—-but certainly NOT for love. Because I was not suitable for a ‘REAL’ realtionship with his son.
    I’m white, but the racism was LOUD and CLEAR. I wasn’t an Arab, had been divorced, was older than my husband, etc. etc. The list of my inferiorities went on and on. So I too, have been subjected, and still am, to this racist and bigoted attitude. I just don’t associate with the family member who act this way though, and neither does my husband.
    My husband was worried that he would reswent me for the divisiveness in his family that our marriage caused. I told hiim resent the ones who are causing the problems, but don’t resent me for loving you. And that’s what he has done. Could your boyfriend do the same? Could he stand by you as a choice without resenting you if there were problems? Could you live in a restrictive country and trust your husbnad to treat you well, when you have no rights at all? This is you rlife we are talking about.

    And @Strangeone, even if you ARE serching for people to support your decision to be with your boyfriend, so what? You need to hear all things, good and bad, to make a decision. The more input, the better. We do not all need to agree to share opinions. And even when we all “match”–we are from the same cultural background, same religion, smae socio-economic class—the divorce rate in Saudi and America is about the same—-40-50%!!! So if you want your Saudi man, then give it a shot. It worked for me. It worked for Carol. Maybe it will work for you. Maybe not. Just understand that if you stay in this relationship, and you move to the middle east, you are opening yourself and any children you have to complete dominance and control by your man. So you need to be 100% certain that he supports you. And have an escape plan, too. Sounds dramatic, but it’s for real, i assure you. Have your questions answered by your boyfriend about what to expect of his treatment of you, and I say good luck. I have many friends who are married to Saudi men. And they are happy. I have many more who are unhappy though. But that’s true of a lot of my friends who are American married to Americans!! It’s the potential for abuse and exploitation that concerns me for western women living in the middle east, however. Don’t take that lightly, please!! Think about that most of all.

  96. @lissaana,
    Thanks for the information! You seem like a really cool, interesting person! :) I feel I can relate to your point of view.

    I think of my Saudi man as a person with his own strengths and weaknesses, like any other person. The key, I think, is to be aware of them and realize he’s most likely not going to change, so can I live with both the good and bad? And will he support me fully in what I want to do and in our relationship is another important question that I’m figuring out (this goes for any relationship, I think). Sometimes, these things take time to figure out. Of course, there are cultural (and legal) issues that need to be addressed, which is more or less my main reason for learning more about Saudi Arabia, its laws and culture. That’s probably why I ask so many questions, other than just being a naturally talkative, social, and curious person. :)

    I understand what you mean about an escape plan, and believe if and when I moved there, I would definitely have one in place!!! I don’t take that lightly. Even more so if there are children involved at that point. I would check and double-check everything to make sure it was the best-case scenario no matter what happens. I will protect my family with everything I’ve got (especially any future children). Though I prefer to keep the peace whenever possible, I will do whatever is necessary to protect my loved ones from what I perceive to be serious harm. I don’t consider family limited to blood relatives, either (meaning family, to me, can also include close friends).

  97. @ MoQ,
    Having questioned the usual suspects here for more info on the use of “Abid” I can only conclude- and sadly, that you are right it is as racist as you thought. I wish I’d been right, but there it is.

    @Lissaana and Strange One,
    I would be very interested in knowing what type of escape plans you think might work? Luckily I’m not in need of one, but have known several women over the years who could have used one.

  98. My Saudi in-laws are all black. They are Saudi citizens and their friends and associates are both Saudi Arabs and Saudi ‘blacks’. I have not heard one word about racism towards them. I attended a very large ‘high status’ Arab Saudi wedding extravaganza with one of my sisters-in-law and saw a mix of black and Arab women in attendance. During my stay in Saudi I did not see anyone treat my family with any type of disrespect or any differently from the Arab Saudis. Now perhaps because my relatives were born in Saudi and are Saudi citizens it makes a difference but how would the general public know that? Maybe by their lifestyle and dress????

  99. @ Sandy,
    I would read both Saudi and US law, look up information on actual cases that I could find related to this, identify the best-case scenario, and go from there. I would look for creative solutions and loopholes as necessary. Hopefully, I’d never have to use them though.

    I’d look at laws, regulations, procedures, etc. related to finances (such as an overseas bank accounts), having other (US) passports for each family member, and all other legal documents.

    I would say that I’d have to trust my significant other quite a bit before moving there with him, but that wouldn’t happen until after marriage and I’d have to trust him that much before I married him. I’d also want to plan ahead for who the next mahrem might be in the event something happened to him (which I hope wouldn’t ever come up as an issue).

    There are other things I might try as necessary that may not be exactly honest or nice, but that would depend on the individual scenario.

  100. Oh, with the one exception to moving there being if I moved there for work while he was working there before marriage to gain a better understanding of the culture and/or for some other similar reason. I think KSA sounds like an interesting place.

  101. @StrangeOne,
    If you actually find anything relevant and useful please share. An outside bank account you control is good.
    Of course it would likely not be enough to really live on- if you are a middle aged woman with several children and no career yet- it will be tough.

    US law and US passports can help you as a get out free- but not your kids. They will be Saudi, and nothing else is recognized within Saudi. The next Mahrem-to my knowledge is never a choice. You will be someone’s inheritance.

    A good place to start reading would be the State Dept. As I recall they give a pretty clear indication of what sort of legal status/help to expect.

    Anyways please do share any creative solutions and loopholes. It would be very beneficial to many women.

  102. Hello all,
    Well @Sandy, for an escape plan I would have a copy of a letter that gives me AND MY CHILDREN permission to leave the country. Say, for a vacation or something. I would not affix a date to it, nor a signature. I would date and sign it when I need it. Simply make a copy of a real letter, copy the arabic script in your own handwriting to pretend it’s an “original”, sign and date it when you need to, and head to the airport with your kids. Have a separate bank account—you can open them online—of which your spouse knows nothing. Have it in a trusted realtive’s or friend’s name(parent maybe?). Contribute enough to get you out of the country and into your native country with enough for a place to stay. Keep your passports accessible. Buy airline tickets online. Obrtain a multil exit re-entry visa from the Saudi embassy if possible–they now issue them for visitors for 5 years from D.C. check this out

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1012.html#entry_requirements

    If not, try to get one from the US embassy—they won’t help you get your kids out though. Then snag a cab and get the fudge out of dodge!!! Lol

  103. Sorry Lissaana. Very little of what you stated would work at all. You need more than a letter of permission. There is a specific government document you need to get your children out- to travel without them. You’d need your husband to get one for you. A letter might work if your husband escorts you personally to the airport.

    Bank accounts- doable, but you may find you can’t save up money. Depends on the budget you’re kept on.

    Airline tickets online? Yes, you can do that. It is the documentation to get out that is the issue. And passport access. You need your husband to agree to let you have access to those.

    The visitor visas are for visitors. And they require a Saudi sponser. If you are a wife- you are a resident with an iqama. I would think you would know that since you live here. And of course with an iqama you have a sponser as well- your husband.

  104. @Sandy, Thanks..

    @All,

    Creating these elaborate escape plans is an exercise in insanity :), when the obvious answer is to make the right decision upfront.

    The topic of marrying a Saudi for a Westerner should be based on a simple decision, where does the couple make a home. There are 2 choices, live in a western country where the laws protect both parties or live in Saudi where the woman loses many of her privileges. Let’s see what disadvantages each of these have:

    1) Living in a Western country:
    - The man has to compete for a job to earn a living like everyone else. The only loss is the social safety net, he may be provided by his family.
    - He will lose the privilege of living close to his family and in a Muslim society.

    2) Living in Saudi:
    - The woman may not be able to get a reasonable job no matter how good she is. Even in the case she gets a job, it will be in limited fields. She will also lose any skills she may have to compete for a future job in a Western country with the passing of time.
    - She will lose the privilege of living close to her family
    - She will lose the privilege of living a life style she is accustomed to
    - She may have to change her religion to gain acceptance
    - The couple may have to wait years to gain entry in the country
    - The woman will have to deal with loss of freedoms (not able to drive, not able to move freely, wearing cloth she is not comfortable with, etc.)
    - She may have in-laws that do not like her and conspire against her marriage.
    - Her husband will have complete control over her life.
    - If the marriage fails she will likely have no rights to money or her children. This can result in losing teh ability to see them permanently and getting back to her old country with no marketable skills to earn a living.
    - Etc.

    The question every woman in this situation needs to ask is:

    If this is a marriage that has equal partnership from the couple, why wouldn’t the man have the courage to deal with the lower risk of living in a Western country? Why is it that the woman is the one who is asked to make these huge sacrifices?

    Do not kid yourself, if your man is not able to convince you why he is not willing to take chances, then you are not with a person who has the same level of commitment to the relationship as you do.

  105. Moq,
    There are many reasons for not moving to Saudi Arabia, but there may be also be good reasons for moving there, too. I think there are as many reasons as there are individual couples that want to move back. For instance, let’s say a family member is very ill and it is important to both people in the relationship to move back to spend time with the loved one. Or let’s say that the Saudi just really misses his family and can get a (very) good job in KSA while the female wants to stay at home to care for any children. Or let’s say they both can get better jobs and have a better overall lifestyle in KSA and it is what they want. How much the lifestyle changes depends on how the individual couple lives before and after moving to KSA, how the family influences the couple, etc.

    I do understand your point about the laws being in favor of the Saudi male in KSA, though. I understand there are other benefits to living in “Western” societies, too. However, I think there are benefits to living in KSA that often go under-appreciated, such as being close to the Saudi’s family. This may be important to both people in the relationship and not just one person.

    I also understand your point about being in a balanced relationship where both people are equally willing to take chances, and I think this is important for all relationships.

  106. As I understand it a non-Saudi woman really needs to press her husband for Saudi citizenship and, more importantly, her own passport. If not becoming a Saudi citizen it is important to keep your own national passport up to date. Even then it can be tricky.

  107. Yes, StrangeOne, all those things are possible.
    When you get married you make some choices and decisions. People change their minds. Situations change. If you live in Saudi and he changes you are screwed. That’s all. It doesn’t necessarily happen. It didn’t in my case. Obviously I used good judgement and picked a good man. HOWEVER, there was a lot of luck involved in that as well.

    Years pass, things happen- you cannot count on luck. I just don’t recommend it for anyone. And this from someone who, knowing what I know now, WOULD do it again. Most women would not.

  108. @Wendy,
    The only advantage of a Saudi passport is that you cannot be kicked out of the country. This can be important for some women. I don’t see any other advantage especially as they ask you to give up your own passport (though you can usually maintain that too- but technically you are in violation of Saudi law).

  109. @StrangeOne,

    - Getting a good job in Saudi is not a guarantee, unless the person is well connected. Saudi has high unemployment rates and cannot keep up with the rapid growth of the population. The pay rates are much lower than the US even if you take Taxes into consideration. Only Westerners make the high rates you hear about. I know the US has better job opportunities than any place in the ME (except boom years in UAE, which are gone)

    - I view decisions as an exercise in risk versus rewards. The reward is assumed as the couple being together and making a family. Other rewards like having a better job for the man is situational, so they cannot be measured in generality (it can go both ways, so it is assumed as equal for sake of argument). Same for family illness is situational and can go both ways. Risk however, can be measured because we know what they are. I am not arguing against any specific situation, people can make their own decisions. I am pointing out the general terms of risk.

    I think a couple may have specific situation that makes Saudi more attractive as a place to live. However, that has to be a very overwhelming advantage for a rational woman to take such huge risks. Everyone can make his/her choices in life, all I can do is give people some knowledge, the rest is none of my business.

  110. @MoQ
    The escape plans may be elaborate- but it’s worth hearing if anyone has a plan that may work. Their are women in need of plans.

    Though the truth is- the problem is often older women who could leave, but would not be able to find employment easily. Who worry about their lack of retirement plans.

  111. @Sandy,

    I know a plan may be needed, but I think the emphasis should be on the original decision. The fact that a woman needs such a plan to ESCAPE, should give her pause that she might be making a very bad decision.

    The other issue is these plans have tremendous risks on their own. If a woman is caught smuggling children out of the country with possibly fake papers, she will risk being arrested and being under the mercy of a judicial system that is unpredictable and certainly cannot be trusted to be just in these cases. I really think such plans can be disastrous for the woman. Yes, she may be able to pull it off, but these plans sound like a movie script rather than being realistic. The only plan that has a good chance is if the couple are on a vacation to her home country and the wife seeks the protection for herself and her kids under the local laws.

  112. The only really good one I can think of is swim across the red sea to Egypt.

    After you killed your husband to get at your passport and your children.
    And then you would have to make a raft and put your children on it and pull it along with you.

    All I can say is start exercising and hope you do not smell good to sharks.

    I am giving up. I hate to admit it as a feminist but some women really have less brains then a headless chicken.

  113. @ Sandy
    I know someone who demanded citizenship and a passport because she knew that was the only way she could protect herself, money, etc. This person also keeps up her American passport and so far it has all worked beautifully for her. Of course she has a good husband who doesn’t blink when she leaves the country to visit family, etc.

  114. @Wendy,
    I’m not sure how the passport protects her-other than what I mentioned- but I’m glad it does. It’s usually easy to get after you’ve been married 5 years- if that’s what you want. More important she has a good husband. I hope it stays good.

  115. Oh yeah….the iquama……ya gotta have that, too. (Can you tell that I don’t get out much and don’t have plans to run? lol)

    Well, I asked my husband about it. He said there IS a paper that he needs to get from the gov’t. It is not a complicated thing to obtain, that states that the kids are free to come and go for the lifetime of their passport (or any other date range the Saudi male may decide upon). And then the permission paper I mentioned above for the wife to leave. That can be forged. I’ve read about it elsewhere. As for online banking—well, have your family buy you aticket online and pick it up at the airport. Have your family pitch in money. Do whatever you can. I don’t know why you think you couldn’t save enough money. That doesn’t make sense to me. As a nurse I get $5000/month here in Saudi and my own bank account is mandatory—by the bank!!! How would my husband know if I have transferred money to a secret account, in small increments? And if your husband won’t give you ready access or hides your passport, you know there is trouble ahead. You can get a multiple rentry visa–for dependents like me they are good for 6 months from the date of issue. For other visitors its 5 years. It’s all a crapshoot. You hope you pick the right guy, but they can turn out to be jerks—happens all the time, and not just with Saudis, as we all know…..

  116. Oh one more thing…..what budget? If your husband is already controlling you to the point that he keeps your passport inaccessible, tells you what to spend your money on (whether you work or not), won’t get your children anything that allows them to leave the country, and won’t obtain a visa for you or give you permission to leave, then I agree with Aafke-art when she says to make a raft and swim to Egypt!! Lol.

    My husband doesn’t micromanage my money, or my time, or prevent me from accessing anything I want, not would he prevent me from leaving. Who wants to live with someone who doesn’t want you? Only sick and selfish people, who use children as weapons, prevent deserving spouses or ex’s from seeing the kids. And the ones they screw most are the kids.

    And really, so many commentators have been ticked off at the “foolishness” of these Western gals who are coming and asking “what to do if…” but I think that’s great. It may be tedious to some, but so many women are needing a way out that it is an intersting conundrum as far as I’m concerned, even though I am not one of those unfortunate women.

    So Saudi lovers, keep on your rose-colored glasses, but don’t say you weren’t warned!!! ;)

  117. One thing left out of this…the “grapevine” in Arab countries is notorious. If you are planning on running from an Arab spouse…or his family in the event he passes…absolutely and with NO exceptions tell anyone who would or could tell someone who would or could tell someone etc and it gets back to his family. Tribal Arab families are VERY tight…specially when it comes to “outsiders”…like western wives etc. Secrets are rare…those pertaining to HIS children leaving the country even rarer.

    If your going to fun for whatever reason…I strongly advise not to trust anyone within the country with this plan…unless you trust them beyond a doubt. Loyalty to the family and tribe comes before anything else there…always has and always will…and your children belong to that tribe…that family. Period.

  118. Lissaana
    Both your posts are examples of what we are talking about. You need a cooporative husband. And there are no guarantees. I know women who’ve had husbands change after 20 years when they hit mid-life crisis time.

    What budget? I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the kind of difficulties women can face. You are not living the budgeted life. But many women are.

    And while it’s great your husband will let you go if you want- the truth is most will. But not the kids. That is the critical thing.

    Another typical problem, more for older women- is they can get out, but are in no position to support themselves once they do.

  119. As a Saudi man, reading these comments makes me hate myself. Are we that bad. Oh wait, are we ALL that? If I ever think about marrying a non Saudi, and I want to prove my honesty to her, I’d definitely refer her to you people…. but I seriously doubt that she’d agree to marry afterwards… unless she has some problems with understanding plain and simple English.
    I’m not trying to defend Saudi men. In fact I too tell non Saudi girls to be careful when they’re in relationships with Saudi guys… but ONLY to be careful, that’s it. I don’t tell these girls to get out of the relationship because it is ‘fraudulent’ or ‘doomed to failure’ or whatsoever.
    let’s face it.. some, if not most, of you here are painting a picture of ALL Saudi men! Please people, do not generalize. There are some honest and truthful Saudi men out there. Some success stories were mentioned in this blog, a recent one was called Khaled.. go check his story with Diana.
    Last but not least, Save The Women, you’re doing a great job… raising awareness is a very noble thing and I hope you continue doing it, and I’m even willing to help when/if I can. I Just have one small little humble advice that is offered on take it or leave it basis… do you ever hear the other side of the story? Or is it only the non Saudi girl’s story? (that isn’t a question btw)

    Peace and love to all of you.
    Nader,,

  120. Nader,
    I would like to clarify my position a bit. I do not actually want to bash Saudi men. I am married to a fine one, I would marry him again, and know many others. It is the system I mean to bash. And because of who is asking the questions it turns into an issue about non Saudi women.

    The truth is I think the system is completely at fault for ALL women. I think it is a travesty of human rights. I even believe the system hurts men. When men are raised to believe they are entitled and better than women- and the legal system supports that, it is a rare and special man that can resist and not be spoiled. And so I also believe the system ruins what would otherwise be perfectly good men.

    But when western women come here to this blog to ask the truth- the truth is the system is bad. And if your husband is, or becomes bad (as can happen anywhere) you are stuck in a foriegn land and cannot even go to your parents house without losing your children. The consequences are enormous, if you choose wrong. Sometimes I get carried away because I am frustrated that these young in love women SAY they understand the risks- but it is clear they don’t really.

    Sandy

  121. But, Nader, in your case we have proof of some heroic actions… I might give you the thumbs up… :D
    But, these marriages have to deal with a system and culture that is unfair to the couple and especially to the wife.
    So no matter how strong the relationship, and no matter how dedicated the husband is, the marriage might still end up in trouble due to these pressures.

    And it is the woman who is taking the huge risks and puts much of her future at stake.

  122. Nader, you are no doubt the poster of the epitome of what one wants in a life partner…regardless of nationality! You are one of the finest Saudi men I’ve had the honor to know!!

    I wish to say that many Saudi men and foreign women jump hastily into a relationship before they have had the opportunity to really get to know one another and their respective cultures well. These are the marriages that are more fraught with risk and less chance of success.

    I do not have the time right now but I did write a post a few years back about what a woman should do if she felt she needed to escape and how to put a plan into action. Maybe someone with more time and energy than me at the moment could find it in the archives and link it? If not, I’ll try to do so at a later point. It gives some food for thought. The post was initiated due to a Saudi husband who changed his colors, took another wife and was becoming abusive to his American wife. She had also believed he was the ONE and was shattered to a million pieces when he transformed.

    Like Sandy and some others, I was fortunate to have been married to a good man. That’s not saying we did not have our own share of ups and downs but we managed to get through them.

  123. We all take risks when we choose a marriage partner. I’m not saying to marry someone and move with them blindly to Saudi Arabia as a Western woman and expect everything to be the same as in Western countries. I also wouldn’t recommend someone from Saudi Arabia to marry someone from a Western country blindly and move there and expect everything to be the same. That’s just asking for trouble, either way.

    Additionally, I wouldn’t recommend marrying someone blindly from the “same” culture as that causes problems, too. In fact, I think it is possible for people from the “same” culture to have more problems in a relationship because they may feel that their expectations for their spouse are clearly implied by their actions when in reality, they’re not. People from different cultures may be more aware of the differences in the culture and thus communicate their needs, wants, and hopes for the relationship in more detail. Has anyone ever considered this perspective before?

    As for family influencing the marriage, that happens everywhere and not just in KSA. How many times have you heard a family member of yours complain about another family member and/or their spouse’s family? Having a close relationship with family members can also mean having a strong support group to lean back on when times get tough. (In the US and other Western countries based on what I’ve noticed, this support isn’t always as strong nor is it always expected, especially with regards to extended family and financial situations.) Sure, there may be a little drama when people within a family don’t agree with each other, but overall, they want you to be happy and have your best interests at heart. Obviously, I am not referring to dysfunctional families as those occur everywhere and I could give multiple examples of ones I’ve run into within the US, so please don’t go on about this.

    Having met very many sweet, loving Saudi guys, in the event my current relationship didn’t work out, I wouldn’t have a problem being in a relationship with another one again later when I was ready to deal with being in another relationship. However, I would learn from my past one, know what worked and what didn’t, and make better decisions in the future no matter what culture the person is from. I honestly am very open-minded about what culture the person is from as who they are as an individual is significantly more important. Good men that I’m compatible with seem hard to find, particularly if I want someone close in age to me and what I want now is a lasting relationship. That said, I am hoping my current one works out.

    If you plan to marry someone, you should have an idea of how they act around their family and how important pleasing their family is to them. Knowing the person’s strengths and weaknesses should give you an idea of how they might react once you are with them in their native country living with and/or around their family. If you have a good idea what to expect wherever you plan to live, have made arrangements accordingly, and trust your spouse, I don’t see how it’s as big of a “risk”.

    I think it is possible to be both romantic and logical in views of a relationship; to find a partner that is a good fit from a logical perspective as far as what your interests are, where you want to live, the lifestyle you want to have, etc. as well as someone who is romantic in the sense you find them attractive, they soften your heart through their sweet actions, etc. At the end of the day, if the other person isn’t willing to put in the same amount of effort, then it’s time to rethink who you’re with (hopefully before marriage), so commitment in this sense is important, too. Personally, I think it’s possible to wear both rose-coloured glasses and also wear crystal clear ones, so to speak.

  124. Sorry that’s a bit long; sometimes, I write too much! @^_^@ (embarrassed smile)

  125. Aafke, you made me laugh so hard with your “some women have less brains than a headless chicken” that I almost choked on nuts I was chowing down!

  126. @Strange One,

    All marriage is risky. What you don’t seem to get is the monumental difference in risk when a western woman marries a Saudi. Not all risk is the same. Not at all. It is in no way an equitable comparison the man leaving Saudi culture for western and vice versa. And you seem to have no idea what we mean about Saudi family influence on a marriage. You’ve got the rose-coloured down all right- but you don’t have the crystal clear.

    As I’ve said- I made it work. But you don’t even seem to be processing the issues. Being “open-minded” doesn’t mean that cultures or systems are equally wrong or risky. Sometimes one way is WAY more risky than another. Anyway, good luck- ’cause you’re really going to need it- and at this point anything I say is for the benefit of other readers who might actually be getting something from my experience.

  127. “If you have a good idea what to expect wherever you plan to live, have made arrangements accordingly, and trust your spouse, I don’t see how it’s as big of a “risk”.”

    StrangeOne, I like you a lot and don’t mean to sound critical here, but are you off your rocker? Maybe it’s just me. I love my Saudi. I think he’s amazing and he treats me like a princess. However, that does not by any means preclude his having a dramatic change of heart later on as I’ve seen so many American men do, or even his getting hit by a bus or something the day after we get to KSA to visit his family. No matter how many precautions one takes, or how much trust one has in one’s spouse, life is fully capable of throwing you curveballs. “If you want to hear the gods laugh, tell them your plans” and all that. Again, I don’t mean to sound overly critical, and I’ve only been with my guy for (almost) three years so I guess that doesn’t make me an expert, but it seems to me that you might be approaching this whole going-to-KSA thing a little cavalierly and I would just like you to be careful. Personally the very idea of it scares me to death and my guy knows that it will be a looong time before I even discuss such a venture, especially if kids are involved. Fear is healthy – it keeps you out of danger. And for those thinking of giving up, trust me, I have a healthy respect for any an all advice given so please don’t feel like it is falling on deaf ears. Thanks!

  128. wow, i read the comments, it paints a vey poor picture of saudi men and an even poorer pic of the laws against women there. sadly all of it is true.let me tell you a real life example, MINE — we were happily living in saudi, very supportive husband, who was royally pissed off with his parents and his siblings :-) , great marriage, i had supportive and more important powerful dad who could pull a lot of strings , air tight marriage contract , plenty of funds outside saudi and an alternate mahram -my husband’s bro who unfortunately lived outside saudi – -that was the glitch…

    then one day, hubby gets in an accident ( oh tes these are quite common too) and took a direct hit in his head.. and was out.. in th ehospital, well since my mahrem was in anotehr country , i get a defacto mahrem– his not so nice brother, who kept me and the kids oput of the hospital, took over his treatment plan :-) he’s barely college grad, while here iam a licenced qualified dr, @ home, can’t get out.. no access to anything and stuck. luckily for me my westernised BIl showed up in 3 days and gave my temp mahrem his walking papers and even luckily for me F recovered…

    but those 3 days remain etched in my mind, with 2 little kids and helpless i remember reaching to a gazzilion places for help, but NOTHING is possible there. those horrific days killed my love for the place and it’s laws.. Those remaining days of F’s stay in th ehosp were ok but when he heard of what happened, we went home packed and left and i have never been back . F never asked me if i wanted to leave, he just left .

    so i warn everyone, marry your saudi , they are by large a loving, chivalrous kind and gentle people. a nobler one you will never find. they will treat you like a queen and give you all the love you want in the world, however they have neither power nor control over the laws andtheir family, so unlike anywhere else inthe world if his family hates you ,there is no fool-proof escape , if you have kids you are toast :-)

  129. Hi everyone, what a loooong thread! Have just read through it quickly and it looks like the discussion has turned into giving advice to women wanting to marry a Saudi..

    I’m also married to a Saudi, im lucky he is “westernised” having lived in the States for majority of his life. My Saudi is also very cooperative and gives me my freedom, he knows without it I wouldnt be the same woman.

    Our history is a little bit different since we met in Saudi, I had moved here to work before we randomly met. Before I met my Saudi, I have to be honest and say I would never, ever in a million years thought I would marry one. What I had seen and heard at that point about saudi guys was mostly negative.

    My interaction with them back then wouldve been mainly from the every weekend parties held at compounds and embassies. I guess those places drew only the worst guys, and for sure not the marriage material!! Well that goes for everywhere in the world actually.

    My saudi had never even heard about these parties, let alone did he ever want to attend one.
    He was very very shy and in fact I was sure he didnt even like me because he never looked in my eyes. Later I realised it was out of politeness and respect from his side.
    Due to the circumstances we met under, our interaction in the beginning was limited to brief discussions and emails, and facebook :D I was relieved to see he didnt have hundreds of girls as friends, only a couple from university.

    My saudi told me right from the beginning what to expect from him, the saudi culture and how his family would effect his life. I think it was one of the first times we went out (this was in the states on holiday since in saudi we couldnt meet freely). We talked alot that night, of our hopes and fears, we both cried but in the end decided that despite all the risks, we would stay together and do everything we can to make it work.

    And to this day we keep talking and I think that is one of the most important things in saudi-western relationships (or any relationship!)

    So alot of the things discussed here its hard to relate to, epecially the moving here part. But many things I do agree that women should be very careful of..

    I feel I cannot give any advice for anyones relationshi without knowing the person or what her life has been like. We are all so different. What works for one woman will ruin the next one and so on.
    I think if a western woman is planning to move here, what would help is if she had travelled alot before and seen the world and interacted with different cultures. I mean, that way a person becomes more openminded and ready to face cultureshock which will surely affect everyone.
    I see alot of expats here and they like to bash the saudis and their culture for everything, they have the superiority complex, we are so much better in the west. well ok of course we have many things that are better, but it doesnt mean you cant learn something from another culture.
    If you only have your western culture and the saudi one to compare, my opinion is it will make life here much more difficult to adapt to.

    I wish Kitty good luck discussing these issues mentioned here with your saudi. Better to do it now before you move any further in your relationship. Ask about his mom and what she would think of you. Ask do they have men in their family married to foreigners? where is his family from? ask is cousin marriage common in their family?are they polygamous and what are his thoughts on that?how religious is he, does he pray? you can also read some things from KSA on my blog blueabaya.blogspot.com and you’ll find my email there too :)

    Whats for sure is he will change in saudi, they all do!
    But I have to comment that also my behavior is different here because of the society.
    Saudi men become really protective and more private and somehow reserved here.
    Its because what matters here is how things LOOK. what you are weaing and how you (and ur wife!) act in public.
    That really drives me crazy sometimes but thats just the way t is here..

    Ok I think Ive written too much already, have a nice day everyone!

  130. @ radha

    wow what a terrifying experience that must have been! thanks for sharing.
    We were just discussing the alternate mahram, which would be his brother..but you got me thinking, what if he’s out of town or otherwise incapable..hmmm..

    Funny how two brothers could be so different?! did the evil brother have something against you or whats up with him doing that?

    I work in a hospital, so im just curious how did he change your husbands care plan and how is it they wouldnt allow you in?

    God forbid that ever happens to my husband but like you say accidents are common..my friend recently lost her husband in a car accident..so this is something to take into consideration as well.

  131. May I remind the rosy glassed dreamers that every Saudi man gets a text message when a ”dependent” is leaving the country.
    That means if he doesn’t agree he can call back and stop you.
    No matter what form and letters you carry.
    And secrecy is out of the question.

    ”Dependents” are all the people the men have ownership of: women, children and foreign employees.

  132. @laylah,

    I agree with what you say, yes as long as you talk then you are ok in your relationship.
    Yes do think well about the alt mahrem and pick wisely. My BIL didn’t change the care plan, but he was the one involved with the drs etc., yes they can stop visitation, how do you go out when he put a stop to that, basically he moved me nad the kids into my MIL’s house for 2-3 days . but I knew it was temp till my other BIl shhowed up, eventhen it’s scary.

    I wouldn’t call him evil :-) just stupid. i’m not muslim and hence his angst and he didn’t like the fact i was indian either … and just general ignorance which breeds hate i guess.

  133. @laylah….Thanks for the best advice yet…These positive advices underwhelms my fear.

  134. All,
    I try to be diplomatic on here, so I guess now I know why people think politicians are crazy. :D

    I believe the words I used were ‘as big a “risk” ‘. I have a good idea of how my Saudi would treat me in KSA which affects the reasons and circumstances that I would be willing to move there. I know you say it’s not likely to know how he may change, but I believe I have an idea of how he would change if that were to happen. I’d rather not give out specifics.

    From what you all have said, I have a question: Are Saudi people really that racist against people from other nationalities (including the US and other Western ones) within their extended family? I mean, there may be cultural, religious, and language differences to work through that could affect this as well. Is it more the differences that get in the way or the simple fact someone is from another country?

    I am not feeling well at the moment, so if I don’t comment for a while, that’s why. Of course, some of you don’t seem to be interested in carrying on a conversation with me anymore, so I guess it’s not a problem.

    Take care everyone! :)

  135. Some Saudi people are that racist- some are not. Those that are, are able to maintain the cold shoulder resentment etc. indefinately. I know people who have faced this situation for decades. My husbands family is not that way with me. It makes a huge difference.

    My husband -unlike almost every case I’ve heard- changed only minimally on moving to Saudi. He also told me, prior to moving, to the best of his ablity what to expect. I knew him for SEVERAL years before we married- I had met his family. There were still many times and situations which became difficult.

    To those of you who have known your Saudi for only a few months- it is highly unlikely you have any sort of accurate idea of how he might change.

  136. @strangeone….I wish you well. Stay blessed. I wish to have carried a conversation with ya., but the time difference is a factor, It’s after midnite here and my school work is overwhelming, Even so our conversation would have been reduced to ‘feel good chats’, we are bad for each other I guess. The criticism on this thread is unbelievable, even if you try to be optimitic and draw positives from the likes of Sandy et al, you are accused of wearing rose coloured glasses, with our intellegence thrown in the mix, ‘some women really have less brains then a headless chicken’, gosh!!

    The world will continue to be dominated by men because of such negative attitutes, the limited number of women in influential political arena is not by choice. We just refuse to be supportive of one another. The women who are in such positions were either pulled up men or they have powerful families, with money exchanging hands.

    The pull her down syndrome is truly well and alive in cyber space.

  137. @kity2010,

    Don’t take it as being against you, marry anyone you want and move anywhere in this world. all these guys are trying to do is explainthe issues on hand.

    it’s your prerogative to take it or not. I wish someone had told me this before i moved, and luckily for me my husband didn’t change there still we had issues. nothng that cannot be overcome, everyone here is sharing their experiences that’s all be it good or bad.

    and yes every country /region has unique issues, and adjustment is a big deal, it is more than a big deal in saudi that’s all folks here want you to know.
    and best of luck , hop eyou have a happy life.

    As for women not being supportive. true to some extent but pray you do’t go into a hostile family environment ,then you’ll know th etrue power of saudi women,– most especially the saudi mom :-)

  138. Kitty2010 is a troll.
    An arab troll, and I think male as well.
    Just read the crap he wrote on the dangers of the abaya.

    I strongly suggest everybody to stop feeding the troll and don’t waste your time on him.

  139. @ kitty – do you mind saying what country you are from? You say you are black. Are you from an African country or the USA or???

  140. Ignore the troll, otherwise he will never go away!

  141. @aafke
    i am aghast! i hope she’s not!

  142. @aafke
    i am aghast! i hope she’s not!

  143. @Wendy, I’m all woman and yes I’m black, where I come from its not an issue. It’s up to you to believe me or not. Aafke….the horse is a little mad because I called it out on its bullying.

    I guess its up to you to use your brain on this one. I unfortunately cannot reveal myself physically on this blog.

  144. Kitty – I asked you because I was curious. What your country of origin has to do with revealing yourself is beyond me. Most people on this blog happily say where they come from. I’m Canadian for instance.

  145. Okay….right, Im of mixed race, My dad is of French and italian descent, and my mum is Black from a little known country in the deep South of Africa….Namibia..

    But please don’t be brainwashed…Aafke has picked a fight with me for a reason known to her or it, don’t let our back and forth jibes between me and her or it, sway your views.
    I still don’t know much about KSA, I’m commenting based on the bits and pieces of info I read from this blog.

    I choice to play the devil’s advocate on the Abaya on purpose, differing views are essential for a healthy debate.

  146. I’ve heard of Namibia. Differing knowledgeble views are essential for a healthy debate. Just throwing random stuff in makes it noisy.

  147. I think Kitty n2010 is a troll.
    Nobody can really be that stupid.
    Nobody but a man can be so negative and accusing towards women.
    He has been found out on the abaya tread and now he is trying to weasel his way out of it ”debate is healthy”
    Duuuh
    Debate with a troll is not healthy it ruins the blog and wastes valuable time of real people while the troll sits laughing behind his computer.
    Maybe he is a member of the CPVPV’s internet squad.

    Meanwhile, everybody except the troll, watch at this:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/09/07/saudi.arabia.women/index.html?section=cnn_latest#fbid=cTCePju9uTv&wom=false

  148. Aafke,
    I agree about trolls but I am not convinced that Kitty is one. I have to give her the benefit of the doubt-for now. I’ve been accused (falsly) of the same in the past- and so I’ll need to wait and see.

  149. I was supposed to have been doing my assignments,but the thread got me distracted. So i guess failing my exams is better than ‘throwing random stuff in makes it noisy’.

    Nope,…Sandy, may be you should know that we interact with Saudi women in shopping malls who came with their student husbands. Some do still wear these abayas when out in public, I have been around and walked behind them…yes with their kids in tow. So no… I’m not throwing bluffs outthere. ofcourse its different from a standpoint of an non wearer, but I’m sure there are not in danger of lossing their livelihood, as you people want to claim.

  150. Sure I won’t watch the video, DUMB DUMB are you happy?

  151. :twisted:
    He’ll be more careful in future… act less the muttawa, and watch his bad grammar…. :twisted:

    How can you have been regarded as a troll? Your comments are always very good, thoughtful.

  152. Their livelihood is from their husbands. Walking the mall is not the same as trying multitask.

    You chose to play devil’s advocate because you have an issue with Aafke. But it was random noise, not any sort of meaningful contribution.

    No one is saying women get hurt all the time. But we have to be very careful. It adds a whole level of stress and risk to whatever we are doing. But who cares? We’re only women…and since we mostly manage- no big deal right?

  153. You should stay indoors anyway….

  154. Oh wait, didn’t somebody share some links the other day?
    ”Indoors” isn’t good enough! Somewhere in the back of the house, in a dark windowless cupboard, and never go out of there again.
    that was the ideal wasn’t it?

  155. @Aafke-
    Thats what you say now!

    On another site- I was a secret plant- part of a Jewish conspiracy…I’m suprised no one here has figured me out!

  156. How can I have missed that?
    Why Jewish? Not the ”protocols of Zion” again? I am getting so tired of those….

  157. @ Kitty
    Okay, I understand a little better now and I’m not so surprised that you didn’t know about Saudi Arabia. If you were from the USA or North African Muslim country I would be a little concerned. :) I understand how world studies are not necessarily major in many countries. In Sudan for example geography and information about non-Islamic countries is sketchy at best.
    You have an interesting heritage!!!
    I have in-laws in both Sudan and Saudi Arabia and even though my Canadian schooling taught me a lot about Saudi Arabia I am still always learning and there are many blogs out there with valuable information. They helped me prepare for my first trip to Saudi. I think I know more about Saudi right now than some of my Saudi relatives. :)
    Keep studying and learning and really DO listen to what these women have to say about your Saudi man and the dangers involved.

  158. Now we have hijacked this thread again…but anyway Sandy I did not play the devil’s advocate because of anyone, Aafke is just a fart, i can choose to ignore, but sure I guess I’m allowed to apply the same logic you apply to me that you agree with Aafke to appease her.

    You know you can differ with her..

    I used the wrong term there, lives is the proper term. I hate writing long posts but get this…I did not mean they are just strolling the mall window shopping, they are moving up and down stairs shopping with the kids in tow, pushing shopping carts and all.
    You refuse to see and accept that I have differing views, call it meanigless or stupid….but whatever float your boat.

    Women unfortunately are expected to multi task in all aspects or life, from keeping your home clean, being a good wife, mum and all. It’s not just the Saudi wearing abayas who feel the stress as women.

  159. Point taken. You played devils advocate and everyone disagreed with you because your view was so poorly stated.

    Really? I can differ with Aafke?? I’ll have to consider that sometime.

    Oh- you mean like when i said Im not convinced you’re a troll- even though she’s made numerous posts saying you are?

  160. Thanks Wendy…

    As for Aafke, if he was that intellegent, he would know that glorifying and presenting the western media as a source of evidence would be below him, cnn is just another western media tool, that demonized Islam in the west. These people would stoop so low to demean Islam even at the detriment of Muslim women.
    For his info, women are attacked in the west, because of such brain washing, the attacks on muslim women are seldom reported, because lets face who cares right?

    But had the situation be reversed with Muslims attacking white people. Oh God help us….

    I hope the clip he put there is not at all putting Muslim women in danger…Like I said I won’t watch.

  161. My views were not poorly stated…like I said Sandy Abayas are inconvienient as opposed to dangerous, I had stated that I would change my positions when presented with statistics of injuries, BUT what I heard is the same excuses, ‘abayas can get caught on shopping carts, they sweep germs and dirt on roads.’…give me a break. and here is one of your views ‘No one is saying women get hurt all the time. But we have to be very careful’ THANKS

    That crap that I’m a troll is BS…I won’t even address that anymore…

  162. @Kitty,

    You really have no clue about the Arabic world, just opinions based on utter ignorance of the region. Let’s see some of your great comments:

    - You will believe the Abbaya is dangerous if presented with Statistics. Do you actually think the Saudi government does statistics like that? This is a government that has ignored the death of hundreds of thousands in car accidents and only started to record statistics in that area to support the creation of insurance industry, which the royals control. Meanwhile the government has not done anything to reduce the accident rates. Do you think they will do something for women, when the Abbaya is part of the control the religious establishment has over 50% of the population?

    - You also state that news media is bashing Saudi, when the video (which you claim you did not watch) was factual and presented the point of view of one of the most famous Saudi women activist. Stating facts about the Saudi Mahram System, which treats grown women like children. The video is not bashing, it is factual reporting.

    -I think you have already bought into the propaganda fed too you by Muslims, that the media is responsible for the bad reputation of Islam. The fact is Islam is responsible for that bad reputation. Muslims are killing each other in random bombings of civilians every day. Usually in the form of a suicide bombers wearing a vest. This bad reputation is earned and it will not change unless Muslims change it.

    There are many comments like that, showing that you are not knowledgeable about the topics your pursue here. You actually sound more like an apologist who cannot make a case. Not having knowledge is not a sin, but not being knowledgeable and having unrestrained arrogance about it makes you sound foolish.

    I also think you are not here to learn and make your decision properly. I have been reading this blog for sometime now, you are just one of the long list of women who are involved with a Saudi (which is fine). Many of them come here asking questions with the initial focus of learning. After a few messages we discover that their intent is not to learn, but to feel good about their decisions. This is evident by latching on to every positive comment about Saudi and dismissing all the negatives as easily managed. After a few days they become an apologist claiming their view of Saudi is as good as the people who have actual experience. Your situation played exactly step by step from that book.

    Look you may have the most wonderful man and your situation may be one of the 5% that will succeed, but do not make this decision based on arrogance and ignorance. You will increase your chances of stepping into a bad situation.

    Good luck to you

  163. Kitty – Aafke is a woman.

  164. @MoQ
    Wow, you guys are tough!! I haven’t been following Bedu’s blog faithfully although it is one of the ones I will turn to out of interest. I could take a bite out of the hostility in the air on this thread!! If it is true of Kitty that:

    “you are just one of the long list of women who are involved with a Saudi (which is fine). Many of them come here asking questions with the initial focus of learning. After a few messages we discover that their intent is not to learn, but to feel good about their decisions. This is evident by latching on to every positive comment about Saudi and dismissing all the negatives as easily managed. After a few days they become an apologist claiming their view of Saudi is as good as the people who have actual experience.”

    I wouldn’t necessarily chalk up visiting a blog to just wanting a place to be validated, I would chalk it up to wanting a place to be validated, hear all the bad stuff, and decide if you are mentally able to convince yourself you can handle the challenge. I mean really—what does anyone think is going to happen with Kitty? That she says, “Thanks Total Strangers for your scary portrayal of the undoubtedly awful future of my relationship. I will dump my guy ASAP!! To hell with this!! I thought I loved him, but this seems llike too much work!!” Lol

    Of course not. It’s human nature to see the bright side, wear our rose colored glasses until someone whacks them off of our face with the realities of life. Instead of getting so PO’d at Kitty, (because everyone now seems to want to strangle her–Lol), why not just let her find out for herself. You guys would’ve been saying all of these things to me, if I’d asked, that you are saying to her. And you all would have been wrong, thus far. Because only the future, not any of our soothsaying or statistics, will determine what happens. I am one of that 5% who is happy; so is Sandy; so is Bedu…..someone has to be that 5%, in other words, and none of us know who it will be. And all of us who are involved with a Saudi man heard ALL KINDS of similar stories, and look what WE went and did!!! We STAYED.. Because we, like Kitty, thought we hadg it all figured out. And thus far, we seem to. So I don’t see myself as any better or worse or more or less ignorant than Kitty. How could I say she is statistically likely to be a fool for staying, when I stayed, too?

    I love my husband. My rose colored glasses are still on, and they have been for 7 years now. And they seem to get rosier all the time.

    So, I believe that everyone here has done their best to convince Kitty of the dangers, and I think she has done her best to tell herself she will try and manage. (Jsut like we told ourselves). Really I can’t see the problem with that at this point. I hope that time and more experience, asking the difficult questions about the future with her Saudi boyfriend, and LISTENING to the answers he gives her will do more than all of us combined. Because the fact is we are missing 1/2 of the picture, and that would be her boyfriend. How he handles family pressure, views on race, and religion (will she have to convert? even so would she really be accepted?) will be more telling in reality, than all of us telling her what to fear.

    For all the hostility and frustration on this thread, everyone has “done their job” with respect to educating Kitty on the pitfalls of getting involved with a Saudi. So, she will listen to all of the advice, and then listen to what her boyfriend says, or be defensive and say we are all idiots.

    Kitty, I wish you luck. All western women who marry Saudi men have an uphill battle in many ways that are simply non-existent for a relationship with a westerner.

    I know that is true for me; it was true for Bedu (read about how she had to hide and how long it took for the gov’t of Saudi Arabia to “allow” her to marry her husband); it has been tough in many ways for most western women for myriad reasons—some reasons are related directly to their relationship with their man, and some are difficult cultural and societal hurdles. So many unique things can go wrong, that simply don’t exist in a relationship with a westerm man.

    Whatever you decide, you know have a ton of information to help you. Take care and study hard!! And even if it doesn’t work our with your boyfriend, enjoy the heck out of him while you still can. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

  165. @Liassana,

    “I mean really—what does anyone think is going to happen with Kitty?’

    I think what will happen is her business based on her decisions. Note I never refer to her Specific relationship or the person she is with. As far as I am concerned, he may be the best man in the world. I only speak about the system and the culture and the risks of the situation women deal with.

    The issue of the arguments I see here is that some of the issues of Saudi and its treatment of women are dismissed. Like the Video about the mahram system is dismissed as the Western media is bashing Saudi. Ignoring the fact that women rights are violated like no other place in the world. Or the Abbaya does not pose risk issues for women movement. This comes form a person that admitted she did not know anything about Saudi until recently and has not been in the country. She is arguing against people with years of experience.

    I really understand that people should make their own decisions and I hope she will make a good one. What I am arguing about is dismissing the issues of women in the country and their suffering in the process of feeling good about such decision.

    You should be able to see through rose colored glasses, but we are talking about blinders in some of these cases.

  166. MoQ…
    If you are going to open a debate with personal attacks, I’m sorry but the rest of the post will not offer much insight but repeat insults, and of course you did not disappoint as expected. You could have had a solid and an informative post, but I could not help but notice the unnecessary name calling which took away from an otherwise good post, maybe you wanna avoid that next time, and just leave that to the self – proclaimed ‘intelligent’ women on here, dressing alike all day long has affected their thinking capacity as well, now they think the same too.
    Now lets see some of your great comments:

    ‘You will believe the Abbaya is dangerous if presented with Statistics. Do you actually think the Saudi government does statistics like that’?

    I guess I’m used to believing hard statistical facts as opposed to hearsay, but if KSA is not concerned to produce such, I reckon they would attend to pressing issues rather than count women who trip on their garments or the number of times an abbaya gets caught in shopping carts.
    Look, I did not watch that video, I promise. The lady you refer to in the clip, is not helping matters, sitting down with a western media outlet, is not gonna sway the problems they face in their country, why don’t they get out and demonstrate on the streets, show courage and lead the way, it’s their country their lives only they can help themselves no one can or….. Maybe they are waiting for white help, I’m sure Angelina Jolie is a call away. But I guess as you put it the ‘control of the religious establishment’ won’t have that nonsense. So I guess for now it will remain a pipedream for her and many

    ‘I think you have already bought into the propaganda fed too you by Muslims, that the media is responsible for the bad reputation of Islam’

    True, extremists kill civilians every day in Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan Somalia you name it…we are bombarded with these images every day, there is no way the western media would miss that. My problem is when the media chastise the whole community as bad guys. The killings of so called suspect terrorists and children by foreign forces in parts of the M.E. is justified as who cares they would have grown up to be terrorists. Really? Have the world come to that?

    ‘You actually sound more like an apologist who cannot make a case’

    Look when 9/11 occurred I was a grown woman. Don’t make it sound like I’m so gullible about the M.E. and its issues, that’s not the case, my only ignorance was KSA and its laws, which I started learning about.
    These women with so called experience you talk of made some of the dumbest, stupidest comments you could come across, and they accuse me of making ‘random noise’ a woman who says this ‘oh and at many places- including the Haram the women have to take the stairs because the escalators are too dangerous due to clothing. But the men can use them’. Is KSA not a place of ‘deprivations and submission to men’? So what was she on about, she made dumb statements all over the post like this, I cannot be bothered to read.

  167. Here we go again…
    Personal attacks may I suggest you make a point without insults; it ends up saying a lot about you than me.
    I never dismissed any negative treatment of women in Saudi, now you are making things up. Here; I changed tune when I was chastised about my race, I loathe that. The writer was so worked up my color that I could feel it was her talking. Who knows… she may have problems with black people, I don’t know… but it looked that way. She was no longer advising me but bashing me and my race. I hate racists’ bigots. Period. Of course you are in no capacity to address my relationship, none whatsoever.

    I would rather argue against a wall than pile of women with personalities of wet mops.

    I don’t feel good about anything, this from a person who comes from a continent with abject poverty and famine; I can’t feel good about anything really, don’t make things up, but if it makes you a better person and you feel good then be my guest.

    Hi lissaana :)

  168. I apologize that I’ve been unable to be on the blog more often and post more regularly. This blog is where I want individuals to comment and share their views but to also do so with dignity. We CAN agree to disagree and CAN do so without name calling.

  169. @Kitty2010,

    I think people telling you about the racism in Saudi is not an attack on your race. It is our disgust with the racism that goes on in that country and trying to give you a warning of its impact. Saying racism is equivalent everywhere misses the point. Referring to black people with Abid (Slave) should give you a very good hint about the magnitude of the issue in the ME. You should take that into consideration in your decision. Calling people racist for giving you that information is a personal attack.

    Regarding the Saudi government attending to other business instead of gathering statistics about a common thing like an Abbaya issue is an argument that assumes that the government is competent, not corrupt and cares about its citizens. All are fallacies. They are so busy fixing the 100′s of things to make the country into paradise for the citizens?

    Regarding understanding laws, Saudi Arabia does not have codified laws. Perhaps the only country in the world in this situation. There will be no Laws to protect you if you go there. If you ever have to go to court, you will likely be under the mercy of an incompetent judge who will rule with his own conservative interpretation of Islam. The ruling will unlikely favor you as a woman, a foreign person and/or of a person of color.

    The point Kitty is, Saudi is one of the worst places in the world for women. Similarly it is one of the worst places for prejudices. Name a type of prejudice and you will find the extremes of it in Saudi. Whether it is skin color, Nationality (Asians experience a lot of it), Sexual orientation (gays should be killed), regional (Saudi’s discriminate against each other), religious (none Muslims cannot practice), Secular (Shiiat are an oppressed minority) etc. It is the sad fact, I wish it was different.

    If you are seriously thinking about going there, take these into consideration. You may have a partner who can provide you with a life, that can overcome all of these issues, If that is the case, I wish you happiness. Just do not dismiss these very huge negatives so easily.

    Also, do not turn into an apologist for a system that you do not know much about and is engaged in abusing its citizens and foreign workers every day.

  170. @MoQ

    ” I only speak about the system and the culture and the risks of the situation women deal with”

    Ok, I think she gets it. Everyone has told her the risks. She has said what she thinks about them. People have agreed, disagreed, and other than ‘speaking about the culture, risks and situation women deal with’, are now attacking her and are into name calling. Lovely. As an “experienced” woman with regards to dealing with Saudi men, Saudi families and now Saudi culture and rules, people on this blog thread are turning their frustrations with the system into personal attacks on a poster, who seems skeptical, ingenuous and “too optimistic”. When the owner of the blog has to jump in to mediate poster’s behavior–that’s when things are getting too rough.

    This is far out of the realm of contructive advice. People are getting ANGRY with Kitty for not answering as they wish she would. They are MAD because they think she is too blase. I don’t feel this is so. She is just being honest, I think. This thread was about marriages to certain ethnicities–not about all of this. Talk about digression, which is fine, but not when it turns ugly.

    I personally don’t like the way many people have resopnded to Kitty. So many respondents sound arrogant, telling her how ignorant she is, and not to belittile their sage advice when it is for her own good. That she’d better listen or her world here in Saudi will be hell!! They tell her to stop making excuses for the gov’t when she is saying that she finds “facts with out proof” nothing more than explanatory fiction. I call that seeing both sides of the coin, and not blindly believing us as doomsayers, or video documentaries. She is displaying what we call in science “philosophic doubt.”
    Probably because she doesn’t want to believe things here are as bad as all that. Or maybe as a defensive reaction to all the condescension and hostility thrown her way. And the truth is, you never really know how bad things are here until you get here. Period. And the sad fact is that things ARE as bad as all that, for everyone but Saudi men. But in many ways you have to see what happens here to believe it!! So give her a break.

    Calling her names like “troll” when she isn’t trolling; an apologist when she didn’t sound like she was apologizing for KSA’s gov’t to me; and other things are just hurtful, rude and COMPLETELY unhelpful except for the individual who is venting their anger at the time.

    I think this will be my last post on this blog for a while. I don’t enjoy discussions that turn this way, when we are supposed to offering FRIENDLY advice to each other whether we are being unrealistic, disagreeing, or whatever. Ugliness is ugly, rudeness is rude, condescension is intolerable to mentally healthy people, and I flat don’t like to be mean, even in the interest of “educating” someone. Goodbye everyone, take care and please give yoursleves a break from this because it seems like it is needed.

  171. @Lissaana,

    Regarding the apologist comment, I certainly think there was enough of that in the exchanges. A good example the comment about the Saudi government would have done something about the abbaya if they think it is dangerous. When the fact is the Saudi government enforces the will of religious conservative on women. I know she is saying these things are of lack of knowledge, but that is my point in case you missed it (why become an apologist for a system you do not know much about)

    Also, great about not commenting. I certainly won’t miss your accusations about things I have not said.

  172. @Kitty,
    Since I make “dumb statements all over the post” – please feel free to discount everything I’ve said.

  173. children children children.. stop the infighting :-) sorry just felt like saying it.

    kitty – Yes everyone paints dire pictures, but that’s experience speaking, it’s up to you to listen or not. hope you have a wonderful life with your saudi, in or out of KSA. hope he remains as you wish him to be . If ever you need help i’m sure everyonehere will do their best to help you. i hope you never do want for help andhave a happy life.

  174. @MoQ

    Look, you are seem like a nice person, but sometimes you come across as to imaginary for my liking, see I have read posts from people who offered their advices, some women’s marriages worked, some doomed, Saudi is a hell hole wara…..wara. How you think I have not comprehended that it’s beyond me. Since this was revealed to me, I have since asked my BF and he has come forward, he did acknowledge the negative treatment of women, the bestowed control of man in a marriage and all, hence the void of women’s rights in all aspects of her life.

    Again, Unless you have walked a mile in a black man’s shoes anywhere in the world, you won’t understand, look the west wants to present itself as the model of everything good. But the truth is the opposite. I have seen in own eyes, people calling out Sudanese and blacks, ‘planet of the apes, ‘savages’ ‘baboons’ ‘monkeys’, ‘nigg***’, blacks are beat up on the streets, but you won’t hear of that on cnn or sky news. This is just an example…from the many things I could present. You want to hold the west as saviors….be my guest. Saudi and M.E. may have all these racists running rampant but the west is no different. And let’s not forget about the tribalism in African countries, I won’t go in to much details, but have you heard about the Rwanda genocide, it speaks volume.

    Again your imaginary mind comes to play here, when I said the Saudi govern. would rather attend to other issues, why do you assume that I meant for the betterment of its citizens? , you are putting words in my mouth there…. Sorry mate!
    For the last time I am not an apologist, how did you come to that conclusion. Oh again it’s your imaginary mind….at work.

  175. @Sandy
    I valued your input, up until the ganging up on a troll, but I’m sorry I won’t stand for that. We were exchanging ideas nicely up until Aafke convinced you to turn against, ‘a troll’. And you know what’s funny there is a post from Charity, who was against the idea of the abayas as dangerous; you ignored that and instead as Aafke’s sidekick you chastised my arguments as juvenile the name calling and all that. You could have presented a more mature approach into the debate, sans the brainwashing from Aafke; but instead went on a rant.

    @radha..
    I hear ya…I have been reading your posts. Unfortunately this become a ‘war’ people are so up in arms, it’s unbelievable. People have a lot of issues and anger inside of them it’s scary, and Bedu has become a platform for them to rant, I guess it’s therapeutic. But thanks to @Bedu, I guess now order will prevail and things will get back to normal, I least I HOPE

    @Lissaana
    You could not have presented your case any better; you have the last word….WORD.

  176. @Kitty2010,

    The anger is only yours. I never get angry over an internet conversation.

    By now you should have good info on the areas to investigate about Saudi. What you do with it is your choice. Anymore discussion about comparison of Saudi to the West in the area of discrimination is just a waste of time. You are simply not knowledgeable enough about Saudi to argue that topic.

    Good luck to you in your future decisions.

  177. So are you from Sudan rather than Namibia? If you read my post earlier about my Saudi/Sudanese in-laws and about how they do not seem to experience race issues is Saudi? That may just mean that some parts of Saudi are less racist than others. My Sudanese husband was invited to some pretty important Arab dinners during our stay in Saudi and I’m sure Carol and others can give similar good stories about Sudanese. One of the royal princes has a Sudanese mother. She was a servant but she still is his acknowledged mother. That doesn’t mean there are no race issues though – just that it might not be all bad.

    BTW, MoQ is very real and has his own web site and has done an interview with Carol about himself on this blog. He’s a very educated and well-respected guy!

    I tell you what I feel. You are apparently new to this blog but yet you’ve fallen into the ways of many who post on the forum so I do have to wonder if you are in fact a true stranger to this place. :)

  178. @Kitty,
    I specifically said I was NOT convinced you were a troll. I think it’s funny you think I”m Aafke’s sidekick. She’s called me even worse than you have.

  179. Sure…Let’s call it a day, we could go on and on about this without end. I hope when we ‘meet’ on other interactive posts, it won’t come to so much hostility as shown here. This was ugly, but I’m sorry I have never been pushed around in my life, and it won’t start now.
    Look, I’m sure your glossy image of the west is the reason you are adamant that racism is exaggerated here, that’s the media propaganda for ya, and you have fallen hook, line and sinker. I wished for a moment you would take off your blinders and see the west for what really is. Mark my words.

    See. You too you’re simply not knowledgeable about racism here and life as a black man. Dismissing it without a thought it’s rather gullible. Let’s stop wasting each other’s time, and move on.:)

  180. Are you talking about racism against blacks in Australia, Kitty?

  181. @Sandy
    I know you said that, but I was just amazed at how quickly you bashed my posts and called me stupid, soon after aafke attacked me without a reason at all, on the abaya post. I wish it never comes to this much hostility, you could have dismissed my posts sooner by simply stating the Saudi govern does not record any kinds of statistics. Surely even the poorest of the poor countries in Africa have records of something, but I now know Saudi dances to its own drums.

    @Wendy….No. I’m from Namibia, I know of Sudan because they are Africans’ like me. We have a lot of them here, some are my friends, I have been told about racism over and over, I don’t dismiss it. As much as agree about it, I believe racism is just bad too here in the West. That’s what MoQ and I are arguing about. I do respect him I will find his interview and read; do you know what it was all about? Post a link if you remember.

  182. No…not just in Australia, but elsewhere, too. But here When a person of color is attacked it seldom make headlines, the person is just awarded damages, I personally know of three guys who were beaten in separate events , by a group of caucasian guys, one of them had a broken arm. Indians are a big target too.

  183. @Kitty,
    I never called you that. I thought you made poor arguements in that thread- and I said so.

    I’m done with this now. It seems you “read” what you want to.

  184. @Kitty,

    You say let’s call it a day then you go on about how ignorant we all are. And some how you are not attacking others???

    I live in the US including 10 years in the south. I have also lived in many places and traveled to every corner of this country. I do not pretend to know every Western country, but I can speak about the US . I am a member of a minority group who does not fair well. You are making many assumptions about what I know.

    Raising the Walk in a Black Man shoe argument is too old and sounds like an excuse to make you an authority on the topic.Very weak debating tactic. I suggest you save that for someone with less experience.

    A good advice, when it comes to the US is to take your lumps like everyone else and focus on making progress. The laws of this country have provided the environment for us to ignore the racist as they do not necessarily have an impact on our living conditions. We have hate crime laws that increase sentences for violent racist offenses. Further most corporations in this country have diversification programs to increase minority hiring. There are organizations like the NAACP, which look after minority interests. None of the above or even something remotely close to it exists in Saudi.

    A little appreciation for the sacrifices and work people like MLK have done to give us our civil rights, can go a long way.

    The issue is not my lack of knowledge or having blinders on. And I do not get my information from the media as my only source as you claim (another bad assumption you make). The issue is you are not even open minded enough to understand the difference in the civil liberties and rights you are provided in the US as compared to a place like Saudi. I hope you will never get to experience what some women and minorities deal with everyday in Saudi.

  185. @Sandy
    ‘Poor arguments’= Who are you to make arguments on this….. Stay the hell out of this topic. Yah i got that…. geez :)

    @MoQ
    ‘A good advice, when it comes to the US is to take your lumps like everyone else and focus on making progress. The laws of this country have provided the environment for us to ignore the racist as they do not necessarily have an impact on our living conditions’

    Sure…let’s ignore the police brutality on minorities, the racial profiling, shoot to kill mentality by cops…afterall its post racial era. we are making progress all rite and living the MLK dream….

    It’s uni break, for the next two weeks, from this friday so we are going on a road trip. No coming here, until then….see ya ;)

  186. Oh I forgot MoQ, let’s call it a day…..We have each said our mind, no more accusations and bad assumptions thrown around

    Stay safe in the US….I hope you will never get to experience the deplorable racism.

  187. @Kitty2010,

    “we are making progress all rite and living the MLK dream….”

    Yes we are, you just want special treatment. Enjoy your holiday..

  188. Kitty, if you’re biracial then you most probably have a look that is not of someone that would right off be considered black/African. There are many biracial (black/white) individuals that have been confused as being from the ME actually, or of other nationalities. Though culturally you’ll be associated as being black, physically you will not be “spotted” and endure the same prejudice dark skinned blacks experience. I hope everything works out for you. It’s a shame that race is even an issue any where in the world in this time and age.

  189. Kitty,
    Feel free to email me if you want to get in touch with me. ^^ I have a very odd sleeping schedule so you might just catch me! You’re also welcome to read my blog (as are others). Sorry for the late reply! I’ve been really busy lately with other things.

    Speaking from experience, don’t let yourself get too caught up in this blog. Try to be patient, and have a good conversation with your Saudi about some of these issues when the time is right. It’s nothing to stress over. If you love him, you love him. Talk things over with him for reassurance if you can, and just be patient to see how much he loves you, too. Sooner or later, it will be made clear. Don’t make any major decisions considering his wants, needs, plans for the future, etc. until he makes it 100% clear to you with his actions that he wants you as his future wife. Just make sure that whatever decisions you make, they are the ones that will result in the least regrets later in life. Above all, relax and have fun with life! Enjoy it! :)

    All,
    Sorry!!! :( I have been extremely busy recently so haven’t had a chance to comment in a while.

    My view is this: Many of you were born in raised in Western societies, are proud of your heritage, and thus see Western culture as being the “best” one. I imagine many Saudis feel the same way about theirs. I was taught a more moderate view of culture, which is why I can agree to disagree with you all on some issues.

    I may not personally agree with certain laws in place in Saudi Arabia, but at the same time, it is not up to me to change them. I am not from there, have not lived there for any length of time, and therefore do not think it is my place to change them as I am not nearly familiar enough with the society and why things are the way the are. If and when I moved there, I want to know what problems I would likely face. However, when first moving there it is not my job to change the culture to suit my needs and what I believe to be the “right” way, but rather to do my part to assimilate into the culture (without giving up who I am as a person). I do not understand the culture anywhere near well enough even at this point to fully understand the best way for the society to change to suit the needs of its people, no matter what I’ve read about it.

    I was taught from an early age to pick up on mannerisms and to look for the motivating factor behind the person’s actions. I am not nearly as good as some people I know, but I am better than most people at this. When I say I know someone’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s because I look for them. Just because you can’t do this doesn’t mean I can’t do this. Age is only loosely correlated with experience and knowledge.

    Recently, I have come to realize, perhaps, why women in KSA like to remain anonymous. I have been around some people who are a bit arrogant and judging recently. It’s not what they say, it’s the aura about them and how they act, how they look at me. Walking around town, I never know when I’m going to see them, either. This sometimes makes me wish I had an abaya AND niqab to hide behind! :D (I have also been around the complete opposite, though, which is really quite refreshing! These people usually become my friends. :) )

    I try to remain neutral and present alternate points of view for discussion to see how people respond. If I feel the conversation is too extreme one way or the other, I make an effort to address this. I prefer moderation.

    That said, I find some of you to be a bit extreme in your views that Western society is the “best” society. But that’s okay. We can agree to see the world differently. :)

  190. From what I have seen, while there might still be some racism in the US, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as big of an issue as it once was. Mostly, it depends on where you live. In most places in the US (in the places I’d want to live), it’s not really an issue, generally speaking. When it comes to marriage, there are plenty of sub-cultures/ethnic groups in the US that do not want “outsiders” marrying into the family (i.e. Chinese-American must marry a Chinese-American, not Latino/Hispanic, White, Black, other Asian, etc.).

    Some places in the US don’t like you if you didn’t spend all your life growing up in the area, so sometimes, it’s not because of your skin color, but just because you’re not “from” there, even if you’ve lived there for the past 10 years. By the time your children are born there and are attending the same school as the locals, though, they may consider you a local and finally accept you as one of them.

    I think racism (and sexism) is more prevalent with the 60/70+ population in the US.

    And yes, sexism still exists in the US.

    Sorry this is long; just catching up in the conversation.

  191. Kitty (and whoever else),
    You can email me through my blog. Just click the email link in my profile on there. Thanks! :)

  192. im a filipina married to saudi for 3 years now and im happy..the parents of husband alhamdullillah they are nice to me..sometimes i feel bad on how some saudis treats their maids as if they bought the soul..

  193. HI umkhalid , i am happy to hear that youré enjoying your time with your husband.
    I am a filipina also and I am currently engaged now to a saudi guy from jeddah city. we’re planning to get married this coming december, ive seen his parents already and they’re really such a nice people. I prefer to settle down in philippines because i don’t have any plans to convert my religion into muslim and he accept it with all his heart. i am 21 yrs old now and he’s 27. and as the wedding comes closer i can’t help my self to have this mix emotions but in god’s willing , i hope we can survive this so called thing “marriage” . GOOD DAY po !

  194. hi umkhalid and mariaphil!! how can i contact both of u?? am so happy reading ur message… i have also a saudi boyfriend, and i just want to know how did u process all the requirements for ur marriage…we’re also planning to get married this coming december..but i dont know how to fix all the papers..i dont have any plans also to live in saudi arabia.. please..please..help me…i will really appreciate it…thank u so much!! :)

  195. Hello @American bedu! I have been following your blog for years since I first stepped ME and sad to say what you wrote up here is soo true.

    My husband is Saudi and I am a filipina. Got married in the Philippines and had our marriage certificate approved last year in Bahrain. I have a feeling Bahraini and Saudi’s share the same perspective when it comes to meeting Saudi-Philippino couple? I dont feel comfortable going to the mall or anywhere coz they always throw me this … I dont know… curious nasty look? Sorry but I think its just plain ignorance.

    Qatari’s handle inter-racial relationship so much better.

    Anyway..love your blogs!

  196. I wonder why south asian men do not marry european wives in their droves? interresting it is always women.

  197. Please anyone can i advice me, i am an Asian woman, i got BF Saudi Man, and we plan to get married as soon we can, but there is big problem from there government law, i don’t know exactly!

  198. i really feel sad reading this article..i m. a filipina and happily commited to a saudi guy eventhough we both know that we cannot be married it doesnt matter as long as we enjoy,love and respect each other nationality really doesnt matter as long as you know how respect others people opinion filipina women is well known for being loving and caring..for theire love ones…as my boyfriend always told nobody could ever compared to a filipina for being the most talented and smart woman he ever know…….

  199. You have many better post than this,but this post really degrade your intellectual ability on public view since you mentioned malaysia as western country.I know your reason as you stated above,and you’ve said this:
    Gypsy Girl, on August 30, 2010 at 8:18 am said:
    @AB
    So if a woman is respected more that qualifies her to be Western now?

    American Bedu, on August 31, 2010 at 2:39 am said:
    @Gypsy Girl,
    No; that is a misrepresentation of what I have written.

    Misrepresentation?I’d like to say that you’re being hypocrite here.What the saudis think doesn’t mean it’s what you’ve qualified the nations from.All nations and countries in this world are defined based on geographical location,your statement showing you as a geographical blind..

  200. I am in love with Saudi guy n I am from India n he made me pregnant.

  201. hello,

    i am a filipina here in riyadh.i have a bf american and we decided to get married soon, can any one know how to process papers?thanks

  202. Saudi guy … The Saudi enemies gathered here …I’m here in u.s. ,Many times someone will mistaken me or other race .. Asian or Mexican that we work in this shop or that shop … That’s understandable since the majority of the worker either asian or Mexican .. Same thing happening in Saudi Arabia .. Not more than that ..any country including the u.s. There is extremities , middle and liberal ..so .. Same in Saudi Arabia …but since most of us Muslim our religion forbidden any racism and all the Saudi knows that trust me …being rich because of oil within few years creat a lot of hatters around us …and any single issue or wrong behavior from any Saudi will be generalized to all Saudi ..any fight or bad behavior could happen at any country

  203. Tell you something …no body can describe the Saudi society it’s very very complicated …and no body can describe the American society as well with few words or any other country but still there is something common in all human being living on this earth

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