Saudi writer, Dr. Khaled Bartafi, recently wrote a column in the Saudi Gazette about the Saudi man’s perspective of an intimate relationship with a foreign woman.
The story of one couple, a Saudi man and a Colombian, were one of the examples cited in the article. The Saudi man was a student in the United States where he met the Colombian woman with whom he had a relationship. According to the article, the Colombian woman had her eyes open and was aware that there was never a commitment of marriage made between them. She knew he would return to his traditional life in the Kingdom. The former student said they agreed to be lovers with no condition or promise of marriage. He had emails which he shared with Dr. Bartafi that allegedly confirm this understanding.
Yet other emails are revealed from the Colombian woman in which she says she is thinking of converting to Islam; wanting to learn Arabic; details about Saudi customs and traditions; and lastly, what would her family and church think if they knew she had an Arab-Muslim boyfriend. As a woman reading between the lines those kind of words are sending a clear message. She wants and is dreaming of a future with her Saudi student.
Now according to the student, he made it clear to her that marriage was not a possibility. The next thing, according to his side of the story, is that six months prior to his graduation and ultimate return to Saudi, she announced she was pregnant.
The student feels that he was entrapped. He claims that prior to his departure from the United States he left her with what he had in savings, a car and the apartment which it implies they shared. He said she knew all along he never planned to marry her and was not going to be trapped by the announcement she was pregnant. The student expressed his disdain and frustration that the Colombian has posted their story in social media, wrote to his family, friends and also contacted the Saudi Embassy. He believes he has been made a victim.
Regardless of which one, the Saudi student or the Colombian woman, feels they are the victim, the real victim in this case is the child. Differences should be put aside so that the child can have a stable life and be both confident and comfortable of his/her heritage.
This is where Dr. Bartafi and I are in total agreement. He too believes that the relationships which develop between Saudi students abroad and a foreign (non-Saudi woman) should be openly discussed and at every level – religious, academic, governmental and non-governmental. Such relationships are not going to disappear or stop overnight. More foreign women will have broken hearts and more children from bi-cultural relationships will be born. It is time to bring this issue to the forefront and more aggressive measures or even punishments should be put into place for the violation of the rules against intimate relationships between Saudis and non-Saudis.
Some may think I am being too harsh as I was the wife of a Saudi man. However, because of my late marriage (my dear husband passed away) and the American Bedu blog, I have received an “inside track” on too many relationships which have gone sour. I believe in finding true love but the odds of a successful relationship between a young Saudi (and especially a student) and a foreign woman are minimal. The majority of such relationships fail.
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