Saudi Arabia: What Should a Couple Know or Discuss Prior to Marriage?

getting married

dazzlejunction.com

Marriage should be viewed as a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman.  With marriages that are arranged between family members or a matchmaker, a young man or woman may be uncertain on what they believe they should know in advance of marriage.

Many Saudi families who have arranged a marriage for a son or daughter will generally at some point allow the young couple to have (chaperoned) time together where they can speak and ask questions of each other.  This meeting, although in most cases viewed as a mere formality, is also the opportunity for the couple to determine if they are truly compatible with one another.

Not all marriages are taking place between young men and women who are getting married for the first time.  In some cases one half of the couple may have been widowed or divorced or in other cases, a woman may be agreeing to become a second, third or fourth wife of a Saudi man.

marriage questions

foundationsforfreedom.net

American Bedu received a list of issues which should be taken into consideration prior to a commitment of marriage.  This list is a guideline and written from a Western perspective.  Yet it raises many important issues that do impact on the ability to have a successful marriage and relationship and how well suited a couple are to one another based on their upbringing, culture and values:

1.       Relationship Options and Goals
2.       Family Background
3.       Home Roots location and Culture
4.       Family Values
5.       Educational background
6.       IQ indicators
7.       Decision making ability
8.       Sense of humor
9.       Verbal skills
10.  Religious background/Tradition
11.  Level of religious participation
12.  Openness to religious discussions/learning
13.  Personal Faith
14.  Children
15.  Relationship with children
16.  Parenting skills
17.  Parenting styles
18.  Pets
19.  Work background
20.  Current living situation (own/renting – house/apt etc)
21.  income level
22.  Personal Health issues
23.  Physical Attraction
24.  Physical Preferences
25.  Physical Turn-offs
26.  Definition of Intimacy
27.  Desire for Intimacy
28.  Capacity for intimacy
29.  Sexual Experience
30.  Sexual Preferences
31.  Sexual Desires
32.  Previous relationships
33.  Relationship(s) with X’s
34.  Bad or Repulsive habits
35.  Pet peeves
36.  Meyers-Briggs Temperament Type
37.  Biorhythm Cycle
a.      Biorhythm compatibility
i.      Intellectual – 60% Ideal
ii.      Physical – 60% Ideal
iii.      Emotional – 80% Ideal
iv.      Overall – 80% ideal
38.  Match.com personality type
39.  Hobbies
40.  Circle of Friends
41.  Relationship with Father
42.  Relationship with Mother
43.  Relationship with Siblings
44.  Previous personal Crises encountered and endured
45.  Any Healing/Grieving processes not completed
46.  Personal Hygiene Standards & values
47.  Physical Conditioning standards & values
48.  Any health problems or limitations? (revisit this again at later phases In the relationship)
49.  Cooking skills
50.  Entertaining skills
51.  Expressed Social skills
52.  Observed Social skills,
a.      Large Group
b.      Small Group
c.      1-1
d.      With Wait  Staff
e.      With Retail CSRs
53.  Past Huge Emotional Events – life changing level
54.  Unfinished business – personal emotional, legal, financial actions that are still unresolved.
55.  Favorite foods
56.  Favorite colors
57.  Clothing style preferences
58.  Income needs to support style of living
59.  Financial stability
60.  Tax returns
61.  Personal Values
62.  Personal Crusades
63.  Personal Prejudices’
64.  Personal Passions
65.  Personal Political views/passions
66.  Values indicated by the lifestyles and habits of your children
67.  Relationship with your children
68.  Importance of family
69.  Your Interaction with my family
70.  Your acceptance of my family – as they are
71.  My families acceptance of you
72.  Pets acceptance of you
73.  Your acceptance of my pet(s)
74.  Temper/Anger management
75.  Argument/fighting skills/styles
76.  Emotional “Hot Buttons”
77.  Any Baggage
78.  Preferred Living situation
79.  Realistic Living expectations
80.  Personal Dreams/Goals and Aspirations
81.  Willingness to relocate
82.  Willingness to commit
83.  Number of previous LTR’s
84.  Longest relationship – what kept it together?
85.  Strongest relationship – How and why was it so?
86.  Number of previous engagements
87.  Number of previous marriages
88.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how attracted are you to me?
89.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how willing are you to commit to being exclusive in our relationship?
90.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how accepting would you be “at this time” to a proposal of marriage, if one was made?
91.  Divorce Redlines/Limits – what things would you divorce your spouse for?. .physical abuse? …Drug addiction?  & HOW does this reconcile with Forgiveness Promise?
92.   Taste in:
a.      Art
b.      Furniture
c.      Decorating
d.      Architecture
93.  Attraction to others outside the relationship, including porn
94.  Man Toys
a.      Boats
b.      Cycles
c.      Others
95.  Guns at home
96.  Division of HH Chores
a.      Dishes
b.      Yard work
c.      Car Maint,
d.      Handy Man Stuff
e.      TP – over/under
97.  Roles in Marriage
98.  Movies
99.  TV habits
100.         Ideal Vacation, Travel
101.         Jealousy
102.         Books
103.         Retirement Goals
104.         Arrests/Illegal Activities/ Drug use
105.         Handling Money
a.      Budgeting habits
b.      Priorities
c.      Saving habits
d.      Investment Habits
e.      Donations
106.         Bucket List
107.         Personal History of Faithfulness to partners in the past..
108.         Love Language….
109.         Birth Date
110.         Sporting Activities and Viewing
111.         How/where and with whom do you celebrate major holidays..

“List: Copyright 2013, by Stan Tucker”

Saudi Arabia: Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage – How Do You Know If Either Will Work?

arranged marriages

moi-little-blog.blogspot.com

 

Saudi Arabia is not the only country where marriages continue to be arranged.  Much of the Middle East, Asia and Africa continue to have arranged marriages.  Additionally, those who come from countries and cultures where marriages are arranged generally continue to follow their heritage and traditions even when they have departed their country of ethnic origin.

Marriages can be categorized as arranged, forced or love.  An arranged marriage is where either a representative of the family or a matchmaker will facilitate the introduction of a young man and woman for the intent of marriage.  However, both the young man and the young woman are to have the freedom of choice to say yes or no to the proposal.

That sounds pretty simple except when families are keen to have a new bond forged in a family through marriage, many young men and women are reluctant to stand up to their parents for fear of them and perhaps the family losing face.

A couple will enter into an arranged marriage likely with the same hopes of a love match – that the marriage will create a special bond, spark and intense feelings between the new husband and wife.  At the same time, a couple who has agreed to an arranged marriage will likely approach the union as one which they will make the best of and learn to adapt to one another.

On the other hand, there are forced marriages.  These are marriages which families may attempt to call arranged but either the man or woman strongly opposes and does not want the union.  However, due to familial pressure, the feelings and emotions of the man or woman are not taken into account.  It is with forced marriages that abuse may begin and these marriages to ultimate end in divorce, abandonment or the man taking another wife.

Last but not least are the love marriages.  Love marriages can come about naturally between a man and a woman.  In Eastern cultures where a man and woman have met one another without an intermediary, the relationship may segue to one along the cultural norms of bringing extended family into the picture in the hopes of further bonding the families prior to a happy marriage.

In the Western world little thought is given to the concept of an arranged marriage.  Yet, the Australian show, Insight, had an interesting and very candid program about arranged, forced and love marriages taking place in Australia.

I highly endorse everyone watching the one hour video.  This is an excellent video to give anyone greater understanding and insights to the distinctions between marriages (arranged, forced, love), the reaction and acceptance to the differing types of marriage and especially from both men and women of all age levels and strata’s of life.

 

Saudi Arabia: Can Online Matchmaking Work?

finding love online

yourengagement101.com

 

It’s not surprising that with the plethoria of available social media, more young (and older) Saudis want to take greater control over finding a spouse for themselves.  These Saudis are expressing their interest and requirements in a mate through twitter, online forums, online matchmaking sites, muslim marriage sites and leaving the traditional matchmaker behind.

In addition to mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts who will search among their peer groups for possible matches with single loved ones, they may also turn to the traditional matchmaker.  The traditional matchmaker is a Saudi woman whose business is bringing together compatible and suitable men and women for (arranged) marriage.

The traditional matchmaker receives fees for her services, both to engage her initial service and other fees when a couple agrees to a match proposed by her.  She will match up couples for traditional Islamic marriages and she will may also put couples together who are seeking a misyar marriage.  Due to the unique requirements and sensitive details of a misyar marriage, a higher fee is generally charged for this service by the traditional matchmaker.

With Saudi men and women turning to the Internet to find a mate, the traditional matchmaker fears that her role and services performed have started to diminish.

saudis online

kids.britannica.com

 

Saudi citizens reaction to the use of online sites is mixed.  While many Saudis like having greater control in finding and choosing a mate, there remain difficulties in overcoming culture and traditions concerning marriage that have been in place for decades.  In Saudi Arabia, unless it is a misyar marriage, one does not marry a spouse but rather the family and tribe as well.  Many marriages continue to be made within the extended family and tribe.  This is not only for keeping assets and family business within the family but also the most common network of contacts women in the family will use to find a mate for their family member.

Use of online sites do make it easier for the Saudi man to post and find a second wife or a woman willing to engage in a misyar marriage.

This video further discusses the pros and cons of Saudis who are turning to online sites in the hopes of finding a spouse.  Not all Saudis are in favor though of online matchmaking.  In 2011, Saudi Gazette published an article on this topic.  In the article, young Saudis share their experiences with social media towards having interaction with the opposite gender and follow up with what they see as the pros and cons using such media. Saudi women cite their concern about deception on the part of the man that he can make himself into who or whatever he wants to be.

In spite of the valid concerns raised, there have been success stories of young Saudi couples finding love (and marriage) .  One Saudi man did find his wife though online media.  They had an “electronic” courtship which was approved and sanctioned by their parents.

online matchmaking

singleandmuslim.blogspot.com

 

Some of the more popular sites which Saudis (and other Muslims) tend to use for finding a spouse are:

http://matchmaking.dating.lt/profile/step_look.htm.php?sid=1we

http://seo.arablounge.com/matchmaking/Saudi%20Arabia/Saudi%20Arabia/RIYADH

http://www.muslimmatch.com/

http://salaamhearts.com/

On viewing the above sites, it is clear that one has to be careful in their use.  They must think carefully about what they say and how they say it.  Anyone starting a dialogue with someone met online should be careful and always cautious.  There are scammers and those looking to con individuals who prey on the online sites.  These unscrupulous individuals are looking out for themselves and their own venal desires.

stk158045rke

dating-sites.bestreviews.net

 

Online matchmaking it not new, although a new trend to Saudi Arabia.  The Western world has been active with online matchmaking/marriage sites for years.  Following are some of the most popular sites in the Western world.  The same advice on using caution for anyone seeking love and marriage through an online site applies.

http://www.match.com/

http://www.eharmony.com/

http://www.christiansingles.com/

 

caution

champion-america.com

 

Someone accessing online sites for the intent of seeking love and marriage are immediately making themselves vulnerable by placing such an intent and desire on cyberspace.  A man or woman should be careful to not reveal too much about their vulnerabilities of loneliness.  It is also safer to use an alias and reveal little about your real name, family, financial status or any assets.  Start slowly and cautiously.  Beware of stalkers in addition to the scammers and cons.  In my opinion, a woman should not use an online site without advising someone she trusts of what she has done.  This is for her protection.  If a man or woman feels that an individual sounds like a compatible candidate for a spouse, validate as much information provided by the person as possible to ensure of their legitimacy and sincere intentions.  Don’t go from corresponding on an online site directly to a personal meeting.  First, correspond through the mechanisms within the site.  Eventually you may wish to chat via Skype where you can start by hearing one another (without video) and then when appropriate (especially for the Muslim world and its customs) have a video chat.  A Muslim woman may want a male beside her at that point such as father, brother or Uncle.  This further reiterates the seriousness of the intent and lets the male suitor know that the woman has male relatives who are looking out for her well being, safety and best interests.

Love and marriage can be found online.  I will acknowledge that back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s I was a more of a geek and ran a successful bulletin board system (BBS).  These became pretty much obsolete with the introduction of the Internet then followed by other social media sites.  However, while I had my BBS, 3 couples found each other and ultimately got married.  My BBS was not set up in any way as a matchmaking mechanism but some regular participants got to know one another through common interests which were discussed.

Saudi Arabia: Noorah’s Story

The relationship between a foreign woman and a Saudi man is always a topic of hot discussion.  Even more so, if they have married and made it to the Kingdom.  American Bedu is honored to interview Noorah, a non Saudi woman who met, married a Saudi and is now living in the Kingdom with her husband.  Here is her story….

 love saudi style

zazzle.com

 

Prior to meeting your husband, did you ever envision that you would meet and marry someone from a different country, culture or religion?

I never envisioned myself married to a someone not sharing the same traditions,culture and religion as I.

 

By way of background, where are you originally from?  What kind of background do you have such as what religion were you raised, where you went to school and what you studied?

My grandfather was a Portuguese Jew, who married a Mexican women and adapted her religion (Catholicism). Both my parents are   Mexican. I am from San Diego, California and majored in Child Development.

Now of course, we all want to hear just how you and your Saudi husband first met!  Everyone loves a love story.  What was your first reaction upon meeting him?  What kind of a courtship did you have?  When did you know he was The One?   cafe lu lu

I met my husband at this hip coffee shop called Cafe LuLu on 4/19/93 it was destiny all the way. I was suppose to meet some friends from Prague, and bumped into my husband…we spoke for hours getting to know each other, exchanged phone numbers and courted over the phone for about a month. After the month passed I introduced him to my family and told them I had taken some courses in school with him (parents were pretty strict and meeting him in a coffee shop would not be ok). We fell in Love instantly, and I just knew he was the one.

How much did you know about Saudis or Saudi Arabia before you met him?  Do you feel like he was a good teacher in educating and sensitizing you about Saudi’s culture, customs and traditions?

I knew absolutely nothing about KSA. We were taught our senior year about OPEC, that was pretty much it. My husband comes from a very good family, and has always been proud of it..he is open minded but still very traditional and very spiritual, I believe he was the perfect tool in introducing me to Islam and his wonderful traditions and customs.

 

When did you first meet or speak to any of his family?  What was their reaction on learning he had fallen in love with a non-Saudi?

We were always around the shebab(guys), most of them were his cousins..thank God they liked me and encouraged us to marry. When I was 20 and my husband 24, he had to leave back to KSA to fix his I20, it was a Thursday 1/95 and just blurted out and asked me to marry him before his flight on Saturday..we went to the Mosque the next evening and married, I returned home and could not believe I had just married without no one knowing (till this day my family does not know). He returned to KSA for about 5 months, I studied about his country and religion..after two months I took my Shahada at Masjid Abu Bakr in SD,CA. When my husband called me to see how I was doing, I greeted him with the Sallaam, he was in tears. Amazingly a week later his family was suggesting him to marry before he returned to the US, he told them he was married and as I like to say “all hell broke loose”(lol). His mother (allahya hum a) asked if I was muslim, he said “yes”, she asked him to call me and they all congratulated me. We had a wedding on July 29,1995 

 

How easy was it for you and your husband to ultimately receive the approval?  Were there any challenges?  Did it take a long time?

As for govermental approval we had no problems, he was asked for our marriage,birth and shahada certificates. It took about 3 months in total.

When did you and your husband move to the Kingdom?  Were you able to travel together or did he have to go before you?  What part of the Kingdom do you call home?

Our first visit to the Kingdom was in May of 97, we stayed in Riyadh for 9 months. We returned in 2001 with our first born Hessa and stayed for about 8 months. We finally moved to Riyadh in September of 2005.

riyadh skyline     What were your initial thoughts and impressions of life in Saudi?  Was it easy or difficult to adjust?  What changes did you have to make in your lifestyle?  Do you know Arabic?

My initial thoughts of the kingdom was it was tremendously boring. Coming from San diego, beaches, bays and ports..I had to make quite an adjustment. I took me about a year to adjust and make friends.

I am an optimistic person, so I never felt my life here was a challenge. I have always found the good in everything here. I am well aware one’s thoughts are a persons garden..you can choose to plant flowers or weeds? I choose to plant lovely flowers!! I did learn to speak Arabic and as for changing my lifestyle I did not. If anything I tweaked it. I am more subtle and formal with my husbands family and I have a group of foreign friends married to Saudis as well, and we mix with together.

 

When and why did you choose to change your Western name?

I never changed my name legally, my husband’s mother could not pronounce Norma so she insisted in calling me Noorah, which I loved, so I kept it.

 

What is your typical routine like in the Kingdom?  Are you working?

I have domestic help in the home, so I do not raise a finger in tidying up, but I do love cooking. I am the one who makes the breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner (if we don’t order out). Lunch is the main meal in a Saudi home, so I take pride in having variety. Our dinner is always light. When the children are in school, I go out for coffee with my friends come back by noon to cook lunch, kids are picked up at school by me..return to eat and do homework. We usually go to the Diplomat Quarter so the children can ride bikes, come home and wait for my husband to return home from work. Kids are off to bed by 8:30 and my husband and I sometimes go out for a bite, or visit his elder family members. Weekends are always spent very busy (lots of social events).

Have you seen any kind of changes in your husband since living in Saudi such as in his personality or demeanor? 

Have not seen any changes in my husband’s demeanor, obvioulsy we are constantly maturing but nothing alarming. He is still a sweet spiritual loving husband.

Have you been able to make many friends in Saudi?  Are your friends primarily Saudis or expatriates?  How did you meet?  How often do you interact with your in-laws?  What do you all do together?  saudi family 1

My husband comes from a huge family, and he the youngest of 15 children. He is the age of some of his nephews and nieces. This has helped me a lot in the sense that I have many people my age around me but with the respect of being their aunty.  As I mentioned before I also made friends with a large group of Latina and Americans married to Saudi, they are my family here in the Kingdom. My husband family gathers for dinner or just women with children to socialize. As for my group of friends we gather at least 3 times a week. We celebrate birthdays, halloween, x-mas and so forth..many pot lucks!!

 

Can you share your views and experiences on having and raising children in the Kingdom.  How many children do you have?  Where were they born?  Who was with you when they were born?

I have four children in total. Two girls 13, 10 and two boys 9 and 3. All of my children were born in the states, with the exception of the last one. I found that raising children in the Kingdom is ideal. This country is very family oriented, from play structures in restaurants, to theme parks in the malls. As for values and morals, I can’t complain. I am proud of being a mother to these beautiful Saudi children. My husband was present at all my births, he actually cut all the umbilical cords.

 

Do you have any fears or qualms on raising your children in the Kingdom?  What do you see as the benefits your children receive at being raised in Saudi Arabia?

I have absolutely no concerns for my children being raised here, if anything they have family security, stability and most important a strong religious foundation.

 

What are the top five things you enjoy most about living in Saudi Arabia? 

Five top things: family security, food, inexpensive living, near many travel destinations (europe, india..) culture

 

What do you wish Saudi Arabia had that is presently not available and why?

I will say Riyadh needs to focus on more outdoor activities and facilities as Jeddah has.

 

san-francisco-beaches-pictures     What have you missed the most about home and why?

I have missed the beaches!

How often do you return to your home country?  Has any of your family come to visit you in the Kingdom?

I try to go home every summer and visit my family. My family has come to visit me in Dubai.

 

You are one of the few who have married their Saudi –and- made it to the Kingdom to live.  There are so many Western women who have relationships with Saudi students.  Many of them believe that their Saudi is “The ONE” and sincere.  What advice can you offer them?

Always be very honest with your needs and wants. 

 

Do you think most Saudi men who are students in the United States are as sincere as they claim to Western women?  Why or why not?

I think they are sincere with their feelings, standing up to their family is a whole other subject.

What are the five most important things a Western woman must know about her Saudi if she believes he is ‘The One?’

Saudi man is very traditional, protective, proud, god fearing and stubborn(lol)

 

If any young lady finds herself married to a Saudi, always be true to who you are, and try to learn and incorporate both of your traditions and values in one. Do not lose yourself, this is why he chose you in the first place.

 

I want to thank you for this interview and wish you all the best and for a continued life filled with happiness!

Saudi Arabia: Have the Regulations REALLY Changed for a Saudi Student to Marry a Foreigner?

stop sign

 

It has been brought to my attention that an article recently appeared on the web site maintained for Saudi students in the USA that restrictions have lessened for the Saudi to marry a foreigner while studying abroad.

I have reviewed the article and in my opinion view the comments shared by the Saudi Embassy’s Cultural Attache in Washington, DC to be vague and inconclusive without any changes to existing regulations.

A Saudi man is allowed to marry a foreign woman.  However, she will not be legally recognized as his wife without approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior and perhaps some other governmental organizations.

If the marriage is not approved by the Saudi government, then the foreign wife is not legally recognized as the wife of a Saudi within Saudi Arabia.  That means she could not travel and be with her husband in the Kingdom since it is against the law for unrelated men and women to be together.  Additionally, without recognition of the marriage, she does not receive any of the benefits a legally recognized wife would be entitled.

In my view, the article only reiterates that governmental approval is required and there is a process to follow.  Additionally, a telling statement in the article by the Cultural Attache is his own belief that there are many Saudi women of beauty and intelligence, a Saudi student abroad does not need to seek a foreign wife.

If a foreign woman and a Saudi student choose to go through with marriage without the official approval, it should be with the eyes wide open.  Marrying prior to approval can have consequences and further delay an approval.  Until an approval, which can take years, is granted, the couple may ultimately have to spend significant time apart.

Many Saudi students abroad on a scholarship have a commitment back in Saudi Arabia through their scholarship sponsor which must be fulfilled.  They do not have an option to remain in the United States.  It is not unusual for a Saudi student who has returned home to also marry a Saudi wife, especially if he is under intense pressure from the family.

Not all Saudi students are bad guys.  However, a foreign woman really needs to search deep within her heart AND logic on what is the right action for her.  She may be confident that she knows her Saudi but most of the Saudi students are different in their actions and lifestyle when they are in Saudi Arabia as compared to elsewhere.

My advice as “Mother Hen Bedu” is for a couple to at least get the families (his and hers) blessings before marrying without the Saudi governmental approval.  If a woman knows without a doubt that her Saudi’s family is supportive of the union then I think there is a better chance of a lasting future.

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Man Shares His Side of the Story

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.

thereal-lifetimes.blogspot.com

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.

Saudi Arabia: American Bedu’s 2nd Wedding

On this date, 15 June, American Bedu and Her Prince had their second wedding.  This was the civil ceremony which was performed in the privacy of their Northern Virginia home.

According to the ceremony performed on 15 June 2006, American Bedu and Her Prince would be celebrating their 6th wedding anniversary today.  We did celebrate an anniversary each 15th day of June but to Abdullah and I, we always viewed our first marriage in 2002 as the “official time we became husband and wife.”

The second wedding was a private affair in our home with my son, daughter-in-law and marriage official present.  I wore a silk grey-blue shalwar kameez from Pakistan and Abdullah wore one of his beautifully tailored suits.

Our second wedding was quite a feat to accomplish in the short amount of time which we (read I) had notice of the event.  Abdullah wanted us to have a civil marriage ceremony not only to illustrate to my family his pledge to always love, honor and care for me but also because it would be helpful towards facilitation of our marriage approval to eventually live in the Kingdom together legally as man and wife.

He made the arrangements.  I was advised by a phone call that a marriage official (Justice of the Peace) would be arriving at our home in three hours to perform a civil marriage ceremony.

I ran around like a mad dog notifying my son and daughter-in-law, getting flowers and preparing our home for a wedding!  There was no opportunity to try and have other guests in attendance, although later we did have a party in celebration.

There was no doubt of the emotion each of us felt during our civil ceremony.  Even Abdullah’s voice wavered as he held back tears of happiness when we said our vows to each other.  Anyone who knows me already knows I was gushing with tears like a baby.  The civil ceremony only made me feel that much closer and bonded to him, especially because he insisted on it.

Even though Abdullah has passed on, I know he still watches out for me.  I had believed the photos of this wedding had been long lost, but I found them  – on HIS birthday!

Happy Bride and Groom relaxing back in casual clothes after their wedding.

Sharing an emotional moment…

A shy “married to the same man for the second time” Bedu snuggled up in her ladies thobe.

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