A Continuing Love Story: Saudi Man and American Diplomat

I’ve received various emails from followers asking please, would I give them more details on how I, a former American diplomat, met and married my Saudi husband. I’ve actually shared parts of this story in earlier blog postings and don’t want to be too repetitive. I like to look at my story as a ‘continuing love story’ with every day starting a new chapter!

I met my husband when I was still an American diplomat and posted to Islamabad, Pakistan. He was also in Pakistan with his respective employer. Our courtship ended up spanning over several years and five different countries before we made the decision to merge our separate lives together into one. During the courting and “getting to know one another” period I have wonderful memories of horsebacking riding in the wild mountains of Pakistan with my (then) future husband, riding elephants together in India and enjoying a desert safari in the UAE for starters…

My husband says he realized relatively quickly that he wanted our lives to merge together. Honestly, I knew it too but it took me much longer to be able to acknowledge that fact to myself. When I met him I was very happily single, immersed in my career, had a great job, beautiful supporting family and some wonderful friends. I had to think good and hard about whether I was ready and willing to totally change my life around for an individual from a differing country, different culture and traditions different from my own. I knew that when I said “I do” my life as I knew it would never be the same. I would have to leave my career and to a degree, give up a lot of the independence I was accustomed to.

We took our time and both made sure that we understood how each other thought; what were our respective values and equally important, were they compatible? Unlike many American women and Saudi men who get together we did not meet each other earlier in our lives and in the States or while attending University. We met after having each experienced a number of varying life-changing experiences and very clear on not only what we wanted from life but what we could or could not accept.

Life continues to be a learning experience in communication, cultural distinctions and a deepening of the relationship. On the lighter side, I’ve learned that when he says “shoes-less” he really means barefoot and when I’m stumbling in trying to find the right Arabic words to express myself to my husband or his family, he knows exactly when to step in and save me from making an embarrassing faux pas.

We look out for each other and are constant teachers and examples to each other when it comes to any cultural differences or distinctions. We are both cognizant and always want to step with the right foot forward with each other and with our families. Of course we had to face the usual “What? You’re marrying an American?? Are you going to become an American citizen now?” Or, “How can you think of marrying a Saudi? He’s going to put you in a burka in a palace somewhere and we’ll never see you again!” We’ve learned when to overlook or ignore the skeptics and troublemakers and how to best reassure family members on both sides of customs and cultures that are new and different to them. I’ve learned when it is prudent to be more “Saudi” and in turn he knows when it’s best to be more “American.” Daily we make that transition between East and West and feel like we have adapted the best of each others cultures and customs.

Our life is a continuing love story as well as each day an ongoing chapter. On the political front the US-Saudi relationship may have its ups and downs but on the personal front, I like to believe my husband and I illustrate that US-Saudi relations can be very good indeed!

72 Responses

  1. Everyone here is dying to here of a “love story” like this from me. They figure because we married in America it must be something terribly romantic, like you two (mashallah). Boy, how I disappoint people when they find out I didn’t even realize how much shorter than me my husband is till AFTER we were married!

  2. […] delhi4cats wrote an interesting post today on A Continuing Love StoryHere’s a quick excerptI’ve received various emails from followers asking please, would I give them more details on how I, a former American diplomat, met and married my Saudi husband. I’ve actually shared parts of this story in earlier blog postings and … […]

  3. ROTFLOL! However I have no doubt that you also do have a story to tell! There seems to be this mystique when one hears of a “dramatic” bi-cultural marriage.

  4. Carol,

    Nice stories here. I would say my story of getting married to a Saudi is not the typical one, but not as adventorous as yours either. As my wife already had two kids from her first marriage in Saudi we didnt get to do that kind of traveling.

    Anyway, I tried to find your e-mail address on your site but I could not find it. I have a question I would like to ask you and would rather not do it on the blog.

    (email address removed by American Bedu)

    Thank you.

  5. Abu Sinan,

    Welcome! I’m happy to see you here at my blog. Yes; I believe so many would find your story of interest for one seldom hears of the western man who married a Saudi woman.

    I will be emailing you shortly and for you (and anyone else) my email address is american_bedu (at) yahoo (dot) com

  6. Masha’Allah!

    Gives new meaning to “make love; not war” 😉

    May the love between you continue to blossom!

  7. My husband and I dated for 4 years and have been together for 28 more since then. Although we’ve had difficulty adjusting sometimes as we travel between countries, the majority of the time we have been very happy together. It is difficult, but necessary, to keep the troubles and tribulations of other marriages away from your own. However, it is becoming very difficult to survive in the choppy waters of the misyar and second marriages happening here to couples who also had a ‘true love story’ like ours. Can we hope to beat the odds? Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m riding the wave happily for as long as it lasts! If a storm should come up, I’ll worry about it then. Happy sailing to all of the happy couples out there!
    In sha Allah! Mary Ann

  8. Mary Ann,

    Mabrook!!! Hate to say it but these days many American couples do not make it to 28 years. That is wonderful you and your Saudi spouse continue to have the special bonds.

    Yes; I agree the misyar and multiple marriages which continue to take place in the Kingdom certainly put much challenge and pressure on a lot of relationships.

  9. As a young american planning on marrying another young american, I say Kudos to you!!! I am touched by your story. I hope you have many, many long happy years together and that nothing can stand in your way.
    I think my biggest fear about marrying someone from a different culture would be to give up my fierce independence.

  10. noexcuses – Thank you and also congratulations to you! Most importantly regardless of the culture, religion or nationality I think is the ability to communicate and having shared values. Wishing you all the best – Carol

  11. Very nice and how exciting!

    I am marrying a man in December who works in Saudi Arabia. I look forward to learning how you successfully blend your cultures!

  12. Congratulations Diana! You say you are marrying a man who works in KSA – is he a Saudi or an expat? For mixing cultures I encourage you to read my blog posts. You may wish to do a search with the keyword culture for specific posts addressing this topic.

    Best Regards,

  13. You give me hope for my relationship! I am an american student, he a saudi sent from his embassy and our future always fears me since there is such a culture divide between us! Yet, we found that we have but the same personalities, loves and differences! But how do I teach him to take one day at a time and not push me away since I am not Saudi? I feel even though we share such a common bond and a connection beyond puppy love, he views our relationship as temporary being that Saudia is his one true love, his country, his home.

  14. inlovewithsaudi: I don’t want to tell you to give up hope but if he is a Saudi official then he likely knows that he is working for a government ministry which prohibits him from marrying a non-Saudi. My suggestion is to enjoy your time and the friendship you have discovered with him but also condition yourself for the time when you say goodbye.

  15. Good post Carol, and interesting story indeed!
    And maybe you should do a post about this, Saudi guys who go abroad and do this short-term relationship.. especially those young ones sent to study the states and start dating poor and young American girls. I’ve heard several sad stories about them for these guys don’t have any sense of responsibility whatsoever.
    You may also mention the good guys who are responsible and who think of their partners’ feelings as much as they think of their own. :)

  16. Hi Nader and thank you!! I have done similar posts in the past but I think because this is a repetitive phenomenon I should do a routine post on the subject. Not all the love stories are tragic and end up with an unhappy ending but sadly the majority of them do when it comes to a foreign woman and Saudi student outside of the Kingdom.

    I receive so many private emails from foreign women who married their Saudi student sweetheart and have since been basically abandoned as he has had to return to the Kingdom and unable to bring his wife due to lack of approval. And of course for these women, they were never aware an approval was required or that he was in violation of his scholarship by marrying them.

    So as I said earlier, I sure don’t want to discourage anyone from finding love but in the case of Saudi students and foreign women, I try to explain the facts so eyes are open.

  17. that is such a cute story.
    touching as well as warm to the heart.

  18. Thank you Abdullah Hamed.

  19. can you tell us more about your husband?
    how did his family accept you? what was the biggest difficulty in the beginning
    very interesting blog – thank you

  20. Welcome John.

    My husband is a traditional Saudi while at the same time he can be called ‘open minded’ since he did choose to meet and marry an independent American woman.

    The biggest difficulty in the beginning of acceptance was language and ironically all of us (husband’s extended family and me) being so careful as to not inadvertently offend each other with some kind of a cultural faux pas that we were in the beginning somewhat hesitant and shy. I’m happy to say we quickly overcame that minor barrier!

  21. Assalamu’alaikum,

    Dear Carol,

    Your story left me breathless! May you, your husband and family live happily ever after till you are reunited in Jannah!



    Raden A. Shauki

  22. Salam Alaikum Raden,

    Thank you very much!!

  23. Hi Carol,

    I’m a Filipina expat working here in Saudi Arabia. And finding your blog and actually knowing that i am not alone in this journey gives me so much strength and faith.

    I and my saudi fiance have been impatiently waiting for that “tasreh” or permission to marry a non-saudi for almost two years now. by the way,we’ve been together for five years now.

    Just like you and your husband, our love binds us, though sometimes i just want to loosen my grip.

    Please pray for us.. Thanks for inspiring me!

  24. Umm Maaly,

    Glad you enjoyed and wish you all the best! Don’t give up hope.

  25. Beautiful Story! I love reading them and there are some that do work:) I have one also and fairly similar but to a Kuwaiti..I met him through my sister. He knew he loved me and wanted to marry me right away and was determined to marry me..it took me time (1.5 years or more to be serious with him:) I was enjoying my career, recently divorced, and not intrested, enjoyed making new friends in Kuwait, freedom, and traveling the world. 2.5 years after we met we were married without his parents approval as they refused to give it. (yes ouch!!) We are happily married and loving every minute of being together. I hope it continues that way but any marriage is hard and takes work. This marriage is a million times better than the first marriage which was to an American. I am also from a small town so I guess I am an American Bedu like you:) Many wishes to you all of you women Married to G.C.C. men!

  26. Thank you for sharing your story and experience q8 and wishing you all the very best!

  27. I think Carol you have given great advice and information to women considering a marriage for any G.C.C. man. Saudi is more difficult than Kuwait in terms of marriage and restrictions however there are general things to consider in any location: If it is ok I hope like to give my personal advice in addition to what you wrote.
    1-Know who he is around his family and go to his home country and meet his family before you decide to live there. Many men will change when they are home and who you met abroad may be a different man when he is home. There are so many social and family pressures he and you will have to deal with the rest of your life. You may not be able to live in these countries and ask yourself can you truly live like this the rest of your life?.
    2-Your nationality will make a difference on how you are treated and accepted by his family and society. This is the same in many countries and even in the US. I have had interracial relationships before where his family did not accept me as I was not of their ethnicity.
    3-Hope for the best but plan for the worst-I have a US bank account with enough savings to survive as a single mom or alone for many years and he can’t touch the money. I saved this before I was married.
    4-Make everything clear before the marriage. You have to do an Islamic marriage for the marriage to be valid in many countries.. I did it in Kuwait as it was easier and will be accepted here always. You can put terms in the contract. The marriage is like a prenump agreement. I put as many as there was room to:) If he refuses to agree to these terms I would be concerned. Honestly most G.C.C. men won’t do them. Mine gladly did and I wouldn’t have went through the marriage unless he did. He was made fun of by our lawyer but the women processing the papers when we were married were blown away by it and applauded me for being wise.
    The terms cannot be against the law and only work for the duration of the marriage- e.g. of some things I put. My husband is not allowed to take another wife in the contract. As per Islam he can marry more so if he does during the marriage then I can divorce him for doing so as I did not agree to it before we were married. He has to build me a house in the states next to my family, cannot stop me from working, traveling and etc. The man marrying you will tell if the terms are ok or not before he marries you. I had a sweet very old man who told my husband to take care of me and don’t let me go as well as said I can stay Christian as the Prophet had a Christian wife. If he doesn’t follow the terms in the contract them I can divorce him.
    Aside from what we have in the marriage contract we have our own agreements..e.g. I will only give birth in the US, I will not convert, my daughters can study in the states and etc. We laid it ALL on the line before we got married and agreed to it or I wouldn’t marry him. Regardless of who you marry this should be standard in any marriage.
    5-Do as much research about every law and everything in the country and plan for the worst as the stability and things may change.
    6-Keep educating yourself in any way you can as if you end up single so you can find a job or get out. When you divorce or he dies you will most likely get nothing. There is no alimony. It will go to the kids or his family. Look at the laws to know!
    For any marriage I wish anybody the best of luck and a beautiful and happy marriage:)

  28. q8expat–great advice!
    One caveat–as far as I understand men can get out of their divorce obligations in an Islamic country by making the wife’s life such hell that she leaves and forfits her settlement (maybe one needs a clause for that too).
    Preparing for the worst sometimes (often) helps the marriage stay together and stay happier.:-)

  29. Ciao Chiara!Love the name!You are true and some men do exactly that. A man doesn’t have to follow anything in the contract but if he doesn’t the woman has the right to divorce on those conditions and it should be granted. If there is nothing in the contract you only have a few things according to the law to get a divorce and in some cases impossible to prove them. If the marriage doesn’t work out I would not expect a dime as he isn’t entitled to give you anything. I have friends who could not afford a lawyer and are pennyless and trapped in a foreign country. I think that is why it is important for a woman to be prepared and ensure to have money before she marries and keep it away where only she can have access to it as well as continue to be educated and skilled. This is a good thing regardless of what man you marry and it is usually trickier when foreigers are married living abroad and have no means of support. I have seen bad situations in many countries (even in the US), all walks of life, the husband dies and the wife has 5 kids to take care of, some divorces in countries can take up to 3 years or they just don’t divorce and live seperate lives. We hope for the best, follow are heart, think and prepare with our mind, always working hard and being prepared so we can survive in any circumstance.

  30. q8expat–thanks! and thanks for the all very true new observations.
    I was thinking specifically of Morocco, where part of the impetus for a new “moudawana” or code of family law was the very common phenomenon of men unhappy in their marriage treating the wife so badly (withholding food, clothes, money, medical care; plus verbal, psychological, physical abuse) until the wife leaves, or seeks temporary refuge with family whereupon the husband files for a divorce because of abandonment, and at least in the past didn’t have to live up to any of the marriage contract agreements, including paying the rest of the mahr if part was withheld by agreement in the marriage contract.

    Divorces are always messy but some are definitely worse than others!

  31. I’ve been married to a Saudi for 6mo and there isn’t one person that hasn’t said something about the burka, or never seeing me again, or –have you seen “not without my daughter”??, you have got to be careful girl!!– LOOL but Alhamdullah I’m happily married…

  32. Thanks for sharing, Mrs Alkatani and welcome!

  33. American Bedu, This page has so many positive notes to it & your story is so beautiful that really makes me think; maybe mine is also a good one.:-)

    Anyways thanks again & I will use the next few weeks to figure out if mine can also have a happy ending:-)

  34. I wish you all the best, Gloria!

  35. Dear American Bedu,
    I have been thinking about your story & today as I was still wondering about it while at Starbucks and sipping my caramel dolce latte, I began to analyze it. As you wrote, your courtship ended up spanning over several years & five different countries before you made the decision to merge your lives together into one. You are obviously a very smart and educated lady. You did not rush to get married & had a long period of trial and error. I am thinking that you knew your husband very well before marriage and you two were even good friends. That is the basis for a solid relationship- any relationship & regardless of nationality. I have seen many people rush in and then swallow the bitter pill when it is only too late. I think your risk taking was well thought and calculated which is essential for any relationship to work.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that your kind of relationship had a great chance to work because it has a solid base. I am not sure how many women who are married to Saudis do actually know their husbands that well and over such a long period of time.
    Sorry , I always seem to come back to this topic:-)

  36. Gloria,

    I share your assessment and views. I do wish that we had had a chance to also be together prior to marriage in KSA but the restrictions here make that exceedingly difficult to achieve. There was a natural adjustment period once we arrived in KSA due to culture and family influence but thankfully we had a solid base in place!

  37. im a filipina and engaged to a saudi national..is it possible that he can take me to ksa as his wife after marriage?thank you

  38. It depends on many factors kookoo, the main one depending on if he is able to obtain governmental approval which allows him to have you as his wife in KSA.

  39. Hi Carol,
    Its really nice to hear your love story..:) I just need to express my feelings since i’ve been broken hearted by Saudi guy.. we’ve been together for 3 wonderful years, but he went back to Saudi to marry his family’s choice. I really dont understand men nowadays

  40. Angel,

    Welcome and thanks for your comment. I am sorry that your experience was what it was. Honestly, if your Saudi guy was a student it does not surprise me as these guys are more likely to fall in the category of “seeming” to become western while out of the Kingdom but at the end of the day, family and heritage will rule.

  41. Hi Angel,

    I can relate. I just got out of a long-term relationship with a Saudi I was really in love with. The end of the relationship had nothing to do with any arranged marriage or what not in your case. Just problems arose and as couples sometimes will do, bickering turns into misunderstandings and such. It’s funny that even though I knew the circumstances and the possibility of us NOT marrying (His family made it clear to him that they wouldn’t accept any girl NOT Saudi, not even another Arab girl from the neighboring GCC countries), after the break up, I really was heart broken more than I was in any past relationships.

    When we were dating, I got so much flak from other Arabs I knew. Everything from “Is there even a future with a Saudi?” or “Saudis are the worst kind of Arabs to even consider marrying” to being told that Saudi culture is so extreme, that chances for it ending unhappily are just too high, etc. And this from other Muslim Arabs!

    I know that in my situation, it didn’t turn out well (it didn’t stop me from having hope, when the heart takes over, sometimes reason takes a backseat and all) but I hate generalizations, and I know plenty of good guys from Saudia that have good hearts and a maturity about them. I am glad to know that you and your husband are taking one day at a time as loving adults, American Bedu.

    God bless you and your marriage always. I also read Susie’s Big Adventure blog. I had found hers through yours. I’d like to find a job in KSA one day, since it’s the only way it seems to be able to get there (I’ve traveled to the other GCC countries before and other parts of the Mid-East). And plus, I think actually living in an Arab country will help me pick up Arabic much faster. I’m struggling here b/c my town doesn’t offer any program (the local college offers Egyptian dialect Arabic, but my foundation is Khaleeji, thanks to a couple months taking a course in Oman a couple years ago) and no one here speaks it fluently enough!

    Your blog is insightful, and very fun to read. It makes me miss the Gulf in general. Keep up the good work!

  42. Hi,
    Nice story Carlo ^_^, in these days all we need is this kind of life! full of love & happiness.

    Hope you & your husband the best in your wonderful life.

  43. Welcome and thank you very much MND!!

    Best Regards, Carol

  44. Great story and very intriguing. I am a Canadian who has been living and working in Ghana, West Africa for 12 years. I met and married a Ghanaian man here and it lasted only 5 years sadly.

    The cultural differences in our case were so profound and it became apparent over time that we had both said what the other wanted to hear, become people other than ourselves in order to bridge that cultural divide that we lost ourselves.

    It became obvious when push came to shove, that we had pushed our own cultural barriers to far and it just fell apart.

    I therefore have firsthand knowledge of how difficult these relationships can be, so I commend you even more so! Good luck!!!

  45. @Holli – First of all, welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind comment. I’m sorry that your relationship did not work out and you are so right… it can be very easy to lose oneself trying to compromise “too much” on cultural differences and one has to weight that balance very carefully.

    Best Regards, Carol

  46. **comment edited by American Bedu in order to protect identity.**

    Greetings Ms. Carol ~

    Your blog is so very insightful:) I always laugh and find myself giggling at the funniest of stories. Your writing is awesome:)

    I have a personal Case Study for you. Please see if you can analyze and advise should you have the time.:)

    I am very curious of his country and traditions as it is an Arab World where women are viewed differently, but my family is terrified of letting me go. I on the otherhand am open to being “taken care of and escorted around” and find it charming. I have no opposition to wearing a hijab (I am fair and burn pink easily) and enjoy wearing conservative clothing anyways. So… why am I bearing to take on this new lifestyle change?? Why:: my past husband was lazy and unambitious (another engineer) and rarely gave a fib whether I was going or coming (except when to prepare dinner when his dorky game nights occurred).

    I wonder how difficult it would be to work in either Civil Engineering (my undergrad is in BSCE) or in Business in his country.

    So a verbal recap::
    What steps would I have to take to secure my career there? I got laid off and am completing my Graduate degree… job offers have slowly started to trickle in and I want to work to save money before “crossing the ocea.” |

    Then comes the issue of kids:: My beau does not want kids, which surprised me as I would like one more. I’m not sure what “rights” I would have as an expat mother over raising my own children. | What to do about the period of engagement? How does a Gulf Stte engagement span out? What are the roles involved? and how long should I wait before tying the know (1.5 years?)… |

    So… I am divorced and an independent mom with a spirited, yet well-behaved son…these things are probably looked at negatively by his family, yes? Can I “kill his parents with kindness” and (eventually) convince his conservative family to accept me? Should I prepare dinner for them once a week? Indulge them in Girlie-nights with manicures, pedicures and facials?? Are Arab women from the Gulf States opposed to this female-bonding with an American expat?

    I also want to get my PhD eventually – does this region have good school? I have not encountered much in terms of research.

    AlsoWill his parent’s offer a dowry? What am I supposed to do with it? What clauses do I put in a pre-nup marriage contract in the Gulf States? I need guidance on a few of the above issues. I am a tough case and I apologize sincerely for taking your time Ms. Carol. | Thank you for the lovely blogs. They are quite enjoyable.:)

  47. @Feonix,

    welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment and for reaching out.

    Congratulations on your relationship and it sounds like he is viewing your courtship in a traditional and respectable manner.

    Some points to ponder… find out from him if you as a non-Arab can pursue your education in an Arab state. There may be limited options.

    While some extended family members may initially frown on the fact that you are divorced, I think overall that will be overlooked. Especially after seeing how caring and loving of a mother you are and how much you also love your Arab man.

    In regards to your family and their concerns, that is natural. But at the same time, draw them out on what specific issues concern them so you can address them logic. Make the time for your man and family to be together and get to know one another.

    I think you should further confirm that there are no issues or restrictions on his side for marriage to a foreigner.

    Please feel free to email me directly if you’d like at admin@americanbedu.com

  48. Dear American Bedu.

    Thank you for a great blog. It has given me a lot to thing about. Im in love with a Saudi man, and we are thinking of getting married. But we have some issues I dont know how to deal with. I have kids form previous marriage and was told it might be difficult to get them residency. Is there a way??? If I have the legal right in Europe, will it be taken in to consideration in Saudi?

    Yours, Yasmin

  49. @yasmine – welcome! I will send you a private email.

    Regards, Bedu

  50. Hello Ms. Carol,

    It’s always been a pleasure for us to read your blog. We learn a lot of information from the entries you’re tirelessly sharing with us, your readers. As a matter of fact, the idea to create a blog about our lives as expat ladies here in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has been somewhat inspired by your blog. We thought, “okay, why not share our desert lives too?” Since then, it was a blast writing our everyday life as working girls in the Kingdom’s capital city.

    Keep your wonderful entries coming! We loooove your blog (and your love story)! (We’re just too shy to comment before because we haven’t seen Filipinos commenting. Hehe. But we finally mustered the guts to do so.)

    Thank you for your insight.

    The Pink Tarha Ladies

  51. Dear Pink Tarha Ladies,

    Welcome and also Mabrook! I so enjoyed perusing your blog and think it is great that you’ve started it! Please do not be a stranger here either!

    Regards, Carol

  52. Nader, on October 24th, 2008 at 9:35 am Said:
    Good post Carol, and interesting story indeed!
    And maybe you should do a post about this, Saudi guys who go abroad and do this short-term relationship.. especially those young ones sent to study the states and start dating poor and young American girls. I’ve heard several sad stories about them for these guys don’t have any sense of responsibility whatsoever.
    You may also mention the good guys who are responsible and who think of their partners’ feelings as much as they think of their own.

    American Bedu, on October 24th, 2008 at 10:14 am Said:
    Hi Nader and thank you!! I have done similar posts in the past but I think because this is a repetitive phenomenon I should do a routine post on the subject. Not all the love stories are tragic and end up with an unhappy ending but sadly the majority of them do when it comes to a foreign woman and Saudi student outside of the Kingdom.

    I receive so many private emails from foreign women who married their Saudi student sweetheart and have since been basically abandoned as he has had to return to the Kingdom and unable to bring his wife due to lack of approval. And of course for these women, they were never aware an approval was required or that he was in violation of his scholarship by marrying them.

    So as I said earlier, I sure don’t want to discourage anyone from finding love but in the case of Saudi students and foreign women, I try to explain the facts so eyes are open.

    abdullah hamed, on October 25th, 2008 at 11:??????????????????????????what kind of crap is this?one sided story? ALOT OF THESE GIRLS ,JUST WANT TO JUMP IN BED,AND THE POOR BOY THINKS,OK,i dont want to burn in hell and i also want sex,well elts marry her,understand?and plz stop this inncoent women,geting muged,women rights crap ok?

  53. Aslamu Aleikum Carol,

    Oh my GOd, I just read such a wonderful love story today only. I have seen such thing in bollywood movie only hahah.

    May Allah grant both of u Jannah and meet u there. My heart-felt dua with u always.

    Also hope that all couples learn from you and enjoy their married life with full of love, respect, care as Islam says.

    Jazak Allah for such wonderful posts and giving light to people.

    Fi Amani Allah

  54. Salam Alaikum Md. Azad,

    Bahat shukriyah!

    Allah hafiz, Carol

  55. You can’t post this story! Why it doesn’t even pander to stereotypes😛 I like this post. It’s about time someone gave a positive account of life in Saudi Arabia.:-)

  56. […] Abdullah and I met each other later in our lives after each of us had had many life experiences.  We were not young students who had met each other during our studies.  Each of us were entrenched in successful careers and satisfied with our lives.  However when we began discussing a future together, I had no doubt that his intentions were indeed sincere, especially by his actions which spoke volumes.  Even though I was in my 40′s, Abdullah still insisted on calling and introducing himself to both my mom and dad.  He wanted them to know that his intentions were sincere and honorable.  He also told them about himself and encouraged them to ask any questions about him, his family and background.  He apologized profusely that he and his mother were not able to come to them personally as is the typical Saudi way.  If your guy suggests such an action, you’ll have no doubt that the relationship and his intentions are serious. […]

  57. […] I first met Abdullah, he learned early in our relationship that I loved cats.  I was a package deal.  Love me.  Love my cats.  Abdullah showered all of us […]

  58. […] to Carol for sharing her story, originally published on her blog here. Carol writes more about life in Saudi Arabia in her blog American […]

  59. Dear Carol,

    Where are you now? Its really sad to read all bout you and your life,

    Clean and Honest Person (CHP) – Riyadh

  60. Dear CHP,

    I am near Charlotte, NC. Please…do not be sad for me. Life experiences always make one a stronger person in many ways!


  61. Dear Carol,

    I agree to what you mentioned and may Allah reward you for the good work you are doing especially an awareness of breast cancer and its effects which you rasied in the Kingdom which really many people are not aware of or even not open atleast in such subjects. May Allah reward you with the best heaven in your life after death. And we all beleive in death and the life after death. InshaAllah we all will meet there one day.


  62. Dear Carol,
    I am so sorry to hear about your husband. May Allah easy the pain of your heart….

    I have enjoyed your blog as I stumbled over it in search of a position in Saudi..

    Will enjoy reading it in the future.


  63. […] the love of my life would have been 55 years of age.  When we were both in Pakistan he shared that the first birthday […]

  64. […] the love of my life would have been 55 years of age.  When we were both in Pakistan he shared that the first birthday […]

  65. hi ,im a romanian mearead ehith a palestenean, i see day by day a letel defecult on the meareage betuen a forein women and an arab. after your story i have a letel more hope for my meareage. hope for the good.

  66. i am filipina having saudi fiancee..im working here now in jedah..if i marry misyar to him do we need government approval also like regular marriage or its more easy since i dont expect any heirs soon i just need halal relationship with him and no worried relationship..plssssssssssssss answer me..i dont hve any idea

  67. @Ray – As you are not a Saudi citizen, you must have approval for any marriage in order to be together legally as a husband and wife. You would also be short changing yourself to resort to a misyar marriage. If your Saudi cares for you to sincerely want marriage, then he will do all he can to get the permissions. He will want you to have your rights as a wife and full respect through marriage.

  68. […] the background, this story takes place in Islamabad, Pakistan, a few short weeks after their very first meeting.  When Abdullah learned that American Bedu was a diplomat at the American Embassy he shared with her […]

  69. […] and I initially met when we were both work working at our respective embassies in Islamabad, Pakistan.  Therefore, […]

  70. […] in Pakistan I met Abdullah, the Muslim man who became my husband.  As our courtship progressed so began another and more […]

  71. […] on life.  He just happened to be a Saudi national.  Back in 2007 I wrote a post about how we initially met and our continuing love story.  If my husband and I did not have shared values I doubt I could […]

  72. […] courtship was so slow and cautious on my part even though you knew by our second meeting you wanted me as […]

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