Welcome to American Bedu blog


American Bedu is the blog of former diplomat Carol Fleming. Carol started this blog with the intention of sharing her experiences and perspectives as an American in Saudi Arabia. Carol was married to a Saudi man she loved very much. Unfortunately her husband died of cancer in 2011, and in 2013 Carol herself lost her battle with cancer.

According to Carol’s wishes American Bedu is now being moderated and updated by a group of her friends. Besides being friends of Carol, the American Bedu team has close ties to Saudi Arabia, either because they live there, have lived there, have Saudi nationality, and are also American or live in America. Carol’s blog remains linked to both Saudi Arabia and America.

Carols personal introduction:

I feel very fortunate that unlike some of the expats in the Kingdom, I make the transition between having typical expat experiences and traditional experiences of any Saudi, on a daily basis, thanks to my marriage to a Saudi man with a beautiful and large extended Saudi family.


By way of background I am a former intelligence officer and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 20 years.  As a result I have been widely traveled and exposed to many differing cultures, customs and traditions.

The American Bedu blog is not intended as Saudi-bashing.  I try to write candidly and openly about experiences and observations on the customs, cultures, traditions and practices of daily life in Saudi Arabia.  Some views are very positive and others might be negative while some may be perceived as contraversial.  However my posts are reflective of Saudi Arabia which is a land of shifting sands with contrasts and contradictions.

You will find that I strive to post daily and my blog has been in existence since 2006.  There are some types of posts regular readers of my blog can also look forward to on a regular monthly basis.  These posts include:

Your input is also most welcomed and requested.  I want this blog to be an exchange of views and perspectives so we can learn from one another.  Each individual in Saudi Arabia will have differing experiences depending on the situation which brings them to the Kingdom and the location in which they reside.

Your comments on this blog are welcome, you are free to speak your mind unless you violate the blog rules. Comments once placed will not be removed unless they violate the blog rules.

I always welcome hearing from individuals who have viewed my blog. I like to receive your comments, feedback and suggestions for additional topics for me to write about. Also if you have a question or something you’d like to address but not within a post, you can reach me via the following email address:

The entire content of this website is copyrighted to Carol Fleming and should never be reproduced/copied to another website without written authorization from the owner. Websites that are scraping content in the form of RSS feeds, bots, or manual methods will be reported to their web host with a DMCA take down notice.

Copyright © 2006-2013 Carol Fleming

Please contact me if you want to use any partof articles or pictures.

332 Responses

  1. Although I’ve only recently discovered your blog; it’s now included in my “rounds”.

    Keep up the excellent (and interesting) work! I’ve got a job to go through your archives now, lol.

    Ma’a salaama

  2. Thank you very much!

  3. Hey, Strup – Glad you moved someplace other than MySpace!

  4. Ed,

    So happy to see you here and very much looking forward to your comments!!

  5. Exactly what Aliyah said! Looking forward to reading previous archives and Insh’Allah I’ll see you in my “rounds”. Thank you!

  6. Tina — thank you so much! I’ll look forward to seeing you and reading your comments!

  7. Thank you so much for very important information. I am Russian, living in US and married to American-Indian muslim. Recently my husband got the opportunity to work and live in Saudi Arabia. I am very exited about this change, since I am looking for “healthy ” environment for our 6 year old son. Unfortunately, in US it is impossible to maintain those standards outside the family and home. I hope that I will be able to adapt to the life in Kingdom, as for the past 9 years I was , pretty much, living securely in our house with 2 neighbors on the street and did not have strong desire to “socialize” with general public. There goes beauty of shopping on line, not driving, because I do not want to endanger anyone’s life…
    Your blog is just what I was looking for… All the information is present and gives adequate and full answers to questions I had before.
    My husband is already working in Riyadh, now he is in process of obtaining “residential” paperwork for me and the baby.
    It would be nice to see you there one day. Hope, it is possible.
    Please, continue to support and educate those of us, who has no idea about the environment in that country, but wishes to follow their loved ones to the place of their success.
    Thank you very much.
    L. Quarashi.

  8. Lada — Thank you for your comment and I am so happy to learn my blog is answering a lot of questions for you. Yes; it can take up to 3 months for the paperwork to be processed to bring dependents to the Kingdom. If you have not done so, you may also want to join the newsgroup [email protected] which can answer additional questions about life in the Kingdom. And of course if you have a question which you have not found answered in a posting, please drop me a line and let me know.

    Best Regards,

  9. Hello:)

    I came across your blog as part of a college project I am working on for an Arab Media course, interviewing female bloggers in the Kingdom. I’m a student at Princeton University and I would love to do a brief interview with you about your experiences in the kingdom (via webcam or email, anonymity preserved). It wouldn’t take much of your time, but would be incredibly, incredibly appreciated. My professor is Daoud Kuttab of AmmanNet Radio in Jordan: http://www.ammannet.net/. Please check out my blog/send me an email if you might be interested! I can also send you the list of questions if you’d like.

    Great blog you’ve got here!



  10. Thanks BLoggerL…. an email is forthcoming to you.

    Best Regards,

  11. I lived in Riyadh from 1986 through 1998. Those were the best years of my life, and I miss them very much. I discovered your blog today, and will read it regularly from now on. I wish I could have met you while I was there.


  12. Hi Maria and thank you very much for the lovely comment. What were you doing in Riyadh for that period and what made those years such highlights? It is always nice to hear others experiences.

    Best Regards,

  13. Hi, Carol,

    Well, for the first six years I worked in the lab at KFSH, immersing myself in the various opportunities for cross-cultural experience there. Then, I married an Egyptian, and retired to become a homemaker. Living across from the TV tower in Riyadh, I was able to study Arabic at the women’s community school down the street, and then I studied tajweed at a local madrassa. We came to the US in 1998 for several reasons, and I knew it would be many years, if ever, before I set foot on Saudi sand again.

    Why were those years special? Why did my experience veer so far off the beaten path? My character is such that I am fascinated with other cultures, world views, and languages, especially Arabic and Italian. Saudi Arabia was a wonderful place in which to cultivate that interest.

    Thanks for asking.


  14. Marie,

    What a shame our paths did not cross. I also worked for a period at KFSH but have since shifted to another organization. Mabrook, for it sounds like you met your husband while in Saudi, perhaps?

    You are so right how one can be immersed in the richness of other cultures, world views and languages here in the Kingdom particularly when working at a multi-national organization.

    Thanks for sharing,

  15. Carol,

    I’ve just noticed that you added my blog to your blogroll. Thanks! I am looking forward to exchanging greetings, ideas, info, entertainment, wisdom, friendship, and even a rant or two with like-minded people.


  16. You’re quite welcome, Marahm!

  17. Have a nice day !

  18. your issues shown me somthing which i ddin’t know.

    thx Carol

  19. Thanks Bo Tarig!

  20. Thank you! This is so helpful, especially for me as I’m a Canadian who will be moving to Saudi Arabia when married. I’m excited, but I wanted to do my own research before leaving for the Kingdom and this really helps! Great work…

  21. You’re welcome Bridgette and Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Yes; do a lot of research for KSA is quite different from Canada!

    mai ous nes’pas?


  22. Hi there! You’ve got a terrific blog and some very enjoyable articles here:-) . Keep up the great work!

  23. Thank you very much. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying and hope to see more comments.

    Best Regards,

  24. Hi

    I just came across your blog, and I hope this is not an out of line question, but did you covert to Islam when you married your husband?

  25. Hi Jamilah and welcome.

    Actually I was muslim before marrying my Saudi husband.

  26. Hi,
    I have lived in KSA for the past 23 years . I am an American married to a Saudi and have had successful businesses in Saudi Cooking classes for the expat community, Saudi antique dealer and served as a guest lecturer to many organizations, including the American comm. services in Riyadh and have taught at an American School for the past 14 years. I am now in the USA over seeing a daughter in college. I have lived all my Saudi life in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, however upon my eventual return KSA, I will be living in Riyadh because of my husband’s employment. My husband’s family lives in Riyadh and Qassim. I am so happy to discover your blog. It will be a big change for me to live in Riyadh, and would like to keep in touch with you as a information link to Riyadh. I have only visited Riyadh, never lived there, of course it will be a different situation. I will be sure to check in from now on.

  27. Welcome Sabrina! It will be a pleasure to be in touch with you and please do let me know when you arrive in Riyadh! Oh yes, Riyadh is quite different from the Eastern Province but after the initial adjustment there is plenty to do here as well.

  28. Nice blog!! dat 2 frm a country like KSA:-)

    Gud Work.

  29. Thank you Niyaz and welcome to the blog.

  30. ur post r very gud & help us to knw mre abt KSA !

  31. I’m glad you find my blog useful. Where are you located?

  32. Basically i’m 4rm india , i vl oftn come to KSA 4 work related…

  33. What part of India Niyaz? How do you like coming back and forth between the two countries for work?

  34. yes i’m 4rm south india..only 4 work i m coming to KSA…hehe :-)… i hve to !!!

  35. Just discovered this blog interesting

  36. welcome awaisyaqub and hope you enjoy!

  37. Great blog! I hope you are doing well in Saudi Arabia. As a high schooler, it is my dream to become a diplomat when I am older. I hope to, at least, major in International Relations in college.

  38. Ohmymai,

    A pleasure to hear from you. I also hope you fulfill your dream to become a diplomat. It is important to set those goals and then make your roadmap towards reaching them!

    Best Regards,

  39. Thank you for your kind words.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how did you go about pursuing diplomacy? What did you think about the test itself? how has working in diplomacy change your view on the world and people?

  40. Mai,

    I like to retain my focus on Saudi Arabia rather than talk about me personally. However I will say that diplomacy will help sensitize one to seeing the various views of the world and people and realize there are always many sides to a story or an issue.

  41. Thanks for your comment! I appreciate it. Yeah, that is what I hope to experience if I decide to go into diplomacy.

  42. Hello! I found your blog from the WP mainpage and have started to read your most recent posts – you are a great writer and an insightful one, which makes for great reading!

    Also, I notice you said you lived in New Delhi – when? My parents have been living there for the last 8 years, and I finished high school at AES:).

    Nice to meet you, you’re definitely going on my blog roll.

  43. Thanks for your lovely comment Adventures! I was in New Delhi from 2001 – 2002 and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

    I look forward to reading more comments from you.


  44. Hello there,

    I enjoyed browsing your blog..it’s rich in content.I also live with my husband who an American muslim expatriate in the kingdom..
    If you would like to take a look at my blog, you would be very much welcomed:)

  45. Hello there,

    I enjoyed browsing your blog..it’s rich in content.I also live with my husband who is an American muslim expatriate in the kingdom..
    If you would like to take a look at my blog, you would be very much welcomed:)

  46. Thanks for your comment Love and will be happy to look at your blog.

  47. Hey there

    Seems a sweet blog from the “About” thingy only. I will be getting through it alot so bear with me ;D

  48. Welcome ‘His Sweetheart’ and look forward to reading more comments from you.

  49. Hi Carol it is a great blog and enjoyable to read but how to you get the time to keep up with it everyday?? and also a question as a muslim married to a saudi does he approve of you blogging your info and also showing your unveiled photo? just curious as mine flipped when i had facebook going. :):) have really enjoyed commenting on some topics. a good place to vent at times:)

  50. Umm Yara – thank you for your comment. And actually it is pretty easy to keep up and does not really take that much time out of the day.

    My husband knew before he married me he was marrying an independent western woman and that I have chosen not to be like a traditional Saudi woman. I also encourage you to check out Susie’s Big Adventure in my blogroll for more postings from an American married to a Saudi. She recently tells (with full photos) the story of how she met her Saudi husband.

  51. hey
    just came across ur blog, excellent work and keep it up.
    just one question- ur name “American bedu” is the bedu like the indian “bedu”(friend) or the arab “bedu”(bedouin)

  52. Hi Sammy,

    Welcome and thank you for your comment. You can say it is a bit of both since after all I am American but now living in the land of the bedouin here in Saudi Arabia.

  53. Hey Carol,

    The blog is really good. In my opinion people don’t know much about Saudi Arabia and its culture. I also like the way you show the issues: you always respect both parts of the world, west and east, and try to show us that we can’t not say what is right or wrong. The best think is to respect the cultural differences.

  54. Welcome zizi and thanks for your comment. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog and all the diverse topics I try to cover. Actually I don’t think all of the various issues and cultural aspects can be fully covered in a lifetime sometimes! There are never a shortage of topics.

  55. Ms Carol you’ve mentioned that you’ve worked for the u.s. government for many years. what countries have you lived in?

  56. Hi David…I was associated with international projects for many years which took me to more than 100 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Latin/Central/South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. I also lived/worked for extended periods in Pakistan, India and Iraq.

  57. What a nice blog. I discovered this blog via Saud-Jeans…

    I am living in the Magic Kingdom since 2003 – till last year we have been in Riyadh and since April last year we are in Al Khobar.

    am really enjoying life in Saudi – yes it is different and difficult but not bad at all.

    I will come and visit more often:)

  58. Welcome Turkish Mom – it’s nice to have you here!

    That’s great to know you are in KSA and I look forward to mroe comments from you sharing your views and experiences too.

  59. Hi Carol!

    Have not checked your blog out in ages…it looks fabulous mashallah! Look forward to visiting it regularly.

    All the best,
    Tameen xx

  60. Thanks so much Tameen. I’m happy to have you back!

  61. Out of curiousity where did you go to University? I am currently in the college process so I am curious to see where people went to University if you dont mind me asking?

  62. George Washington University (USA)

  63. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I am genuinely curious. Why on earth would you marry a Saudi? Aren’t Saudi men the most patriarchal, repressive men in the world? Did he force you to convert to Islam, or to undergo FGM?

    I do not ask these questions to provoke or offend you, but rather I ask these questions as an American man who wonders why an American woman would so voluntarily give up her freedoms.

  64. Welcome Chris,

    You are not shy about expressing your views which no offense do tend to come across as pretty close minded! One can not necessarily predict with whom they find that special life partner who shares the same interests, values and goals so never say never!

    Yes – some Saudi men can be patriarchal and repressive but I can also think of other men from differing countries to include the USA who are also the same or maybe worse! You can’t judge one individual and thereby condemn (or praise) that all therefore are from the same cloth.

    I encourage to read more of the posts on the blog here if you are geninuinely interested in hearing at least one perspective of life as an American in Saudi and I’m sure many of your questions may be answered.

  65. Congratulations for your blog! It is amazing, filled with precious information for a new expat/ wife of a Saudi in Riyadh. I found the city to be almost not existing on the internet and so difficult to find any information about places and activities online, also didn’t had who to ask about these things. Your blog is a blessing to me!:)
    All the best to you and many more incredible articles to come!

  66. Thank you Ayat and welcome to Riyadh! Please do not hesitate to ask any questions.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

    Best Regards,

  67. Chris-while American Bedu has provided you with an excellent answer and recommendation, I would suggest you also read reliable information about FMG, in the hopes that you will learn there for yourself that it is neither Islamic nor practiced in Saudi Arabia (isolated incidents occur world wide among immigrants from the African countries where it is a cultural practice retained from pre-Islamic days). Coersion to convert is also unislamic and not habitually practiced, except perhaps by hostage takers (a minority of course of the approximate 1.5 billion Muslims in the world).

  68. You remind me of that lady at the American Embassy in Riyadh. The one that’s always wearing long gypsy like skirts, has dyed orangish hair, always tries to speak Arabic to the Saudis waiting outside, and looks so Egyption. Do you know which one am talkin ’bout? < A very intelligent question. Some people just stick to my memmory. That reminds me, I’ve got so many unanswered questions after my visit to that very strange place. Should I post them in ” Dear Bedu”?

  69. @mimi,

    I believe I do know of who you are speaking but I can assure you that
    looks-wise and personality wise I am indeed very different. (smile)
    What makes her remind you of me?

    And please, do ask away your questions but Dear Bedu would probably be
    more appropriate.

    I am so happy to see you and some other Saudi ladies on my blog. I
    can only give my views as an American who now lives in Saudi Arabia
    with my Saudi husband but I realize in so many cases my views will be
    different than those of the Saudi woman. And I hope through my blog
    we can dialogue and reach greater understanding on why we may view or
    think so differently on various aspects and subjects as well as
    showcase the many commonalities too!

  70. Hi,

    I have recently come across your blog and I have to say I am very intrigued and will be very interested to read about your experiences in Saudi Arabia.

    Not that it will make any difference to me with regards to my views on your blog but am I right in thinking that you converted to Islam? Please feel free to ignore this question if you would rather not answer.

    I have visited a Saudi Arabia a few times (3 to be precise), I have an uncle in Jeddah and I last visited in December 2007 to perform the Hajj.

    Unfortunately this last experience left me with some mixed experiences, some good and some bad interactions with Saudis. But then again this was interaction mainly with Saudi staff at the 2 Holy Mosques and at the Airport.

    I look forward to reading your posts, which will hopefully provide a fuller picture of life in KSA through the eyes of an American Woman.

    Kind regards

  71. @Benaam,

    Welcome Benaam!

    I am not evading your question but as you read the various postings
    you will indeed find the answer!

    Mabrook on your Hajj! I am sure it was an incredible experience…in
    fact, I would encourage you to share with readers (if you feel
    comfortable doing so) on what it was like and what it felt like for

    Best Regards,

  72. Inshaallah…I will also be able to share my views which are somewhat different than many other different views?
    Allah Speed?

  73. ?

  74. Hello Carol,
    I was looking for a recipe for Saudi Champagne on the Net and I found it on you site. I started reading it and I am impressed. I worked a lot in Saudi in the early 80’ies and when in Riyad I always stayed at the Intercontinental. I have since carried fond memories of lovely lunches and siesta in the hotel’s pool area. Of course, always enjoying the Saudi Champangne! Now I am off to get some sparkling apple juice. Maybe I wil come back and rate it for you!
    Thank you!


  75. Mats,

    Welcome! Please do come back and let me know how your Saudi Champagne turned out! I enjoyed your comment and look forward to hearing from you.


  76. Bedu,

    You know that I am going to school for anthropology with a minor in MidEast studies. Can you tell me how you became a US diplomat, what your education is, etc. Can you also tell me about a typical day in that career? Can you tell I may be interested??
    Emeil me privately if you want. [email protected]

  77. Thanks Carol,

    I am happy to share my experiences about Hajj but am wondering which section of your site is best to post this under?

    Is it this section??

    Kind regards

  78. @Benaam – I suggest you post it under the debate page since that is the “open” page for readers to freely express themselves and their views.


  79. Carole, I thought Daisy had changed blogs, is still blogging and . . . you interviewed her! I might be mistaken.

  80. intlxpatr – No. I’m sorry to say that Daisy has taken a long term hiatus from blogging. ):

  81. Just found your blog today, very informative. It’s hard to find candid observations like this. Thank you.

  82. Thank you flora.

  83. Dear American Bedu

    It took me a lot to actually write you. I have been reading your blog for weeks now. I am in a very hard situation right now and I was looking for some advice from you or from any other woman o man that has been in my same situation.

    I met a Saudi guy 4 years ago and we felt in love. We had a relationship for almost a year. I went through a lot of trouble to be with him because at the time, I was living with an American family who was a little bit racist. I have to clarify that I am not American I am Hispanic but I reside in the US.
    When my boyfriend’s finished his master, he had to go back to the Kingdom because his visa expired. A year later, he applied for another visa but it was denied.
    On the other hand, at that time I could not leave the US because I was waiting for my green card papers. We stayed in that situation for 3 years. Talking in the phone and e-mailing each other.
    A month ago, he called me and told me that he got a visa and that if I wanted he would come to visit me in US. I was not sure if I wanted to see him because I know he would have to leave me again and it is just too painful.
    But at the end, I did saw him and we spent 10 wonderful days together. At this moment he is back in his country but we are in a dilemma right now deciding if it is really smart to see each other again.

    He says he loves me, and he has done things through these years that make me think that maybe he does. However, he says is impossible or very difficult to make a life together. That is I want to be with him it has to be only every time there is an opportunity but I know that traveling to the US can be very expensive.
    I wanted him to come to the US and work here but he said he has a very good job over there and he cannot start from zero again here especially with the high rate of unemployment in the US.
    He is like a director in a company over there.
    I told him, I would go over there and he said that because of that law he has to be like 35 to 40 to start asking for permission so that I can leave there. He is 32 at the moment and I am 25
    It is just a horrible situation. I love him deeply but it seems to me that if I want to be with him I would have to accept this “lover” position……. But I am thinking … maybe he would get marry to a Saudi girl not because he loves her but because he need a woman and he needs to go alone with family, society and tradition.
    Please, I am looking for anybody who can give me any advice. If you had this situation or you know just want to comment, I would appreciate any advice. I am in a lot of pain right now

  84. Dear Tami,

    I read over your words very carefully and am responding to you candidly. I do not want to minimize in any way the deep feelings you have for your Saudi. But to be very candid, it does not look hopeful that the two of you have a good chance for a future. Yes, the approval process is lengthy and very involved but even before that, I kind of doubt that even his family knows of his involvement with you which can present even greater problems. He has also made it clear his place is in Saudi Arabia. He also made it clear any time he came to the US he would be willing to see you. But is that what you want? Is that what you are willing to accept for yourself? My advice is to nurse your hurt, get the grieving out of your system and then move on where you will find someone with whom you can have a stable future and life.

    Wishing you all the best, Bedu

  85. Dear Bedu
    Thank you very much for your beautiful worlds. I know you are right, and that is what my mind is telling me but….. it is just too painful. It has been 4 long years………This life is very tough… but I thank you for your worlds and for your time. They mean a lot to me.

  86. Carol,

    I just got an e-mail from someone else about the marriage/Saudi issue. It is nice to be able to help even when the news isnt always good.

    One thing struck me here. He stated he had to be 35 to apply for marriage to a foreigner. Either he is misinformed or he isnt telling the truth.

    There isnt an age limit for this, although one would have to be an adult. Under age 21 I am sure they’d have to gain permission from their family.

    The whole story sounds, unfortunately, to be a rather common one.

    You gave great advice.

  87. Hello Abu Sinam

    Thank you very much for your clarification.It is interesting to know about the age issue. Not only he has told me 35 but other Saudi’s as well. If you or any person has a link with the actual law regarding marriage foreign woman in the Kingdom I would really appreciate if you or anybody else could send it to me.
    Thank you very much for your worlds and your time

  88. Dear Tami,

    Indeed it is easier to get the marriage approval if you are over 35. But that doesn’t mean you cannot get it at an earlier age, so Abu Sinan is right, there is no actual age limit, but it will take a lot of time and spend a lot of emotions from you both if he is under 35, because the process is longer and more difficult. I know this information due to the fact that we recently got our approval to marry, my husband is Saudi. It was so hard and so stressful that I never want to go through that again, waiting for someone to tell you that you have the right to be together with the one you love and to be happy. Although everyone said we were lucky that it took us only about 6 months to get it. I am sorry that I do not have a link with the law for you, it is hard to find these info in English, but I am confident it is accurate what I just told you.
    I hope that God will help you and show you the way, cause it seems that you need it.

  89. Tami

    You are indeed in a difficult emotional situation. I was sure I had read about age 35 before, and finally found it. On this blog in an earlier post (May 28, 2008, on Saudi students abroad) American Bedu wrote:

    “Just to reiterate, Saudi men under the age of 35, Saudi students on government scholarships outside of the Kingdom and Saudi nationals who work for the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Intelligence Services, National Guard and armed services are prohibited from marrying foreigners. Yes; exceptions have and do occur but these are the MINORITY and certainly not a majority. ”

    For the actual law you might try the Saudi Ministry of the Interior link moi.gov.sa or the website of your nearest Saudi embassy.

    You may also find more information on the blog “Future Husbands and Wives of Saudis: Helping you make an informed decision about marrying a Saudi” which is at taraummomar.blogspot.com and is linked on this blog at the bottom left, and under Links-blogs about Saudi.

    I agree though with American Bedu, and Abu Sinan, and with what you yourself wrote, that the most important thing is both your desires to marry. So far from what you’ve written he has basically said, “it is too inconvenient”, which is often “male speak” for “I don’t want to, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings”. If he really wanted to marry, 35 is only 3 years away, and he could propose further planned meetings in either the US or some other country for the next while.
    Other “inconveniences” would be religion, your nationality, his family’s influence (usually huge), his own readiness to marry anyone, etc.

    You already sound unhappy with a “lover position”, or as a social worker/MD friend calls it “living on crumbs”, crumbs of affection, crumbs of time, crumbs of attention, crumbs of respect… crumbs. You deserve more, as does everyone.

    I hope the above helps you with your (and his decisions) and that whatever the outcome, it is not too painful for you.

    All the best

  90. Dear Chiara
    Thank you so much for your comment. You are completely right. I know it with my mind…… right now I feel like I have wasted 4 years of my life…..
    sometimes, I feel I wish I never met him but…. he is not a bad person so I do not wish anybody any harm…..
    I will read the links you sent me…. I really appreciate your time and kind worlds…..
    all these comments are actually helping me to think more with my head and not with my heart.
    Once again, thank you

  91. @Chiara,

    The man she talked about doesnt fit into any of the groups you posted that require age 35 for marriage. She said he is a director of a company. Your list indicates only students and members of the Saudi government basically.

    Unless his company is actually owned by the Saudi government it doesnt apply to him.


    Saudi isnt like the West where you can always hit a website and pull up a complete listing of rules, requirements and forms.

    As far as I know there isnt any publication or anything on line that lays out rules. The age 35 rule, as Chiara posted, doesnt seem to apply to him. Besides, we are talking about Saudi. If he is the director of a large company he’d likely have the “wasta” (connections) to get such a marriage approved no matter what the rules say. That is how it works there. Everything depends on who you are, who you know, and what money you have.

    If you are the right person (maybe director of a large company or member of the right family) or know the right people or can pay a big enough bribe, almost anything is possible.

    I also suggest you read the posts here about Westerners married to Saudis and the issues they face, as well as racial issues in Saudi Arabia.

    It is my opinion that if this guy is as connected as he’d have to be to be running a company in Saudi, he’d be able to by pass these rules even if they apply to him, which doesnt seem likely.

    It is very common for Saudis to have wives and girlfriends in countries they visit on a regular basis, on top of the wife/wives they have at home in Saudi.

    Even if you do live in the West and he lives in Saudi you could actually still get married here in the USA, both Islamically and through the state. Mention it to him and see what he thinks. It might be a good way to judge his feelings, but be aware that a marriage to you here wouldnt prevent him from being already married back home or getting married there after your marriage here.

    At least if you marry him here you can ask for a dowry and have other rights on him here in the USA. His willingness to do so could be an indication of things.

  92. Looks like I misread the posted portion, but like I said rules and requirements in Saudi Arabia or not like they are in the USA. With position, money or family connection non of that matters.

    It can take years to get a marriage recognised or minutes, it just depends on who you are.

  93. Hum……I am confused. It would seem the snippet from Carol was about Saudi students. Does the age 35 requirement just stand for students?

    I have never heard of a 35 year old requirement that was for all Saudi men.

  94. Hello Abu Sinam
    Thank you very much for your comment. You do make an interesting point. Now, if we get marry here in the USA, still he has to stay there where he works and I have to stay here… so… we will be marry and living separated lives until something else happens.

    I have another question, maybe you, or anybody there can help me…..
    I have a bachelor degree in Education from a University in PA.
    Is there a way, I can find a job teaching or doing something else over there?
    I am also a a classical musician and bilingual (Spanish/English)

    I want to thank everybody who has taken the time to comment on my situation. I really appreciate it and it is a huge help.
    Gracias amigos!

  95. @Tami,

    You could look for jobs teaching English in Saudi, they are very common. However, you must keep in mind that since you two will not be married in Saudi you will be setting yourself up for a VERY SERIOUS situation if you two decide to meet up there without being married.

    Punishments for relationships outside of marriage are VERY severe and include prison time and physical punishment.

    That isnt a good idea.

    Check out his company……….if it is international he could work on getting himself posted somewhere and you could move there.

    Again, I suggest you read the previous articles on this blog about marriage to Saudi men. I dont know your guy so I cannot make any real judgements, but there is a major issue with Saudi guys using women in the West when they are in school or here to work, and dumping them when they move back home. Marriage to Saudi men sometimes sounds nice……..but has a lot involved with it and often ends up badly.

    You also need to be aware of the racial issues in Saudi that would make a barrier to marriage an issue. Also, if you are not a Muslim the chances are his family will not accept you. Since you were dating when he lived here the family will have issues with that as well. They will see you as the stereotypical Western woman, which isnt a good thing.

    So even if you do get married and get it accepted, it is just the very begining of a very long struggle.

  96. Dear Abu Sinam
    This is exactly what I need, some real information and neutral opinions.
    Thank you for your advice. I can imagine what you say and it sounds awful. All the things you mentioned in your comments, I know they are so true. I have those questions myself everyday and I thank you for your honesty.
    Do you know of any company who hire teachers? Do I need any specific qualification for those jobs?
    How do people usually get hire, by contacting the company directly or by some kind of agency?

    On the other hand, when you mention racial issues, does that mean that they discriminate against people according to where they are from? I am from the Caribbean, is that an issue over there? I mean, how many Hispanic people can leave in Saudi Arabia so that they can actually have any opinion?

    You know what is worst about all this; I actually met his older brother in his last visit to the USA. We had a good time and he seemed like a nice person and open minded, I thought. He was really nice to me all the time. But now… I am thinking twice about it…. God knows what he said to his family when he got there? …. Was he honest in his nice behavior towards me? ……. He also assured me that my boyfriend was not married that he was single …. But….. at this point… I don’t know what to believe anymore ……
    anyway, thank you so much for all your information.

  97. Abu Sinan-the information quoted from American Bedu’s post does apply to non-students, as written by her. I’ve read it on a Saudi government site too, but can’t find it again.

    Tami-De nada! Abu Sinan made alot of excellent points, and wasta or influence certainly matters-if he has it, and if he chooses to use it, or if he has the money to spend “facilitating things”.

    On the other hand, government and embassy links are actually helpful in that they inform you of the “official” rules, which are often held to. They at least let you know what you are up against in terms of the beginning of the process. Tara Umm Omar is an African American who married a Saudi and had a lot of difficulty getting permission but is finally living with him and their son in Riyadh (all information she has posted on her blog about herself). Her struggle was what inspired her blog.

    Other of American Bedu’s posts also deal with being married to a Saudi, or being the girlfriend of a Saudi student. You can do a search on the blog, and also do a date search for the May 28, 2008 one. Some include rather chilling but important information on your rights (or rather lack thereof) in case of death of your spouse, or divorce. In general, life in Saudi would be more restrictive than what you have previously experienced. However, as you will read in the comments some have been married happily to Saudis for decades.

    Racism in Saudi includes South Asians, East Asians, and Africans. If you look Afro-Caribbean it might be more of an issue than if you don’t. Your religion, and HIS MOTHER, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents will be more of an issue than his brother. His brother may also have a negative opinion about his actually marrying.

    You could contact an international agency that places teachers, but as Abu Sinan pointed out, you and your boyfriend won’t be free to “date” or even “meet for coffee”, because of severe laws against it, and if his family is aware they would discourage it, or consider you unfit for marriage (most likely).

    Also, in Saudi, he may be more rigid, and demanding about your behaviours than he is in the US, because of legitimate concern for how you will be perceived and treated there, and because he will need to fit into Saudi culture. Susie of Arabia’s blog “Susie’s Big Adventure” also deals well with the transition back to Saudi life for her (American) and her Saudi husband of 30 years.

    Be sure before you make any dramatic life decisions, that your boyfriend is as committed to the relationship as you are, and what the intent is-marriage? local girlfriend? wait and see? Would he take an international transfer for you, if he could? Most importantly, what do you want? How likely is it to happen?

    Lots to think about and read! LOL:)

    Good luck!

  98. First, I apologize for so many questions. I just want to take advantage of people who have access to information that I could never get in any other way.
    Can a Saudi get accepted into an American, British University without a sponsor from the country? Can they go through this process in their own?
    I will appreciate any info on the topic. Thank u!

  99. Dear Chiara
    Thank you for all your info. I would never ever take such a decision in these circumstances. I can not sacrifice so much for a person that I am not sure will sacrifice everything for me.
    I ask all these questions because if I take any decision one way or another, I want it to be an educated decision. Also, what do you mean with an international transfer? When his company assigns him to work in another country?
    This is all so stressful but I thank God for people like you giving me all this information.

    Take care!

  100. @Tami – it is painful and hard for me to tell someone to try and forget about someone whom they believe could be “the one.” I spoke candidly since you asked for my opinion and view. If he were willing to at least try towards getting permission and making sure that his family were supportive and aware of you, then I would advise differently.

    I do wish you all the best. Bedu

  101. @Abu Sinan – If he wants his marriage to be recognized in KSA and wishes to have a foreign wife with him in KSA, then he is correct on the age stipulations…and approval is still required…

  102. @Tami – yes; you could likely get a position in the education sector in Saudi Arabia but that would not necessarily solve your problems. It would be illegal for you and your Saudi to be together as you are not related. You could not date or get together in the traditional sense. And if you were to try and be caught, you would likely be deported if not first placed into Saudi jail. However, HE should be the one making suggestions and recommendations for the two of you if he is serious about the two of you having a future together.

  103. @Tami – Part of the reason this blog is here is to respond to questions, so ask away!

    Yes; a Saudi can get admitted to an outside (non-Saudi) University without a sponsor if he or she has the right qualifications and funds to do so.

  104. yes, u are right about everything u said. I just trying to put the things he has been telling me together. I want to see what is true and what is not. All this information, is helping me to know facts that I didn’t know before.
    I thank you deeply for your blog and for all your kind worlds.


  105. Tami-I am very glad you are thinking with your head, and letting it help your heart make good decisions.
    Yes the international transfer would be if his company transfers him to one of their offices in another country.
    Even then you would have to coordinate your activities. I agree with American Bedu that he should be making suggestions, but I understand you are trying to sort the information and get your own knowledge. That is very wise, since you are better able to form decisions good for you or to contribute to mutual decisions better.
    The issue does seem to be if he is willing to meet you at least half way or more, since given the laws of Saudi, he will have to do alot of the work for the couple.

    All the best!

  106. Hi Carol, ( American Bedu )

    I just want to say while browsing the net, I came across your site and have spent the best part of 1.5 hours browsing it and enjoying it so much. I am fascinated at your continuing love story. I myself am a British lady married to a wonderful Lebanese for the past 27 years and our love has proved everyone who had doubts our love would last, wrong! We have 3 wonderful sons ( 2 of whom are at University ) in Beirut and we are still best friends.

    By the way, thanks for your info on vets in Riyadh. We have just inherited a beautiful male persian from my friend who left the Kingdom and I am looking for a great vet. I will call Dr. Majed, where is he practicing by the way? Keep up the great work. Kathy

  107. Hi Kathy!

    It is lovely to hear of your own love story too! How long have you been in the Kingdom?

    Dr. Majed’s office is not too far from Aziziyah mall (the one off of King Fahad Road). At times he has also made house calls too. I’ve no doubt you will feel very comfortable when you see his practice. In fact, if you look at some of my flikr photos (link at right side of blog) you will see photos of Dr. Majed and his clinic when I interviewed him for Saudi Television Channel 2.

    Best Regards, Carol

  108. Hi Carol, wow! thanks so much for your quick reply. We did in fact call Dr. Majed’s clinic and have made an appointment for Wednesday morning for dear little “Whiskers” to have the …. wait for it……. the “Op”!

    He is 18 months old now and he is making some weird noises ( I think he wants to meet a nice lady Persian ) apparently his previous owner didn’t know he should have have the op haha!

    I went to a pet shop in our area and it looked a bit like “Back street surgery” so we definitely ran away from that.

    I have been now in the Kingdom for 3 years, before that 3 years in Beirut and before that 4 years in the Kingdom.

    We ran from here when compounds started to get bombed. I ran to Beirut and that got bombed ( summer 2006 ) so we came running back here. ( Keep your fingers crossed ) nothing else happens.

    I must say my heart is in Lebanon, I first went to beautiful Beirut 1979 as a young girl with my boyfriend who is now my husband, and have a love affair for the past 30 years with Beirut.

    Inshallah peace will prevail in this fragile little gem of a country. As for the Kingdom, we feel happy here and have no problem living here.

    Keep in touch, by the way your photos are amazing and beautiful and you look very nice. Lots of love, Kathy

  109. Hi Kathy,

    So happy to hear that you have an appointment with Dr. Majed. Please do give him my regards!

    Yes…sounds like little Whiskers is having growing pains which should be taken care of after the op!

    I hope to meet you once I have returned to Riyadh.

    Best Regards, carol

  110. Hi Carol,

    Thanks for the ultra prompt reply! I will certainly give your regards to Dr. Majed and hope everything goes well for little Whiskers. Hope you are somewhere nice having a great vacation. Hope to go to Beirut by end of July, must see my other two sons there, Rory aged 22 and the baby of the family Adam 19!

    Would love to meet inshallah when you get back.

    Best regards,

  111. Hi Kathy,

    I’m presently in Houston while one of my Saudi family members is undergoing medical treatment. It’s not exactly a vacation by any means but it is nice to be driving again and catching up with my American family and friends.

    Regards, Carol

  112. Hi Carol, thanks for replying. Sorry to hear about your troubles at the moment. Hope all goes well, enjoy the driving and have a safe journey.



  113. @Kathy – Thank you!

  114. Hi Carol, hope you are well. Tomorrow is Whiskers big day at Dr. Majeds clinic. On the phone, the receptionist said they are in the same building as Panda on the King Fahad Rd, exit 6 and you said he is near the Aziziyah Mall. Can you just tell me exactly where it is as we are setting off early tomorrow and don’t want to get lost.

    So sorry for bothering you on your holiday. Thanks a lot.

    Love, Kathy

  115. Dear Bedu

    I would like to know if anybody out there has any thought about this. My boyfriend of 1 year is Saudi and a very nice man.
    Some days ago, I had the chance to meet some of his relatives including one of his brothers who is married. His brother gave me his phone number and e-mail address and told me that if I ever needed anything, I could, let him know.

    When his brother went back to the kingdom he wrote me an e-mail just telling me about his family and about his trip. I thought this was very nice of him so I e mailed him back.

    I told all this to my boyfriend. He told me, every time he emails you; you have to send me his e-mail and your answer to this e-mail.
    He says there is nothing wrong with that but he has to know.

    I thought this was kind of extreme but once again, I am dealing with a different tradition. I was juts curious, why is that HE HAS TO KNOW something as simple as this…..Can anybody who has more knowledge of the Saudi culture and traditions or maybe even the Koran explain me this?

    Thank you !

  116. Hi Kathy,

    Follow the directions Dr. Majed gave you. I just gave you a general orientation (Aziza Mall and Saudi Airlines Hqs) but could not recall the specific exit. Yes; he is in the same plaza (at the end) as Panda.

    Wishing Whiskers all the best and I know he will be in the best of hands. Please give me feedback on Whiskers and your experience with Dr. Majed.

    Regards, Carol

  117. Dear Samira,

    What your boyfriend has requested of you is not from the Quran and nor is it specific to the Saudi culture. This is something that he has individually requested of you. I suggest you may want to ask him why he feels it is necessary. He may view it as a way of protecting you and wanting to ensure that as a non-Saudi you do not say anything that he fears would make him or you lose face or honor among his brother and family.

    Best Regards, Bedu

  118. Thank you! . I will ask him

  119. Samira…if I may. You are only a girlfriend, not his wife…therefore arently really off limits, generally speaking. It could be the brother is viewing you as fair game and the boyfriend realizes this…understanding his own culture…so wants to be sure his own brother isnt intent on poaching his love interest.

    I find it rather odd that his brother would email you anyhow…in Saudi culture many families do not permit such a “relationship” between a brother and SIL to exist on such an intimate setting. Emails are generally benign and non personal…but it could always lead there.

    Just wanted to say that.

  120. Hello Coolred
    Thank you very much for taking the time to write me. Well, I have never thought about it that way….. I did not see any kind of “special” behavior in his brother… he was just really friendly….maybe he knows that in the West those kind of things are normal and since I am from here…. he thought it may be ok…
    but… that is interesting, uhmmm things are complicated when dealing with Saudis.

  121. Hello
    I want to thank Bedu for the opportunity to share “Saudi” issues with other readers. It is very, very helpful.
    I would like to know if anybody out there knows what kind of tribe is
    Al-Sahali….. or Almatroud ( maybe I am misspelling the tribes names)

    please, could someone tell me if these tribes are traditional, or are the famous for anything specific?
    I will really appreciate if someone could help me with this.
    Thank you!:)

  122. Samira-I agree with both American Bedu, and Coolred on your initial question. In my experience of other Arab men dating seriously, it is unusual to allow a lot of “private communication” with a brother.

    In regards to your question about tribes, you may be referring to the al-Suhail clan of the Tamim tribe, that American Bedu has referred to in her recent post about Al Shaigar, and about which there is much online, and in reference and academic books and journals. Since the other name you use is not listed as one of the major tribes of Saudi, it may also be a clan or a smaller tribe.

    Hopefully knowledgeable Saudis will be better able to respond to your request for information.

  123. Hi Carol!
    Since I am from Saudi and I jut got into the blogging world recently, I just want to say that, I like the way you express your thoughts and speak your mind when it comes to Saudi issues and culture. I am starting a dry humor blog, it’s about the young generation in Saudi. My blog is based on stuff white people like site. =)

    Keep up the good work..

  124. Thank you Chiara for your comments……
    yes, maybe this tribe is the one you mentioned…. I was hoping someone knew something about if this is a very traditional, or close minded tribe or clan or however they divide them…….

    if anybody has any info about this tribe … please let me know.

  125. This is a good opportunity to ask something that I’ve wondered about… are all Saudis tribal? The reason I ask is that in Kuwait, it’s maybe 1/3 of the population that’s Bedu, and their customs seem similar to what I hear about Saudi in many ways. Other main groups are the people who lived in the old town and were traders or pearl divers, the people whose families came from Iran, but are Sunni and Arab, etc. Although they all live and work together and are friends, people still typically marry from within the same group (and Bedu usually within their same tribe).

    But when people talk about Saudi, it like everyone is Bedu/tribal (I’m not sure what word to use; please no one take offense if I’m not using the right word). Are there families that aren’t?

  126. Hey munaqabah,
    About your question, if all Saudis come from a Bedu or tribal families? Nope, there are a lot of Saudis their ancestors are from Syria, Egypt, or Turkey etc. Back in the days, Saudis used to marry people from different part of the middle east, and live in Saudi. For instance, I am a Saudi citizen but not from a tribal family.
    I hope that helped you regarding your question.

  127. @Samira – all I can tell you is those families are basically from the same tribe and come from the Medina – Jeddah area. The general reputation is that of a conservative or more traditional tribe.

  128. @munaqabah – My understanding is that the Saudi families are usually large and extended and this is what is typically referred to as the tribe. Also by the family names, one immediately has a pretty good idea what part of the Kingdom or the GCC region this tribe and therefore extended family originates from as well as whether they are known to be traditional, conservative, bedu or more liberal and open. Also by family names one can tell whether this is a family known to have many scholars; be known for business, etc. Hope this explanation helps.

  129. Saudislike – welcome and thank you for your comment. Please tell me more about yourself! Are you Saudi? I will also check out your blog.

  130. Thanks.

  131. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for welcoming me to your blog. About myself, well I am a Saudi guy from Jeddah city, who enjoy playing sports, jet-skiing, reading books, and traveling. After I read several blogs, I really liked the idea of sharing your thoughts and interacting with people, therefore, I decided to start my blog as a fun way to speak my mind.

  132. @saudislike – that is wonderful and I’m sure many will very much enjoy following your blog!

  133. I would like to introduce myself , my name is Lamyaa from Riyadh I’m a Saudi Nationality one of my dreams to create a place in Riyadh to be a shelter for Dogs/Cats since most of the people in Riyadh nead to be educated on how to take care of animals.

    I will appreciate if you send me your contact information to discuss how we can make things true and start to build the shelter in Riyadh.



  134. @Lamyaa – Welcome Lamyaa!

    I’d like to refer you to the yahoo newsgroups [email protected] which is a group of individuals in Saudi who also love pets and are trying to help the stray and abandoned cats and dogs. Also, Saudi Paws is active and well which is another organization doing the same. If you search my blog under Operation Kitty Rescue, it will take you to a link with additional information too.

    I think it is great that you also want to make a contribution and difference to the plight of the homeless cats and dogs in Saudi!

  135. Hi Carol,

    hope you are fine and in good health ( Inshallah ) and trying to relax in the States. Just to say sorry for the delay in writing to you, I was ill for a couple of weeks with a sinus infection and we couldn’t take “Whiskers” for his op. Wait for it…….. today we took him at last to the wonderful Dr. Majed and dear Whiskers had his op at last!

    I want to just say a big thank you for telling me and all of us out there about Dr. Majed. I was soooooo impressed, he is a lovely man and we just knew “Whiskers” was in excellent hands.

    Well he had the op, we picked him up today, he does look super spaced out, and is staggering a bit around the apt. Hopefully, he will be fine tomorrow. Well dear, have fun and God bless. And keep up the excellent work, you are a true breath of fresh air in the hot desert! xx

  136. @Kathy – I’m sorry to hear you were not feeling well and hope this note finds you doing much better.

    That’s great news about Whiskers and I’m sure he’ll only be staggering around for a day or so! (smile) Very pleased that you like Dr. Majed – the Kingdom is so lucky to have someone like him practicing!

    Best Regards, Carol

  137. Hi Carol, thanks for your reply. Hope all is well with you. Wanted to say I am so interested in your blog and all its interesting topics. I am having fun in Beirut with my 2 sons and Whiskers is doing fine with my eldest son in Riyadh.

    When are you back in the Kingdom? Hope everything is fine and you are in good health. Keep up the excellent work. Kathy

  138. Hi Kathy,

    That is so nice you are getting a nice break from the heat of Riyadh and that Whiskers is in good hands!

    We still do not have a specific timeframe on when we will be returning so we’re taking things day-by-day.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the blog and please do not hesitate to give me suggestions on future topics on which to write.

    Best Regards, Carol

  139. HI my self shyamkumar panikar my iqama no is 2263525335 & i want to know that when is my iqama expiration date or fine on my iqama. & i want to know that my iqama is oraginal or not

    thanks & regard

    shyamkumar panikar

  140. @Shyamkumar – if you do not read arabic then you will need to have someone tell you on what date your iqama expires. However I would like to know how you received your iqama if you are concerned whether or not it is real?

  141. Dear Carol,
    I’m sure this is a cliche but as i was googling, i came across your blog and can’t have enough:)
    It’s very interesting and I love to meet people from various cultures. I am a Pakistani living in Saudi for the past 29 years of my life. My parents left the states as they wanted to settle in Saudi. I live in Jeddah and work for KFSHRC-Jeddah. I read somewhere in your blog that you also work for KFSHRC-Riyadh. Im not sure if you’re still working there.
    I would love to get to know you and hear more from you and would love to share my experiences with you as well. I will be also sending you an email that you have provided. Looking forward to hearing from you soon,.

  142. @Asiya – Welcome and thank you!

    No; I am no longer with KFSH-R but still have so many friends there. I had switched from KFSH-R to NGHA-R.

    I’ll look forward to your email.

  143. Hi Carol,
    Coolred’s blog is no longer accessible. Do you know the latest on her?

  144. @Daisy,

    I’ll have to check it out….that is odd.

  145. I got access today, thanks.

  146. Hi Carol,

    How are you? Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family. Hope you are well, are you still in the States? I have just returned from Beirut, where I spent 5 lovely weeks with my 2 sons who are studying there.

    It was great to get away, and Lebanon when it is peaceful is an amazing country. Whiskers is fine by the way and says a big hi, and would love to hear from you. Love, Kathy

  147. Hi there Kathy,

    Ramadan Mubarak to you too! Glad to hear you had a lovely time in Lebanon. We are still in the States presently.

    Speaking of Whiskers makes me miss my own two kitties who are still in Riyadh!

    Best Regards, Carol

  148. Hi Carol, greetings to you and your family. It was great to hear from and once again I want to say how amazing your site is. It is full of such interesting topics, it really does brighten up our time here in Riyadh. By the way, we want to have Whiskers groomed, washed etc and are wondering where is the best place. While we were away in Beirut, he stayed with our friend who has a female Persian cat and a dog. Well, needless to say Whiskers had a lovely time but does seem to be constantly scratching since we picked him up. I am wondering did he pick up anything? If you could tell us about a good place for bathing and grooming that really are gentle with the animals, I would be forever grateful.

    Kindest regards always,


  149. Hi Kathy,

    I always take my cats to Life and Nature pet store for grooming. They do a very good job there.

    Regards, Carol

  150. Thanks Carol for the info, but where is this store “Life and Nature”? Could you just tell us the location? Thanks Kathy

  151. Kathy,

    I believe it is on King Abdulaziz Road. Here is an earlier post I had written about it as well:


  152. Hi Carol,
    I read your revised “About” page – it’s good you’ve clarified here that your page is not for Saudi bashing – if it is such a big problem there.
    Is that a recent photograph of yours? Somehow I felt you look very exhausted in this photo – of course with taking care of your relative, finding a job and maintaining your blog with the stress of being labelled a dissenter – I can understand it.

  153. Hi Daisy,

    Thanks for your honesty! Yes, it is me and I have been going non-stop lately.

  154. Hey Carol,

    You truly are unbiased in your blogging. I know I have not been commenting offlate on your blog, but I do read your blog updates ever so often.
    cheers, keep up the good work

  155. Thanks Rasputin and hope to see more comments from you.

    Regards, Carol

  156. Hello every one my wife is from USA we found a good pizza place to visit and try it

    thank you

  157. Hey Auntie!! Love your blog! Miss you – let me know if you ever get back to Florida – would love to see you and my kids are getting HUGE (pics on Facebook). Tell Abdullah we said hi..

  158. @Lisa,

    Hi Sweetie! I’m thrilled to have you here and I sure miss you too!! And I did peek at the kids on Facebook…my goodness, they are growing way too fast…but then again, I always still see you and Tara as rambunctious teenagers! (big grin)

    Love, Aunt Carol

  159. I am so glad that I discovered your blog…
    I’ll keep popping and commenting…so stay tuned:)

    Maha Noor Elahi

  160. Welcome Maha and thanks for your comments!

  161. Hi Carol.

    I’ve just received and signed an employment offer from the Saudi Red Crescent Authority. My wife, our 3 and 5 year olds and I are preparing for what promises to be our families big “adventure of a lifetime”.

    As you can imagine there have been many questions and concerns surrounding our decision, but it has been through researching and reading information found on the web, and in particular blogs like yours, containing such contemporary and forthright information, that has convinced us this is an oppurtunity worth pursuing, and that importantly, as a family we will learn and grow together from the experience.

    We will continue to be frequent viewers of your blog as we prepare ourselves for our departure from our home in Australia, and our arrival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    Thankyou for being a part of our journey.


    Tony, Sky, Hannah and Liam.

  162. Dear Tony, Sky, Hannah and Liam,

    Thank you so very much for your message. It has truly touched my heart.

    My warmest congratulations on your upcoming venture. Please do not hesitate at all to contact me directly on any questions you may have on getting settled in Riyadh. My email is [email protected].

    All the best, Carol

  163. As Salaam Alaykom:

    My name does not mean I am Arab. I don’t know why they did it.

    I do not mean to pry so if I am please do not be offended. So, when you married a Saudi Man, did you convert to Islam?

    When I first converted to Islam, I adamantily refused to wear the Niqab. But after stamping my feet, shaking my fists and crying, I found myself doing it. It was not because some man said I must but because, I felt as if Allah SWT wanted me to do it, not because it was needed but because I had been so adamant that I would not.

    I am still not sure this makes sense.



  164. Salam Alaikum Hala,

    I had converted to Islam before I had married my husband. Those are two very private and separate acts I chose to take.

    Best Regards, Carol

  165. Hi Carol Salam Allaikum ,
    I hope you are feeling well Inshallah, my heart is thinking of you. Many before me I have read your words with added advice of many intelligent and considerate bloggers. I have only been on one blog site previously and was almost burnt alive by a Saudi woman giving me her opinion of me and my life with no substantial facts. Terrorizing would be an accurate word, but after no more than 2 responses I evaluated the situation. Maybe she wanted a target or a pastime to place anger and added no constructive advice to my initial question. The question was “what is everyday life like in a Saudi home and mixing with family. All the everyday things that go on within the house and family, usually.” Not a complicated question, or so I thought. I was naive to think I would get an answer, but such is life. Anyway, it’s nice to listen to educated, experienced and non-judgmental people. Not naive this time, inshallah. Have researched and found plenty of evidence here and on other sites to understand how the people related to this site think and respond. The funny thing now is that I do not wish to know answers to questions that I can answer myself, especially when everything changes on a daily basis in domestic life. I have to make my own destiny in a culture that doesn’t conflict with many of my own values or ideals. Sorry, should have given a brief overview. My Saudi man and I have been together for 21/2yrs and cannot stand to be apart for one day. He pursued me like a crazy man and I took time to accept his sincerity as he did with me. He had to consider, political ambitions, Saudi predujices against western women, PHD, family and also me adjusting life in KSA. I also had to consider marrying a man much younger than myself(could I trust him), my safety in Australia (not KSA) which is very important because I have 4 children who need a mother. Other important things like leaving my children and living in another country for a man. Am I a pastime for him? and why would he love someone who is overweight, much older and with all those kiddies. Don’t get me wrong I have lost weight, look amazing for my age and 2 of my 4 kids are now of adult age. At the time it was different and he inspired me to take care of myself and have self esteem(definitely not the pity bride either!!). I will also point out that I am individually wealthy and work in a good profession. We want to have an Islamic wedding here and also a registry marriage if that is necessary, then a wedding in Saudi for his family and commence all the marriage legalities through the Saudi legal system whilst he is completing his PHD. This is the only solution we can brainstorm over the past 2 yrs. He will be over 35yrs by next year but that subject seems never to be clarified on any site. Our main problem is about my child bearing age, so we are trying to do this before my time runs out which is quickly approaching. If there was not Saudi rules we would have married after 3 mths when I finally agreed and if I was 20yrs younger I would wait for him for as long as it took. But this is not our circumstances. His mother and sisters have been aware of his intentions for 1yr and now his father and the rest of his family will be informed. Obviously he has recently gone back over the holidays. I do not want him to live with me before marriage as my children will be exposed to that sort of lifestyle which I am not comfortable with and that would be the only reason for a registry marriage. He has discussed the benefits of wasta which is available for him and maybe a bribe here or there. If we marry here, have an undocumented Saudi wedding there then followed up by a few years of waiting for official permission to marry whilst he was completing his PHD, would it seem feasible. Also, will money buy me and his children back to the KSA as his wife if the papers have been accepted by KSA. Can documents be amended so that children born from a marriage Islamic and registry be documented in records according to a later marriage application. The children need to be identified as Saudi nationales which is a high priority for us both. Can all this be done, money is not an issue. You guys are going to have fun with this one!! I will talk later about the mahr arrangements which is a whole new blog. Thanks Jacinta

  166. Salam Alaikum Jacinta and welcome to the American Bedu blog. I am confident that you can pose your questions and they will be taken sincerely by followers here who have vast experiences pertaining to Saudi – both Saudi and non-Saudis alike.

    Thanks for sharing your background and circumstances. Yes; WASTA can make a big difference in outcomes and particularly when it comes to the marriage permission process. Although you mention your husband will soon be over 35, another factor to take into consideration is whether he is being sponsored by the Saudi government while he obtains his PhD and what position/employer he has back in Saudi. However being said, the reality is with appropriate WASTA exceptions can and are made.

    To put your mind at ease, any child born of a Saudi male is viewed as a Saudi, even outside of the Kingdom. Your husband should know the procedure but it will amount to informing the Saudi embassy in Canberra and providing documentation (birth certificate) and a child will be registered and given Saudi citizenship/passport.

    I find it interesting that the female side of his family know his intentions and that he will be informing his father. Most of the Saudi families I know it is usually the mother, sisters and aunts who have the big influence on whether a prospective bride is accepted!

    I wish all the best for you and also encourage you to do searches within American Bedu blog since marriage, marriage approvals, mahr, dowry have been a topic of many past posts. And of course, all your questions are most welcomed.

    American Bedu

  167. Hey Carol !

    i m just curious do u speak Arabic if so how good ?

  168. Hi Mohammed,

    I’ve had classes. I can read/write and speak fair, certainly not fluent!

  169. Wow ! that is so good !
    i am now trying to teach myself Spanish..speaking anther language is a chance for who lives in another country don’t think so?

  170. @Mohammed – I think it is always beneficial to be able to speak more than one language. Spanish is a good choice given the high Hispanic population in the USA.

    Samuel P. Harrington wrote a book “Who are We” which is a thick book but good read. He tells how during 9/11 Americans grouped together and had a strong sense of pride and identity as an American. However over time that changed and also the impact of immigrants to the US from Hispanic/Latino regions was mixing the composition of America and its culture. As a result, Americans were losing the same sense of identity by the influx of immigrants who bring their culture and language with them.

  171. Mohammed, languages are one of the most useful things you can learn! I think besides reading they were the most useful stuff I learned at school.
    (In the Netherlands we learn English, French and German at school, some schools do Spanish as well)

  172. Definitely you’re right, Aafke…

    Aafke! Are you an American?

  173. No, I’m Dutch. Hence educated in the Netherlands.?

  174. I’m very excited to find your blog! I’m an American married to a Saudi and have recently moved to Jeddah. It’s so nice to see the different topics and be able to relate with someone in the same situation. Your blogs cover great topics, and are very educational. Keep up the great work : )

  175. Welcome Kim and please do not hesitate to ask any questions about life in Saudi!

  176. Hello there,

    I am interested in becoming a wife to a good and kind Saudi Arabian man. I am a muslimah convert, age 40, never married, just have a cat that I’d like to keep.

    Life here in the USA is overwhelming to me these days. Too much electronic world, not enough nature and remembering to respect our planet.

    I would be willing to leave it all behind for a peaceful Islamic life in the sacred lands of Saudi.

    I don’t check email or blogs much, and don’t have Facebook or anything, but am interested if there are men who would like to see my photo and speak with me, insha’Allah.

    Kindest regards, and wasalam,

  177. This is my 1st time to see your blog, and wanted to say hi, and to express my thanks for such a nice blog name “American Bedu” I liked it very much…

    keep it going and will b in touch..


  178. Welcome Abdullah and I’ll look forward to your future comments!

  179. Thank you Abdullah! How are you, and have a blessed Friday!

  180. Laura, so you like nature. Do you realise that Saudi arabia is a big desert with mainly sand and precious little nature? That ”preserving nature” is one of the concepts they are thinking of doing something about maybe after the next three hundred years? Respect for nature is an utterly foreign concept. They are not even careful with water, but waste it even in the middle of the desert.

    Do you know that a peaceful quiet life is something Saudi women would like very much too? Especially as your every move is watched and commented upon by everybody in the family and neigbourhood. Saudi women would love some peace when doing grocery shopping instead they are being harassed by men at every step.

    Do you realise that at age 25 a woman is considered having passed the best years, she is old? Do you know that a Saudi man thinks that when his wife is getting on in years (aka 25 +) he has the right to ”upgrade” and get another wife. Do you think a Saudi man would choose an even older second or third wife instead of a 16-year old cheap Moroccan virgin?
    At age 40 even Saudi women are allowed to marry foreigners they are considered so utterly worthless.
    The only reason a Saudi would want a middle aged western convert would be if he had not money enough to buy a virgin and he wants to be fashionable with a second western wife.

    Do you realise that everybody in Saudi Arabia is nuts about electronics and gadgets and have the latest I-phone super-glued to their ears even if they have nobody to talk to?

    And if you want an ”Islamic” life Saudi Arabia is the last place you should go to. There is precious little Islam but a whole lot of tribal bidah.

  181. Aafke
    What on earth are you talking about? bashing Saudis and the whole country based on what? a patronizing disrespectful person who lives in the Netherlands and knows nothing about the Saudi. (based on true, real facts)

    I have lived in Saudi my whole life. And what you are talking about could have happen everywhere.
    It’s just the way you say it makes it seems like the country as a whole is messed up.

    I’m utterly and absoultely repulsed by your coment.

    People like you should be totally ignored and not given any value to opinions. Because they are typical disgusting stereotyping.

    Shame on you.

    I just hope you find the right man who values you as person and cherish you as a wife. No matter where he’s from or who is he.

  182. @ Laura,
    There are some good men here. The problem is that legally you have the status of a child when you are here- so if things go wrong you have no recourse.

    Regarding nature, I think Aafke is correct- people and factories do not think “green” here. And there isn’t much natural beauty with two big exceptions. First, if you love the desert- well there is plenty of that here (my husband does). The second is the Red Sea. It has an incredible coral reef. So if you are a snorkeler or scuba diver , sailor or fisherman, you would love that. BUT it takes means to be able to do those things, and a husband that allows you to.

    Also, while the people here are mostly Muslims- it is not really an Islamic country . The laws are mostly based on patriarchaly/tribal law, in spite of what they say (example: the status of women).

    If you really have an interest in coming here- maybe try to get a job- most are two year contracts, and try it out for yourself.

    I hope you find what/who you are looking for.

  183. Hello all who commented to me about putting all this Western life behind me and finding a Saudi husband and living in nature away from it all…..

    Thank you for all your honesty.

    It seems that in this day and age, there is no way to escape Shaitan’s plans and the infiltration even in the country that houses our holiest sites.

    I will just give it to Allah, SWT, and see what happens.

    Maybe it is not meant for me to be married in this life, but insha’Allah I will be blessed with Jannah with a good husband and family.


    Thank you again everyone. May Allah SWT bless you all with His Light.

    Laura Nour Rabbeth


  184. Hello Carol,
    Thank you for your blog..! I have been offered an English Instructor position at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences–College of Medicine in Jeddah. I am wondering if you would be willing to share some of your experiences? For example, I will be bringing my husband and ten-year old daughter. The university offered us housing, but I am wondering what other expenses we need to be thinking about. This will be a first-time experience coming to the Middle East for both me and my family so anything you can tell me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks..!

  185. Dear Virginia,

    Thank you for your nice compliment and Congratulations on your opportunity. I can not speak specifically to KAUHS-COM in Jeddah but I can say that KAUHS is an excellent employer. The facilities in Riyadh are quite nice and very comfortable for families. Jeddah is a more open environment than Jeddah so I feel confident in saying the standards should be no less than equal.

    There is a large expat community in Jeddah with much to see and do.

    Through your KAUHS offer you will have the opportunity of minimal expenses where one can save easily and quickly or less savings and more shopping and travel!

    The primary expense which depends on your offer is whether schooling has been included in your contract offer. Tuition at international school’s can be pricey. Otherwise main expenses would likely be mobile phone service; internet service in the home; groceries; and local transport.

    Please do not hesitate to ask if you have additional questions.

  186. Assalammualaikum Wr Wb

    Hi Carol, pls allowed me to introduce myself. I’m Lisa, Indonesian. Although this is my first comment but reading your web is my daily routine.

    Currently residing in Dammam-Saudi Arabia since Sept 2008 with husband and 3 kids. I know your web before I moved here, when I was browsing life in KSA. We lived in Thailand and US of America.

    Reading your blog is just like take a cross culture course for me. Adjusting for my husband and my kids are more easily compare to me since hubby goes to the office and the kids go to british int school.

    Thank you Carol.

  187. Salam Alaikum Ramatullallah wa barakat,

    Thank you Lisa for the lovely comment about my blog. It is comments like yours that make me continue to strive for daily posts.

    And please, if you have any suggestions for future topics or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Thank you again, Carol

  188. Dear Carol,

    I’ve been enjoying reading your blog for a while and that encouraged me create my own blog. Althoug, I might not agree with everything you write but I respect the way you chose to live your own life and the decisions you made.

    Good Luck!



  189. Saudi Guy,

    I’m glad to hear that you have been inspired to create your own blog. I wish you all the best with it. If you would be interested in allowing me to interview you to further promote your blog and views, please email me directly at [email protected].

    Best Regards, Carol

  190. Hello there!
    Just curious about some things. I read that you converted to Islam before your marriage, I am wondering if you are a practising Muslim. Sorry to ask that, hope you do not mind.
    What do you think about Islam when you heard about it first time and later when you came to know about it and then after you became a Muslim?

    Also do you have children with your saudi husband?

    Best Regards

  191. @Nas,

    What is your definition of a practicing Muslim? I do pray but due to my medical condition could not fast during Ramadan last year and will not this year either.

    I actually wrote a blog post on my observations of Islam. Speaking only for myself, once in Saudi, I was not comfortable with how many individuals of mixed nationalities but Muslim are so adamant on wanting to push their view and practice of Islam on fellow Muslims and implying that theirs is the right view and way to practice and anything else is wrong.

    I was introduced to Islam as a kind, giving and tolerant religion.

    And no, my husband and I met each other later in life and did not have children together. ):

  192. Assalamu alaikum Nas:

    Thank you for asking me. Yes, now I am a practicing Muslim, and April 15, 2010 is my 10 year anniversary for taking my shahada, but I fell away for a couple of years in my practicing, may Allah SWT forgive me, and my prayers were not always the best over time, but now of late, alhamdulillah, I have the Athan on my computer so I will always try to make salat right on time when I am home (I work 7 days on-12-hr shift days, then 7 days off, over and over throughout the year, so on my off days I have been doing well, and on my work days I will make up what I might have missed if too busy at work).

    What do you think about Islam when you heard about it first time and later when you came to know about it and then after you became a Muslim?

    Please allow me to share a thorough true story with you.

    When I first learned about Islam, I was very very ignorant, as I was born of a non-practicing 70’s hippie christian family who always taught me to treat people well, and work hard, and I went to vacation bible school a week or two when I was in grade school, and we got a ruler once that had the ‘golden rule’ on it, so that was what I always tried to follow growing up. We had a 130-acre farm in the knobs of Kentucky, so I was surrounded by Allah SWT’s nature all the time and very much cherish the 4 seasons and watching the sunrise many many days. Alhamdulillah!

    I met this man who was Palestinian and had moved to the USA when he was 10 or 11 years of age, and we met when I was 22, and he was in medical school about the same age. I never know much at ALL about Islam or the difference between a Muslim and Islam, etc. But, we fell in love and he was not a strong-practicing Muslim, as I saw a prayer rug, but never saw him pray. We moved in together after knowing each other for about 3 months, then we agreed it was only for 1 year, and anything beyond that was fate. He never admitted to calling me his girlfriend and I could never understand that, and he also saw other women sometimes which drove me nuts!!!, and I moved back to Kentucky after 11 months, but then I wrote him letters DAILY for about 6 months, then we lived together again off and on for about 6 more years. In the beginning, he just said never to cook pork or have it in the home, so I was very fine with that because he meant so much to me. Then, say about 5 to 6 years after being with him, we were taking a little road trip and while riding in the car, I told him how I used to look up at the blue sky when I was a kid on the farm and would ask these deep philosophical questions like “Why are we here?” What’s it all about and those kinds of things?” Then, that is when he said, “Well, in my religion, we are told that we are here to worship Allah (or maybe he said God at the time)”. Then, some time later, his father sent him a copy of The Holy Qur’an, by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. It still had the plastic wrapping around it, and he had not ever opened it for a good while. I was say about 27 or 28 years of age at this point, and I was still searching with these deep questions, and I asked him if I could read it. He said no, that I had to be a believer and some other reasons that was time consuming to try to explain. However, he finally opened it, and while he was working on call at the hospital, I would read it. Then, I went to a local bookstore and asked them to order it for me, so THEN my journey began. At this point of our relationship, which was waning to say the least in commitment and future prospectives, I was living on one floor of the high rise apartment and he was on another floor and the nights I would spend alone, I would read one ayat a night, then go to sleep. I memorized Al-Fatiha in English and had NO idea at the time that it was recited at the beginning of each salat we make. I got to the point where I really loved it so much!!!, and after about 7 months, I moved back to Louisville, KY again to live with my parents, and I called one of the two local masjids there to ask about coming over. The man I spoke with put me in touch with a sister, who then agreed to meet me at the masjid. From there, I met another lovely Palestinian woman named Manal and she would take her children there on Sundays for classes, so she offered to give me rides (at the time I did not have a car having lived in Chicago before). And after more time, one of the other converted sisters told me that if I really believed in Islam that Muhammad SAW was the final messenger, then I should convert because you never know when Allah SWT is going to take you.

    So, I decided to, and my mom said that maybe I should study all religions first before making the decision, but my mind was made up, and I could not see myself being with any man as a husband unless he was Muslim. and my kinda step-dad said, “What?! You are going to pray to Mecca 5 times a day?!!” Hahahaha…I have to laugh because at this point, I didn’t even know that one had to do THAT!! and, of course, my reply was “Yes!”

    My family (I am the youngest of 7 children all from my parents -Dad passed suddenly when I was 9 and his best friend and he had an agreement to take care of my mom and us kids and he did, so that’s why I say “kinda step dad”), my family all were OK with me converting. No one got upset, but my step-dad did not like me wearing hijab and said once that we had lived in a predominently Jewish neighborhood, which I could have cared less about!

    Well, I moved back to Chicago, but the man I loved finished internship, moved away and did not want me to follow him. He told me from the beginning that he would never marry me, but being so hard-headed that I am, I thought I could win. I did not. Blood is thicker than love, let me tell you!! But, I am still hard-headed……He is now married to what he always wanted, which was a virgin, Palestinian Muslim lady. I actually met her and that’s a whole other long story, but I won’t bore you all with that!

    BUT, I stayed converted to Islam, even though he moved on…..I met a man from Morocco who I almost married, but I wasn’t ready and he just was not meant to be for me. Then, I met another Moroccan man, who was a wonderful loving man who taught me some things, but he would not marry me, so I moved on…

    Now, whenever someone has tried to set me up, either he likes me and I don’t like him, or I like him or he doesn’t like me. However, I met someone recently by chance though his work, and he is a WONDERFUL dear Muslim man from Iraq. I pray to Allah SWT every day to make it halal and for me to be his wife some day (would be a 2nd wife, so this is quite difficult). As you can see I am more open than most women would be, and well, that’s what it is. I pray so hard and make istikhara, and just give it to Allah SWT to guide me and take care of me.

    Also do you have children with your saudi husband?

    So, no I do not have children, and am not yet married. (My one posting was that I was seeking possibly a Saudi man who might even consider me as a 2nd wife because so much I want to put all this crazy dunya world behind me and living in a non-Muslim country is not easy. However, from other email posts I have read lead me to believe that Shaitan has infiltrated all of the planet, so I had best sit tight and count my blessings and just start working on the 5 pillars. I used to smoke (something which prohibited me from praying, and ALHAMDULILLAH, I quit and then Allah SWT blessed me with this lovely man. I am so very happy for these blessings, and am grateful and rich! I just finally memorized Ayat Al-Kursi from the very nice website, http://www.mounthira.com. It is very very good!

    thank you and may Allah SWT forgive me if I am doing anything wrong…..I have asked sisters about my current situation and they say that it is halal to be a 2nd wife, as our Creator has made it holy and permissable with conditions, so I will continue to pray and hope for this blessing to continue, insha’Allah.

    Jazaka Allahu Khairn,

  193. What is your definition of a practicing Muslim?

    Well, one who strives to follow the 5 pillars of Islam.

    1st to avoid putting any THING or PERSON alongside or before The Almighty, Allah.

    2nd to do your very best to make salat, and stay focused as best as you can while praying.

    3rd, study the Qur’an, memorize surahs or some ayats, and use them in your salats. Right now I use 4 different ones other than Al Fatiha, but I REALLY need to and am working on another one.

    4th, try to REALLY stay focused with the Qur’an and what the Prophet SAW taught.

    5th, personally, I think there should only be Islam, no sunnis or shiites. I try to avoid the teaching of shiites and stay focused on sunni practices.

    This is my best advice and may Allah SWT forgive me if I have said anything wrong.

  194. @Noor,

    Thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself as you did. I am wishing you all the best.

    Regards, American Bedu

  195. Assalamu alaikum American Bedu:

    Now that I read the blog more, I don’t think the question was directed to me, but at any rate, you are welcome for sharing this big part of myself.

    I need all the best wishes and dua’a please.

    Masalaama, Noor

  196. Salam Alaikum Noor,

    Whether directed at you or me, I am sure we have both given food for thought.

    You sound like a strong person with an open mind and warm heart. You are also in my dua’a.


  197. Thanks Carol for your reply. Even if I say that I understand your situation, it is not the same. Can you pls send me the link for your blog post on your observations of Islam. I would be interested to read it.
    I pray for your good health. The more I read about you, the more I feel like knowing more.

    If I am not wrong, I think you have a son from a previous marriage. Did your Saudi husband have also?

    Yes it is not right to force people to do what they believe is right. Islam says there is no compulsion in religion.

    Islam is indeed a kind, loving beautiful way of life.

    @Noor, Thank you for your beautiful story. It really touched me. I am involved in an Islamic mags/newsletter and I often write stories of new muslims. Your story seems so different from others. I want to ask your permission if I may, some day, use your story. Your strength and courage is something to be admired. I would really like to hear from you.

    I wish you both well.


  198. @Nas,

    You are welcome and thank YOU for reading American Bedu.

    Here is one of my very early blog posts on performing Umrah:


    and for some of my more personal views:


    Lastly yes; my husband and I met each other later in life. I have a grown child and Abdullah also left a legacy in his beautiful children (who are older too).

  199. Assalamu Alaikum Nas.

    Yes, you may use my story. I hope, insha’Allah, it might inspire more people to come to Islam.

    Jazakallahu Khairan.

  200. Wa Alaikum assalam Noor,
    Thanks for allowing me to use your story. I hope things go well for you. I would love to hear from you more and help you in whatever ways I can. – Nas

    @Bedu, You are ever so wonderful. Your posts have a calming effect on me. You have such an interesting story. I would like to use your story too. I hope I can?

    I know that you have performed Umrah, but did you do Hajj as well? When was the last time you wnet back to USA? – Nas

  201. @Nas, you may use my story. Regretfully I have yet to perform Hajj. It was a dream for my husband and I to make Hajj together. Although in his case, growing up in Makkah he had performed Hajj multiple times. He and his mom told me how in earlier times in Makkah it was easy for local residents to perform Hajj each year. (I’ve written about this on my blog)


    and this post explains why I am not in Saudi Arabia at this time:


    I am happy you have found American Bedu blog!

    Best Regards, Carol

  202. Dear Carol,
    Thanks for the links. I read your story on why are not in KSA and as many others, was deeply touched. I cannot begin to imagine your situation at that time.

    I am sorry to hear abt your husband’s passing. May Allah rest his soul in peace and grant him Jannah. Ameen.

    I pray for your complete recovery. What you must have gone through when you heard the news of your husband while you yourself were in treatment! I have no words, no words at all.

    Are you planning on returning to KSA? I know it was your dream to perform Hajj but maybe one day you can do it. God will invite you. Insha’allah.

    All souls will taste death … this is the life of this world and the best is yet to come. You are in my prayers, dear Carol. Whatever happens is what is already planned.

    Yes you are a warrior. Thanks for sharing your story, it makes us reflect on our own lives. I am still so pensive after reading that post.


  203. Dear Nas,

    You are welcome and thank you for your words of comfort and support. Yes; at some point I wish to return to KSA. It may not be to live permanently but at a minimum to see Abdullah’s family and perform umrah for both of us.

  204. As an Saudi going to school in the US I am so glad that I stumbled upon this blog,
    Most of the blogs dedicated to Saudi Arabia, they are either bashing Saudi Arabia or glorifying it for no reason, but I think this blog is one of the few that actually provide fair opinions.

    As a Saudi going to school in the US sometimes I find it hard to explain some of the Saudi aspects of life. but I think this blog will help me to understand my own country, and then I’ll be able to explain things a little clearer.

    Keep doing what you’re doing

  205. Salam Alaikum Ahmad and Welcome to American Bedu.

    I look forward to additional comments as well as your perspective as a Saudi student in the US.

    Best Regards, Bedu

  206. Assalmualaikum ,

    I’m from Malaysia and just started working here for a few weeks. Thanks to your blog, i managed to get all the general info on where to go in Riyadh..

  207. very good blog Carol .. !! keep it up ^_^

  208. hah..i just found this blog. its pretty wicked

  209. errrrr, thank you….I think! (smile) I’m not sure how to interpret wicked!

    Welcome to American Bedu, Zeyad and I appreciate your comments. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have about this blog.

    Best Regards, American Bedu

  210. Hi Carol

    I jst came onto your blog and I think its quite great and kudos to you :o)

    Noor Asad

  211. Dear Noor,

    Thank you so much! Welcome!!


  212. @Noor :

    Thanks for sharing your story, but I have to tell I was disturbed by ur interest in married men. Yes it’s permissible yet it’s also conditional . but haven’t you thought of the misery you will cause to another woman ??

    I thought being a Muslim mean being compassionate for other fellow humans. You are a woman yet you are willing to steal a man from his wife by being a 2nd wife. Haven’t u thought how angry and hurt his wife would feel knowing that some other woman is praying to be a 2nd wife to her husband ?

    How could u do this to another woman ??

    You reminded me of the women who don’t mind being “the other woman” thinking that “he will leave his wife for me”.

    I’m PRAYING that u will never be his 2nd wife. I pray that u will never be any man’s second wife so you won’t face Allah in judgment day with the sin of hurting someone who never hurt u.

    I pray that u will be the 1st and only wife of a nice man . Maybe then u will feel how worried u r of another woman praying to marry him.

  213. Assalamu alaikum Feda,

    Thank you for your reply and your honesty to me. I just came home from a lecture on the seerah of the prophet Muhammad, SAW, and alhamdulillah, it was a blessing to get your email.

    I believe that Allah SWT is speaking to me through you.

    You are right, and I never ever want to hurt the first wife or make her feel sad or angry at me or the husband. and truly all the rest that you say….It was absolutely shocking and amazing to me that I got this email tonight, wallahi!
    Everything you said is what has been troubling me to want to be a 2nd wife, along with not having him always for my own self.

    Please keep praying exactly what you said you would pray for me. I don’t know where you are on this planet, but prayers are strong and travel fast and far.

    So much I DO want to have a GOOD muslim husband or no husband at all, ameen.

    Wassalam, Nour (I was told it is better to spell my name Nour, and I love it either way, but I write it now as Nour).

  214. Dear Nour, what you said made me glad. Really glad.

    You were talking before about Shaitan infiltration on people. I think an example of this is people being selfish and only thinking of themselves, and believe me agreeing on being a 2nd wife is a pure example of this.

    Polygamy is so misused these days that I think if Prophet Muhammed was alive today he would forbid it. You have no idea what the sadness and frustration it causes to women. Men have been abusing this practice for so long , so it’s now up to us women NOT to participate in this. We women should be more compassionate and supportive to each other.

    I’ll continue praying for you to find a good Muslim man. But remember, no good man would take a 2nd wife, no good man would want to cause his current wife any heartbreak. If he did, I would say that man is not to be trusted.

    Wishing you all the best ,dear Nour.

  215. Feda,

    Although I agree with you on certain aspects, there are some points I need to make. Yes polygamy is misused and it is not meant for that. However there are circumstances when it becomes necessary.

    For example, childless couples who so want to have children but cannot. The man taking on a second wife will remove so much stress on the first wife. she may not like it at first but she will realize the benefit of it. She still has the honor and protection as a wife, she will be loved. Her husband will not be under the stress of being childless. His love for her will increase. His children with the second wife are mahrems for the first wife who cannot have children of her own. Those male children will take care of her later on in life.

    And another example where the wife becomes sick and cannot fulfil her role as a wife; rather than abandoning her, the husband can marry another one. The first wife will be supported, loved and cared for. She will have protection and security.

    Both these cases are real and both wives faced tremendous pressures.

    The cases where men marry just for fun – yes that is abusing. I agree.

    Each time I read what you write, my heart goes out to you. I pray that you find a perfect match. I do know plenty of good men looking for Muslim wives. I wonder if you would be interested.

  216. Nas:

    The cases you are talking about are very rare. Remember that even if the man has a good reason, if he is not fair to both wives emotionally , financially and physically then this would be no justifying for this marriage (and Allah said they won’t be fair). and I never know any wife who saw “the benefit” of polygamy .

    Please let’s not justify nowadays polygamy for men. They have been doing a great job over the years imposing it on women.

    * Sorry Carol for turning your about page to a discussion on polygamy.

  217. Feda,

    IAllah swt in His great Wisdom has left the gap open so that there is justice for both. Its same with divorce. Even though it is most hated in His eyes, He has left a gap so that there is justice.

    Yes there are rare cases. So in order to keep the wife protected and dignified, a solution is there. Of course if a man wants to marry just because his neighbor has 2 wives or his family has been doing it, then I fully agree with you.

    Anyway everyone has their opinion. And this is mine.

  218. If my husband could not have children could I have a second husband?

    We are not entitled to have children. They are gifted to us. We have to accept what Allah gives (or doesn’t) give us. Why are women always told to not focus on their rewards of this world- but men are encouraged to get whatever they can? If it is so important to parent- there are many children with no parents.

    Polygamy was about protecting women in a tribal society- not about some “right” for men. Those conditions no longer exist in most of the world.

  219. @Sandy,

    “Polygamy was about protecting women in a tribal society- not about some “right” for men.”

    Sorry, You have to twist your logic into Knots to accept that statement, but if that makes it easier for you to accept polygamy then it is all good.

  220. MoQ
    It makes it easier for me to accept it for THEN. I don’t accept it at all for now. And it’s pretty clear that’s what it is about.

  221. @Sandy,

    “And it’s pretty clear that’s what it is about.”

    Yes very clear.

    Making more women widows by invading their tribes was a good way to create more women who needed protection. It was like an industry for creating Hasanat opportunities, so Muslim men can have endless supply of potential good deeds….

  222. I understand that you see it that way. And it is true that this is what happened sometimes. But that doesn’t make it right.

    People misunderstand things that are perfectly clear all the time- in order to do whatever they want. And they come from all religions or no religions, and from every period of history.

  223. Assalamu alaikum wa ramatullahi wa barakatuhu all,

    Ok, I have to jump back in and I have thought about this from a very open-minded perspective.

    Allah SWT knows better than we do, and His law of 4 wives is for ALL TIMES through ALL THE AGES and for ALL PEOPLE, not just then. So, bottom line, we have to respect that. If the 1st wife does not like it, then she has a choice to divorce, but it STILL is a man’s right.

    Personally, I think that women need to be more open-minded and not be so jealous and be a little bit willing to share their husbands, again as long as she feels that her own needs are being met and satisfied.

    There may come a time on this planet where women greatly outnumber men, and having 4 wives may be very understandable and acceptable.

    Allah SWT is THE Greatest and knows all, and we are nothing without Him. If 4 wives are allowed then, again we must accept and respect it. If you do not like it, well, I am sorry. However, a woman should be more open-minded about it. Why would you want him around 24-7 anyway?

    If I say anything wrong, forgive me, but it is what I feel in my heart.

    If I marry a man and we cannot have children, and he really wants to have children, then I would be open to him having children with another woman and that is with her knowledge that I am open to it, also, and then those children may one day give me protection and kindness and support when I am in a very old age and no one is left to help me.
    You just never know what Allah SWT has planned for you, you may live to be 100, so be careful and try to be sharing and not so jealous, insha’Allah.

  224. And also to comment about women not having more than one husband.

    That’s a logical response, because let’s say your husband is “told or advised by doctor’s”, who can be wrong from time to time that he is unable to have children, so you go and get a 2nd husband to have children, but you are still copulating with the 1st husband. You will never know for 100% that the child is from your 2nd husband now will you. You will ALWAYS have it in the back of your mind, is this child his or his?

    So, because women have the babies and men do not, this is a logical reason why women are not allowed to be wed to more than 1 man at a time. Hence all the logical and Islamic laws behind a woman waiting for 3 months and some days after divorce or being widowed before she can accept marriage to another man to be clear on the fatherhood of the baby.

    May Allah SWT Bless you all and open your hearts and minds to marriages up to 4, and no further than that. Ameen.

  225. @Nour,

    As a new widow who was only given 7 short years with my beloved, the thought that if the time would have had to been shared is simply intolerable. And during his time of illness, our bond together became only closer as I cared for him as only a wife could or should.

    And I’d like to request that if you all can, hold back on comments as I have a post coming out on this topic scheduled for 01 June!


  226. Assalamu alaikum wa ramatullahi wa barakatuhu dear sister Bedu,

    I will absolutely hold back on comments for your sake, and I am sorry for your loss. May Allah SWT bless your husband who has passed and always Protect and keep him in His Light. Ameen.

    Anyways, I am greatly outnumbered in my opinions and feelings on this issue anyway.

    Wassalam, Nour.

  227. Salam Alaikum wa Ramatullallah wa barakata Nour,

    Thank you for your words of condolence and for your understanding. When my post comes out on 01 June please do not be shy or hesitant to express your views. I believe we can always agree to disagree yet still be able to share and discuss differing points of view.

    Best Regards, Bedu

  228. Carol, I will hold back but I just need to say this:

    I am absolutely with you. I agree with you 110%.

    @Sandy, a childless couple need children. Not all but there are many who are desparate for children. The children the second one will be like her own. It is not only the MAN who wants children, it is the woman too…

    I am one of those women, dying to have my own children but I cannot. There are days when I will look at baby pictures or listen to kids songs and just imagine myself with a child.

    In the end, if the husband does not want to marry then its upto him.

    Again Nour, I do understand what you are saying and I agree with you.

  229. I will answer what was directed at me. I feel I am actually the more open-minded position. And no- I would never share. And no- I am not around my husband all the time because he works- and I treasure all our together time and family time. With regard to fertility issues- there is DNA testing now available and there is adoption- and no, most women will not share their children with the other wife. I have seen numerous cases of this NOT happening- and not one where it does.

    But something else seems to be going on here. Marriage is not an escape from the Dunya world. I have seen women try to hide from the world behind their husbands and within their marriages. It doesn’t seem to work. Life’s trials and tribulations will find you wherever you go- and I prefer to look on this world as one of Allah’s gifts- the world in which he has now placed me.

    I think before anyone marries anyone- they need to get themselves together first. You never know what life will toss you- and though there are no guarantees- women should always have the education etc. to be able to support themselves and their children should they have to. And I wouldn’t recommend marrying a man who doesn’t know how to cook a meal, clean a bathroom, change a diaper and do a load of laundry.

  230. Sandy, I would like to respond but as a respect to Carol, I will hold and reply at the appropriate time.

  231. Very wise words Sandy!

  232. Thank you Kristine. Ok. Nas. But I will just clarify- I do not advocate multiple spouses for women- just in case it sounded like I do.

  233. @Sandy (and others)

    This will no doubt be quite a lively discussion on 01 June when I have post directed to this very subject. So until then, I request all hold off comments until the appropriate article appears rather than have these comments in the “About” page.

    I greatly appreciate everyone’s understanding!

    Mother Bedu

  234. I didn’t read your profile, didn’t know that you were a former US diplomat., and didn’t know that you have a connection to American Bedu!!!!!

  235. Actually, I’m one and the same.

  236. You are a wonderful American Bedu….

  237. Shukran alek!

  238. Well, not a very good blog, not interesting at all, just like other ones where you’ll find bizzare stories though few things may be true out of it .

    I would recommend American Bedu to be more scholastic and provide authentic stories.

    Nonetheless I can expect good, Scholastic review from you’ve been brought up in states and , I understand how hard its to accept Islamic Culture especially when you know nill of Islam.

    As of my experience , then wow , I wish every country followed the rules & regulations same like Saudi.They really make men respect women(though saudis have innate respect for women according to me), they teach respecting humans,tolerance towards people….etc which are hard to find in states(USA) and other western countries.

    Man , I wish I could live for ever in Saudi Arabia! Have you ever visited Saudi Jails! You need to see how they treat their prisoners! Its like you are visiting a 5 star Hotel!

    Concisely , I just hope that the author of this blog doesn’t spread myths and maligns name of a beautiful country with beautiful people.I do agree that there may be few in KSA who are not as good as they should be but few blacksheeps cannot be regarded as whole country!

    The blog doesn’t seem to be scholarly or factual but seems to be based on emotional whims and inauthentic knowledge.I can say this after being a researcher about KSA for last 15 years!

    Lastly, I hope the blog author be’s honest and tries and help KSA in clearing the misconceptions and lie propagated by western media, which seems highly improbable, but I would like to be optimistic.

    Truth triumphs.

  239. Dear Carol

    I am wondering how difficult or easy it is to ship medicines (tablets) from USA to Riyadh.

    Are there any rules? Please let me know.


  240. Dear Nas,

    I’ve not done this but what I believe is that the meds cannot contain any alcohol contents. I’m not sure in regards to whether the meds can be shipped (through regular shipping channels) if they are prescription meds.

    I know that I have always used Nyquil when treating colds and/or flu and that I have to handcarry it from wherever I purchased it due to its (very minimal) alcohol content.

    Best Regards, Carol

  241. Thanks Carol for your quick reply.

    I had heard before that customs people usually open the packets and even the capsules to check the contents. I hope that does not happen.

    I really wish you the best and quick cure from your illness. Allah has assigned angels over everyone of us. I know your angels are looking after you well.

    Sending duas for you …


  242. Salam Alaikum Ramatallah wa Barakata Nas,

    Shukran aleki.


  243. Wow your blog is a treasure trove of valuable experiences which we can all learn from.
    Congragulations for maintaining such a wonderful blog with all those interesting posts.
    And i learned that you are sick, which i really felt sorry about. I wish you the best of health and happiness.


  244. Thank you, Syed Hussain!

  245. Dear Carol,
    Assalam Alaykum

    I hope that you are doing well and I pray constantly for your complete recovery. i think about you most of the time and wish I could do something. But my hands are tied and facing my own problems.

    Last time I had asked you about shipping tablets from USA to Saudi. I had asked the FedEx people and they informed me that I need approval from the Ministry of Health for this. I am wondering if you know someone in this Ministry who can help me out in this matter.

    I know you are busy and I am so sorry for asking you things and disturbing you. I hope I am not doing that.


  246. Dear Nas,

    Salam Alaikum.

    Here is what I suggest, see if your regular doctor can liaise with the MoH for you. That should work much faster. Let me know. If not, I’ll see what other options I can come up with.

    Best Regards, Carol

  247. Hi Carol, I am trying to get familiar with your site. Did you get to see the Kitties today!

  248. Hi Jan and Welcome!

    I will be seeing Tripod and Saheba today after my radiation!!

  249. Could you do a post about what Saudi women wear when abroad – I’ve seen some Saudi ladies with low-key colored abaya (such as grey or beige etc. And if you know the rough % of those that don’t cover at all, ranging through to those that cover face. And perhaps even what they usually wear when in Saudi. I’m curious to know the general sentiment of what Saudi women think is the minimum they should cover and why they wear different hijab when abroad – out of choice or fear of harrassment. I know that when in Saudi they usually cover in black with niqab often head abaya (correct me if wrong), but when overseas (when husband studying) they wear either no ‘hijab’ or coloured abaya (anything but black) with coloured scarf wrapped over face to make niqab or with niqab. Thought it might make an interesting blog post with input from Saudi ladies.


  250. *correction: I’ve some Saudi ladies wear black if going to someone’s house but not out in public per se.

  251. Welcome Hayila. Thank you for your suggestion and I’d be pleased to do an upcoming post on what Saudi women wear when abroad based on personal observations at least.

  252. Dearest Carol,
    I hope you are doing well.

    I am just back from Umrah and wanted to let you know that I prayed for you on my first sight of Ka’aba. It was after Fajr (dawn) and the sun was just showing its first rays, the buildings all around looked like they were guards on duty. The backdrop was amazing with all its colors – almost like a painting on a canvas. The view was just beautiful and when one immerses oneself in prayers, it can only be so emotional and so sincere. The timing, the environment, the view – all contributes to the overwhelming feeling.

    One structure stood out – tall and majestic, gentle but same time a bit stern – it is the new Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel. Rising above all other buildings, it displayed the correct Makkah time.

    It spelled one thing for me – the time we all have in this world and what are we doing to make the most of it. What are we doing to make a change in ourself and to the community? May He forgive us our wrongs and accept us as His true believers. Ameen

    I did not forget you in tawaf, dear Carol, my prayers were with you. Be well and I know Allah (swt) with you and with all sncere people.

    Best regards

  253. Salam Alaikum Dearest Nas,

    Thank you. You painted such a vivid picture and from my own memories of that first experience when entering the Haram, I can imagine the view you saw. How majestic and wonderful. If you get an opportunity to go again, please do let me know and I can put you in touch with Mama Moudy. Her home is not too far from the Haram.

    Love, Carol

  254. Wa Salam alaikum, Carol dearest

    Will do that. I would love to meet Mama Moudy; she sounds to be a lovely lady.

    Best Regards,

  255. Thank you.

  256. Hi Carol,
    I stumbled across your blog just now in doing some research about Hofuf, where I lived and worked
    during the 2009-2010 academic year at KFU.
    I am so impressed by your good work and dedication!
    Congratulations, and all the best.

  257. Thank you Christopher! Please do not hesitate to share your observations and perspectives on Hofuf!

  258. Dear Carol,

    I just read your blog and as a saudi man i found it a good work. I’ve read the comments above and I need to read more entire the site, however, it is understood that there’s lot’s of conflect on opinions about Islam and Saudi Aaibia. One of the main issues in this regard that; is it the real Islam what the lot’s of muslims do and practice?
    Deffintly i’ll come back here, and I wish the best for you.

    Kind regrds,

  259. Salam Alaikum Boody,

    Thank you for your kind words and for commenting.

    You bring up a good topic of discussion on what is the real Islam or rather how is Islam identified. I’ve written a few subjects on the topic and you can find the earlier posts by using the search term Islam if you are interested.

  260. realy good read..im glad i wantd 2 knw wat women wear under the abaya…

  261. Hello Carol .. I read that you are fighting breast cancer on Arab news!?
    I’m very sorry that u have to go thru this..!?
    I admire your courage Carol!
    you are a worrior.
    Luv u!

  262. Thank you Omaima for taking the time to comment with your supporting words and huggles! I sincerely appreciate that!!

  263. Good day Carol,
    I’ve been following your posts lately. Honestly, I’m impressed by how blended you’re into the Saudi society. Maybe that is not the case, I don’t know!
    Just a quick question, what is the most you like about being in Saudi Arabia? What is the most you have about being in Saudi Arabia?


  264. Hi Ali,

    Actually I am presently not in Riyadh but happy to answer your questions. I thoroughly enjoy the Saudi people, lifestyle, culture, customs and traditions. That does not mean I have always agreed carte blanche with all I have seen and heard but thanks to having married a beautiful and gentle Saudi man with a warm and loving family made my experiences positive.

  265. Love your blog! I hope you are doing well, surrounded by friends and family. I’ll send you good thoughts. How come nobody ever told us life gets hard the longer you live? We need an operator’s manuel. Losing your husband must have been the worst thing that had ever happened to you. I’m so sorry.

    I’d been with my Saudi husband from 1982 to 1996 when he sent me a fax telling me our life together was over. I didn’t want to be divorced— I wanted to be a widow. It took me ten years, the worst period of my life, before I could call him up and tell him I forgave him. Forgiving him was one of the most empowering moments in my life. Being able to reconnect with him as a friend is a joy, and I was immediately reconnected with his kids, who I’d been missing for fifteen years. It put my life back together.

    I look forward to getting to know you better! Thank you for creating such an inspiring and educational website.

  266. Thank you Susan for your kind comment and also for sharing some of your own experience. That took a lot of dignity on your part to forgive his act of ending a relationship via fax! Time does heal many wounds.

  267. Dear Carol,

    Some of the subjects that will be discussed in the Arab Woman Forum are there :

    “Given the way the media are treating and using the body, at what point does commercial art become an obsession with the physical body at the expense of the real role and image of a woman?

    Can the emphasis on the representation of the female physical beauty be considered a plot against women’s efforts to assume more assertive roles in leadership and social responsibility?

    Have the unveiling of the female body and the liberty of nudity contributed to the advancement of women’s rights and empowerment or worked against it?”

    I think there topics will make excellent subjects for you blog for fair, unbiased discussion.


  268. Thank you very much, Sarah!

    Stay tuned…

  269. marrying saudi guys, how good the marriage will be…being educated abroad , do they get to choose their own partners, like foreign spouse,,any prefered country, or do they choose for marriage convenience, since no need to give dowry to foreign spouse…
    guys having education in states , but background saudia..are they any different, or no matter what education they get, they are the same, being barbaric, n spoilt as a man !, throwing tantrums and behaving like beast to their wives.!!!

  270. Avana,

    The majority of Saudis (and other Muslims) whom I know that have married foreigners were insistent on giving a dowry to a foreign spouse.

  271. Dear Carol,

    We would like to invite you to our website and our page on facebook called “Saudi Compounds” address is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saudi-Compounds/100228283377591 if you are interested we can hold a Q&A session where a lot of expats will be interesting in having more experience about the Saudi lifestyle.

    We believe you are making a great effort and we are ready to provide you more tools. Please join our facebook group and send us an email on [email protected] so we can discuss this more.

    Wish you best of luck,
    Faisal Alferdos

  272. Hello Carol, Can you please help me or point me in a direction, I am an Australian lady and I have a business/shop in Bahrain call Treasures Children’s Hand and Feet Sculptures in Al Aali Mall. I am looking to expand to Saudi Arabia as a lot of my customers come from Saudi Arabia around 40%. Do you know the best way to advertise a business for sale e.g. plays groups. Thank you so much, if you can help me or if you know someone who may be interested can they please contact me on [email protected] Thank you Jacinta McLean

  273. Hi Carol,

    I thank you very much for the time to spend, the effort you put and the information you provide in order to get us know about ourselves – as Saudis – and about the life in Saudi Arabia.

    I am not sure if I am writing this as a question or just writing to write and tell.

    As a Saudi man who is almost 30 years old, I can not find the right person for marriage. I can’t realise how Saudi girls are in many terms because of the state of gender segregation. I don’t trust other people’s ways of matching in this day and age. I don’t believe in the limited time which two often spend during their engagement stage.

    I don’t really know what to do !! I don’t like many fake social Saudi commitments, I want to escape from them every time and marrying a Saudi girl would put me in front of many of those commitments. So, after I studied in the U.S and the U.K, I preferred to marry a western girl, but unfortunately I could not find any during the years I had been there. Now, I try to compromise it by searching for a girl who is from a western mother and Saudi father. I want to westernise some of my values as well as my kids in the future.

    I will keep my eye out for an opportunity, and keep my fingers crossed.

    Kind regards,

  274. Hi Bassam,

    Thanks for sharing much of yourself, the challenges of finding a suitable mate and your own desires.

    My sincere advise to you is to make your desires (discretely) known. There are many families within Saudi Arabia which are mixed as you have described, especially in Riyadh and Jeddah.

    Do you work in a sector where you meet or interact with Saudis who have married a Westerner or a Westerner married to a Saudi?

    If you do not mind my asking, I am curious though as what values of your own you wish to “westernize?”

    I sincerely wish you all the best and success in search of a suitable partner.

    Best Regards, Carol

  275. bassam
    I don’t really know what to do !! I don’t like many fake social Saudi commitments,

    what do you mean by that comment?
    you can be engaged for a year if you want, can’t you?
    don’t most saudi girls want to be westernized; drive, work ect…you sound like a catch for them.
    i get your point when it comes to someone finding a bride for you. in america, you see all the girls what they look like at that moment. you like, you like. you don’t, you don’t. it is what it is. don’t you have sisters or girl cousins? that’s how saudi girls are. be patient.

  276. Thoroughly enjoying this blog. Hope to keep in touch as I choose to come over there to teach or not.

  277. I just happened upon your blog today searching through the tags for a blog on Saudi Arabia. I’m glad I found yours. It definitely sounds interesting, and I enjoyed the video about Saudi marriages.

  278. interesting blog , really ,i’m glad that i found it:) keep up the good work

  279. You are quickly pushing a major milestone mark in your visitor stats. I think you should start making plans for the 3 millionth visitor prize! I intend to WIN!:-)

  280. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

    hmmm…what would be a good prize????

  281. I think a prize of 3 Million Dollars would be appropriate for the 3 Millionth visitor, no? ?

  282. From whom?! (smile)

  283. I think you should set up a paypal account so people can contribute to my – er, I mean THE prize. It would be FUN, no?:-)

  284. nice and innovative Lynn! (LOL)

  285. Why, thank you. **blush**

  286. I wish I could think up something for the next milestone…I’m having chemo brain tonight and my mind is blank (probably because tomorrow is my next round of chemo….)

    I also would need to figure out how I know who is the one to reach the milestone marker first too….

    I’m open to thoughts and suggestions!

  287. Easy… I will just tell you when I hit it.:) easy.

  288. Yeah, Coolred. I tried that for the 2 millionth visit but my conscience got the best of me and I fessed up. Stoopid conscience!

  289. Dear bright knowledge,May all mighty God bless you all.Thank you very much for your wishes to me !!!!!!!!!.

  290. Dear bright knowledge,Thank very much for wishes to me.may all mighty God bless this group and protect you always any time.Stay happiness and blesses you all.Good luck.

  291. I’m serious…I would like to recognize each million reader … if I can figure out a way to know. Give me suggestions and what I can do (in my limited capacity)…

  292. Perhaps you can do a feature post about him or her or have him or her write a guest post.

  293. I like that idea…now the big question…how do I know WHO that individual is???

  294. Hmm…not sure about that one. Perhaps the WordPress support team can help with that one.

  295. Hello Carol,
    I was looking for article about Abaya and Eid lamb then I found your site…
    I really spend alot of time reading and I enjoyed too much..
    we are proud of you and wish you the best in your life here in KSA or in US
    Wael Al-Saeidy

  296. hhmm married to a saudi ?

    reverted or for some thin…..

    these camels are sick they dont even knwo who to marry

    Racial comments such as the above earned you a trip to the moderation queue. All your comments will be reviewed before they are allowed on the site.

  297. how is your health now bedu?
    Strange A 20 years CIA ,living in saudi during her illness ,, when saudis go to usa for their treatment?

  298. @Hindi – You have jumped to false conclusions. If you do a search on the blog with the word ‘cancer’ you will discover the story.

  299. salam how are you ?:) i saw you video on msg pc and u so sweet when talk arabic and amazing when u talk about islam we are proud of you and wish you the best in you life
    Allah bess you

  300. I’ve nominated you Carol for Versatile Blogger Award:
    Check out who else own’s the podium:


  301. Sorry it’s here. http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/my-award-picks/
    For the Versatile Blogger Award.


  302. Thank you, Jean!

  303. you are full of contradiction
    so you are a muslim…do you know what kind of religion you convert to…you know you can’t leave it without being proscuted and beheaded…religions are for weak narrow minded peopel

  304. While researching about Expat abuse in Saudi I came across your blog. You offer a balanced perspective on Saudi and Muslims.

    Also your life with Abdullah is very much amazing.

    Your blog posts accompany my morning coffee now.

    Thanks for the good work.

  305. Thank you, Sam!

  306. Hello,
    I stumbled accross your blog looking for information on currect attaire for foriegn women in KSA and I’ve had to pull myself away from reading it as I was up until 2am last night!

    One thing I haven’t been able to find out is can a married expat travel outside a compound without her husband? I know I won’t be able to drive but perhaps it is possible to go to the shops with a driver/other female friends? My husband has been offered a job in KSA and I just wonder about doing the shopping/going to markets/museams etc.., without him while he is at work. Or will life really be mainly on the compound if we are able to get accomodation on one?

    Also, is it very difficult for a westerner to live outside of a compound? I am an artist and work from home so I enjoy my own company but worry that if I need to get something and my husband is away or at work I will be confined to my home. My son is school age and I have read that the compounds have buses, but if we live outside of a compound would a driver take him only or would I be able to go to drop him off and collect him too?

    Thank you for all the information. I am looking forward to living in KSA, but would greatly appreciate any informaiton you can provide.


  307. Welcome Bellalusso and good luck on your upcoming move to KSA!

    Yes; you can travel outside a compound without your husband. The compound will likely have a bus service or its own set of limo (private taxi) drivers wihch you can use.

    It can be more challenging to live off of a compound but not impossible. There may not be as many amenities and it may take longer to meet other like-minded people. If you have a child, compound life is usually easiest and most comfortable.

    If a driver takes your child to/from school you can certainly ride along (in the back seat).

    Depending on your circumstances, you and your husband may wish to engage your own personal driver which will offer you much more flexibility to come and go as you please.

  308. Dear Carol,

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply, you have put my mind at ease about the isolation issue! I am really looking forward to the move now…just have to get our papers sorted out.

    I’ll be back on to your site on a regular basis for more information I’m sure, but just to read the other posts if nothing else. It really is addictive reading.

    Thanks again,

  309. for more about Saudi lifestyle you may visit our facebook group http://www.facebook.com/RightCompound and our website http://www.rightcompound.com you can search there for compounds in Riyadh, Jeddah, Khobar, Dammam, Jubail and other cities of Saudi Arabia

  310. It’s a pleasure to help you, Angela. I am also glad to hear you are enjoying American Bedu!

  311. This is fascinating. My parents met in Saudi since my grandparents worked for ARAMCO. I have been raised with a very high respect for the Arab culture- and while it’ not the same, I am married to a half-Lebanese man. I look forward to reading your perspective!!! Thank you for sharing!

  312. I am so excited to find your blog. I lived in Saudi in the 70s to early 80s. I met my husband there while our parents worked in Dhahran and Ras Tanura. Been married 30 years and always enjoy sharing with others who are still there. We hope to return one day for it is truly home. Thanks for sharing.

  313. Hi
    I relay like your belog and wish you the best in your life , I hope this will bring a clear understanding of the common saudi culture although I don’t know all of them . I understand that we in saudi have many negative things due to fanatics religous power and govenment maturaity to develope high educated socity . The transition in the past 30 years has created some shocks to people specially who came from villiages and urban areas. This has caused social problems and loss of identity and loyality to the country . Most people are loyal to their tribe more than thier country.
    I have lived in the state too and found that the socity thier are scattered and many family members are not so close to each other as we are in saudi.
    I don’t want to make comparision but every socity has it’s own seeds and tracks that relies on social and religous behavior ,plus tribel behaviour.

    Last , I hope you could transfer an honest opinion and concentrate on the positive things in saudi.


  314. Dear Saad,

    Thank you very much for sharing. I know that in the US the impression is given that there is less emphasis on family and in some cases there is. I do like the closeness and protectiveness of family that I see in Saudi Arabia.

    Please do share more of your views.

    American Bedu

  315. Very nice blog, because of your truthful attitude against Saudi and its culture it gives readers like us immense pleasure, keep it up…am sure one day may god lighten up your religious thoughts and you will be understand the ultimate truth.

  316. Just checking in on you. How are you doing AB?

  317. Hi Big,

    Thanks for the check in! I’m doing okay. I have resumed chemo treatments and thus far, they are going well. I’m bald again but we all know that is par for the course! I just enjoy each day and give thanks for how lucky and blessed I am.

    Hugs, Mama Bedu

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM, American Bedu

  318. AB:

    I keep hoping for a miracle…..I am still open to those you know even if I am a non-believer.

    Take care of yourself. Hope you had a great Christmas and have a Bang up New Year. :)

  319. Thank you, Big. I, too, believe in miracles!

    On Sun, Dec 30, 2012 at 2:07 PM, American Bedu

  320. like ur blog and really proud of u, actually i am a REAL SAUDI Bedu but Christian hahahaha.. GOD bless u… wish u all best

  321. like ur blog and really proud of u, actually i am a REAL SAUDI Bedu but Christian hahahaha.. GOD bless u… wish u all best…

  322. RIP?

  323. It’s surreal to read this page…she sounded so alive..sharing her thoughts and experience.

  324. RIP

  325. I used to read her blog back in the day when I was in Uni…I just found out about the terrible news..gut wrenching to say the least..
    Goodbye..you will be missed dearly…

  326. too all of you that keep Carols memory alive through her blog thank you! It is hard when the world loses a kind soul and bright candle….

  327. wow .. nice I am very impressed of this nice work in memory of your friends you guys got my full respect. By the way I am studying Criminal Justice and criminology in Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

  328. Unfortunately, this my first time here

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