Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Once again, contradictions? No. As usual, contradictions.

Interesting little tidbit from our local paper - which we refer to as "The Green Truth," due to the fact that the front and back pages are printed on pale green newsprint. The article, Our Contradictions, asks why it is that a Saudi man is allowed to marry non-Saudi woman but that a non-Saudi man is NOT allowed to marry a Saudi woman. The answer really isn't given, insofar as a clear reason why this is allowed for Saudi men and not for Saudi women. And, I think, knowing how women in this male-oriented-dominated society are regarded, no answer as to why is going to be given that would make even the remotest bit of sense to any reasonable mind. But that's not why I'm pointing this article out. Here is why I'm pointing the article out, and boy, is this rich:

"Usually, women who marry non-Saudis don’t really have a choice. I mean she didn’t marry the man because he’s good looking or rich, but because her chances of getting married had decreased and her desire to be a mother was the driving force in this decision."

Wow. Really. So this is the reason. Well. Now that we've got our answer...

Damn! You can't be serious, right? This is so far from the truth as I, personally, have observed the situation, and I am of the opinion - and this is MY opinion only - that quite the opposite is in fact true. The couple of American women I know here in our little community that are married to Saudi men "didn't marry the man because he's good looking or rich, but because her chances of getting had decreased." I suppose, if one were to base this assumption purely on physical and mental attributes, of each of these women, you could probably say, "But she has a great personality." You know the type I mean.

Contrarily, the Arab women [which, by the way, are not Saudi but from Egypt or Lebanon or Jordan] that I know that are married to American or Western men are stunningly beautiful. One of them always looks as though she just walked straight off the pages of a fashion magazine - she is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, and she's got a brain, too! Surely her chances of marrying a man from her country could not possibly have been due to the lack of potential suitors - but instead had to do with choice - she had one, and that certainly is not something that is afforded to many Saudi women and Arab women, alike, whose marriages are arranged for them, often at a very, very young age and frequently to a family or clan member.

I'd be hard-pressed to believe that the only reason Saudi women choose to marry non-Saudi men has to do with the fact that her chances otherwise are nil. I'd be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that it has to do with choice - and the choice to someday actually be treated as a woman and not as a mere object or some sort of chattel. And, as for the Saudi men who choose to marry non-Saudi women, and especially American women? Hmmph! The answer to that question is short and simple: green card.


  1. Hey... im new to your blog... just discovered it by accident... this entry was really surprising...cuz its stopped me on more than one occasion... its not easy falling for a girl you cant really marry... and a girl whose family will never accept you... If you know any people in such situations I'd like to know what they did... thanx

  2. Hermit - Can't really "help you" as far as girls whose families are not accepting. Perhaps there are a few other bloggers in this part of the world that could offer more in this regard. Always happy to have visitors, though, so thank you!

  3. Thanks anyway for replying... im hoping to follow your blog regularly. thanx for replying.
    P.S. Green cards for the win !

  4. your blog is so awesome. I read it all the time.

  5. Thanks so much, Enamorada! Compliments are always good...

  6. The saudi girls i know here in London are both in relationships with much older white men and they go to great lengths to hide it from their family.

    I hear that saudi men generally marry a girl of their mother's choosing. is that true?

  7. Navcity - I'm the wrong person to ask that question of. I will tell you that I used to have coffee with a group of Saudi women once in a while. Of the four or five of them - two of them shared details of how their marriages were arranged - and one of them married her first cousin. Perhaps one of these days I'll call and get back into the group to have coffee - it's been two years since I was last invited - and I'll pursue the question for you. In the meantime, search Google for some other Saudi bloggers and see if you can find out and let us all know the answer...

  8. Sabra, your blog had me flipping flashbacks of 30 years ago.

    I can relate to your day to day life, except when I came to the desert we had not one decent restaurant, or shopping mall.

    I've had so many vacuum cleaners broken by servants, I can't count.
    Why, oh why do they insist on sucking up coins?

    I often look back and wonder how I survived it all. One day you will find this all amusing.

    I had a good laugh reading you. Thanks.

  9. Thanks so much for visiting, Viking Daughter!

    Yeah, why do they have to vacuum up anything - just vacuum the carpets - and MOVE everything else. DO NOT vacuum over the vacuum cord - and do not try to vacuum around that pair of sneakers because the vacuum WILL eat the laces. Move the cord. Move the sneakers.

    I doubt I would have survived this place 30 years ago!

  10. Well, actually back in the old days when I landed over here, they did not use vacuums.

    They cleaned the carpets with a contraption made of date palm leaves.

    Something about the ''wrist action'' though I failed to see how it cleaned the tons of dust and sand imbedded in the carpets.

    On the plus side, shoe laces were saved!



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