A blog about nothing and about everything

   In theory? Nothing! Especially if he posses the qualities of a good “human being”, though it’s a subjective concept, the couple is compatible and gets along fine with each other. But, we don’t live in the perfect world or in a land where theories are always applied.  

Unfortunately, we live in a far-from-perfect world. The right to marry a non-Saudi male becomes a difficult task filled with major consequences. But thankfully, there has been a lot of media exposure about the lack of choice in marriage. Maybe in the near future things will chance.    

Growing up, I remember hearing about a Saudi female who married a US citizen. She was the talk of female gatherings. I wonder if they ever had the decency to say something in her face. The most comment I heard over and over again was “oh the poor thing! No Saudi wanted her so she married a foreigner”.  The husband was African-American, which translated into: She couldn’t even find a white American to marry! Equality of Muslims, whether black or purple, was thrown out of the window. (But this is another topic)

This was the only time that I came across social implications of Saudi women marrying non-Saudis. A few years back a Saudi man, mid to late twenties, told me he was thinking of gathering  his friends to beat up a non-Saudi for daring to date a Saudi girl. Apparently, this is a huge blow to his self-esteem, as a privileged male Saudi. To my knowledge the non-Saudi was not beaten up but this gangster’s attitude is not born out of nothing.

Marriage comes with a responsibility, especially towards children. Whatever the parents’ choices are will, sooner or later, reflect on the children. This is even more so when the parent is from another country or culture, and more specifically when the father is the one who is non-Saudi.  

The law is clear on the aspect of citizenship, which is based on a paternal Jus sanguinis principle, Latin for “right of blood” and contrasts with jus soli (Latin for “right of soil”). People are born Saudi because their fathers are Saudi; a Saudi man needs permission to marry a non-Saudi female; she is eligible for citizenship after four years of marriage or when if she gives birth; and a Saudi woman needs permission to marry a non-Saudi. Her foreign husband will always carry a permit status, not automatically up for renewal, and her children will not inherent her citizenship or any of her assets (though I heard this has changed). By law, the children would be treated like Saudis in to education and priority in employment. But in our not-so-perfect world laws aren’t always fully applied.

This is what makes marrying a non-Saudi non-favorable. Laws don’t change easily. So until then, A Saudi woman should think twice before getting married in general and ten times before marrying a non-Saudi.  This is especially for the Saudi girls who think life is just as in the movies “Love Conquers All” and life in the west is about having a good job and drinking coffee with your BFF at the local coffee shop or during lunch after shopping for designer clothes.

I think it is wonderful that such news is making headlines, but on the other hand, Saudi men are somewhat forgotten in this quest for rights to marry. It is true that they still have it better than their female citizens but at the end of the day we live in a society where a family is judged by the individual’s actions. In many tribal families, for a man to take a non-Saudi wife is such a big ordeal that his sisters might not get marriage proposals as a result of his “holy union”. Again the female is the victim.  For a man to take a non-Saudi wife is an indicator that he was rejected by Saudi families for health or moral reasons and so the family becomes unsuitable to have marital ties with….

Marriage is a complex issue in Saudi Arabia.

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Comments on: "What’s Wrong with Marrying a non-Saudi Man?" (17)

  1. Wow, enlightening post. As long as I live among Arabs, the complexities of the social systems will forever be alien to me. I just don’t understand the need to make everything so complicated!

  2. “Marriage is a complex issue in Saudi Arabia”

    I concur

  3. I think Saudi’s facing this problem should make their first option, marriage to a non-Saudi. If enough people do it, the culture will inevitably change. I know many Muslims who have married out of their ethnicity and have successful marriages.

    • True, we shouldn’t be imprisoned by society’s expectations but the problem is that many women, and men, don’t think of the future. They do not look at the consequences, which will also affect their children.

      I say, if you want to marry the man or the woman, go for it. Just know what might lay ahead of you and remember you are bringing children into this world. Love will conquer all, they say… or at least until they run out of love.

  4. “A Saudi woman should think twice before getting married in general..”

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Roomy 🙂

  5. […] woman marrying a non-Saudi man. Thank you for letting me re-post this Riem! Tara Umm Omar What’s Wrong With Marrying A Non-Saudi Man?  By Riem […]

  6. Hello,,I think I am the biggest victim of all…I am 4 years younger to my girl friend, who is a Saudi citizen so it was a mission talking to her parents and to mine…now i am a british citizen but born in jeddah..i used to think people at home office are lazy back in uk but here they have taken it to next level here….What I don’t understand is, that why would the government be this concern about us..because even if we get married…I won’t be given saudi citizenship nor our children…so what’s the point ?? Btw I am 26 and my fiancé is 30.

    P.s No disrespected intended towards any Saudi or the Saudi Arabia. I was born here and I have lived here all my life and would continue if they don’t decide to kick British citizens out one day.

    • I will tell you why it is almost impossible. Mind you I really couldn’t care since I already married the world’s greatest woman. However, let me put it to you this way. If there is enough demand from saudi society to change the regulations to allow saudi women to marry foreign muslims then the law will change. The reason why there is a law is because the same reason why men in other cultures hate almost to the point of violence other men marrying their women. the basic attitude is this, “we can marry yours, we can even take yours, but you can’t touch ours”. that is true in every society. in saudi society is just at such a high level that it is written in stone.

      • Now who said it is almost impossible??? are you writing this from a personal experience or based on judgment and assumptions?
        i don;t understand what the link is between you being married to world greatest woman (very subjective description but congratulations 🙂 ) and not caring about others. if you don’t care why comment in the first place? (this was merely a question but you are more than welcome to read and comment on my blog)

  7. 1. it’s based off of observation – not personal experience and not assumptions either
    2. why comment? because i believe in fairness.

    • So you do care 😀
      well.. i do have share with you that your observations is a bit inaccurate. . in June i am attending a wedding. Saudi girl and a non Saudi guy, in 2011 i have meet several Saudi women married to non Saudis while others are waiting for the permissions to come out.
      point is that it’s not impossible

      • i didn’t say impossible. i said almost impossible. congratulations to your friends. the guys i knew liked saudi women, and they were non-white, and non-arabs (they were not converts to islam either) . something to think about.

      • oops i should add, that since they were not converts to islam, they were already muslim. not the other despicable option.

  8. Frank Martin said:

    Marriage is not a complex issue but it has been made complex due to stupid Saudi laws. Islam doesn’t forbid marrying non-Saudi so how can you make a law against it or make it difficult?

    • there is no law that prohibits marrying a non-Saudi..i don’t think we can easily call any law stupid. It has it’s reasons, pros and cons. .
      as for marriage not being complex, well that’s your opinion but from my knowledge, marriage and commitment is not a piece of cake . If it were so easy why are there so many divorces and marital problems

      • Frank Martin said:

        Complex or not that’s for the individual and their family to decide not the government.

  9. Getting married to a Saudi girl can secure your stay in Saudi Arabia if you are an expatriate. You will be treated as a Saudi as far as Nitaqat law is concerned. No one can process your exit except your wife. You will not be afraid of hanging sword upon expatriates for Saudization. You can start business here and get many other benefits. I have explained in this article each and every step which you need to take to get married to a Saudi girl. I hope you would like this effort.
    http://life-in-saudiarabia.blogspot.com/2014/03/getting-married-with-saudi-girl.html

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