Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Opposition to foreign wives for Saudis mount

I'm not sure if I follow the slant of the article, but then again, modern journalism has really gone to the crapper these days. But I digress.

The main points of the article are:
1. It is apparent that more and more Saudi men choose to marry foreigners.
2. Things fall apart at home especially if the man already has a wife, since he is likely to neglect his first family in favor of the second.
3. No support can be found for the rising number of unmarried eligible Saudi women.
4. The proposed solution is to ban intermarriage of Saudis and foreigners.

Number 1 is natural since foreign women are likely to be more liberated and by virtue of the cultural barrier, present something more interesting for Saudi men. A no-brainer especially in this repressed society.

Number 2 is not a natural antecendent of number 1; after all, the practice of neglecting and abandoning families is not unique to Saudis. It just seems to be a universal disease among men of any stripe, color, location, or persuasion. And no, I'm not kidding.

Now, Number 3 wouldn't be so hard if this society were more open to employing Saudi women and with that emancipation create the necessary social infrastructure to prepare these young women to actually embark on their own careers and be self-sufficient. As of now? The expectations of the entire cultural mindset (never mind their religion) weigh heavily against women being able to independently provide for themselves. So it is either a woman's father or husband who will settle her place in society. And if you lost the former and have no means to secure the latter, there you have it --- a woman with no means to support herself.

There is of course, the matter of presenting a considerable amount of dowry to the girl's family, aside from the man's family or the man himself assuming the burden of the wedding expenses (as directly opposed to the bride's family sharing or even assming the expenses of the wedding in the West).  If this amount were less onerous, Saudi men would find it easier to look for wives.  

(Side note:  it is not altogether surprising why Saudi men seek foreign women - and men for those of that persuasion -for relationships especially to find an outlet for all those repressed sexual urges.  And yet I digress again.)

Fix Number 3 and Number 1 will be less true. Saudi women can meet cultural expectations and yet remain exciting and viable at the same time.

As for the proposed solution - even the most humble Muslim would say that neither the Holy Quran nor the Hadith outlaw a man's choice in spouse unless said spouse is heathen AND unwilling to accept the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Some people are just getting WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY too ahead of themselves.   Haven't you read the news? --- the Kingdom is no a longer an island of isolation.

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