Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi’s Response To Julieta

photocreditalriyadhFalling In Love With Saudi Students Abroad!
By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
Saudi Gazette
14 July 2014

Julieta is a South American girl living in USA, who fell in love with a Saudi student. She is in trouble, now. Here’s how she tells her story, in an email she sent in response to my last article “Respect girls’ marriage rights.”

She writes: “Before I read your article, I thought I wont find any man, in Saudi, who think as you do, so I am glad that I did, and hope and pray that more believers in women rights are out there!

“I found that everything was against me when I decided to look for a way to marry a Saudi man! I haven’t find the way, yet, but haven’t given up, and am still looking for some other ways.

“It is so hard, and I don’t know why, since the holy Qur’an said that a man is allowed to marry a Jew or a Christian. I still don’t understand why your laws, in the Land of Islam, are not following these commands!

“When you send out your young men and women abroad to study, you should know that love, like any natural event, could happen. You should also know that you are taking many risks sending people out to experience other realities that most Saudis don’t know, then not prepare to absorb the new ideas, experiences—and persons—they may bring back with them.

“Knowing, dealing with and befriending other people is part of life and living in any place and time. Then may come love —the natural attraction between a man and a woman. And when they get deep into it, and start thinking about future, they naturally think of commitment and lasting relations — marriage.

“Young people don’t know much about the real world. They believe love open all doors, love is both the road and the goal. Then they find out about realities. They find it is not just their decision to live their life. Families have a say. Societies have a say. Governments have a say. Their own choice and decision are the least important in this mess.

“Fine!, they say. We will follow procedures. We won’t break the law. What is it you want us to do? Permissions? No problem, just tell us what to do?

But as you would soon discover, they are making the rules not to allow you to get a permission, but to show you why you can’t!!

“I am trying to be in the other side’s shoes, to think like a lawmaker. I came up with some explanations. Maybe your government is concerned about the after-marriage cultural shock; about the language barrier; about living in a different environment that may not suit my life style — the one I used to all my life.

“So I started learning Arabic. I read the Qur’an in Spanish. I explored Islam. Now, I know what a wife and a mother supposed to be like in Islam, and I love it. I really want to be a good wife and mother to my future husband and children. I enjoy the way I feel after reading the Qur’an. I am not a Muslim, yet, but I am close to be. Certainly, before I get married, I will be.

“Still, the rules don’t favor me. Muslim or not, speaking Arabic or not, accepting and even liking the Saudi culture or not, I am still forbidden to marry the man I love!!

“I am so disappointed because I didn’t know all these, before I fell in love. I don’t have “wasta,” and he doesn’t. I can’t be Saudi, even though I love to be, and he can’t be but a Saudi. Such is life!

“Sorry to bother you with my sad, sad story, but I just felt like I need to share it with you! My name is Julieta by the way and I am in love with a Saudi Romeo. Salam.”

I thanked her for sharing her story with us, dear readers. But what I am supposed to say or do? How can I help? What would you say to Julieta or suggest we do? Here’s some of your comments on my last article.

Strange in Canada!

“This sounds very strange here. I live in Canada, where there is complete freedom of choice, thought, and expression!” Dr. Hasan Moolla

A pity!

“Its such a pity that a Muslim yet father could force his daughter to do something against her wish. I have gone through the same experience of the girl in your article. In fact it was even worse, because I was not only emotionally but also physically assaulted by my parent to accept a husband of his choice.

I have survived the trauma and am now on good terms with my family. So my advice to all girls: Make a decision and take a stand. After a while, society will accept your decision. After all, its your life and you have to live it the way you wish.

– Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi can be contacted at kbatarfi@gmail.com and followed at Twitter: @kbatarfi

Photo Credit: AlRiyadh

AWASSIR Sponsors 7,000 Living In 30 Countries

photocreditarabnewsWarning Saudi men not to get involved with marriage brokers because of the increasing number of abandoned children??? Who is abandoning the children…the marriage brokers or the Saudi men?! Maybe it should be the other way around…marriage brokers should avoid Saudi men unless they provide proof that he has permission from the government to marry.

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Awasser Sponsors 7,000 Abandoned Saudi Families
By Abdul Hannan Tago
Arab News | Riyadh
6 July 2014

The Saudi Charitable Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad, or Awasser, disclosed here recently that it sponsors 7,000 families of Saudi nationals living in 30 countries. The Saudi heads of these families abandoned them in countries such as the United States, Canada, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

The welfare organization, which is licensed and supervised by the Ministry of Interior (MoI), recently warned Saudis traveling abroad to avoid engaging with marriage brokers in the countries they visit, which results in the increasing number of abandoned children who eventually face social and identity crises.

Awasser, the first and only Saudi charitable organization authorized to discover and retrieve children born of Saudi men visiting the foreign countries, has compiled a full data of these children that allows them to provide assistance.

In a previous interview with Arab News, Awasser Chairman Tawfiq Al-Swailem said his organization provides all formalities and legal assistance free of charge to the abandoned Saudi families living abroad.

According to him, the number of families they are able to assist is growing by the day owing to modern technology via social networking communication which enables quick processing of their papers at the rate of one day in many cases.

Al-Swailem also advised Saudi travelers to be cautious and avoid marriage brokers abroad, citing the need to take the advice of those who have been in similar situations and consult with the Saudi embassies in those countries before taking matters further.

He said: “Unfortunately the majority of Saudis who have married abroad did not get prior approval from the Saudi authorities in those countries and are ignorant of the negative outcomes of such alliances which produce children who do not know their father. Often, the Saudi father comes back to his country leaving behind his wife and children without any income to support them.”

Al-Swailem noted: “The cost of these marriages looks cheap at the beginning but this is not the case.” He added that many of these marriages are doomed to fail because of the difference in the customs, traditions and ways of life with the children ending up as the losers.

Commenting on the modus operandi of the marriage brokers, Al-Swailem said: “Some unscrupulous people in foreign countries meet Saudi holiday makers at the airport and tempt them to marry native girls for financial gains.”

He said that Saudi men who decide to marry abroad do not take into account the differences in the customs and traditions which make it difficult for the woman to adjust and integrate into the Saudi way of life which affects the children adversely.

He suggested that marriages in the Kingdom should be made simpler by reducing the exorbitant dowry often demanded by the bride’s parents and conducting the ceremonies at home instead of the more expensive marriage halls.

Secondly, marriage laws in the Kingdom should be amended to include a marriage provision allowing a Saudi national to marry abroad for health and social reasons.

Photo Credit: Arab News

FHWS Notified Of Discrepancy In Qualifying Age For Marriage Permit By “ag09g”

photocreditmoiComment from FHWS reader “ag09g”…

“My husband was reading through this in Arabic and discovered that the category for marrying a foreign wife abroad, when in Arabic, shows the age as 30 instead of 25 like on the English version. I have no confirmation either way, just wanted to point out the discrepancy.”

So I investigated the matter and reviewed the procedures on the Ministry of Interior’s Arabic website. I did a comparison with the English version and found that her husband is right. The difference in ages for the category, “For Those Wishing To Marry Abroad” (C) could very well have been a typo. Which age is the correct qualification, 25 or 30? Still a lot better than 35! Plus there is an omission of one of the procedures on the Arabic version (G).

A. For those wishing to marry foreign females residing in the kingdom
1. English: 30
2. Arabic: 30

B. For those wishing to marry a foreigner born in the kingdom
1. English: 25
2. Arabic: 25

C. For those wishing to marry from abroad
1. English: 25
2. Arabic: 30

D. For Saudi women wishing to marry a foreigner
1. English: 25
2. Arabic: 25

E. For those wishing to marry cards holders
1. English: 25
2. Arabic: 25

F. The condition of Saudi female marriage from foreigner born in Saudi Arabia
1. English: 21
2. Arabic: 21

G. For those wishing to marry from abroad (Morocco)
1. English: 30
2. No category listed in Arabic

Insha’Allah someone who represents the MOI is reading this post, if so, please correct the error. For any FHWS reader who is Saudi and going to visit the Ministry of Interior or emarah, I kindly request that you point out this discrepancy to the administration. Contact details (click on “postal communication form” and this will take you to the contact page, the link for the form is located at the bottom of the page):

As his Highness Prince of Riyadh province is keen to open communication channels between his Highness and the citizens and residents whose conditions prevent them from meeting his Highness in the daily council at Riyadh principality office (governance palace), His highness ordered to create electronic council simulating the current council to submit the requests, complaints, remarks, studies, as well as suggestions for the purpose of citizens and residents comfort. (Postal communication form)

Also, you can contact the website administration with respect to the electronic website through the e-mail: webmaster@riyadh.gov.sa

Telephone: 96614114444

Photo Credit: MOI

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