Hadafi: Women Entrepreneurship Program

photocredithadafiThere is an English version of the website here.


Name: Shada
Email: shada@potential.com


I’m contacting you on behalf of Hadafi, a free women entrepreneurship program. The program aims to empower women across the MENA region by providing better access to entrepreneurial resources, training, finance, media coverage and support for women who want to startup or have started up their business in the past 2 years. You can find full details about the program here.

We are currently launching Hadafi Season 5 in Saudi Arabia. We are targeting innovative women to register for the program. The program is supported by MBC Hope, Wojooh, GirlsinTech, Mompreneurs, All World Network, Arab women entrepreneur, and many other partners.

We’re interested in having you join our community for supporting our Hadafi Program in order to get the word out to as many female entrepreneurs as possible to benefit from this opportunity. We are looking forward to connect with you to spread the word.

If you are interested, kindly send us your email and contact number to discuss this further: shada@potential.com

Photo Credit: Hadafi

When Your Heart Is Shattered Into Little Pieces Yet You Still Love Him

loveisdeserved1By Tara Umm Omar
8 November 2015

You are a young non-Saudi woman who is attending university in your native country. One day, you catch the eye of a dashing Saudi class mate and you hold his gaze. For all he knows, you just might be admiring his long eyelashes but to him the eye contact signals that you are interested in him. Because…ego. So he builds up confidence to start talking to you after class or maybe a pick up line comes easy to him as he has done this before. You exchange contact details and go out on that first date. As a non-Muslim, you don’t know that it is not allowed in Islam for a man and woman to have a relationship outside of marriage.

He tells you that he is from Saudi Arabia. He may or may not tell you that he is a Muslim. If the relationship becomes more serious, he will probably start to tell you a few details about his family. Or he will only divulge the identities of certain family members who don’t mind that he has a girlfriend. Usually NOT the parents or other conservative relatives. You begin to become uncomfortable at being kept a secret. Why is he hiding you? You introduced him to your family as soon as it was socially acceptable. Why can’t he reciprocate if you mean something to him. Or do you? That is when the arguments start but you brush the uncertainty aside because you are falling head over heels in love with him. Because he is a sweet talker and treats you like a queen. And because he is exotic and exciting, unlike your fellow countrymen. Because, because, because. You think of a reason to continue the relationship despite your misgivings.

You plan plans together as one year turns into another year. You discuss marriage and go ring shopping. You talk about babies, even picking out the names. At no point does he explain to you that before all of this can turn into a reality, he must get the marriage permit from his government. But seeing as how he is a student studying abroad on a government scholarship, he had previously signed a contract that he would not get married to a non-Saudi. He neglects to inform you of this, thinking that he will marry you after he graduates. Or he conveniently forgets to mention this fact because his intention after finishing school is to bounce.

One circumstance that eclipses the marriage permit, is his family’s acceptance of you. It could be the case that you will find it out after perhaps four years of studying and investing your time and emotions in this man. Are they going to welcome you with open arms or will they reject you? He confesses to you that everyone ganged up against him and is adamant that he not marry a non-Saudi. You don’t realize the extent to which family and his tribe are everything to him and he is loathe to go against their wishes. So he buckles under their pressure and agrees to marry a Saudi woman. The day he tells you, is the day your world collapses around you and it feels like you have been stabbed in the back. Or he may not have had the consideration to tell you at all and just left. Double wound.

As he packs his suitcase, you aren’t too proud to beg him to stay. You track him down in Saudi Arabia and cajole him to come back. You will do anything for him if he would only marry you. Out of desperation, you offer yourself as a second wife. You promise to revert to Islam if that is what it takes. You keep hope alive but as time goes on, your pleas fall on deaf ears or they never reach him. And you hate yourself because you still love him in spite of how much he hurt you.

You search for answers which lead to FHWS and other blogs like this. It begins to dawn on you, the overwhelming information that you were clueless about. That your Saudi withheld or twisted the truth about to protect himself. You read the posts and find out that you aren’t the only one in this situation. That this is what some Saudis are known to do, they enter haram relationships with non-Saudi women and then when it comes time to get married, their family objects to their choice. You realize that they don’t want to fight their family so they give up easily and marry a Saudi. Or you start to wonder that maybe your Saudi is a casanova who just wanted a fling and then to settle down with a “pure” woman. As if he is!

Regardless, whether this Saudi loves you or not, apparently he doesn’t love you enough to fight for you. And if he doesn’t fight for you, why does he deserve your love when he just broke your heart?


New Blog Look!

Photo Credit: Bob Shoemate’s Notebook

Update: I wasn’t really satisfied with the previous look. At the suggestion of a friend, I trimmed the sidebar. I love color but needed to step out of my comfort zone and strive for a more professional look. I like this version much better!


Opportunity To Write An Article For A Saudi Newspaper

photocreditgulfbusinessI received a request from a FHWS reader who has a contact at an undisclosed newspaper in Saudi Arabia. They want to write about the problems resulting from marriage between a Saudi and non-Saudi. The person says that, “The whole intention behind it is to raise awareness and insha’Allah allow the process to become easier.” If interested, please email me at emailfhws @ gmail dot com and I will forward it to them as they wish to remain anonymous. Thank you,


Photo Credit: Gulf Business

Honorable Mentions

computerbookAdmit it, you’ve gQQgled yourself at some point. Wasn’t it fun?! When the results were good, that is.

I have wanted to write a post called “Honorable Mentions” for a long time but just never got around to it. The intention is not to toot my own horn but rather 1) to offer more reading material outside of the blog and 2) display link love. I have done the second one before when giving other bloggers the opportunity to put the FHWS link on their blog in return for putting their blog link on the FHWS blog. Except I had to discontinue it because the side bar was getting too long! Why didn’t I just create a page for it back then? QadrAllah. If your blog wasn’t mentioned and you currently have a FHWS link on it, please let me know in the comment section by giving the link. Or if you plan to participate in the link exchange, submit your blog URL in the comment section. Please note that I will have to review blogs that I am not familiar with before approving comments. If your comment doesn’t show up immediately, check back within 24 hours.

photocreditgoogleBelow are results of the search terms I used on Google. Some of the links were already published on FHWS, usually because they came up in my Google feed or I was informed by the author or a FHWS reader at the time. So these weren’t included to avoid redundancy. If you are aware of any other blogs/websites that I didn’t catch, please share in the comment section.

This list is in no way comprehensive…its impossible to go through all of those hits at one time. Consider this a starting point and expect the page to be updated from time to time. In cases where the link was too long, I shortened it using bitly.com



Title: Networked Digital Technologies: Third International Conference, NDT 2011, Macau, China, July 11-13, 2011, Proceedings
Author: Simon Fong
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 27, 2011 – Computers – 448 pages
Source: Google Books
Description: “This book constitutes the proceedings of the Third International Conference on Networked Digital Technologies, held in Macau, China, in July 2011. The 41 revised papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 127 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on information security, networks, information management, multimedia, human computer interaction and simulation, e-learning and e-government, Web services/semantics, user centric information system/intelligent computing, and data mining.”
Tara Umm Omar mentioned: Page 234 (screen capture of page; see thumbnail)
Location: http://bit.ly/1QHZHCC

Title: Web 2.0 Technologies and Democratic Governance: Political, Policy and Management Implications
Author: Christopher G. Reddick, Stephen K. Aikins
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 15, 2012 – Political Science – 276 pages
Source: Google Books
Description: “Web 2.0 has become the buzz word for describing social media available on the Internet, such as blogs, photo and file sharing systems and social networking sites. These Web 2.0 applications are rapidly transforming citizen-citizen and citizen-government interactions in a manner not seen before. In recognition of these trends, governments are already taking a very close look at Web 2.0 and online communities in order to leverage them for designing products and services and for providing citizen services. This book brings together international scholars to provide the theoretical and practical contexts for understanding the nature of Web 2.0 technologies and their impact on political, public policy and management processes, and to explore how best Web 2.0 applications can be leveraged and aligned with the strategic goals of government organizations to add value and ensure effective governance. Drawing from experiences from countries around the globe, the book provides the theoretical context of the potential for Web 2.0 applications to transform government services, as well as practical examples of leading public sector institutions that have attempted to use Web 2.0 applications to enhance government operations, policy making and administration. There are three parts to the book, namely 1) Perspectives on Web 2.0 and Democratic Governance, 2) The Political, Policy and Management Impacts of Web 2.0 in Government, and 3) Leveraging Web 2.0 Applications for Effective Governance. This book differs from existing edited books on Web 2.0 technologies that focus primarily on politics and e-democracy because it examines the impact of the applications on politics, policy and public management. The book contributes toward the literature by filling the existing void and expanding knowledge in the field of public administration and policy, making it of interest to both academics and policy-makers.”
Tara Umm Omar mentioned: Page 112
Location: http://bit.ly/1hLN1P1

Title: My Thoughts As Riyadh’s Skies Poured (for some reason I didn’t find this on the blog)
Author: Tara Umm Omar
Publisher: Saudi Life
Description: That day in 2010 when the heavens unleashed a furious rainstorm. I remember exactly where I was that day! It was a time when you are in awe of the power of Allah and make serious du’a for His forgiveness and mercy. Islamic daleel given on wind/rain.
Location: http://bit.ly/1LY74YK

Title: Why Saudi Women Blog (retrieved from the URL address)
Author: New Media and Development Communications” is a course created and led by Professor Anne Nelson in 2007 at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Publisher: see author
Description: “Visits to female Saudi blogs and email interviews have shown mixed purposes for blogging among Saudi women.”
Location: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/sipa/nelson/newmediadev08/Why%20Saudi%20Women%20Blog.html

Title: I’m Marrying A Saudi
Author: marryingasaudi
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “Permanent Iqamah”
Location: http://marryingasaudi.tumblr.com/post/115126628917/permanent-iqamah-future-husbands-and-wives-of

Title: Global Voices
Author: Amira Al-Hussaini
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “The Power Of Prayer”
Location: https://globalvoices.org/2010/05/05/saudi-arabia-the-power-of-prayer

Title: H.R.H Princess Sahab Abdullah’s fan page
Author: Someone who knows Princess Sahab, daughter of the late King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Sa’ud
Source: Fakebook
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “Marriage Between Bahraini King’s Son And Saudi King’s Daughter”
Location: https://www.facebook.com/Princess.Sahab/posts/204511956273216

Title: Middle East, East, and Royals
Author: NJ K
Source: Pinterest
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “Prince Hashim Of Jordan Marries A Saudi”
Location: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/424886546070816264

Title: How the Canadian Government Failed this Woman from Saudi Arabia
Author: Amanda Eifert
Source: Flurt Mag, Current Events
Description: Provided link to the FHWS blog for a picture of Nathalie that I’ve used in a post but I am not the original source of it
Location: http://www.flurtmag.com/2013/08/how-the-canadian-government-failed-this-woman-from-saudi-arabia

Title: Blacks In Saudi Arabia
Author: St. Stanislaus College, Georgetown, Guyana
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “Would A Saudi Woman Marry A Black Non-Saudi Man”
Location: http://stanislauscollege.blogspot.com/2014/03/blacks-in-saudi-arabia.html

Title: How Do You Marry An American Muslim On A Scholarship From Saudi Arabia?
Source: Ummah forum
Description: Provided two links to the FHWS blog, “Marriage Permission Procedures” and “Marriage Permission, Not In A Million Years”. Interesting thread…hope it can be useful to someone.
Location: http://www.ummah.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-342353.html

Title: Notes
Author: Bry in Morocco
Source: Near Eastern Reflections
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “Male And Female Blogging”
Location: http://bryinmorocco.blogspot.com/2010/06/notes.html

Title: Telling My Family I Have An Offer To Work In Saudi Arabia
Author: Melanie Aquino Cera
Source: Favorite’s Queendom
Description: Provided link to a FHWS post, “Susie’s New Life In Saudi Arabia”
Location: http://favoritequeendom.blogspot.com/2009/11/1-tell-your-parents-significant-other.html

Title: Pilot Study, Tourist Marriage In Yemen
Author: International Organization For Migration (IOM)
Description: “Footnote 95, al‐Hilaly, K. ‘Saudis Top List of Foreigners Marrying Yemenis In 2009.’ 26 February 2010. Available
at https://taraummomar.wordpress.com.” I didn’t write this article that they included in their footnote, it was merely a repost. Credit is actually due to the author that they quoted, K. Al-Hilaly.
Location: http://publications.iom.int/bookstore/free/Tourist_Marriage_Yemen.pdf

Title: Blogosphere
Author: Anita
Source: Get2Know Saudi Arabia, The Survival Guide
Description: Provided link to the home page of FHWS.
Location: http://www.get2knowsaudiarabia.com/p/blogosphere.html

Title: A Canadian In Riyadh
Author: Orchidthief
Description: Provided link to FHWS on sidebar.
Location: http://canadianinriyadh.blogspot.com

Title: What Does It Take For Saudis To Marry Non-Saudis?
Author: Nuryn
Source: A Big Message
Description: “Such sentiments may not project the whole picture. Tara Umm Omar is an American lady married to a Saudi and living in Saudi Arabia. She runs a blog, Future Husbands and Wives of Saudis, that helps people make the right decisions about marrying Saudis and that gives guidance on the Saudi marriage approval process. She was livid at what Hassna Mokhta had to go through. But her own experience marrying a Saudi man has not been all that smooth-sailing either. Tara Umm Omar queries how the Saudi rules are safeguarding her husband’s rights by refusing to give them a new marriage certificate despite granting them official marriage permission, thus leaving her without an iqamah (residence permit), and her son without a Saudi passport or national identification card.” This was written 5 years ago…happy to say that my situation has changed for the better since then alhamdullah. Oops I was supposed to write about that this summer :-/
Location: http://www.abigmessage.com/what-does-it-take-for-saudis-to-marry-non-saudis.html

Title: Interview: All You Wanted To Know About Susie of Arabia
Author: Jeddah Blog
Description: Susie mentions FHWS in answer to the question, “Do you feel that much too often, a Western model of reform and change is superimposed on Saudi Arabia?”
Location: http://jeddah-blog.com/2012/04/22/susie-of-arabia-blog

Title: Someone Can Help Me Get The Saudi Marriage Permission As Soon As P?
Author: ortizandra10
Source: Expat Blog
Description: “Glamorous” provided link to the FHWS home page
Location: http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=400915

Title: Can Two Different Nationalities Get Married In Saudi Arabia?
Author: stigandre-norway
Source: Expat Blog
Description: “Tansari” provided a link to the FHWS post, “Saudi Marriage Permission”
Location: http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=387242

Title: I Want An Honest Opinion About My Situation
Author: missindependent
Source: Expat Blog
Description: “Trapezius” provided a link to three FHWS posts. Check out the links at the bottom of the thread.
Location: http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=334228

Title: Need Information Please
Author: ctaylor74
Source: Expat Blog
Description: “Trapezius” provided a link to three FHWS posts. Check out the links, 5th post from the top
Location: http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=328660

Title: Seeking Marriage Permission
Author: Ealali
Source: Expat Blog
Description: “Xenolol” and “HRGuru” each provide a link back to FHWS, 5th and 18th post from the top
Location: http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=325230

Title: American Girl To Marry Saudi And Move To Riyadh
Author: amyasb
Source: Expat Blog
Description: “musicman provided link to FHWS post, “Susie’s New Life In Saudi Arabia”
Location: http://www.expat-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=18191

Eid Al-Adha 2015 | Makkah Stampede

Asalamu Alaikum

TaqabAllah minaa wa minkum…
May Allah bless you and your family with happiness!

Concerning Makkah…


inna_lillahi_wa_inna_ilayhi_raji_un_by_nahmala-d8houkmMay Allah forgive and have mercy on the
dead and grant them jannat al-firdaws;
May Allah cure the injured quickly
and completely ameen


A Few Points To Make Regarding The Matchmaking Forum

photocreditshopifyThe matchmaking forum is the only way that I can offer assistance when it comes to the subject of searching for a spouse. It is not meant to be “active” as it is not a social media platform (if that was the case then I would have set it up on Google+ or Yahoo Groups). It is there for whoever needs it for as long as anyone contributes to it. Mostly brothers and sisters contact me in private and I can only suggest that they add their details to the forum. So the number of people posting there does not reflect who is actually interested. Understandably, it is probably because they are too private to share their details in public. But I can do nothing with private requests because I don’t want to be that closely involved in the process. The concerned parties must do the follow up queries as well as investigations as I can never vouch for anyone that I have never met nor recommend them for marriage unless I know them personally. I would suggest that when entering your particulars, you provide an email address that you do not mind putting out in the blogosphere for candidates to contact you. You can simply make one up for this purpose. If you are a sister, let your mahram or wakeel post his email address. Do NOT use your real name on the forum. Use a nickname or an alias and provide your real name in a reply to an email when you feel comfortable enough to do so. Finally, I have made the matchmaking forum as private as possible with a password and moderation of posts to ensure no players or spammers get through. However, in this day and age, do not expect much privacy on the internet. If you are that worried about privacy, it is better to conduct your matchmaking affairs in person, in the real world. Thank you and best wishes in your marriage pursuits, taraummomarsignature4

Photo Credit: Shopify