MINISTRY TO LOOK INTO UNACCOUNTED MARRIAGES
By Diana Al-Jassem
Saudi Gazette, Jeddah
The Shoura Council Foreign Affairs Committee will discuss the reason behind the increasing number of non-Saudi mothers married to Saudis without government permission in August.
The number of incidents increased in 2007 according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs report and the Shoura Council will dicuss the reasons behind the increase as well as the impact on the children involved, said Sadaka Fadel, head of the Shoura Council Foreign Affairs Committee.
He said non-Saudi mothers have tried to register their children as Saudis at consulates without documents proving a marriage took place.
If a marriage cannot be proven the mothers will get nothing, Fadel said.
“Saudi consulates have no right to register children as Saudis unless the mother presents the official paper required to prove her marriage,” he said.
He said any marriage of a non-Saudi woman to a Saudi man must be authorized by the Ministry of Interior.
Fadel said being authorized to marry a non-Saudi woman is difficult and the approval may only be given if the man is either very old, very ill, or too poor. Fadel said this is because the authorities are attempting to reduce the influx of unmarried non-Saudi women in the Kingdom because of illegal marriages.
Many Saudis have opted instead to engage in Misyar marriages because these are approved by Islam, Fadel said.
Misyar marriages are marriage contracts where women give up certain marriage rights such as living with the husband, equal division of nights between wives in cases of multiple marriages, and the rights to housing.
However these marriages have specifications which must be followed otherwise they are deemed illegal, he said.
Country Number of Cases
Lebanon Too many to specify
Turkey Too many to specify