Saudi Man Wants To Date A Canadian Co-Worker Secretly In KSA: Right Or Wrong?

I have been given permission by a Canadian woman to post her question on this blog using the alias, Taylore…

From Taylore to me: I came across your blog and thoroughly enjoy it! I am new to Riyadh and am currently employed at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center. In addition, I have now been living in Riyadh for 1 month.

The reason I am emailing you is I currently have a co-worker who is Saudi. I am a Canadian Citizen. Anyway, with regards to my co-worker, we both like each other very much and want to be able to spend time together. He wants this to be a secret and as much as I want to pursue this, a part of me worries.

Do you think the Saudi man’s request to secretly engage in a relationship at work in Saudi Arabia is right or wrong? Should alarm bells go off for Taylore? What should she do in this situation?



Published by

Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

21 thoughts on “Saudi Man Wants To Date A Canadian Co-Worker Secretly In KSA: Right Or Wrong?”

  1. >Been in KSA for 5 years now, this is always the same story. And it's not even because a saudi is involved. Is just this Western women that cannot be without having someone for more than 24 hours. They know themselves for one month and are already in love? That tells something about her standards when it comes to commit to a relationship. But ok, I am also canadian and that's why i keep all my relationships outside KSA. To live them in a healthy and hazardous-free environment. As of the saudi guy behavior is just typical: the moments somebody finds out he will pass to the next trophy-woman. I am not being bad, this is just something I've witnessed over and over and over again. Tara, your blog ROCKS!!!


  2. >Noiseformind- Wow, a lot of Canadians have been frequenting this blog lately. Welcome and thanks for your comments. I personally think his request smells of trouble. I can't tell his intentions but the insistence on secrecy doesn't sound too good. It also crossed my mind that he may be trying to take advantage of Taylore as a non-Muslim (not knowing his religion and as a new resident of KSA (not being familiar with its laws and how it can get her into trouble if she's caught with an unmarried man).


  3. >Puca- Most definitely its not allowed by the Saudi scholars! Some more liberal Muslims allow it, with or without chaperoning. But if a man and woman are caught by the hayyah (morals police) without sufficient proof to establish a marital relationship, it won't be pretty.


  4. >Hello,thanks for the feedback,A quick update:Despite the fact that I have a lot in common with this man,I choose to go with my gut feeling,and not pursue this.With that said I e-mailed Tara,and she was very helpful with regards to the consequences of what could happen.After I recieved the e-mail I finally met up with him today at work,and Confronted him & asked him if it was forbidden to date the opposite sex without marriage.And he replied Yes, his reponce was not to worry,and I said You're not listening to me,I cannot do this,as My safety is more important,and if you cared anything about me,than you would care,and stop trying to pursure this. I feel like he has no respect!


  5. >I think Taylore needs to educate herself very carefully not only about 'the rules' before marriage, but also about what happens after marriage. So she knows what to ask, just how much detail has to be put in the marriage contract, and if she isn't Muslim, what about any kids?So: the fact that if she marries a man in Saudi, she will have basically no rights under the law except what she has included in the marriage contract. And that even this could prove difficult to enforce. That essentially, he will have the right to ask ANYTHING that is not forbidden by the Qur'an, and she must obey, or he has the right to beat her. He has the right to marry up to three other women without even telling her. And she can forget any idea of even teaching the kids, much less raising them in any other faith except Islam. And there's a whole bunch more besides that. Things she would not even think to ask about.I would say that for the sake of the kids, if she is not a Muslim, she should never marry a Muslim. In theory, Muslim men are allowed to marry Christians and Jews. God only knows why though, because Jewish law stipulates that the children are to be raised in the faith of the mother, and Christian law states that if the child has even one Christian parent of either sex, the child is to be raised in the Christian faith.Not to mention that traditional Jewish law treats the marriage of any Jew to a non-Jew as fornication, and many Christians understand the marriage of a Christian to a non-Christian to be forbidden (unless they were already married when one party became a Christian).The reason I am talking about marriage so quickly is because AFAIK, getting together 'just to chitchat' is forbidden in Islam. So that there must be a purpose. A man could in principle converse with a woman for business purposes, or to engage in dawah (inviting her to accept Islam), but if it isn't something of that nature, then the only other acceptable reason would be to discuss whatever needs to be discussed in order to decide whether to get married.So in view of that, it is shocking that this guy is suggesting they 'date'. I am glad Taylore decided not to spend time with this guy. But I have written what I have just in case someone else comes along in the future…


  6. >In responce to chiara remarks, I am living on one of the compounds here in Riyadh, It is interesting to me how a saudi man could even ask such a question, when he knows it is forbidden, I personally think that he wanted to see what would happen, and I also think that he has no respect for himself, or I, for that matter. I'm still not sure what his motives are, as he is still trying to pursue me, even though I made it very CLEAR yesterday to leave me alone. "What part of the sentence did you not comprehend.I hoping that he will eventully back off.I tried to find out, but he would vito the question. Once again thanks for the feedback, greatly appriciated, and futhermore, I am the type of girl, who looks for the good in others, however I deserve a man who will treat me with respect, has goals, has a positive attitude.I could on & on as to what i look for, but I'll stop here.


  7. >I think that men, regardless of where they are in the world will try to take advantage of women. Anytime you put men and women together, this stuff will happen, that's why it's not allowed in Islam. You seek refuge with your spouse, and only sleep with them! The men that know the rules in Saudi, and still try to take advantage of those that don't make me sick. They could harm the other person, and they don't care. She is still a woman and should be treated with respect. If he was really interested in her, he should've proposed marriage, not an illicit relationship!


  8. >That man would just want to sleep with u… find a sex partner… that's, relationship and sex outside marriage is prohibited in islam. such rules protects the fabric of the society… it protects family and maintains morality. islam doesnt ban this basic need/desire of human beings.. but it channels it through marriage… May Allah guide us all to the straight path.


  9. >a man who would seek such illicit relationships will not treat u with respect… nor is he a worthy person… a man of honor and someone who would really respect and be loyal to u… would never approach u in this way in the first place…


  10. >General Rule#1: Stay away from Workplace romance where ever you work, or make a choice its your job or your love.Work place romances have known to have ruined careers, and even if you quit your cur rent job the negative remarks/ feedback which you will surely get at your current job will follow you every where. And this rule is for any work place no matter the geography.You did a good thing by asking him to back off, but now you must be careful as to check out whether he is going about your back and slandering about you or not. Also there is a possibility that some of your colleagues have already noticed what was going on, so this issue is still not closed.


  11. >Sorry but Keep away from this Man And Move along Far any one who wants to Keep Sin Secret is no Good. May Allah guide him Ameen. This is not something Amongst the Muslim Besides this is Freemixing, And there is no dateing in Islam. He should have made this Clear there is Marriage or Nothing . But I wouldn't talk to this man at All he will be henderance to you.


  12. >There are a few Saudi men who either work at KFSH or have frequent business there and are notorious for approaching newly arrived Westerners wishing to see them, take them places or give them presents (all in secret on the premise of protecting them). These men do not really respect the women and are attempting to take advantage of their newness to the Kingdom and lack of knowledge on the customs and cultures, particular as pertains to men and women. Stay clear from them. Whose the one who would get the most punishment if caught out…the Saudi man or the Westerner?Carol (American Bedu)


  13. >Cabroska- He seems to have a “secret” purpose alright. I think its a game these men play to see who is an easy catch. Taylore- If he had respect for his religion then he'd have respect for you, himself and his other co-workers. If you keep talking to him then this makes him even more bolder and hey, some men like it when women play hard to get. Not sure of the nature of your work with him but keep it to business talk. If your work is in no way related to each other then don't give him the time of the day and don't even look his way…see him and don't see him. Kim- That reminds me, I read on Arab News that the Ministry Of Health were considering women only hospitals in KSA at one point? Carol- Good to see you here. I cringe when I think about who this man's next prey will be and the fact that she might not be so lucky as Taylore. Perhaps this should be part of sensitivity training given by the Human Resource offices for new workers, a sort of warning to beware of these kinds of men and the consequences of engaging in non-marital relationships if caught.


  14. >A lot of debate going on. If only malaria could be solved this way. :)Carol is right. Dating in Saudi Arabia is not for the faint of heart. Two westerners in a gated compound… yes, ok. No problem in that, other than having terrible locally made drinks!. But why this guys always push to make people trying to make their lives here harder than it is?The same goes for some Saudi women. They put on their profile in Facebook "Jordanian" or "Lebanese" and then a guy goes to meet them and is like: "ooooh… you're a saudi… ok… see you, bye bye".It's like nobody likes the system, but nobody dares to change it. Ok, so let's make life easier. By 2000 or 3000 SAR a week a guy can be a couple of days in Bahrain or Dubai walking hand by hand with a girl that he fancies without any constraint. And I don't buy it that a relationship lived always inside walls is a healthy relationship. Because you are always under the impression that you're stuck with that person till you find the next person. And that is not a honest engine for a relationship. Being with someone because there's no place to go to meet other people.But ofcourse, I respect people that consider more important to have somebody to talk to and to fulfill their days than to actually have a deep, emotional bond with other person. After all, "one is the loneliest number/that you'll ever know"but…"two can be as bad as one/Is the loneliest number since the number one"


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