Non-Saudi Wife Of A Saudi Interview: Susie Of Arabia

Susie is known for telling it like it is on her blog, Susie’s Big Adventure, an attitude that inspires other bloggers like me and doesn’t sit well with others who don’t like what she has to say or how she says it. Indeed Susie’s blog was blocked because of her outspoken stance but that did not dissuade her. It actually backfired, inadvertently increasing the blog’s publicity and making her even more determined to carry on with blogging about being married to a Saudi and residing in Saudi Arabia. She is living the life and knows from personal experience how things can be here. Which is why she agreed to do this interview, so that “these girls [non-Saudis] can know what they are really in for.” Susie felt that she might have been “too honest” in her answers but that is exactly what I was looking for. I assured her that we have to be frank and not hide how things really are here, we could save a life! Thanks Susie for keeping it real,

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-What is your nationality? American

-What country do you reside in presently? Saudi Arabia

-Are/were you married to a Saudi or non-Saudi? I am married to a Saudi man. We have been together for more than 32 years.

-If you live/lived in Saudi Arabia, for how long? We moved here to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. about two and a half years ago, so I’m still pretty new here compared to many of the other Saudi wives I have met.

-What is your job/hobbies in your country of residence? I don’t work here, but I had worked all my life in the states before moving here. My hobbies all have to do with being creative – I write two blogs which sometimes feels like a full-time job. I do photography, and I paint, sew, and make jewelry.

-When and where did you meet your Saudi husband? Like many Saudi wives, I met my husband when we were both university students in the states. It was back in 1977 and we met within days of his arrival in Arizona. For both of us, I think it was pretty much love at first sight.

-How long did you know your husband before the marriage took place? We had a rather long courtship, more than 12 years. My husband wanted to finish his PhD and get work in his field before getting married. I never really thought we would ever get married – he had been clear from the start about getting his degree and returning to his country to live, without me. After our first five years together, we separated for a period of time because the relationship was just too intense and hurtful. We deeply loved each other but at the same time we knew it was a dead end relationship. Then we both realized we would rather spend whatever time we had together than apart, so after we got back together the relationship was without expectations or hopes and it was much healthier. And finally getting married after all that time then was rather unexpected.

-How long did your marriage permission take? Mine took a relatively short time – I think less than a couple of months. But there was a large sum of money my husband paid to a prince in order to get the final stamp of approval. My situation is probably different from many women who come here though, in that I was already in my mid-50s and so was my husband, I was past child bearing age, and we already had a teenage son. For younger couples of child-bearing age and without money, it is much harder from what I understand.

-Did his family accept his marriage to you? Why/Why not? We lived in the states until 2007, so his family was not really in the picture all that much, except when they came to visit us. I feel that they have always been very accepting of me. Since our arrival in Saudi Arabia, they have been wonderful to my son and me and have made us feel as much a part of the family as anyone else. I do love my husband’s family.

-Did your family accept your marriage to him? Why/Why not? My family has also been very accepting of our marriage. They have liked my husband from the very start. He fits right in with my family. I think they knew me well enough all my life to know that I would probably not go for the conventional big wedding and white picket fence scenario. I always blazed my own path, and like Frank Sinatra sang, “I did it my way!”

-How are your relations with your family/in-laws now after marrying your husband? Everything is fine with both of our families. There are no problems because of our marriage.

-What is your advice when a non-Saudi woman meets her potential/future Saudi in-laws? Of course that situation is nerve-wracking, but just try to be yourself. Hopefully they will be able to see exactly what it is your husband sees in you that he likes. If you try to change things about yourself just to fit in, in the long run you won’t be happy and the resentment will build up. From what I have seen, many Saudis are quite formal and very traditional, so it’s good to know ahead of time what you might be expected to do. Using your knowledge of Arabic (even if it’s very limited) is good too.

-Do/did you like living in Saudi Arabia? Please explain why you like/liked living in Saudi Arabia and why you don’t/didn’t: I don’t hate living here, but after two years here, I do feel that it’s not really where I WANT to live. I am at the point in my life now where I personally am really tired of living in hot climates. I grew up in hot dry Arizona, and then I lived in warm and humid Florida, and now I am living in Jeddah, where not only is it brutally hot, but I also have to wear a black cloak over my clothes as well as wrapping up my head and neck. I feel stifled most of the time. I just want to live in a cooler climate now! There are many good things about life here, like it is slower paced and less stressful (except when out in traffic!), and I feel very safe, and the cost of living is cheaper. But coming here at my age after being a pretty independent woman in the states, the loss of my personal freedoms has been much more difficult to accept than I thought. I am finding that I am not that flexible anymore as I was when I was younger (I am not a spring chicken any more!) and not as tolerant of putting up with things I don’t like as I used to be. I know that I have upset some readers on my blog because of how outspoken I have been about some of the things that bother me about living here, but I wish they would try to imagine their own mothers making a move to a place so foreign, so different, where they don’t speak the language, so far away from their own families, and ask themselves if their own mothers would truly be happy and able to adapt and accept her new life? I know that my Saudi mother-in-law or my sisters-in-law would not even consider moving at this point in their lives, much less even give it a try. Another thing that I would like people to understand about me is that when I was a young woman, the women’s lib movement was in full swing in America, and it was a big part of my life.  I was the very first female police officer at a facility in Arizona back in the mid-70s, and it was a very big deal at the time.  To come to a place like Saudi Arabia decades later and to have to live in such a restricted way here just because I am a woman is a difficult pill to swallow. I’m sure this makes me more vocal about the plight of all women here. I don’t pretend to speak on behalf of all Saudi women, but I am a woman living here who has taken major steps backwards in order to do so and it really bothers me. I feel that I have as much right to speak up about things that bother me as anyone else, so I do.

-What would you like to see improved in Saudi Arabia? There are many things I would like to see change that I think would make KSA better. Many of the roads need improvement, and the parking and traffic situations are horrendous. I dislike seeing trash and rubble everywhere in empty lots – it’s such an eyesore and rather disgusting. The inadequate water and sewage systems really need to be addressed. Another area that could use improvement would be to have more activities for families and young people. The lack of activities results in bored young men resorting to doing really stupid things, like driving really dangerously. I would like to see ALL people being treated more equally, especially women and foreign workers. I would like to see women given the right to make their own decisions without needing the approval of their male guardian, who – contrary to what some women believe here – doesn’t always know or do what’s best for her. I’d love to see women given more opportunities to take a more active role in this society, its workforce, and its future, if they so desire. I truly feel that women are being suppressed and underutilized here in so many capacities, much to the detriment of the country. I want women to be able to drive here if they want to – there is definitely too much testosterone on the roads in KSA and I think women drivers would calm things down a bit. I also feel that many people here aren’t as concerned with health and safety issues as they should be, like smoking, wearing seatbelts, child safety carseats. etc., and I’d love to see changes there.

-Do you think you should change anything about yourself in order to fit into Saudi society? I had always considered myself flexible and easy going, a go-with-the-flow type of person. That’s why it has surprised me that I have been so resistant to changing to try to fit in here. I think it may have something to do with my age, but I’m not really sure. It has been tougher than I had imagined trying to adapt to the loss of freedoms and all the restrictions on me as a woman. In defiance, I feel like I have been doing a lot of kicking and screaming because of it. I don’t think that has helped me, but I cannot just sit back and accept things that I truly feel are unjust or wrong either. Life is just too short. I do not want to lose my own identity by trying to fit in here – and honestly I don’t think I will really ever totally fit in. I’m not Saudi and I never will be. I’m American. I will never be seen by others as Saudi and I will never see myself as Saudi either.

-What do you think about the abaya and is/was it a problem for you to wear it? I don’t particularly care for the abaya, mainly because it makes me even hotter than I already am. I think it’s absurd and cruel for women to wear black, which absorbs heat, in the type of weather that most of KSA has. I prefer to wear colors and show my own style instead of looking like everyone else. I don’t mind dressing modestly and I would prefer to see women here able to do that without having to wear the abaya because it is certainly possible to do that. But I almost get the feeling that all women having to wear black here is really part of the conspiracy theory to keep women hidden at home because it’s just too doggone hot to go out wearing a black cloak in this heat – and most men want the women here to just stay home.

-Do you have children? Yes, I have a grown daughter who lives in the US with her husband and two kids, and I have a 17 year old son, Adam, who moved with us here to Saudi Arabia.

-Is your Saudi husband involved in raising your children? Yes and no. When Adam was younger, my husband used to play and roughhouse with him, and he has always been more of the disciplinarian than I am. Since moving here to KSA, my husband has become even tougher on Adam than he ever was. He thinks Adam should be fluent in Arabic after being here for just a couple of years and gets upset that he isn’t and shows his disappointment. Adam feels American and my husband wants him to feel and act more Saudi and it creates a lot of friction between them, I am always stuck in the middle and I hate it. My husband is active in my son’s life to a certain degree, but in some areas, I wish he would take a more active role and be more supportive of Adam’s interests and activities. I think my husband narrowly sees his role as a father as solely providing financial support and he usually comes through when Adam really needs something. I know that my son would appreciate having a much more meaningful relationship with his dad and Adam would love to know more about his dad’s life when he was young.

-Does your Saudi husband help you with the house chores? Sometimes he helps out. Cleaning is not something he will generally help with at all, but he does occasionally try to do laundry (but I would prefer that he doesn’t!), and he does cook, which is not my strong suit. He’ll wash dishes sometimes too. When I’m not feeling well, he does pitch in. In Florida we both shared with the outside yardwork, but here we don’t have a yard anymore. It is my son’s job to take out the garbage, but in Florida my husband and I both did it. He feels his role is more traditional in that he takes care of fixing things around the house and that my role is the household chores. We do grocery shopping together most of the time, or he will go alone at times since I cannot drive here.

-What do you think non-Saudis should know about Saudi women? The Saudi women that I know are very strong, intelligent and caring. However I think that they are raised to see themselves in a supporting and secondary role as wives and as women in this society. And I think many of them are happy with their lives being this way. They don’t necessarily want more our of life for themselves or their own daughters. I think that as younger Saudi women attain higher education and see more of the outside world, they will want more out of life for themselves and then some changes might start happening here. But many of the Saudi women I know are quite content to be stay-at-home moms, running the household, overseeing their maids, nannies, and other domestic help, not minding that all decision making is all left up to the husbands, and not working outside the home or taking a more visible role in this society. I don’t think it is our place to judge or criticize if they are happy with the status quo. As a Western woman who is relatively new here, it’s difficult not to view many Saudi women’s lives as boring, shallow, and empty, but this is the life they know and are comfortable with – and I know they would not want to trade places with Western women.

-Do/did you feel trapped in Saudi Arabia or do you feel comfortable living in the country? I feel comfortable here – I have all the necessities I need, our apartment is spacious, etc. So the quality of life in that respect is good. But the quality of life as far as activities and the ability to do things is very limited. So I guess in some ways I do feel trapped here, and I think another description might be feeling sometimes like I am in a gilded prison. My husband has always assured me that if I ever want to leave, my son and I are free to go any time we want. But I gave up everything, my entire past life, to come half a world away with my husband, and if I were to go back, what exactly would I be going back to? I would be starting all over without him because he feels obligated to remain here to look after his mother, although he has two brothers and a sister who also live nearby. I understand his feeling of obligation – he is the oldest son and it is his duty even though for the thirty years he spent in the states, it didn’t really seem to be that important to him. He says now that he will remain here at least until his mom is gone, and with her being a fairly healthy 72, it could be many more years. His insistance on staying here now is a disappointment, since I agreed to come here on a trial basis for a couple of years, and now there is no re-evaluation of our situation.

-Would you take Saudi citizenship? Why/why not? Since my son now has Saudi citizenship, I think it would be to my advantage to hold dual citizenship as well. It would be less of a hassle when traveling in and out of Saudi Arabia, and legally here, it might be better in some ways to have it. My husband applied for it shortly after my arrival here.

-Do you think a non-Saudi woman can be happy in Saudi Arabia? I do know some non-Saudi women who seem genuinely happy here. They have somehow managed to find that balance and acceptance. A lot depends on their husbands and his family – a foreign woman’s entire experience hinges on and is shaped by her Saudi husband. But I also know many women who have been here for many years who would really rather be living elsewhere. Their children were raised here and are Saudi, will likely marry Saudis, and will live here as adults. And these women do feel trapped – where can they go? What can they do?

-Do you think you would be willing/able to live in Saudi Arabia alone? Why/Why not? Absolutely not. There would be no reason for me to do that. My whole family lives in the states. I would want to be closer to them. Since my son came here as a teen, he had already identified himself his whole life as an American, and he has expressed to me that he doesn’t want to live here as an adult. Why would I want to live alone here? That doesn’t make sense for me.

-Do you think a non-Saudi woman would have any problems living alone in Saudi Arabia? I think she would be relatively safe, but there are so many things that a woman is restricted from doing here that I think it would be really difficult. If she spoke Arabic, it would probably be easier, but still… If she needed something repaired in her home, that alone would present problems because she would need someone else present because an unrelated man cannot be in her home. If a 75 year old woman here can be arrested for letting into her home a couple of young men who were kindly bringing her bread, then a repairman would spell trouble too. Living here is very isolating, even with my husband and my son here. Living alone here as a foreign woman sounds really unpleasant to me. There are so many other places in the world where I would feel much more comfortable about it.

-What advice would you give a non-Saudi considering marriage to a Saudi? It’s very difficult to merge lives with someone from a different culture, country, religion, etc. There are so many things that will come up that will bother you that you hadn’t even thought of. Issues about raising children together are bound to be problematic. Ask yourself how much of your personal identity you are willing to give up. Love alone just isn’t enough to sustain a relationship with so many basic but major disparities between the two of you. It requires a lot of concessions, cooperation, and sacrifices on both parties to make it work, but honestly most likely on the non-Saudi’s part because of how strong the Saudi culture, traditions, customs, and religion are to Saudis themselves. For example, I’ve spent three Christmasses here now, and I really don’t want to spend another one here. It was bad enough when we lived in the states and with every passing year, my husband became less and less tolerant of the holiday traditions that I love, like caroling, sending out cards, decorating the tree and putting up lights outside, etc. But here, it is pretty much non-existent and it’s depressing for me. If I had it to do all over all again, I really think it would have been so much simpler to marry someone from a similar background instead. But when you’re young and madly in love, you just seem to think that your love will conquer all – but it just doesn’t work that way.

-You can use this space to write anything else you would like: Thanks for the opportunity to express myself here on your blog, Tara- it was fun. Here are my blog links: http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/ and http://susieofarabia.wordpress.com/

-Do you want to use your real name, be anonymous or use a nickname?  Susie of Arabia

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Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

48 thoughts on “Non-Saudi Wife Of A Saudi Interview: Susie Of Arabia”

  1. >Susie's interview was excellent! I believe, all things considered, she was very fair in her statements. Women entering a marriage like this should learn from her words. As an American, I can't imagine having so much freedom stripped away. When you list the pluses and minuses, the minuses tip the scale…can she live like this much longer, with her entire family in the US? It seems like the conditions for moving to her husband's home country changed once they got there. She has given it a try…life IS way to short to let it pass you by. I have a very strong feeling that Susie and her son will return to the US. Perhaps they can spend part of the year in each place. I would not even consider being treated in this manner…how can it end well when you know what it feels like to have respect and freedom?

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  2. >She is reflective and knows where she is and why.We want to go back to where we come from.I lived in the USA befor and am glad to be back in Norway.Just wish all will be ok.

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  3. >I was born and raised in Hawaii, but lived in other parts of the world while in my 20s. Now I (a Korean-American woman) am married to a Caucasian-American man, and we both live in Hawaii. We have 2 grown daughters and 2 grandchildren.It is very easy to have an inter-racial marriage in Hawaii, as there is absolutely no prejudice or discrimination.I hope that Susie finds a happy solution to her present problems. Living in KSA is difficult for American women. But what can you do if your husband wants to remain there? How much does she love her husband? Her son (who wants to return to the states)? Her American lifestyle? Is there a compromise?

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  4. >Well a very honest interview! Will it help any non-saudi woman in love with a saudi man? I very much doubt as the saying goes "love is blind".When we are young we all want to believe that love conquers all but in reality that rarely happens.As a wiser woman now at 51 I would never consider marrying someone from a completely different culture,not only for my beliefs but also for the future of my children.But when we are young we do not see far ahead and we are selfish,we want immediate gratification.So good luck to anybody considering a mix culture marriage!

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  5. >Everyone, welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. Insha'Allah Susie will be replying soon. Lori- Concerning loss of freedom, that is very hard to heal with here especially if you are an independent person. Qusay- Susie chose them herself.Alette- "We want to go back to where we come from." Home is where the heart is!GigiHawaii- I also hope that Susie finds the best solution for herself and her family.Maria- The heart conflicts with the mind, clouding our judgments. It happened to me at a young age with my ex-husband (also a mixed culture marriage).

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  6. >Hi Tara – Thanks again for the opportunity to answer your questions and to get the word out for those who need to know. It's important to remember that everyone's experience here is different – some are worse and some are better than mine. I guess there's no way to know until you get here!Hi Lori – Thanks for your comment. At this point, I don't know what the future holds, but you are right – I would love an arrangement where I could spend part of my time here and part of my time with my family. I hope one day my hubby will be agreeable to that.Hi Qusay – Does that mean you don't like what I had to say??? LOL!!!Hi Alette – So nice to see your comment here. I think it's difficult for anyone, no matter where they're from, to leave their home, culture, family, traditions, etc., to embark on a new life in a different country. I think eventually, we all want to go home, which is what happened to my hubby after 30 yrs in the states. Yes, even men feel that way too…

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  7. >Hi Gigi – You posed some very realistic questions, and I guess all I can say at this point is: Stay tuned! for the continuing saga…Hi Maria – What you wrote is SO true. No one could have told me back 30 years ago that I might end up with such conflicted feelings – I probably wouldn't have listened if they would have tried anyway.

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  8. >Susie- Hi! You're welcome, it was my pleasure. I agree, you can read about living here, hear other personal stories about living here and watch videos but you won't really know how things can be until you live here yourself! Best wishes to anyone who decides to go down the same road.

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  9. >Blogitse- Welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. Saw your blog, liked the pics of Casablanca…brought back great memories for me. Insha'Allah one day I hope to return with my husband and son! Bon voyage and you have a good day too 🙂

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  10. >now that I know who is Susie of Arabia,reading your blog would be more appreciated and I can understand more now I know where you come from and what you have been thru. ^.^great question and great answers,it's true the everyones story is different.cheers

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  11. >You say your hubby wants your son to be fluent in Arabic. What did he do in the states to give your son the tools to be fluent in Arabic? See, my wife was raised pretty much in the West and Arabic was important to her family. Because it was important they did things to give the sisters the tools to be fluent. For one thing English was not allowed at home. They got enough of that at school and outside the home. My father in law also got an Arabic tutor that came twice a week for years. If your hubby didnt do any ground work like this, it would be completely unfair to expect him to be fluent in Arabic………ever, let alone in a few years. Arabic is a VERY hard language and it isnt something one can pick up casually and expect to be any good at it. If he is just really picking it up at his later teenage years the chances are he will never be fluent. My wife and I have had this discussion many times. There are Arab parents in the West who want their children to be raised completely in the Arabic culture, with the same ideas and thoughts. They then get surprised when their kids do not turn out like this and reject much of what their parents value. My wife has one suggestion to people like this, as an Arab raised mostly in the West herself. If you want your kids to have the values, ideas and thoughts of someone from back home……….you need to move back home! As you know our son Fozan is back in Jeddah living with his father's family. I think him and Adam talk….I know they are friends on Facebook. With him he spoke Arabic at home and went to a private Arabic speaking school here for a few years. Even him born in Saudi with his prior involvement with Arabs and Arabic, completely feels American. When you raise a kid in a county it is going to be hard to remove that from them.

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  12. >Hi, first of all Iam french so Iam sorry for my english mistakes!Thank you Susie for sharing your story!I am studying in Australia at the moment and like you I met my Saudi boyfriend through University. We have been together for almost a year and that's why Iam now reading many blogs about Saudi Arabia as I didn't know much before I met him! I was wondering if you knew any foreign (french or from anywhere) girl like me who decided to marry a Saudi and come to live in Saudi when they were between 20/30 years old? I also have a particular question I know that now foreign women do not need permission from their husband (or male guardian) to travel out of the country but I was wondering if this foreign woman is muslim, can she leaves the country and in my case visit her family without having to get a permission? I don't know if Iam really clear…it's not so easy to explain in english!Thank you for your time and for sharing your story it helps! Thank you Tara as well, I love your blog!

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  13. >I'm a fan of Susie's blog and she always amazes me with her outspoken nature. I love it! I grew up here in Aramco, although I'm not as exposed as others to the Saudi culture, I understand her insights on most of the 'issues' she reacts about. As a 23yo non-Saudi, I promise to always put 'mind over matter' and not get wooed away by these sweet and charming men. LOL =) Susie, I really wish cultural issues and future plans could get resolved between you and your husband soon, as the story of your love is really inspiring.. I mean, 12 years of courtship is uncommon!

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  14. >Oh BTW… Thanks Tara Umm Omar for putting up this blog and giving us all this info. It's a great eye-opener and it helps us to understand Saudi culture. Keep up the good work =)

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  15. >Abu Sinan- I agree with your wife, if parents want their children to be Saudi then they should immerse them in the culture and raise them in Saudi Arabia. Anonymous/Mai Hua- Welcome to FHWS and thanks for your kind compliments. Anonymous- The non-Saudi wives (Muslim or non-Muslim) who married after the law requiring their Saudi husbands to sign an agreement that they do not need permission to travel out of the country does not extend by default to those non-Saudi wives who were married before it came into existence. Should you marry your Saudi, the law would apply to you whereas I can't benefit from it because I married in 2002.

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  16. >Susie, I think you're very wise and I always love to read your posts — been reading you for a few years now. I think you're very fair and even-handed, and you always balance objectivity and subjectivity in your blog. I enjoy it so much.I found Tara Umm Omar's blog through yours, and I'm glad to revisit this page and get back to reading her posts as well. Best wishes to both!(and your new profile pic is gorgeous! I love the violet/sunset orange combo!

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  17. >I always visit susie's blog. I'm really appreciate of susie's all efforts, and happy to see your results. I'm korean who is living in America and as you expected, i love saudi man and we are going to merry.I'm still learning English, please forgive my mistakes. I have been in America for 2years. After i arrived in here i have met my boy friend. My boy friend came here to study of master, and i came here to get a job as a nurse. He want to get a job in his country after graduate and i also can work in saudi. I have read so many books and articles..always they say "love can't go throw cultural wall" but how can i give up the person like him..He is perfecr guy of my life..So i was looking for the way can live in jeddah. yes, susie's home. i'm thirty years old and he is 29. i don't think i'm young enough to think about only romantic. but do i ? do i have to consider again and again?learning arabic and live with his family is my dream..but i also have to care about my family, my parents and younger brother.Maybe i just want to here from anyone that "it will be ok and you will be happy"

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  18. >Informative interview. I appreciate the honest thoughts posted–especially related to the difficulties that outsiders face in a country like Saudi Arabia.

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  19. >Jess- Welcome back to FHWS! Best wishes to you as well.Susan Kim- Welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. Insha'Allah everything will be ok and you will be the happiest woman with your Saudi. Have faith in Allah and know that everything has already been written for you. Just make sure you do your homework before marrying a Saudi and pray to Allah to guide you in the right direction.Susanne- You're welcome!Slamdunk- Welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. I'm sure Susie is just as appreciative that you found her interview to be informative.Speaking of Susie, I have to remind her that more comments are awaiting her here. Hang on tight for her answers to your comments!

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  20. >Very interesting to read Susie's story in a nutshell!The other interviews you could click on at the end of the post were interesting as well.

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  21. >As salamu alaikum sister,may Allah make your staying in a muslim country good inshaAllah. i just wonder as you are muslima, why you put your pictures unconvered, without khimar ? it's not permisible in islam so may Allah guide you sister.

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  22. >as salami alaikumAs a muslima, you should not put your pictures uncovered without khimar, it's not permissible in islam. may Allah guide you sister…

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  23. >Amal- Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. I don't know how you got the impression that Susie is a Muslim but she is not. The picture of her in hijab was taken during an interview in her home with a reporter. She respected her Muslim husband's wishes and covered her hair.

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  24. >To. Tara Umm Omar Thank you for your comment and there are a lot of thing to do for being happy with my future husband. I know it must be hard. i saw also susie's comment that if we are young, it would be better marry with someone who has same culture. and i couldn't do like anyother people. My future husband's family want to come to my country to see my family and i don't know what should i prepare.Everything seems good for us. I hope that everything is ok. God will decide. Thank you for your all efforts.

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  25. >Susan Kim- You're welcome. Insha'Allah its a good sign that your future in-laws want to meet you. Just be yourself! Be honest and treat them with respect, generosity and hospitality.

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  26. >Assalammualaikum!hi as i was surfing the net to look for stories involving saudis and non-saudis marriages, by chance i got through these wonderful and blessed blog. I am a filipino muslim working in saudi arabia for almost 4years now, i met my boyfriend 2 years back we are working in the same field. last year we planned to get married but we need to have these paper that gives us approval for saudis to marry non-saudis. It's really hard to ask for the approval of the goverment before getting married. Then we have to convince both or families that everything will work and its worth it. Its really hurting that we have to consider all these things before you will be able to spend together. Its just frustrating that until now there is no justice being serve… Wallahilazeem it's really frustrating that even the love your sharing you still have to ask for approval of there goverment. But what can I do. Its not in my hand it's up to ALLAH to open the hearts of these people and oppen doors of opportunities. I will not stop hoping and praying that one day the help from ALL THE ALMIGHTY will come… im Praying for all of US… MY ALLAH BLESS ALL OF US and OUR FAMILY. thank you sorry for my bad english and grammar usage and my spelling… Thank yOu so mUcH

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  27. >iam really sorry pRedeStinatiOnS,i have same problim,iam saudi woman and my fincee is american and we know each other for 8 years,he proposed to me 6 years back and we are commeted to each other until this moment,my family refuse the idea of marrige from non saudi.love and understanding doesn't know nationality or colour.we are still struggle in community made by men's decisionsmarrige is legal in islam as long as we both muslims and who made the rulles of permtions will got the god's judgment enshallah.and don't worry about your spelling,we are here for one reasone and that is enough.

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  28. >Predestinations- Wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. Welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. Glad you found the blog and insha'Allah will benefit from it. You know something, I wouldn't mind asking the government for permission to marry a Saudi. The problem is that they make it SO hard to gain the approval! And it backfires because people get tired of being dragged through the mud and the waiting game so they go ahead and get married on the side without the marriage permission anyway. But they don't really feel the repercussions of the decision until they want to come and live in KSA, thats when the real problems start. This is why some of the couples live outside of KSA.Soba- May Allah guide them to change the marriage laws and soften their hearts to make it easy on us and couples like us ameen.

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  29. >So sorry that I have not been able to respond to all the comments. We had a surprise medical emergency – my husband is now at home recuperating after open heart surgery, and I am his care giver. It's been a wild and harrowing past few weeks, but he is making a little progress every day and inshaallah, in a few more weeks, he will be as good as new. Thank you to all the commenters. Again my apologies for not being able to respond to each one individually.

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  30. >Knatolee- Welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting :-)Susie- Welcome back! Wishing a speedy recovery for Adnan. What a lucky man he is to have a wife such as you masha'Allah. Take care of yourself and your family. Hugs!

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  31. >assalamualaykum! sister i just want to ask advise from u that i got married to a saudi man since last year.we got marry here in phillipines, im afraid if we wll ask permission to saudi govermnt they wll not allw us wallahilazzeem i love my husband so much, i cant live w/out him,,,,what is the best way we wll do.by now im praying to allh that the saudi goverment they wll change there rules…nshallh

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  32. >assalamualaykum! sister im amna from philippines.i gt married to saudi man last year we met in saudi when i was working there.we marry here in the phillipines last year,the problem is we didnt ask permission from his country bcz we knw its hard to gt permission,really wallahilazeem i love my husband so much i cant live w/out him,i want to stat w/him for the rest of my life..im just hoping and pray nshallh 1 day the saudi will change there rules……nshallh ameem sis give me advise,,sukran jazeelan,,amna

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  33. >Amna- Wa alaikum salam, if you and your Saudi intend to live in KSA or visit (including performing hajj/umrah together) then he should apply for the marriage permission. Think about what would happen if he has to leave the Philippines for whatever reason and return back to KSA to live, then you wouldn't be able to follow him.

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  34. >Thank you Susie for the interesting interview. I'm a Saudi woman, married to an American man..We did not get the permission yet, however working on it. I do hope we get it one day, the thing is we live in the US, and when I went and visited I started the process, however the system is unorganized, they kept on asking different papers every time. I came back to the US and my papers are incomplete. I dont have any kids yet, and I am waiting on the permission, I hope I can get it one day? I am not getting any younger but the permission is holding me back. Insha Allah things work out.

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  35. >NJ- Welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. Abu Sinan is an American brother married to a Saudi woman. You can find his blog on my "Interesting Links" page. I think they are going through similar problems. May Allah make it easy on you and grant you the marriage permission soon ameen.

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  36. >@NJ, I am an American guy married to a Saudi woman. we are working on the permission as well. We have helped and talked with other couples doing the same thing. If you want to e-mail me do so at abusinan@maktoob.com I am wonder however, my wife has talked to another Saudi woman whose name starts with a "N". Maybe it is you? If not feel free to give us an e-mail and we can share notes. Thanks!

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  37. >What an amazing blog and I can see how helpful it is for everyone involved in a KSA relationship. Our family (all American) lived in Tokyo for 3 years and enjoyed learning all the cultural differences but we knew at the same time, that we would be going home. I can't imagine what it would be like to think I had to live somewhere that didn't feel like home, for an unknown (maybe forever) time.Even in the US, where I'm from New York, we've lived in California twice but both times decided to move home to the east coast where our friends and family are.

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  38. >Hi Tina…welcome to FHWS! Thank you very much for your compliment. Please recommend FHWS to anyone you know that is even thinking about becoming involved with a Saudi. There are non-Saudis living here with their non-Saudi spouses or as singles who have stayed in KSA for a long time. As long as 25+ years. KSA grows on you, it just takes time. I have almost come to terms with living here and its been only 4 1/2 years for me.

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