By P.K. ABdul Ghafour
Arab News | Jeddah
Jul 18, 2010
Sociologists and rights activists have warned young Saudi men of negative social and economic consequences of their marriages to foreign women. They also warned that the practice increases the number of unmarried women in the Kingdom.
To avoid problems, those who seek foreign wives are advised to first obtain official permission.
Nizar Al-Saleh, assistant secretary-general of the National Center for Research on Youth at King Saud University, said some Saudis travel to foreign countries with the intention of entering into temporary marriages. At the end of their vacation, they divorce their wives.
“This practice shows their disrespect for family values. They do this for temporary personal enjoyment but they don’t think about its negative consequences. It will definitely affect their family life,” Al-Saleh said.
According to Al-Saleh, marriage to foreign women is not advisable for those who are seeking a stable family life. “Persons involved in such marriages often leave their wives and children abroad without taking care of them. They lose their children and the trust of their wives.” Many families have been suffering complex problems as a result of such marriages.
He warned that such marriages would cause the disintegration of families. He emphasized the need for establishing families on sound grounds and called for educating youth in secondary schools and colleges about the importance of legal marriages.
Saleh Al-Khathlan, vice president of the National Society for Human Rights, referred to the problems caused by marriage with foreign women. “The government will not accept such marriage contracts and the foreign wives will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom. Even if they succeed in bringing their wives to the Kingdom, the Saudi men will face stiff punishment.”
He added: “There are many Saudis who cannot bring their foreign wives and children to the Kingdom and they stay abroad without proper care.” Al-Khathlan also indicated that many Saudis wanting to marry foreign women have been cheated by agents.
Fears of spinsterhood, illnesses
Sociologist Abdul Aziz Al-Ghareeb from Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, spoke about the negative impact of such marriages on the Islamic faith and culture of their children. “It will also increase the rate of spinsterhood among Saudi women,” he pointed out.
Such marriages also result in Saudis getting deadly diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. Children from such marriages may also suffer from diseases such as autism and paralysis, he added.
Ali Al-Hanaki, adviser to Awasir, an organization that looks after Saudis abroad, highlighted his society’s efforts in solving problems faced by such Saudi families. “We coordinate with government departments to provide these Saudi families with necessary care and assistance,” he said.
Towfik Al-Suwalem, chairman of Awasir’s board of directors, referred to his organization’s efforts to correct the legal status of such families by proving the legality of their marriages. “We also provide them with assistance in cash and kind and help them come to the Kingdom, if they want to, in coordination with the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs,” he explained.
He disclosed Awasir’s plan to visit 30 countries in order to check on the conditions of Saudi families living there. “We would like to present a study on the repercussions of foreign marriages on Saudi society,” Al-Suwalem said and urged the media to enlighten the public on the negative effects of such marriages.
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