By Laura Of Arabia
30 May 2010
So you fell in love with a Saudi, he has permission from the Saudi government to marry a foreigner (beware: this is very important. If he doesn’t have formal permission from the Saudi government – he can’t marry you and bring you to Saudi Arabia) and the two of you have decided to live in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – How Romantic! I’ve been there. I’ve done it and I would like to offer a bit of advice; five things you can do to make your life wonderful here inside the Kingdom. Now mind you, these aren’t quick fixes – they take time and planning. If he doesn’t have the permission to marry you yet, by the time he gets it, you could be well on your way to being prepared.
(1).Convert to Islam (If you are already a Muslima, skip to 2). Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country. It is, in fact, the heartland of Islam. Each year, millions of pilgrims come here to perform Hajj. Hajj is one of five pillars of Islam. Now understand that being a Muslim is a lifestyle. Islam isn’t just a religion. By converting, you will be more easily accepted by his family.
(2). Study Arabic! Learning the language will make your transition so much easier. Learning Arabic takes time! Arabic is a difficult language but you can do it – start today. Start with the basics and work from there. Just knowing a few words will helps others warm up to you.
(3). Have a Hobby or a profession you can do from home. You will have lots of free time (most families have domestic helpers to do the house work) and you can’t drive. Not to mention, you probably won’t have permission to work. Many Saudi women hire their own personal driver, but unless you have your own income, you won’t be able to. Blogging is a terrific past time and helps you connect with others.
(4). Have a source of your own income. If you have been independent all of your life, being dependent on someone can be a shock. Men are responsible for providing the essentials – food, housing, etc. If you want to buy non-necessities you will have to ask for money – personally, I prefer not to.
(5). Love to shop! Shopping is, for the most part, the only source of entertainment for women. It’s also a great form of exercise. The shopping, particularly in Jeddah and Riyadh, are world-class!
Good luck on your new adventure!
If you have any questions, email me at lauraofarabia1000 at gmail dot com
Photo Credit: Wind FM