By Om Lujain
25 July 2010
Many people are probably aware that in order for a Saudi National to get married to a Non-Saudi national they need a permission paper stating that they are allowed to get married to their prospective spouse. The process can be shortand sweet (with proper Vitamin W -Wasta- Connections), or can be a never ending dilemma where the marriage occurs abroad and where kids are in the picture well before the permission is granted- IF its even granted.
There are many reasons for this process such as; to force Saudis to marry Saudis to avoid ‘spinsterhood’ , this is amongst the biggest reasons people object to such marriages. Another reason is that many in Saudi believe that marrying a foreigner is not as noble as marrying a local from a notable tribe (think business merger). For that reason it may be hard for someone to marry a foreigner without getting some family member firmly against it. In Saudi, it is not only your nuclear family you worry about, it is your extended family and at times your entire tribe. Some other reasons could be that many believe that bringing in ‘foreign’ or ‘western’ influence to Saudi will have negative influence on society, and in essence take away from true Saudi culture; the same people that will easily travel to the ‘West’ yearly or several times a year once vacation time comes around.
While chatting with my sister yesterday, something new dawned upon me. Maybe, just maybe the marriage permission process is also a way to safeguard foreign woman from some Saudi men. I mean really, some Gulf men are known to play around with a poor girl abroad and come home and marry someone that was already chosen for them. I know there are probably people sitting there disagreeing with me, but let me just make what I am saying clear.
There are many men around that want to marry a foreign girl, I am not just saying Saudi, as the example I can think of has to do with a Non-Saudi Gulf national. No names to be mentioned though. A Gulf national has met a foreign girl, and wants to marry her. He has no job, and lives off his family. He is already divorced, and the girls friends are pretty sure that he just wants to play around with her, and then just divorce her when the time comes. This is where the Saudi marriage permission would have helped her. A Man needs to be 100% sure he truly wants to marry the woman he has chosen, I mean truly, want her as his wife. He needs to go through a tough process to have her allowed to even enter the country as his wife. He may have to set aside many days/weeks/months completely focusing on obtaining this marriage permission; something he would only do for someone he truly cares about and has no foreseeable intention to divorce after having his ‘fun’ with her. He will be showing his family and country ahead of time that this woman he has chosen is noble in his eyes, and surely lives up to his idea of what he wants as a wife, and as the mother of his children. He has to stand before his family and firmly state his intention to marry this foreign woman, and bring her into his family. So under the Saudi permission process, I have finally found something i find positive; it has given the foreign woman a piece of mind that her husband really loves her enough to go through this process, and will hopefully stay devoted to her for many years and hopefully a lifetime to come.
Anyhoo, that was my 2 brand spanking new cents on the topic, and would love to wish you all a good night from Rio-KSA 🙂
PS- While searching for a picture to add to this blog post, I came across this interesting article, and thought I would share it; Why Emirati men marry Foreign women.
Photo Credit: Gulf News