Dear FHWS readers, Naazi needs guidance and our support. Please help me help her by addressing her fears and answering her questions. Thank you,
Before telling you my story, I want to thank you for having such an amazing weblog, you can’t imagine how much reading your weblog helps me and makes me feel that I am not alone. I am a 32 years old Iranian girl and have a Master’s degree in TESOL. I live in Dubai and met my husband four years ago. Even though I loved him since the first day, I was scared to marry him because I knew that living in Saudi Arabia could be a challenge. My husband is 41 years old and he is an amazing person and a gift from Allah. We married last month but we have been applying for our marriage permission since two years ago. We delayed our marriage to get the permission but the answer was always the same : moqlaq! I think in Arabic this word means cancelled. I am deeply sad and depressed and I just don’t know what to do. I am from Iran! A country that is even worse than Saudi when it comes to human rights. If I get pregnant my baby can not have my nationality because Iran gives nationality through the father only and since we don’t have marriage permission, the baby can’t have my husband’s nationality either. I love my husband, I am a better person with him. I can’t even think about getting divorced.
Tara, do you think we must tell the Saudi government that we are married? Will they punish my husband? Will they imprison him?
What if I get pregnant? Will they have mercy to recognize my baby and at least let the baby have a nationality?
I don’t think about myself anymore. I only see my husband once a week because he can’t leave his job but that’s OK if at least we can give nationality to our baby.
Please guide me, I don’t have much experience and I dont know what to do. How can we find a wasta? We are willing to pay whatever we have. I am not afraid of losing money but living like this is killing me and destroying our marriage.
Tara, I am sorry that my email got long but after reading your blog I couldn’t stop writing to you.
Thank you very much for creating such a weblog again.
INTERVIEW OF NAAZI
What is your nationality? Im an Iranian woman married to a Saudi.
What country do you reside in presently? UAE.
Are/were you married to a Saudi or non-Saudi? My husband is Saudi.
If you live/lived in Saudi Arabia, for how long? Since I don’t have permission I can’t go to Saudi Arabia.
What is your job/hobbies in your country of residence? I am an English teacher and I love painting in my free time.
When and where did you meet your Saudi/non-Saudi husband? I met him 4 years ago in Dubai.
How long did you know your husband before the marriage took place? Four years.
How long did your marriage permission take? We are still struggling to get the permission 😦
Did his family accept his marriage to you? Why/Why not? His mother was always against this marriage because she wants my husband to marry an Arab girl.
Did your family accept your marriage to him? Why/Why not? First yes because they had heard bad things about Saudi men but now that they know him they love him.
How are your relations with your family/in-laws now after marrying your husband? I rarely see them because they live in Saudi and I’m in Dubai.
What is your advice when a non-Saudi man/woman meets their potential/future Saudi in-laws? To respect them and understand the cultural differences and to be themselves!
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 have never been to Saudi Arabia.
What would you like to see improved in Saudi Arabia? Women’s rights, I would like women of Saudi to have the right to work, drive, and live a life they deserve.
Do you think you should change anything about yourself in order to fit into Saudi society? I think I must learn Arabic and cope with the fact that I can’t work and drive.
What do you think about the abaya and is/was it a problem for you to wear it? I am so much in love with my husband that I really don’t care if I must wear abaya for the rest of my life!
Do you have children? No.
Is your Saudi/non-Saudi husband involved in raising your children? We don’t have kids yet.
Does your Saudi/non-Saudi husband help you with the house chores? Yes he does! He is an amazing person.
What do you think non-Saudis should know about Saudi men/women? Saudis are just like any other humans! There are good and bad everywhere and we can’t say that all Saudi man are like this or that!
Do/did you feel trapped in Saudi Arabia or do you feel comfortable living in the country? I’m now allowed to live there because I don’t have marriage permission.
Would you take Saudi citizenship? Why/why not? I’m not sure, I don’t need citizenship because if I get it it means that I must lose my Persian nationality so I won’t do that!
Do you think a non-Saudi man/woman can be happy in Saudi Arabia? Yes! I believe that happiness comes from inside a person and as long as a woman is in a healthy and happy relationship she can be happy wherever she is.
For non-Saudi women: Do you think you would be willing/able to live in Saudi Arabia alone? Not alone, it will be difficult to go out alone because I can’t drive and I don’t feel safe to live alone.
Do you think a non-Saudi woman would have any problems living alone in Saudi Arabia without a husband or her family? For me, I can never live alone there! My husband says that it’s not safe like Dubai.
What advice would you give a non-Saudi considering marriage to a Saudi? I’m really suffering for the issue of permission,, I just want them to know that this may affect their marriage.
You can use this space to write anything else you would like: I and my husband met 4 years ago, we delayed our marriage to get marriage permission before getting married. We wanted to respect the law in Saudi but after few years waiting we finally gave up and decided to get married! We married in Iran and now we have rented a small flat in Dubai, the Saudi government forced us to go against its rules! We love each other and won’t allow any government separate us but we are both under a lot of pressure just for a piece of paper 😦
List the URL address of your website/blog here: I don’t have any blogs.
Do you want to be anonymous? My nickname is Naazi.
INTERVIEW OF NAAZI’S HUSBAND
What is your nationality? Saudi.
What country do you reside in presently? Saudi and UAE.
Are you married to a Saudi or non-Saudi? Non-Saudi.
If you live/lived in Saudi Arabia, for how long? Since I was born, it’s my country.
What is your job in your country of residence? I’m working in aviation field.
When and where did you meet your non-Saudi/Saudi wife? I met her 4 years ago in Dubai.
How long did you know your wife before the marriage took place? 4 years.
How long did your marriage permission take? Still no permission.
Did your family accept your marriage to your wife? Why/Why not? My mom was opposing she wanted me to marry a Saudi girl.
Did her family accept her marriage to you? Why/Why not? Her father was a bit scared at the beginning.
How did you/your wife overcome the family resistance (if any) to your marriage? She did all she could! She fought for 2 years to prove them wrong.
How are the relations between your wife and your family now after marrying? It’s not bad, it’s improving.
What is your advice when a non-Saudi man/woman meets their future Saudi in-laws? Try to be who they are!
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: No I don’t because my government doesn’t allow me to marry my love.
What would you like to see improved in Saudi Arabia? Marriage permission must be stopped!
Do you think your non-Saudi/Saudi wife should change anything about herself in order to fit into Saudi society? No not really.
What do you think about the abaya and do you approve/disapprove of your wife wearing it? She has accepted to wear it in public and she is such a flexible understanding girl!
Do you have children? No.
Do you help your wife raise your children? Why or why not? If have one in future inshallah I will help her and do all I can.
Do you help with the house chores? Why or why not? Yes! Because I love her.
What do you think non-Saudis should know about Saudi women? Saudi women are like other women but they are a bit passive and introverted because of the culture.
Do you think a non-Saudi woman can be happy in Saudi Arabia? No because there is no freedom here in the Kingdom.
Do you think a non-Saudi woman would have any problems living alone in Saudi Arabia without her husband and family? I can’t let my wife live alone here, it’s not a very safe place for a young woman to live alone.
What advice would you give a non-Saudi considering marriage to a Saudi? Be patient and marry him if you truly love him.
Photo Credit: Iran Chamber Society