How Can I Erase The Hate Towards Saudis From My Heart?
Zawaj.com Ask Bilqis
31 January 2009
I am an American Muslimah married to a man from Saudi Arabia. I am not accustomed to the way of life in Saudi Arabia, but have heard many different things about the people and their culture before I came here. I have been here going on 7 years and have started to understand the people and their culture which is not far from what I am accustomed to. I was a very kind, caring and loving person but have recently become to hate Saudi people. Everywhere I go, they are very rude and arrogant to not just me but also our children, who were born and raised in America. Many years I have ignored the abuse that I have received the entire time I have been here.
I am not saying that all the people are bad but to be honest, I find the majority of them to be very rude and arrogant. Many times I hear them telling me and others that we are not Saudis and Saudis are better than anyone else in the world because they are true Muslims. I am sorry to say but that is very untrue. I have tried many times to get help with learning more about Islam but all I get from every place I go to, every person I talk with is, sorry your slowing the group down and we can no longer have you in our class. What is wrong with the Muslims in Saudi that they don’t realize the rewards they will get for helping new Muslims understand Islam better?
My children have been attacked many times and even hurt by other children simply because they are Americans. True, we are Americans, but we are also Muslims. Doesn’t that account for anything here? I have put up with about all I can take and have started to fight back which is something I have never thought I could do. But I have had it with these people thinking they are better because they are Saudi. Treating others poorly based on their origin is very wrong. Yes, I know this also happens to many Arabs who go to America as well and truly I am sorry for them to go through that at all. Never in my life have I ever treated anyone so poorly.
I see Arab kids spitting and hitting the workers in their country who are not Saudis but from Pakistan, India, Egypt and other areas of the world. What has happened to the people of Islam? Why is there no love in this country for others other than Saudis? Cause of these behaviors I have started to hate the Saudi people and find myself fighting constantly with them when they are rude to me. I have gotten to the point where I just stay home to avoid any confrontations but I know this is not the answer. It seems that only the religious Saudis are kind and caring but those are hard to find and very rare. I don’t wish to go through anymore pain nor my children from arrogant people who only wish to hurt others cause it makes them feel big. Please help me to erase the hate I have in my heart due to all the hatred I have been through while in Saudi Arabia.
Desperate for guidance, a sister in Islam.
There were seven good replies to this sister but Reem had the most interesting answer based upon her ability to relate as a Saudi-American.
Photo Credit: Timber Creek Design
August 28, 2010
Full disclosure: I am a Saudi/American female. I can relate.
The problem is Saudi society is torn between its digression to pre-Islamic thought (ironically) and the modern, progressive need for change.
For example: recently in the news, a 38-year-old ENT was beaten and kept from going to work because a co-worker came and proposed to her father (yes, totally un-Islamic). In the tribe she belonged to, it is customary for the father to take her salary, and marry her off to someone in the tribe.
Progress is not something antithetical to Islam, rather it is something antithetical to the tribal mentality prevalent in Saudi Arabia.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no slices of Saudi society that are progressive. Change comes very slowly, and there are activists working on supporting the weak and implementing change, but the political landscape is turbulent enough already that change can upend the status quo for those in power.
So, take heart, this really doesn’t have anything to do with you being American: If you live in Riyadh, chances are you will hear racist language directed at Jeddawis. If you live in the Eastern Province, chances are the Shia in your community are treated with scorn and contempt.
In the end, there is a malaise that has firmly gripped Saudi society, and the only way that it will change is if people go back to the application of the Quran and Sunnah in their lives, to the humanity and spirit emanating from Allah’s teachings, towards tolerance and acceptance that people don’t have to agree with you all the time….in the end, Muslims according to the Quran should not discriminate between people based on the color of their skin, or the language they communicate with, or…..
But you know that, so my advice is to try to build a community of your own, or else you will become extremely depressed. Seek out others that you can communicate with. If you live in Jeddah, let me know and we can talk. I also feel somewhat isolated here, though I was raised here most of my life, and I am of “pure” Saudi origin, whatever that means (That is just funny: most Saudis are originally from Yemen…and Hejazis are a mix, so who the hell cares what your lineage is?).
What advice would YOU give to this sister who hates Saudis? Thank you, Tara Umm Omar
Photo Credit: The Situationist