American Wife Of A Saudi Asks For Advice On Erasing The Hate Towards Saudis From Her Heart

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How Can I Erase The Hate Towards Saudis From My Heart?
By Anonymous
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

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By Reem
August 28, 2010

Dear sister,

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

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Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

4 thoughts on “American Wife Of A Saudi Asks For Advice On Erasing The Hate Towards Saudis From Her Heart”

  1. >I hate hearing stories like this but unfortunatly hear them too often. I am a Saudi, and I have Jo idea why or where this ideology of 'we are better than everyone' come from. Maybe its a tribal thing? I don't know. But change starts at home, and many people do not bother to discipline their kids when they are rude (they learned it from their surroundings most probably) . We are a culture of confused people who were catapulted from tribal living into the modern world. My grandmother remembers living in a tent. It is bound to leave repercussions. And I think many people took the extreme way of sticking to their culture and emphasising there is no other way but their own because of the sudden and fast changes that were occurring. The racism is certainly not an Islamic thing. Just find your own circle of friends and ignore the rest and feel free to contact ,e if you need any help or recourses in Riyadh.

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  2. >Just a theory…maybe this superior attitude amongst Saudis developed with the influx of foreign workers? Because before the oil boom, Saudis did most of the work themselves and life was more simple, therefore people were more humble. Now some Saudis look down on manual labor and those who do it as "miskeen" as if its an insult. Also I was talking to my sister-in-laws the other night and they said they had been called "apes" by other Saudis because of their dark skin. So its not only a tribal thing but a color thing. I mentioned to my husband that I don't understand how a people whose country is where Islam started, can be so arrogant towards others when Islam came to do away with all of that. My advice to this sister would be to realize that Saudis are human beings and not infallible, they make mistakes. You will have good people do bad things in all religions and Saudi Muslims are no exceptions. Also to lower her expectations of Saudis because if they are too high then she will always be disappointed. I would also advise her to develop a tough skin and not be too sensitive. Sensitivity is a good trait but if you let things in Saudi Arabia bother you too much, it will destroy you inside.

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  3. I’m very sorry to hear that u went through this -or still going through it-. I am Saudi, to tell u the truth it is not easy to deal with the Saudi society, and I do admit it. I debated the issue of tribes and racism a lot as a teenager.
    As I grew up and learned more about my religion, I knew that what they do here (and I am not generalizing) is not a part of Islam, but exactly the opposite. As you already mentioned being rude to foreigners was discouraged by Propher Muhamad (PBUH), he also mentioned that him who prays more to Allah is the one who is favored, he did not say if you are from this tribe or that tribe, or if u were an ARAB! I wish I can help you, but I also suffer from the ignorance of some of my country’s people. As for your children, u can register them in Delta International School, it would be a healthy environment for your children not to be abused.
    I think it is better that you try to find people who are open to other nationalities, participate in social events or charity work, this is where you find good-hearted people.

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  4. Asalamu Alaikum Alia, welcome to FHWS and thanks for commenting. This is not from my personal experience, I found it on another website and thought it would be good material for FHWS. I have no hatred of Saudis although I do hate some of the things they do. I agree with you that the actions of Saudis (those which annoy me) aren’t part of Islam so I have remember to keep that in mind when I am out in public or interacting with them. I am very pleased that you, a Saudi, is willing to admit the faults of your people. I think no people are without faults, even my fellow Americans. It is just that Muslims, no matter which nationality, should know better as they have the guidance of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Is Delta International school in Riyadh?

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