Falling In Love With Saudi Students Abroad!
By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
14 July 2014
Julieta is a South American girl living in USA, who fell in love with a Saudi student. She is in trouble, now. Here’s how she tells her story, in an email she sent in response to my last article “Respect girls’ marriage rights.”
She writes: “Before I read your article, I thought I wont find any man, in Saudi, who think as you do, so I am glad that I did, and hope and pray that more believers in women rights are out there!
“I found that everything was against me when I decided to look for a way to marry a Saudi man! I haven’t find the way, yet, but haven’t given up, and am still looking for some other ways.
“It is so hard, and I don’t know why, since the holy Qur’an said that a man is allowed to marry a Jew or a Christian. I still don’t understand why your laws, in the Land of Islam, are not following these commands!
“When you send out your young men and women abroad to study, you should know that love, like any natural event, could happen. You should also know that you are taking many risks sending people out to experience other realities that most Saudis don’t know, then not prepare to absorb the new ideas, experiences—and persons—they may bring back with them.
“Knowing, dealing with and befriending other people is part of life and living in any place and time. Then may come love —the natural attraction between a man and a woman. And when they get deep into it, and start thinking about future, they naturally think of commitment and lasting relations — marriage.
“Young people don’t know much about the real world. They believe love open all doors, love is both the road and the goal. Then they find out about realities. They find it is not just their decision to live their life. Families have a say. Societies have a say. Governments have a say. Their own choice and decision are the least important in this mess.
“Fine!, they say. We will follow procedures. We won’t break the law. What is it you want us to do? Permissions? No problem, just tell us what to do?
But as you would soon discover, they are making the rules not to allow you to get a permission, but to show you why you can’t!!
“I am trying to be in the other side’s shoes, to think like a lawmaker. I came up with some explanations. Maybe your government is concerned about the after-marriage cultural shock; about the language barrier; about living in a different environment that may not suit my life style — the one I used to all my life.
“So I started learning Arabic. I read the Qur’an in Spanish. I explored Islam. Now, I know what a wife and a mother supposed to be like in Islam, and I love it. I really want to be a good wife and mother to my future husband and children. I enjoy the way I feel after reading the Qur’an. I am not a Muslim, yet, but I am close to be. Certainly, before I get married, I will be.
“Still, the rules don’t favor me. Muslim or not, speaking Arabic or not, accepting and even liking the Saudi culture or not, I am still forbidden to marry the man I love!!
“I am so disappointed because I didn’t know all these, before I fell in love. I don’t have “wasta,” and he doesn’t. I can’t be Saudi, even though I love to be, and he can’t be but a Saudi. Such is life!
“Sorry to bother you with my sad, sad story, but I just felt like I need to share it with you! My name is Julieta by the way and I am in love with a Saudi Romeo. Salam.”
I thanked her for sharing her story with us, dear readers. But what I am supposed to say or do? How can I help? What would you say to Julieta or suggest we do? Here’s some of your comments on my last article.
Strange in Canada!
“This sounds very strange here. I live in Canada, where there is complete freedom of choice, thought, and expression!” Dr. Hasan Moolla
“Its such a pity that a Muslim yet father could force his daughter to do something against her wish. I have gone through the same experience of the girl in your article. In fact it was even worse, because I was not only emotionally but also physically assaulted by my parent to accept a husband of his choice.
I have survived the trauma and am now on good terms with my family. So my advice to all girls: Make a decision and take a stand. After a while, society will accept your decision. After all, its your life and you have to live it the way you wish.
– Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at Twitter: @kbatarfi
Photo Credit: AlRiyadh