AWASSIR Reports More Increases In Numbers Of Abandoned Families Abroad

photocreditawasserI wonder if the increase in families has anything to do with Saudis fleeing from countries with conflicts like Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan. I am not absolving anyone for leaving their family but will give a benefit of a doubt for the ones who never intended to. For example: they came back to Saudi Arabia for a visit or business, etc., and when they tried to return to their wife’s home country they couldn’t because of the conflict. Maybe they weren’t granted visas. Or maybe their families had to flee to another country and they can’t follow them there because of no visas or available jobs. Lastly, I feel like the numbers will keep increasing unless the Saudi government makes it easier for Saudis to get the marriage permission.

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Number Of Saudis Stranded Abroad Rises In Three Months
Saudi Gazette | Riyadh
26 Aug 2014

There are 7,253 Saudis stranded in 31 countries abroad, according to the Charitable Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad (Awaser).

The society’s chairman Tawfiq Al-Suwailem told Al-Hayat newspaper on Sunday: “There were 1,968 Saudi families consisting of 7,035 individuals stranded abroad until last April.

However, their number has increased by 37 new families over the last three months to reach 2,005 families consisting of 7,253 people.”

Awaser takes care of families left behind by Saudi men by providing them with financial and moral support. It also helps to repatriate them.

Suwailem said Kuwait, with 763 families consisting of 2,341 members, is the country hosting the largest number of stranded Saudis.

Syria is second with 283 families consisting of 814 members and Egypt is third with 264 families consisting of 621 members.

He said other countries that host stranded Saudis include Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Lebanon, Yemen, the UAE, Qatar, Philippines, Indonesia, the United States, India, Oman, Tunisia, Britain, Pakistan and Sudan. Suwailem warned against Saudis going abroad and getting married randomly.

“These outside marriages, whether regular or not, will disintegrate families and cause a lot of problems for both husbands and wives,” he said.

He said children born in these marriages will be lost if they are not given the nationalities of their fathers. “They will also find it difficult to pay for their living, education, health care and others,” he added

Suwailem noted many foreign women married to Saudis would turn their backs on their husbands once they are given Saudi nationality.

He said the society is coordinating with the ministries of interior, foreign affairs and social affairs to curb the phenomenon of Saudis getting married abroad.

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Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

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