Saudi Husband Kicks Non-Saudi Wife And Children Out Of The House

photocreditsabqSaudi Government Extends Helping Hand To Homeless Woman And Children
Gulf Digital News | Riyadh
10 July 2016

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development extended a helping hand to a distressed woman and her children.

The wife, who is a foreigner found herself homeless in the street as her Saudi husband expelled her along with her children from the house.

The ministry acted fast after the homeless family’s story went viral online, prompting words of sympathy and outrage.

Twitter user Turki Al-Hamad was the first to report the case of the homeless family, posting a picture of the mother and her children on his account.

Twitter user Amani Al-Ghamdi reported the case of the family who lives in the province of Tabuk, straight to the Labour and Social Development Minister.

The ministry’s official spokesman Khalid Abal Khail thanked both Twitter users, vowing to act promptly and deal with the case.

Photo Credit: Sabq

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AWASSER Has Located 2,283 Families And Relocated 27

photocreditarabnewsAwasser: Bringing Back Saudi Families From 31 Countries
Arab News | Riyadh
4 July 2016

The Charitable Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad — Awasser — has been exerting great effort to bring back to the Kingdom Saudi nationals and families that resulted from marriages abroad contracted by means that run contrary to the Kingdom’s regulations.

Awasser Chairman Tawfiq Abdul Aziz Al-Suwailem said during an interview with a local publication that his society “is trying to put a smile on the faces of many Saudi families abroad” by working to reunite them with their relatives in the Kingdom.

“Our work involves direct collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Saudi embassies, in addition to civil society organizations and charities,” said Al-Suwailem, while explaining the mechanism for reaching out to the families abroad.

He also said that 2,283 such families have been found so far in 31 countries around the world by the society and relevant official agencies. Together with their family members, this adds up to 8,012 individuals.

“Some of these families receive financial assistance, others administrative help. About 24 new families were added to the list (receiving assistance) during the last three months, while 47 families were removed from the list either because their situations got better or they have already returned to the Kingdom” said Al-Suwailem.

So far, 27 families — or 67 individuals — returned.

“The return procedure involves receiving the families at the airport, securing temporary residences for them, renting apartments and furnishing them, providing for their living expenses and giving them a national identity card, if they do not have them,” said Al-Suwailem, adding that Awasser constantly extends advice and counseling to the Saudi citizens traveling abroad, including warning them about being lured by marriage brokers and advising them to seek the help of the Saudi embassy officials before taking any step.

Al-Suwailem said there are immoral people who seek to take advantage of Saudis who travel abroad, receiving them at airports and convincing them to do things with, often with dire consequences, most often using young women to trap their victims.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development grants annual support to Awasser to carry out its work, said the chairman. Private sector institutions also provide aid.

In the course of its operations, the society comes at times across unusual cases, said Al-Suwailem.

“We witnessed a humanitarian issue that greatly affected us while we visited two families in one of the countries. A young man and a young woman had the same father and shared the same family name; having different mothers,and they had never met.

“In another case, a young man came to the society with his mother to invite us to his wedding and said he never knew his father. There are also situations where the father died without telling his family about his second marriage. Lawsuits are filed by the sons of the foreign mother, who claim their inheritance rights.”

Awasser, the first and only Saudi charitable organization authorized for these services, also grants financial support, winter allowance and school assistance to children living abroad, and includes them in King Abdullah scholarship program.

Photo Credit: Arab News

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No Travel Permission From Children’s Father? Mother Can Sue

photocreditnationalgeographicWomen May Sue Children’s Fathers For Refusing Them Permission To Travel
By Fatima Al-Dabyous
Saudi Gazette | Dammam
23 June 2016

The Ministry of Justice has said women can grant travel permission to children under their custody if their fathers refuse to do so.

A source in the ministry said the Supreme Judicial Council ordered all courts in the Kingdom to give priority to cases of mothers suing their husbands or ex-husbands when they do not give travel permission to children under their custody.

“The permission to travel is a legal right of the guardian. However, if the guardian, who is the father of the children even if they were not under his custody, prevents the children from travel, the mother has the right to file a lawsuit against him for preventing the children from traveling as per the mother’s wish,” said the source.

He said such cases are given top priority in courts and are dealt with in the fastest way possible.

“The Ministry of Justice’s General Department of Consultants was studying the possibility of granting travel permission to the mother of the children if they are under her custody and the father would simply receive a phone call regarding the children’s travel. However, the department concluded that the guardian of the children will be the one with the authority of granting them travel permission,” said the source.

The source said all cases should be filed during normal working hours except in emergency cases.

“The defendant is then informed of the lawsuit by delivering a court notice at his place of residence or workplace or to a representative, who can be a relative or colleague at work,” said the source.

The source also said if the defendant or his representative cannot found the notice may be delivered to the district mayor, the police or the head of the tribe where the defendant lives.

“Whoever receives the notification must sign that they have received it. A notice of the delivery is then sent to the defendant with details of where the notification was delivered. If the defendant refuses to receive the notification, a copy of the notification is delivered to the governor’s office,” said the source.

Photo Credit: National Geographic

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Two Humans Got Married; Racism Wasn’t Invited

photocreditbbcIf it was good enough for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to marry a foreigner, why isn’t it good enough for you? Prophet Muhammad’s Mixed And Interfaith Marriages: Safiyyah and Maria

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When Saudi Women Marry Foreigners
By Alma Hassoun and Lamia Estatie
BBC Trending
6 June 2016

“This is how racism falls”. These are the words of a Saudi man who attended the wedding of his relative, a Saudi bride who married a non-Saudi groom.

Perhaps the man did not know that the very short clip he posted on Twitter – supposedly showing part of the wedding celebrations – would spark a nationwide social media debate covering the kingdom’s social politics, racism and women’s rights.

The clip – whose provenance we could not verify – shows men dancing in a circle, with a traditional Syrian chant heard in the background, apparently marking the union of the Saudi woman and her Syrian beau, supposedly in the Saudi city of Medina. More than 50,000 people have used the hashtag “a woman from the Harb tribe marrying a Syrian man in Medina”. The tribe to which the bride belongs, as well as the nationality of the groom were the major points of contention in the virtual debate.

Some comments on social media were jubilant at the thought of an inter-country marriage: “What happened tonight in Medina is a good example of the Quran verse ‘Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you,'” was one message.

Others discussed the consequences of marrying ‘foreigners’.

“It is her right to marry whom she chooses, but she can’t come later and shout that her husband and children are foreigners and demand that the nationality is given to them. Think well before you take such a decision,” wrote one tweeter.

We know very few details about the couple in question, although the video seems to indicate that they had the blessing of those in attendance.

Many congratulated the couple, expressing their support for the marriage as a means of combating racism and promoting equality between Saudi men and women: “The most important thing is that he is a Muslim. Say ‘no’ to racism. The law should be equal to both man and woman…”

Others pointed to a discrepancy in attitudes towards the different sexes: “It is fine for a Saudi man to get married to a foreign woman, while the opposite case is forbidden. You wouldn’t make a fuss if a Saudi man was the one marrying a foreigner”

There are examples of interracial relationships in the Koran. And one tweeter gave examples from the time of Prophet Mohammad to show that intermarriage was accepted.

“Bilal bin-Rabah al-Habashi [a companion of the Prophet, who came from the country that is now known as Ethiopia] married Hala, from the Quraysh tribe [one of the most respected Arab tribes which controlled Mecca]. Islam took away these ignorant and racist traditions and you are resurrecting them,” wrote a Saudi architecture student.

Many Saudis were angry that the hashtag was even created to discuss such a personal event. However, many others brought to the fore notions of the superiority of some groups over others. Here are a few of the comments we saw.

“Marriage is a whole life; so it is a big mistake for a Saudi girl to marry a foreigner, a ‘Syrian’ specifically.”

“I wish that she becomes the last Saudi woman who marries a foreigner.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “This is not racism. If you have an authentic and noble steed, would you throw her onto a mule? [No], you would maintain her lineage.”

Saudi laws do not prohibit men and women from marrying outside their nationality, but those who choose to do so have to adhere to certain regulations. Similarly, the process of seeking official approval is often lengthy and drawn out.

Dr Hatoon al-Fasi, a Saudi academic, told BBC Trending that one of her female relatives married a non-Saudi and the process took around 18 months as the groom went through “a long check list.”

She also added that if the couple have children they will not have Saudi citizenship. Dr Al-Fasi said: “Only sons have the right to apply for the Saudi citizenship when they turn 18”. However, the children of Saudi women and foreign fathers get similar treatment to Saudi children in education and other sectors in the country, she added. However every year thousands of Saudi women marry non-Saudis from both Arab and non-Arab origins.

Dr Al-Fasi added that tribal divides within the country were an “increasing phenomenon in the Saudi kingdom”. She said that although the Justice Ministry dropped “incompatibility in lineage” as a legitimate reason for divorce, judges are still divorcing Saudi women from their non-Saudi husbands, in absentia, on these grounds.

Due to a system of guardianship of women in Saudi Arabia, relatives, including uncles, are able to get a woman divorced on the grounds that they have have married “outside their lineage”. Last April, a woman claimed in a video that she was forcibly divorced from her Saudi husband on that basis. Although the Saudi authorities later denied this, saying that incompatibility in lineage is not enough reason to grant a divorce.

Photo Credit: BBC

Book: Saudi Montana

photocreditarabnewsMr. Al-Rabiah’s book, consisting of 260 pages, is available for free download on Amazon.

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Saudi Narrates His Custody Battle With American Ex-Wife
By Sultan Al-Sughair
27 March 2016
Arab News | Al-Khobar

When a Middle Eastern man falls in love with an American woman, not only do their cultures clash, but they also embark on a whirlwind adventure that spans continents and countries. If their relationship ultimately fails, a custody battle over the couple’s children sparks a series of lies, outright deceptions, and may even lead to international kidnappings.

“Saudi Montana” is the title of a true story of the marital relationship and subsequent child custody battle between Ibrahim Al-Rabiah, a Saudi citizen, and his ex-wife Jennifer, an American.

On the surface, there are many differences between life in Saudi Arabia and America, and many people would say that a marital relationship between people from two such different cultures would never last in the first place.

However, “Saudi Montana” shows that while the cultures are different, people in general are much the same. “We all love; we all hurt, and we all will do whatever we can for the welfare of our children. Such was the story between Jennifer and me,” said Al-Rabiah.

“Saudi Montana” reads like a novel and takes the reader through various stages of his life and relationship with his ex-wife. It shows not only the trying times that spoiled their union, but also the happy times and how, despite their cultural differences, they were compatible, at least for a while.

Al-Rabiah said: “Like most tragic romances between people of different cultures who start a family, ‘Saudi Montana’ also details the custody battle Jennifer and I went through for our three children. Yet, the story stands alone in two important ways. First, I do not hide the fact that we both acted irrationally at times, and the story portrays the less than honorable things we both did to gain custody of our children, and those things include both lying and kidnapping.”

“The book tells in detail how a father gained custody of his children through the American legal system. In fact, finding a lawyer to represent me was a trying ordeal. The result is a story that shows the sometimes unspeakable acts parents will commit for their children — all in the name of love.

Although I currently live in Saudi Arabia, the story is geared to an American market.”

“In the events of the story, there are tragedies, sadness and extreme emotions such as anger; also kidnapping children, fighting, and accusations of mistreatment. In the end, the court decided to grant me custody of my children,” he said.

Photo Credit: Arab News

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Saudi Woman Married To American Endures Racism

photocreditarabnews
Nawal Al-Hawsawi

It is a shame that racism and tribalism exist in a Muslim country. Prejudice towards a certain race or tribe has no place in Islam. Its ludicrous when a woman who helps empower others is put down for her appearance and background. But you can’t hold a good woman down! May Allah grant Nawal the strength to fight the good fight ameen.

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Black Saudi Woman Activist Faces Death Threats
By Hussam Al-Mayman
Arab News | Riyadh
5 January 2016

A well-known black Saudi woman, who is a family counselor and pilot, has been targeted online by racists, including with images of monkeys and gorillas, questions raised about her citizenship, and death threats.

Nawal Al-Hawsawi said that her work to help victims of domestic violence on social media, including 50,000 followers on Twitter, has been the target of mainly racist men who appear to hate women, foreigners and those who are not members of certain tribes. “In addition, pictures of my family and children have been leaked, threatening their safety.”

Al-Hawsawi said the most recent attack was launched by someone who goes by the name “Saudi Conscience” and operates under the Twitter handle @saudi100d100. He and his followers have blamed foreigners for various socioeconomic problems, including unemployment and gasoline and electricity price increases, she said.

They are a self-proclaimed “National Guard,” divide the country into three groups: “Original Saudis” (certain Bedouin tribes), “Vomit of the Seas Saudis” (Saudis of foreign descent or Saudis that are not members of certain Bedouin tribes), and “Strangers” (all legal residents and foreigners in Saudi Arabia).

They have called for the deportation of all “Strangers,” and for the citizenship of those who are not supposedly “pure” Saudis to be revoked, in addition to immediate deportation.

She said her work is a threat to the “hate agenda” of these Saudi “neo-Nazis.” “I represent everything that they hate. I am a Saudi married to an American and they are openly anti-American. My husband is white and they condemn inter-racial marriages. I am black and they believe all black people are slaves who should ‘remain in their place.’”

“I am a native Saudi from Al-Hijaz, born and raised in Makkah, and they believe people from Al-Hijaz are not real Saudis. I am a Ph.D. student, but they claim that women are not intelligent and shouldn’t be allowed to work. I also hold an FAA pilot’s license while living in a country that does not allow women to drive cars.

“They don’t like to see a strong woman standing up for women’s empowerment, undermining their misogynistic and gynophobic platform. They have successfully bullied many activists into silence in the past and they are trying to intimidate me. But they picked on the wrong person,” Al-Hawsawi said.

Al-Hawsawi said she has filed a complaint with the authorities about the death threats and the comments under the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law, overseen by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.

Some of her tweets that have been attacked include a message received from a Pakistani resident who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and wanted to marry a Saudi, but her brothers objected because of the nationality of the groom.

She also posted a question received from a Saudi teacher being physically abused by her unemployed brother, who had forced her to give him money by taking out bank loans and buy him a car. He had also refused to allow her to marry an Egyptian man because of his nationality.

“Again, this was done in the name of protecting the ‘pure lineage.’ With the victim’s permission, I posted pictures of her bruises and injuries sustained when her brother beat her.”

Photo Credit: Arab News

Filipino Muslim Searching For His Saudi Father Since A Teenager

photocreditarabnews
Elayan Kris Allafi and his wife

Filipino Looking For His Saudi Father For 15 Years
By Abdul Hannan Tago
Arab News | Riyadh
2 January 2016

A 31-year-old Filipino, Elayan Kris Allafi or “Olayan Al-Afi,” does not know that he bears a Saudi name given by his mother. It was to cherish the memory of her Saudi husband who “abandoned” her years ago.

According to him, his mother met his father in Manila in 1983-84 through a Filipino friend, who was a business partner of his father. He has been searching for his father for 15 years, he said.

“I retained my official name with the hope to see him again, although the Filipino community does not have such a name. Yet, everybody knows my status there as an “Arabian son”.

Allafi, already married, told Arab News that he has been searching for his father when he 17 or 18 years old, and reported the case to the Saudi Embassy in Manila. He has been contacting the embassy off and on but to no avail. “I was told to wait for their call,” he said.

Allafi also visited the Saudi Embassy in Malaysia, where he is now working with all the details. In the absence of any response from his father, he has now switched over to the social networking media, hoping to trace his father.

“I am a Philippines’ citizen, my father left us during my mother’s pregnancy and never came back again. I’ve never seen him and am really very keen to meet him,” said Allafi in his letter to Arab News.

He said he was raised by Christians and has since embraced Islam in 2005 in Malaysia. “The only evidence I have is my father’s “love letter” to my mother with his full name from Riyadh. I am willing to go for DNA testing if required,” he said.

“I named my two children after my Saudi father — Elayan Rasheed Allafi and Zainah Hadiyyah Allafi — to keep his name alive in our memory. Please help me see my father. I am willing to go through every process,” he said.

The Filipino man has been trying to trace his missing father for the last 15 years. As a last resort, he has sought help from Arab News hoping that his dad would one day see “sonrise” and realize what he had been missing for decades.

He is willing to provide photos, old letters and addresses through Arab News to those who could help him.

“I am confident to see my father some day, so that I can visit the Two Holy Mosques with my wife to perform Umrah,” he said from Malaysia.

Photo Credit: Arab News

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