Moved To Dammam

photocreditpulseAsalamu Alaikum sisters,

If you are in the Dammam-Khobar-Jubail-Dhahran area or close by, please get in touch with me. Especially if you are a homeschooling family. Email me taraummomar at hotmail dot com and I will share my number for Whatsapp and/or Telegram. JazakumAllahu khair.

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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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Children Of Saudi Mothers And Non-Saudi Fathers Counted In Nitaqat System As Long As Mother Is Alive

photocreditsaudigazette
Ahmed Al- Humaidan

New Labor Policy Hits Children Of Non-Saudi Fathers
By Abdul Rahman Al-Misbahi
Okaz/Saudi Gazette
Jeddah
28 December 2015

The children of Saudi women from non-Saudi husbands will not be considered as citizens in the Nitaqat program after the death of their mothers, the Labor Ministry has announced.

“These children carry Iqamas (residence IDs). The ministry considers them as Saudis as long as they are under the sponsorship of their mothers,” Deputy Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidan said.

When the mother dies, her offspring from a non-Saudi father will automatically lose the privilege of being Saudi citizens in the Nitaqat program, he said.

The deputy minister said the presence of these children in the Kingdom after the death of their mother does not concern the Labor Ministry.

“This is a matter that should be decided by the Interior Ministry,” he added.

There are 700,000 Saudi women who are married to non-Saudis, representing around 10 percent of the overall population, according to a Ministry of Justice report issued in 2012.

According to a 2011 report issued by the Ministry of Labor, Yemenis ranked first among foreign men who married Saudi women, followed by Kuwaitis, Qataris, Syrians, Emiratis, Egyptians, Lebanese, and Pakistanis. According to the report, eight Americans, seven Brits and Europeans, and three Turks married Saudi women in 2011.

A decree issued in 2012 gave Saudi citizenship rights to children of Saudi women married to foreign men. According to the decree, the state will pay for the residence fees of children who are half Saudis but from foreign fathers and will allow them to work in private sector companies. The children will be treated as Saudi citizens in education and medical care and will be included in the Saudization program in the private sector.

Photo Credit: Saudi Gazette

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When Your Heart Is Shattered Into Little Pieces Yet You Still Love Him

loveisdeserved1By Tara Umm Omar
8 November 2015

You are a young non-Saudi woman who is attending university in your native country. One day, you catch the eye of a dashing Saudi class mate and you hold his gaze. For all he knows, you just might be admiring his long eyelashes but to him the eye contact signals that you are interested in him. Because…ego. So he builds up confidence to start talking to you after class or maybe a pick up line comes easy to him as he has done this before. You exchange contact details and go out on that first date. As a non-Muslim, you don’t know that it is not allowed in Islam for a man and woman to have a relationship outside of marriage.

He tells you that he is from Saudi Arabia. He may or may not tell you that he is a Muslim. If the relationship becomes more serious, he will probably start to tell you a few details about his family. Or he will only divulge the identities of certain family members who don’t mind that he has a girlfriend. Usually NOT the parents or other conservative relatives. You begin to become uncomfortable at being kept a secret. Why is he hiding you? You introduced him to your family as soon as it was socially acceptable. Why can’t he reciprocate if you mean something to him. Or do you? That is when the arguments start but you brush the uncertainty aside because you are falling head over heels in love with him. Because he is a sweet talker and treats you like a queen. And because he is exotic and exciting, unlike your fellow countrymen. Because, because, because. You think of a reason to continue the relationship despite your misgivings.

You plan plans together as one year turns into another year. You discuss marriage and go ring shopping. You talk about babies, even picking out the names. At no point does he explain to you that before all of this can turn into a reality, he must get the marriage permit from his government. But seeing as how he is a student studying abroad on a government scholarship, he had previously signed a contract that he would not get married to a non-Saudi. He neglects to inform you of this, thinking that he will marry you after he graduates. Or he conveniently forgets to mention this fact because his intention after finishing school is to bounce.

One circumstance that eclipses the marriage permit, is his family’s acceptance of you. It could be the case that you will find it out after perhaps four years of studying and investing your time and emotions in this man. Are they going to welcome you with open arms or will they reject you? He confesses to you that everyone ganged up against him and is adamant that he not marry a non-Saudi. You don’t realize the extent to which family and his tribe are everything to him and he is loathe to go against their wishes. So he buckles under their pressure and agrees to marry a Saudi woman. The day he tells you, is the day your world collapses around you and it feels like you have been stabbed in the back. Or he may not have had the consideration to tell you at all and just left. Double wound.

As he packs his suitcase, you aren’t too proud to beg him to stay. You track him down in Saudi Arabia and cajole him to come back. You will do anything for him if he would only marry you. Out of desperation, you offer yourself as a second wife. You promise to revert to Islam if that is what it takes. You keep hope alive but as time goes on, your pleas fall on deaf ears or they never reach him. And you hate yourself because you still love him in spite of how much he hurt you.

You search for answers which lead to FHWS and other blogs like this. It begins to dawn on you, the overwhelming information that you were clueless about. That your Saudi withheld or twisted the truth about to protect himself. You read the posts and find out that you aren’t the only one in this situation. That this is what some Saudis are known to do, they enter haram relationships with non-Saudi women and then when it comes time to get married, their family objects to their choice. You realize that they don’t want to fight their family so they give up easily and marry a Saudi. Or you start to wonder that maybe your Saudi is a casanova who just wanted a fling and then to settle down with a “pure” woman. As if he is!

Regardless, whether this Saudi loves you or not, apparently he doesn’t love you enough to fight for you. And if he doesn’t fight for you, why does he deserve your love when he just broke your heart?

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Saudi Women Married To Non-Saudi Men In Dire Straits

photocreditarabnewsSaudi Women Married To Foreigners Urge Govt To Solve Their Problems
Arab News | Jeddah
6 March 2015

Ali is sure that he will pack his bags to leave the Kingdom at the end of this year and head to the United States or a European country to enroll in the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, where the Ministry of Education will take care of his expenses for the whole period of his studies. His cousin Basem is packing too, but to go to Egypt to join military service, now that he is turned 18.

For some people this can sound strange, but the reality is that Ali was born to two Saudi parents, while Basem has a Saudi mother and an Egyptian father. Their paths will eventually separate, and Basem’s situation (having a Saudi mother and a foreign father) can’t even be compared to the years before the late King Abdullah issued decrees giving rights to Saudi women who are married to foreigners.

Many Saudi women married to foreigners said the law still doesn’t fathom their situation and hasn’t done them justice, just because they are women, which increases their burden. Many women in this situation claim that the common thought in the Kingdom is that they are being punished for marrying a foreigner.

The demeaning glances, even though they are less intense now, are accompanied by verbal comments, women say. Most of them who made the decision of marrying foreigners looked for family stability, which should be guaranteed by the system for everyone in the country, whether man or woman.

The number of Saudi females married to non-Saudis currently stands at 700,000, representing around 10 percent of the overall population. The Ministry of Justice issued a report in 2012 stating that the number of Saudi women who marry foreigners is on the rise.

The report revealed that 13,117 Saudi women married foreigners in 2012, a much higher number compared to the 2,583 Saudi men who married foreign women the same year.

Rawan, who married a non-Saudi in 2008, describes her life as chaotic. Her suffering is embodied in the fact that she has to cross the border to renew the visa. She often pictures herself as lost between borders, living in a tent in the desert. “I can’t count the number of times I traveled from Saudi Arabia to Dubai, to renew my husband’s visa, under the title husband to Saudi citizen and the father of a Saudi citizen,” she said.

During her pregnancy, she had to travel to Dubai for one day, and it was impossible to board the plane when she was eight months’ pregnant. “I had no choice but to go through land ports and then to the embassy. This coincided with the Haj season, and the embassy doesn’t renew visas at that particular time,” she added.

Rawan’s suffering wasn’t limited to issuing a visa, which can only be renewed three times, she also fought to register her son in kindergarten. “I suffered while looking for a kindergarten prepared to take my child without a residency visa, and all of them stressed the importance of bringing his residency ID before he finishes kindergarten,” she added.

She describes her situation as sad and funny at the same time, pointing to the guardianship issue. “Before my father died, he was my guardian, and now I am married but my brother is my guardian. He is the one who finalizes my travel permit procedures, not my husband.

After I got married, I received a marriage contract with the following statement written on the periphery, ‘It is essential to go to Civil Status Department to transfer her name to the husband’s register.’ When I went to Civil Status Department, they told me I need to bring my husband’s residency visa number to be able to transfer my name to my husband’s register,” she said.

Rawan’s suffering echoes with the other 700,000 Saudi women married to foreigners. They said decisions issued by the late King Abdullah works in their favor and eases their suffering, but the system doesn’t consider them as citizens. For these women, one of their saddest realities, is the fact that they can’t give their children the nationality even though they live in their country.

In recent years, Saudi children born to foreign fathers were able to study in government schools and universities, but they won’t be allowed to enroll in the scholarship program. They have the right to work and be treated like Saudis when calculating Saudization rates, but at the end of the day he isn’t a citizen, unlike Saudi children born to a foreign mother and a Saudi father. They have the right to get aid from the labor Ministry’s Hafiz program, but they don’t have the right to receive nationality, in addition to the problems surrounding the iqama.

Photo Credit: Arab News

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Foreign Husbands Of Saudi Women And Their Children May Obtain Driving Licenses Without An Iqama

driving-license-saudi-arabiaSaudi Women’s Expat Husbands, Sons Granted Driving Exemptions
By Saudi Gazette | Riyadh
19 August 2014

Expatriates married to Saudi women as well as their children are able to obtain general driving licenses allowing them to man heavy goods vehicles without needing an iqama (work permit) that lists the holder’s profession as a driver.

Quoting a government source, Makkah daily reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of Interior’s decision aimed to enable those eligible to compete for jobs that require applicants to be the holders of general driving licenses.

He said before the exemption, the Directorate General of Traffic used to turn down the requests of foreign husbands of Saudi women and their children for general driving licenses.

A recent government decision allowed Saudi women to transfer the sponsorship of their husbands and children to them.

The decision also called for treating these husbands and their children in a similar manner to Saudi citizens in employment, education and health care.

They will be counted as Saudi nationals in the Nitaqat program of the Labor Ministry that aims to improve Saudization of jobs.

Under this arrangement, the husband will be listed as a “husband of a Saudi woman” on his iqama while her children will be listed as “child of a Saudi woman”.

He said under normal traffic rules and regulations, an expatriate applicant for a general driving license should be the holder of a driving license from his home country.

Considering the difficulties facing foreign husbands of Saudi women and their children, the interior minister has given his consent to exempt them from the conditions of needing to be listed as a driver and holding a driving license from their home countries in order to be issued with a general Saudi driving license, the source said.

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Sabria S. Jawhar: Rising Trend Of Saudi Women Marrying Foreigners

Sabria S. Jawhar
Sabria S. Jawhar

Speaking of abuse, don’t dare beat up on a Saudi wife or it will cost you SR50,000.

“Anonymous who wants to educate her parents on Saudi Arabia”, take note, you can tell them that there is a 75% success rate for marriages between Saudi men and non-Saudi women. That is in comparison to the dismal divorce rate for the United States, which is ranked #6 among the Top 10 Countries with Highest Divorce Rates. Saudi Arabia isn’t even on the list.

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Rising Trend Of Saudi Women Marrying Foreigners
By Sabria S. Jawhar
Arab News
16 June 2014

Saudi shabab! Listen up! If you’re looking for a Saudi wife, you have some stiff competition. Saudi women are finding that the best route for a successful marriage is to marry a foreigner. And if their families block the marriage, girls may sue in court. And if guys persist in lashing out with verbal abuse, divorce could be an option.

It’s not looking too good for Saudi guys who want to marry the right woman, but must already contend with sky-high dowries, picky future fathers-in-law and an anemic bank account.

According to a recent study, Saudi women married to non-Saudi men have a 90 percent success rate in their marriages. In contrast, Saudi men married to non-Saudi women have 25 percent failure rate. In 2013, Saudi courts registered 1,925 marriages of Saudi women to foreigners with only 190 ending in divorce. These women preferred Yemenis, Syrians and Qataris to Saudis. The courts during the same period recorded 2,488 marriages between Saudi men and Syrian, Moroccan and Palestinian brides. In 2013, alone, 612 of those cases ended in divorce.

These statistics should not be surprising, as the trend of Saudi women seeking non-Saudi grooms has mushroomed over the last decade. Better education and an unwillingness to “settle” for a husband dictated by tribal customs and traditions are probably the primary reason why women are waiting for the right man, even if it take years.

In fact, many women no longer accept arranged marriages. Over the last two years, 382 women living in Jeddah and Riyadh filed civil complaints against their parents for refusing permission to allow them to marry. Fathers of daughters, in particular, behave in the most un-Islamic way by rejecting potential husbands based on financial, social and tribal status. A potential bride’s interest in foreigners is often grounds for rejecting a suitor as well.

Women who marry Saudis have no qualms about getting a divorce from abusive husbands. An estimated 73 percent of Saudi women have been verbally abused by their accounts, according to Munira Al-Subai, a social affairs researcher.

Lack of intimacy is also a major factor in the soaring divorce rates. Nearly 1,400 Saudi women filed for divorce in 2013, alleging lack of intimacy in the marriage, while 238 men filed for divorce for the same reason during the same year, according to the Saudi Ministry of Justice. As of 2011, the overall divorce rate throughout the Kingdom was 66 cases per day.

The Justice Ministry recognizes the problem and plans to introduce mandatory marriage training programs. The plan calls for about 1,000 trainers to conduct pre-marital training courses.

Many Saudi women have understood long before the Justice Ministry began its plans to initiate premarital counseling that marrying a Saudi man was just not an option for them. For one, the clash of tribal customs and Islam is often just too great. They see customs and traditions stripping them of their Islamic right to marry whom they choose. The basic Islamic concepts of both parties agreeing to the marriage and consent from a mahram is superseded by greed, pride, honor and just plain selfishness.

Saudi women also recognize the reality that a man’s word in Saudi Arabia is law, and the art of compromise and partnership in a marriage is virtually non-existent in many marriages. Spinsterhood for many women is preferable than being a bird in a velvet-lined cage.

The answer for many of these women lies in a marriage to a man with a better worldview. They are looking for a man with values that encourages teamwork rather than the ultimate authority resting with a single man who very well may not be equipped to handle the job of a husband. And if that means marrying a foreigner, then so be it.

Email: sabria_j@hotmail.com

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