Age Requirements Increased For Saudis Marrying Non-Saudis (40 For Men And 30 For Women)

marra-640x411I was alerted by a FHWS reader who confirmed with the emarah that these new laws are in effect.

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Saudi Men Must Be Aged Between 40 And 65, Women Between 30 And 55
By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
13 October 2016
Gulf News | Manama

A Saudi man has to be between 40 and 65 years old to be able to marry a non-Saudi woman, and a Saudi woman has to be between 30 and 55 if she wants to take a non-Saudi husband, according to new rules.

Saudi nationals need special permissions to take non-Saudi spouses and the new requirements are on a 17-point list issued to govern the marriages of Saudis with foreigners, Saudi daily Al Eqtisadiya reported on Thursday.

Under the new rules, a Saudi man has to make at least 3,000 Saudi riyals (Dh2,935) a month and to have an adequate house or apartment to have his mixed marriage approved.

The woman that he wants to marry must be at least 25 years old and the age difference between the two spouses in all cases must not exceed 30 years.

If the applicant is divorced, at least two years should have passed following the separation before he applies to marry a foreigner, and in case he is married with a Saudi woman and wants a foreigner as a second wife, he must produce a certificate from a public or private hospital stating that his first wife is unable to assume all her marital responsibilities or is infertile. The certificate must be endorsed by the ministry of health.

The applicant must also sign a document stating that the approval of the marriage does not necessarily mean that his foreign wife would be granted the Saudi citizenship.

The rules for Saudi women planning to marry foreigners include a clause that stipulates that the age difference between them must not exceed 10 years.

The condition was set to ensure there is no exploitation of Saudi women, the daily said.

The only exception for the minimum age for the woman is the existence of a physical handicap or special needs, including being born to unknown parents.

In such cases, the minimum age is lowered from 30 to 27 and should be approved by the social affairs ministry.

A non-Saudi cannot take a Saudi wife if he is already married or if he had married a Saudi woman. He must also present a certificate showing that he has no criminal record in his country of origin and in Saudi Arabia.

He must also present evidence he is not suffering from any infectious or genetic diseases. He must not have been a member of the military in a foreign country, must not be on the lists of those banned from entering Saudi Arabia, must have a monthly salary of at least 5,000 Saudi Riyals and a valid residence permit and must possess an appropriate family residence.

He must not be stateless and must have a specific nationality and must prove it with a passport from his country that has at least another 12 months of validity. He must also clear all security checks to be carried out by the competent authorities in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi woman has to sign a statement that her marriage with a foreigner did not necessarily mean he or their children would have the right to be granted the Saudi citizenship.

The new regulations call for the establishment of a committee tasked with looking into all applications by Saudis to take foreign spouses.

The members should give their opinion on the request within one month of receiving the application.

Around one third of the 28 million people living in Saudi Arabia are foreigners, working mainly in the construction and service sectors.

Photo Credit: Saudi Gazette

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“Expired” Saudi Women Are Increasingly Gravitating Towards Marrying Non-Saudi Men

photocreditfineartamericaWith Relationships, We Find Happiness In Our Own Way
By Rym Ghazal
The National – Opinion
20 July 2016

“I just got so tired of Arab men and their games.”

This month, a Saudi friend announced that she is marrying an American man. She is one of seven friends who, over the past two years, have found love and the man of their dreams outside their community and culture.

She is the third to marry an American. Two others married Italians, one married a French man and the other married a Canadian.

While we shouldn’t really be making a big deal of nationalities, what is interesting is that all of these women were in their thirties and had been marked “expired” by their families. And, quite openly and rudely, they were told by some Arab men they had met that they were too old to be valued as a potential wife.

Of course, it is more complicated than simple matters of age and backgrounds, and we probably shouldn’t generalise – there are many, many happy marriages between Arabs – but there is something here to explore.

By no means can we say that this is something new, given that older female members of my own family have married European men. At the same time, there are no proper statistics on this for us to be able to make sweeping statements such as “more and more Arab women are marrying non-Arabs”.

The high-profile marriage of Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin to the American actor George Clooney in 2014 brought some of these discussions to light. At the time, she was in her thirties, quite independent and strong – and these were given as reasons why Clooney appreciated her.

Taking a step back, I have heard over and over again that women who have worked hard and are pioneers in their own rights have difficulty finding partners who appreciate them as they are.

“I feel I am constantly being assessed if I am worthy of becoming his wife,” said a friend who ended up marrying an Italian man.

“My husband loves me as I am. And those things my Arab ex didn’t like or took for granted, my husband loves and appreciates,” she says.

She, like my other friends who married foreigners, said that she felt she could be herself around her husband.

What is interesting is that I have also heard this from Arab men who married foreigners. They even admit they treat the foreign women better than they did their Arab exes. Why do that? Why do we put on masks and act out roles when we are around someone from our own nationality or background?

Arab men have been marrying women from different backgrounds for centuries, but Arab women have generally stayed within their own circles. The few rebellious ones who married outside their culture had to make great sacrifices.

I am all for mixing nationalities, because I come from a mixed background. I find that embracing differences and loving someone for their hearts and who they are is more important than how they “should be” or how they are on paper. But each to their own; people find happiness in their own special way.

Last week I addressed the issue of “uqdet el khawaja” (the foreigner complex), referring to how some Arabs appear to prefer to work with and buy from foreigners rather than from their own people. While many hate to admit it exists, it even makes an appearance when we are looking for partners.

It should not come as a surprise, given this phenomenon, that some Arabs seek to marry outside of the culture.

These are sensitive issues and difficult to discuss without ruffling feathers. Whatever the case, it is not only Arabs who think that certain marriages can change their lives for the better. Ultimately, it is really all in our heads and only we can start to change that.

rghazal@thenational.ae

Twitter:@Arabianmau

Photo Credit: Fine Art America

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Three New Entries Added To The FHWS Matchmaking Forum

fhwsmatchmakingmessageboardlogoAuthor: “AT”
Subject: Parents seeking alliance for daughter
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Message: We are Muslim Pakistani parents seeking an alliance for our daughter whose profile details are below. Height: 5’3 Age: 30 Education: — MBA — BSc Computer Science — American International School Country living in: Saudi Arabia Marital status: Single, never married…
Location of post: http://pub1.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=44524014&frmid=9875&msgid=1079694&cmd=show

Author: “AH”
Subject: Parents seeking alliance for son
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Message: We are originally from Pakistan, but our son has been born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Our son aims to be a practicing Muslim, trying to adhere to an Islamic lifestyle according to the Shariah in all aspects. Here is what our son is looking for in terms of…
Location of post: http://pub1.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=44524014&frmid=9874&msgid=1079693&cmd=show

Author: “Ikhlaas2016”
Subject: Mature Muslimah seeking Islamic marriage to seek ONLY Allah’s pleasure
Age: 40’s
Gender: Female
Message: I am a sincere, and trustworthy practicing muslimah that is upon salafiyya looking for a sincere dedicated muslim brother upon the manhaj of salafiyya. I practise according to the teachings of the Koran and Sunnah and following the teachings of the Prophet saws-pious predecessors – to the best of my ability and capabilites…
Location of post: http://pub1.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=44524014&frmid=9876&msgid=1079703&cmd=show

To read the rest of these posts please email taraummomar @ hotmail dot com for the forum password. May Allah grant everyone success ameen.

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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

Saudi Marriage Procedure Guidelines: Ministry Of Interior

14 March 2016 Update: I was informed by another FHWS reader whose Saudi confirmed with both the emarah and Ministry of Interior that the age requirement is set at the age of 35 but if the non-Saudi is a relative (2nd-3rd cousin) then the age is reduced to 30 years.

8 July 2014 Update: FHWS reader “ag09g” notified me of a discrepancy between the English-Arabic versions on the Ministry of Interior’s website in the qualifying age for Saudis marrying non-Saudis abroad and I also found that there was an omission of the category for Saudis marrying Moroccans on the Arabic version. Details are here.

1 July 2014 Update: The age requirement for Saudi men to apply for the marriage permission has been reduced from 35 years to 25 years except for marrying a Moroccan which was only decreased to 30 years of age. This alert of the new change was provided by FHWS reader, Julieta. I was not aware of it being announced by the Ministry of Interior through Saudi news agencies. Sometimes the only way we know that something has changed is to either go to the government website or inquire in person at either the Ministry of Interior or emarah. To verify details of the new procedures, you can go to the English page for Saudi Arabia – Ministry of Interior – Riyadh Principality.

19 June 2010 Update: Interior Ministry Launches Human Rights Website. Colonel Ibrahim Al-Men’ai, Supervisor of the Human Rights Department at the ministry, said the website will allow the public to send in their remarks and complaints about the performance of security personnel. Apart from this, Al-Men’ai said the department has devoted a toll free telephone number, 989, for members of the public to express their opinions or report those security officials who have broken the law. Another objective behind the service is to familiarize the public with services of the ministry. It also aims to ensure that the public is made aware that security officials are not above the law and that justice will take its course against those who abuse their powers.

The Ministry of Interior (MOI) classifies an emirate as “An MOI organisation which provides civil administration for a region of the Kingdom (Province). The number of these Emirates in the Kingdom is thirteen.”

The thirteen emirates are Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Eastern Province, Al-Jawf, Al-Baha, Al-Aseer, Al-Qasim, Al-Ha’il, Tabuk, Northern Borders Province, Jazan and Najran.

From the category list of 15 services and procedures that the MOI outline on their website, seven apply to the theme of FHWS:

A. For Those Wishing To Marry Foreign Females Residing In The Kingdom
B. For Those Wishing To Marry A Foreigner Born In The Kingdom
C. For Those Wishing To Marry From Abroad
D. For Saudi Women Wishing To Marry A Foreigner
E. For Those Wishing To Marry Cards Holders
F. The Condition Of Saudi Female Marriage From Foreigner Born In Saudi Arabia
G. For Those Wishing To Marry From Abroad (Morocco)

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 A. FOR THOSE WISHING TO MARRY FOREIGN FEMALES RESIDING IN THE KINGDOM

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The wife should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The proposing person should not be less than 30 years old and not more than 70 years old.

3. Who has Saudi or foreign wife, he should present medical report about her from governmental hospital proving the disease like sterility, malformation, malignant disease, or the physician opinion about the pregnancy danger.

4. Job acknowledgment. If he is a public employee, the acknowledgment should be ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

5. Wife job acknowledgment if she works.

6. Bringing a copy of the ID card or the family card.

7. Personal photograph of the husband.

8. A copy of the divorce paper or death certificate for the part who has married before that.

9. A copy of the residence and a valid copy of the passport for the female intended to marry from.

10. Relations file.

11. Imprinted endorsement of approval from the wife = “I, … bent …. Agree on marrying ……. bin ………”. Also, the date, proofs number, and imprint are required.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof ratified from the general court if there is relation between them from the first class.
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.
• Her guardian should come and confirm her approval and bring the wife to the women department in the principality.

B. FOR THOSE WISHING TO MARRY A FOREIGNER BORN IN THE KINGDOM

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The wife should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The proposing person should not be less than 25 years old and the wife should not be less than 18 years old.

3. Who has Saudi or foreign wife, he should present medical report about her from governmental hospital proving the disease like sterility, malformation, malignant disease, or the physician opinion about the pregnancy danger.

4. Job acknowledgment. If he is a public employee, the acknowledgment should be ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

5. Bringing two copies of the ID.

6. Bringing one personal photograph.

7. A copy of the divorce paper or death certificate for the part who has married before that.

8. Two copies of the wife birth certificate including the certificate number and date. Delivery report or the witness is not accepted.

9. Two copies of the residence and two valid copies of the passport with the original of them.

10. Imprinted endorsement of approval from the wife = “I, … bent …. Agree on marrying ……. bin ………”. Also, the date, proofs number, and imprint are required.

11. Relations file.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof ratified from the general court if there is relation between them from the first class.
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.
• Her guardian should come and confirm her approval and bring the wife to the women department in the principality.

C. FOR THOSE WISHING TO MARRY FROM ABROAD

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The husband should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The proposing person should not be less than 25 years old and not more than 70 years old.

3. Who has Saudi or foreign wife, he should present medical report about her from governmental hospital proving the disease like sterility, malformation, malignant disease, or the physician opinion about the pregnancy danger.

4. Job acknowledgment. If he is a public employee, the acknowledgment should be ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

5. A copy of the ID and the family card.

6. A copy of the divorce paper or death certificate for the part who has married before that.

7. Relations file.

8. Personal photo for the husband.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof ratified from the general court if there is relation between them from the first class.
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.

D. FOR SAUDI WOMEN WISHING TO MARRY A FOREIGNER

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The wife should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The wife should not be less than 25 years old.

3. The husband job acknowledgment ratified from the commercial chamber.

4. The wife job acknowledgment ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

5. A copy of the wife ID or her father ID if she is added to him.

6. A copy of the divorce paper or death certificate for the one who has married before that.

7. A valid copy of the residence and the passport of the husband with their originals.

8. Personal photo for the husband.

9. Bringing relation file.

10. Imprinted endorsement of approval from the wife = “I, … bent …. Agree on marrying ……. bin ………”. Also, the date, proofs number, and imprint are required.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof ratified from the general court if there is relation between them from the first class.
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.
• Her guardian should come and confirm her approval and bring the wife to the women department in the principality.

E. FOR THOSE WISHING TO MARRY CARDS HOLDERS

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The wife should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The Saudi husband or the Saudi wife should not be less than 25 years old and the non-Saudi wife should not be less than 18 years old.

3. Job acknowledgment. If he is a public employee, the acknowledgment should be ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

4. Bring two copies of the husband and wife valid documents.

5. The wife job acknowledgment ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

6. Bringing two personal photos for the husband.

7. A copy of the divorce paper or death certificate for the part who has married before that.

8. Relation files.

9. Imprinted endorsement of approval from the wife = “I, … bent …. Agree on marrying ……. bin ………”. Also, the date, proofs number, and imprint are required.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof if there is relation between them from the first class ratified from the general court if the Saudi party is older than 21 years.
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.
• Her guardian should come and confirm her approval.

F. THE CONDITION OF SAUDI FEMALE MARRIAGE FROM FOREIGNER BORN IN SAUDI ARABIA

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The wife should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The wife should not be less than 21 years old.

3. The husband job acknowledgment ratified from the commercial chamber.

4. The wife job acknowledgment ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

5. Two copies of the wife ID or her father ID if she is added with him.

6. Two copies of the divorce paper or death certificate for the one who has married before that.

7. Two copies of the husband valid residence and the passport with their originals.

8. Two copies of the foreigner birth certificate.

9. Personal photo for the husband.

10. Bringing relation file.

11. Imprinted endorsement of approval from the wife = “I, … bent …. Agree on marrying ……. bin ………”. Also, the date, proofs number, and imprint are required.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof if there is relation between them from the first class ratified from the general court .
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.
• Her guardian should come and confirm her approval.

G. FOR THOSE WISHING TO MARRY FROM ABROAD (MOROCCO)

• Requests and inquiries are submitted every day except Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 to 11:30.

1. The husband should be resident in Riyadh or any of its governorates.

2. The applicant should not be less than 30 years old and not more than 70 days.

3. Who has Saudi or foreign wife, he should present medical report about her from governmental hospital proving the disease like sterility, malformation, malignant disease, or the physician opinion about the pregnancy danger.

Bring written approval ratified by the mayor and the police including the wife approval of his marriage.

4. Job acknowledgment. If he is a public employee, the acknowledgment should be ratified from the commercial chamber or ratified paper from the mayor and the police confirming that there is no job.

5. A copy of the ID and family card and a copy of the passport.

6. A copy of the death certificate or the divorce paper for the one who has married before that.

7. Relations file.

8. Personal photo for the husband.

9. Document from the police and the mayor showing the social status.

Remarks:

• Kinship proof if there is relation between them from the first class ratified from the general court if the proposing person is older than 31 years old .
• The applicant should come personally and delegation is not accepted.

Note: This post was originally published on 11 October 2008.

Opportunity To Write An Article For A Saudi Newspaper

photocreditgulfbusinessI received a request from a FHWS reader who has a contact at an undisclosed newspaper in Saudi Arabia. They want to write about the problems resulting from marriage between a Saudi and non-Saudi. The person says that, “The whole intention behind it is to raise awareness and insha’Allah allow the process to become easier.” If interested, please email me at emailfhws @ gmail dot com and I will forward it to them as they wish to remain anonymous. Thank you,

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Photo Credit: Gulf Business

A Few Points To Make Regarding The Matchmaking Forum

photocreditshopifyThe matchmaking forum is the only way that I can offer assistance when it comes to the subject of searching for a spouse. It is not meant to be “active” as it is not a social media platform (if that was the case then I would have set it up on Google+ or Yahoo Groups). It is there for whoever needs it for as long as anyone contributes to it. Mostly brothers and sisters contact me in private and I can only suggest that they add their details to the forum. So the number of people posting there does not reflect who is actually interested. Understandably, it is probably because they are too private to share their details in public. But I can do nothing with private requests because I don’t want to be that closely involved in the process. The concerned parties must do the follow up queries as well as investigations as I can never vouch for anyone that I have never met nor recommend them for marriage unless I know them personally. I would suggest that when entering your particulars, you provide an email address that you do not mind putting out in the blogosphere for candidates to contact you. You can simply make one up for this purpose. If you are a sister, let your mahram or wakeel post his email address. Do NOT use your real name on the forum. Use a nickname or an alias and provide your real name in a reply to an email when you feel comfortable enough to do so. Finally, I have made the matchmaking forum as private as possible with a password and moderation of posts to ensure no players or spammers get through. However, in this day and age, do not expect much privacy on the internet. If you are that worried about privacy, it is better to conduct your matchmaking affairs in person, in the real world. Thank you and best wishes in your marriage pursuits, taraummomarsignature4

Photo Credit: Shopify