So You Want to Marry a Saudi?

*Appologies to those of you who are receiving this a third time.  I’m not trying to spam you, I swear.  Apparently if your laptop mouse wanders over to the ‘publish’ button and you hit it by accident, it still publishes.  This time, the post is complete!*

If I had a nickel for every time I found a new Western woman who was interested in marrying a Saudi, well, I might be a few dollars richer.  When I first became involved with The Mr. social networking sites were a thing unknown and the best I could find was a few Yahoo messaging groups that I could get information from, so I had no idea of the popularity of “I met him at school and we fell in love and he wants to marry me, etc etc etc”.  I didn’t know that my story was not so unique.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come across a few questions in the groups I belong to from Western women wanting to know what steps to take with their Saudi.  I call these women Virgins.  They really have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.  Not to imply that marriage to a Saudi is a bad thing, but it can be a very complicated thing, and they have NO CLUE.  So I’m going to shed some light on the sutiation here for hopeful wives of Saudis.

1. If your Saudi is “dating” you, his family likely has NO IDEA that you exist.  Find out if he is as serious as you are about marriage, and if he is, he should tell his family about you ASAP.  You and your future children do not deserve to be hidden.

2. If you and your Saudi intend to get married, he needs to apply for the Saudi government permission to marry you.  Even if he swears that he wishes to settle with you in your home country.  You will not be allowed to enter the country as his wife without it, and in the event of his death, you will not inherit from him. 

3. Have a serious, candid discussion about future plans after marriage.  Where will you settle?  Where does your Saudi want his children to be raised?  What does he expect of you as his wife, because it will surely be different that what he expected of you as his girlfriend.  What do you expect of him as your husband and the father to your children?

4. Learn about Islam.  If you haven’t already, it’s a must.  Islam will likely be a huge part of your Saudi’s life if and when you return with him to the Kingdom, even if it hasn’t been thus far.  You will be one step ahead of the game if you learn what drives him and why he does what he does.

5. Get to know your future Saudi inlaws.  In particular, his mother and sisters.  It is said that when you marry someone, you also marry their family, and this could not be more accurate when marrying a Saudi.  All Muslim men are required to put their parents above all else, and this includes you as his wife sometimes.  This is not to say that you should expect to be disrespected, but just know that respect for his parents and his mother in particular comes first.  The better you get to know your inlaws, the easier your acceptance into the family and the easier time your husband will have trying to balance his parents and you.

6. Become familiar with the laws surrounding Saudi marriage permission.  Know that it will not likely be an easy or quick process, but if you love each other, are on the same page with your futures and are committed to having a future together then know that it is not impossible.

7. Get to know other women in your position, or who have been where you are before.  There still exists Yahoo groups that are extremely helpful, Facebook groups and websites full of information and advice. 

Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below, or if you have a private question you may email me at and I will help you in any way that I can.  Best of luck to those of you who are considering, starting, or who are stuck in the process of marrying a Saudi!

315 thoughts on “So You Want to Marry a Saudi?

  1. Pingback: An American Girl In Saudi Arabia: Under The Abaya « Future Husbands And Wives Of Saudis (FHWS)

  2. I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this blog (well, maybe “stumbled” isn’t the correct word, since I followed the link from Tara Umm Omar’s blog…) I’m an American Muslim woman who just married my Saudi here in the States. He’s in Riyadh, where he works, and is in the process of obtaining our Saudi marriage permission. (Yes, his family knows about me and our American wedding, and they are supportive of our marriage.) I’m back in the States, finishing up my PhD in education; after that, insha’Allah, I will move to Riyadh with my husband. I’m grateful to be finding other women in the blogosphere who have stories in common with me. I am grateful for your writing; hopefully when I finally make it to Riyadh, I will be well prepared (or as prepared as I can be, anyway). :-) Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.

    • Hi Nicole! I’m so glad you stopped by and took the time to comment! Inshallah your marriage approval process is quick and without hassle. If you don’t mind me asking, how long ago did you meet your Saudi? When you finally make it to Riyadh, I will most likely still be here, so any time between now, then or in the future if you need anything at all I’ll be here!
      Best wishes for your future with your Saudi!!!

    • Alan your statement is very generalized as not all Saudi men are the same. Some are horrible and have no principles at all while others are truly noble gentlemen. But we can say this of any culture or country. The saudi men I have known in the past 30 years have mostly been very nice and kind and love their women folk very much. Yes they tend to be very jealous and sometimes overly protective, but there are plus sides to these traits as well. And to be honest,, they are usually very handsome and generous with their families..

  3. I hope it is not to late to comment on your post. I have an interesting situation,my son who is 23 years old has met a Saudi girl. She is enrolled in the same collage as my son. For the last 4 years they have been together in the same program. It is a five year program,last winter my son asked if he could bring a friend home for the winter holidays. He asked that I prepare the guest room/my office for her. I of course said sure then I of course asked about her parents and wouldn’t they miss her over the holidays. My son then explained that no she lived in the KSA and Christmas wasn’t a big deal! Bless his heart a bit understated. Anyway long story short, I fell in love with this girl as did the whole family. Over the summer my husband and I went to visit our son, her parents were also there! I think it was a set up lol. They are lovely people but of course they worry about their child. It hurts them a great deal, that should their daughter marry an american she could never live in the KSA. I feel so much for them. Right now we are all waiting to see what comes.

    • Hi Cindy, no it’s never too late to comment! I feel for your son, knowing how difficult the process of getting Saudi marriage approval for a Saudi girl and non Saudi man :/
      If they ever need help or advice with the permission process, please feel free to contact me or have them contact me. It sounds like her parents are at least open to the idea of them being together, which is a huge hurdle in this culture. I wish all the best for the both of them!

    • Hello, I know its been 2 years now, but can you tell me what happened? did they get married and lived in the U.S?? Were there any problems occurred for them to get married?? I hope that you can reply, because my friend has a similar situation and I would like to know what happened?? Thank you!!

    • a lot has to do with the islam faith .. in Islam which is held highly in SaudiArabia.. a muslim woman cannot marry a non muslim man.. you didnt mention if your son is a muslim or not. if he is not. then SAudiARabia will NEVER give their permission or ok on the marriage.. also there are obsticles even for a saudi woman and a non saudi man who even is a muslim.. Saudi laws are very strict.. ..

  4. Hi! i also “stumbled” onto your blog and im really glad i did.
    Ive been seeing a wonderful Saudi man for over a year, his family know about me and have met me. Luckily my background makes things easier for me and his family in the sense that i am Arab (non-Saudi though) and i was born a Muslim ( although i am a non-practising one)
    We have discussed getting married and the only thing that is making it a deal breaker for me is having to move to Saudi. My boyfriend has been living out of Saudi for over 15 yrs but he knows that the day will come (soon) where we will have to make the move to Saudi andi am dreading it because i know all the things i will have to give up. Some people make it work though and id like to think i am one of those people who can give it a try but it is really stressing me out. As someone who is pretty liberal and open minded, im worried that the pathetic treatment towards women will make me even more frustrated. What advice can you give me (someone who has lived in Europe and the middle east and who has a wonderful partner who understands my frustrations) what should i anticipate and or expect? thanks!!

    • Hey there, Zean. Glad you happened to stumble upon my blog :) I think your biggest hurdles have already been overcome: gaining acceptance into his family and having an open minded partner. There are no words that will prepare you for the reality of living here, but I will say that it is not impossible. It’s just different. And to be honest, a little bit like having the wind knocked out of you at times. But as long as your Saudi is open and his family is as well, I think living here is very doable.

    • ..and one thing the admin fails to tell you the truth! Once you leave for Saudi Arabia, you may NEVER be able to come back! Remember that men change once they go home to their home culture – alot of time for the worse, if you have children you have no rights to them if a situation happens in the future where a divorce might arise! Be careful, i would advise women of American/Canadian or European DO NOT ENTER FOOT ON SAUDI SOIL! I know my comment will be removed for telling the truth but i advise that – remember you as a woman have the upper hand in the west you do NOT need to raise your children muslim – your family whether it be Christian, Jewish etc..have as equal right to raise them another religion if your saudi can’t accept it then to bad for him. Stay in the west, if he wants to leave he can and come back but don’t ever take your kids there. A woman has NO rights!

      • I was going to send your comment to the trash file just for the fact that it is a little looney and full of worse case scenario, not-without-my-daughter, fox news craziness, but just to set the record straight, the admin (me) has always been clear on this blog about the rights or lack thereof of women in Saudi Arabia, including women who come here as the wives of Saudis and mothers of Saudi children, as well as the risks involved in living here.
        While the worse case scenario is no doubt a hazard we accept when we move here, it is almost never how things play out.
        Yes, life here is difficult in ways that it is not in the West, but it’s not a bad life. Yes, men can and do go crazy here and take the rights of mothers, and yes, they can do so with more ease than they can in the West. But just by staying in the Western world or even choosing not to marry a Saudi/Arab/Muslim, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to have a husband who isn’t crazy.
        I get really tired of people yelling fire in the theater of all things Saudi, and funny enough, (while this may or may not apply to you) it’s usually someone who’s never even set foot in this country. For sure, Saudi has a long way to go in a lot of categories, but it’s not some dead end where happiness and functioning families go to die. So knock it off.

      • I actually agree with her. I have been with my Saudi fiance for one year living in the US. In all relationships things get ugly sometimes, so keep that in mind. Here in this country I have rights in order to keep things balanced when we do disagree. But I never want to live in ksa, because he would have way too much power and so would his family and so would his government. How can my family step in on my side if I am on the other side of the globe? Not healthy balance. And to think of him having the ability to take our children away, to leverage, how can you both live an equal life? I already feel trapped and isolated by him in the land of the free. I love him very much and we are working on that, but it is a lot of work. These guys are strong willed

      • He, his family, and his government will always have power over your relationship and your children, dear. You can’t escape those things just by refusing to live in Saudi Arabia.

      • As of 2008 Saudi men who marry American women have to sign something giving the woman permission to leave the country at any time. It doesnt solve the problem about children staying with the father, but it’s a start. I also dont know how true this is, but Ive attached the website where I read the information.

      • Since this supposed law was announced in 2008, I’ve never heard of a Saudi man having to sign such a document for his non Saudi wife. I wouldn’t count on it in a million years.

  5. So I have looked at several of blogs lately about marrying middle eastern (and specifically saudi men) and I am starting to think that maybe I am a bit weird. several of the issues other women have. . .I do not think would be a big issue for me–not driving? not a problem. . .I actually do not even have my american driver’s license yet! Hijab, abaya, Islam? not an issue either, because I have worn both before (although for a short amount of time—-I wanted to convert to Islam about 2yrs ago, but my parents practically threatened to disown me… that was temporarily put to a stop. opps, i guess I should mention that I am American college female who is friends with a saudi male student. . . .and found myself wondering “Hmm, what if we weren’t just friends? I may be young but, I know after some reflection that I would not mind moving to Saudi, being able to openly practice Islam would be a blessing,—-the only thing that would be a tricky is figuring out my job situation—-I am a pre-medical student who will be applying to medical schools this summer. Anyway. . .I hope you do not thing my post is a waste of space—-I was just sharing my thoughts. best of luck with your situation :) I have read several articles about the difficulty of custody laws regarding American mother’s in Saudi.

    • Welcom, Eve, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Living in KSA in theory isn’t such a bad thing, but nothing can ever prepare you for what it’s actually like. Choosing to not drive, choosing to wear an abaya…everything is easy when you choose it. But when you are told you CAN’T do something because it’s against the law, it’s a different story. The way that some women feel after coming here and realizing the reality of having choice taken away from them probably feels similar to what you experienced with your parents when you tried to choose a different religion and they threatened to disown you. Don’t get me wrong, this place is livable and if you adjust your ways and your expectaions, it can even be enjoyable. But this is not an Islamic utopia. It is not a fairy tale. Your life is very much out of your hands.
      As for your schooling, FINISH IT before you ever choose to get married or move anywhere in the world. Specifically speaking about KSA, you’d find it nearly impossible to go to school here unless you’re planning on bringing your father with you and forking over a ton of money.

      • Hi , i am expat doctor living in Saudi Arabia( not married to Saudi).I just wanted to add something , if Eve comes here as an american physician she can get the best and I mean the best job in the market. So as a female doctor, a mother and a practicing ( trying my best to be a proper muslim) I agree with andertheabaya– complete your medical degree, complete higher education. then come here, even if you do not marry a Saudi guy — you will have sky high salary and your dream of practicing islam will in sha Allah become true. Again I agree with undertheabaya that this is not islamic utopia, but as a muslim expat coming from a muslim country I know that unfortunatly there is no islamic utopia anywhere in this world. That is why I decided to stay here, because in my opinion this is better than other countries to raise children in a muslim environment and easier.

    • Dear Eve, your mobility is restricted in an extreme sense. There is no walking outside to pick up the mail or walking to the corner store for women. You will face harassment from men on the street. I believe you may be deeply underestimating the unique challenges of life here.

      Gainful employment is difficult to obtain for 90 percent of women, so you will be financially tied to your spouse with little money of your own. Also, child custody in the event if divorce goes to the Saudi father. Some women never see their kids again….. This is no game to be trifled with…..

      • I am an Arab Muslim Woman (non Saudi) who married a Saudi in 1990, I was working in KSA in the health services for 5 years before meeting my Saudi husband. In the beginning he was all “lovey dowey” full of promises before marriage and during our 6 months engagement. 1990, we get married and I move to Riyadh, we were living in Malaz area, by now he changed a great deal showing me his dark Saudi side, there was physical, verbal and psychological abuse, no one to help except for close girlfriends, his family admitted that he is bad but could not help because did not want the matter to be exposed, (protecting the family name) We had 2 lovely daughters, after the second was born I started seeing ‘evidence’ of his infidelity, he refused to admit, he was also traveling to Morrocco a lot on ”business”. One day when he claimed that his company had sent him for a business meeting, one of his secretaries calls at home asking for him, saying that they needed to ask him something about the paper work and that they hoped he was “feeling better during his sick leave”. Ok Almighty Allah had shown me the truth. I kept quite for the sake of my daughters because making a scene would only get me beaten up, even sometimes in front of my daughters. To him anytime I spoke about truth or sincerity in marriage was making a scene. By year 2000, he was not even afraid to leave pictures of him with his mistresses lying around in the home office, I would find them when I needed to check the mail or something. Year 2003 I find an employee/ maid iqamah of a Morroccan woman in her early 20s, I was 39 and he was 47, at this time she was also regularly calling the house and actually asking for him and mentioning my daughters and me by our names. I confront him, he admits that he has married this girl after a 3 year affair and she was actually by now living in Riyadh for a year secretly in an apartment in Olaya. He begged him not to tell his mother and siblings who were living downstairs. I accepted her to come visit the house and he told his family she was an Arabic Tuition teacher for our daughters. I kept his secret as promised, the mother and younger sister were not convinced because during one of the visits she saw them touching in the garage! They confronted him and he admitted that she was his second Morroccon wife. I accepted the woman as my co-wife and my sister in Islam, against the warnings of my girlfriends. She stabbed me in the back- outcome- I was exited from KSA in Nov 2004- his mother (widowed) youngest sis and youngest brother and his new bride were made to leave the house downstairs (May 2004) because it was owned by my husband. Today, have not seen my two lovely daughters for almost 9 years.
        He has not allowed them to even communicate with me, I have tried secretly to communicate with them whenever possible. Lately I have been informed (through friends and teachers there) that my daughters are suffering physical and psychological abuse with my ex and their stepmother, who also uses them as maids. She has 5 kids with him and leave them to be cared for by my daughters, they also cook and clean for her. Have gone to the Saudi Embassy many times for help, nothing but empty promises from them. They even actually told me with a”smirk”that mine is not the only case. Have gone through Courts In KSA (help from husbands of friends) all gave up cause my ex has used bribery and corruption that thrives in KSA to his full advantage, has had my file thrown out each time. I am waiting for the Help of Human Rights In KSA now, I hope that they will make a difference. This is very painful for me to write but I hope that it will be informative for some out there who are planning Marrying Saudi Men!

      • I am so sorry to hear about your situation, but I am so grateful that you chose to share your story here. Your experiences will certainly be of help to those in a similar situation or considering coming here. If there is any way I can help you privately in reaching your daughters, please do not hesitate to contact me. Inshallah someday, somehow, you will be reunited with them.

      • Hi undertheabaya,

        I read much of the comments posted here and feel very sad for the woman, Anonyamous (for my daughters’safety). Did she contact you? Could you help her? It is been a while and I wish things are better with her daughters. Only a mother can understand the pain of being separated from kids.

      • Hi Sohail, I have sadly not heard from this woman privately. I wish that she had contacted me because the Saudi wives community here is enormous and tightly knit and I’m sure we could find some information for her. Hers is sadly not the only case of a mother having to leave her children. Each and every one is heartbreaking :(

    • It depends on your nationality, the age of the woman you have in mind, and her family’s willingness to accept you as an outsider. It is MUCH MUCH more difficult for Saudi women to marry non Saudi men.

      • Thanks for your reply.Well i bet i wont be able to marry a women who is in her 20’s.Am looking for someone who is much older like in her 30’s probably.Am 29 myself, am not seeking any kind of nationality or any benefit from her.All i want is her time,Its just that i have been in the GCC since childhood and was born here that’s why i have a special attachment to the place.I guess a women whose divorced and seeking a person whose kind and affectionate , open minded, exciting,frank,who luvs traveling etc. That’s what am looking for.Hope someone might help me in here.

      • There are many reasons why the rule is in place, all quite ridiculous of course. It is not impossible (I have 3 Saudi sisters in law who all married non saudis) but it is indeed difficult. If your Saudi fiance’s family is on board, getting the permission will be much easier.

  6. This is so true. I wanted to marry my American girlfriend, but unfortunately she did not get any of the above. Being a Saudi is not easy if you love a western beauty. Our rules and regulations are a bit tuff, no doubt and sometimes a little understanding from our partner helps a lot! Ladies, please don’t think of us as “ETs” we just come from a country which isn’t the USA.

  7. Well, I do understand this very much although my experience is bit different, my uncle married an Italian lady 30 years ago, and I watched how difficult it was for them to overcome all the obstacles you mentioned, they fought hard against everything that was on the way and eventually they pulled it off, and now, they’re one of the happiest couples I’ve ever seen.

    • That’s great! I’m glad your uncle and his wife have overcome the trials and their marriage has survived. It is possible for marriage to work between Saudis and non Saudis, it just takes a lot of extra work and determination.

      • I am very very thank for your help. I know I am crazy now. but I am trying to let him go. Even thought I have sex relationship with him, but I don’t think it is a primary reason let me in trouble. I have deleted his phone number. I don’t want contact to him. I need time to forget all things about him. I know it is difficult, but I have to. I will tell you I have done it! Thank you~

  8. Hi, I’m chinese girl and studying english in USA now. I have a trouble thing about I like a saudi man. He is my classmate. He said that he likes me, but ever said he loves me. Moreover, he told me his parents don’t allow he get marry with foreigner and I am only child in my family. My parents want I can fall in love with a chinese man. But i can’t control my mind to do not miss him. He said he want to with me. but we don’t have complete in future time. He knows what situation we are facing now. I don’t know what can I do. Maybe I have to give up him, right? Thank you~Best wishes for u~

    • Hi Tammy, I’ll give you my very frank and honest advice. You are already very aware of issues with both of your families. You probably know from reading my blog that getting the Saudi permission for marriage is VERY difficult in the best cases, and that Saudi students being sponsored by the government can lose their scholarships and be fined for marrying foreigners without permission. Why would you want to put yourself through any heartache in a relationship with this man? He may be wonderful, you may love him very much…but love isn’t enough. As difficult as it may be for you, I would advise that you let him go.

      • Yep~ Thanks for ur help! I think u r right. I should let him go. Even though I can’t get together with him, but I will go on pay attention to your blog.

      • Its best to listen to undertheabaya girl hehe sorry cause i don’t know her name.What she says is through her experience.My advise is the same,don’t put yourself into trouble cause you will regret it as there is a Big Gap between Cultures, cause later on you will regret it.Anyways there are lot of smart men like me who are still found everywhere (lol,kidding)Best of luck in finding him.

      • I am sorry to tell you that I walk first step with him. I can not forget him. Even thought I know i will very very sad when one day I lose him. But we can not control our feelings in this time. I don’t want this relationship control my life, but actually it have controlled my emotion. I am happiness girl when I see him. Otherwise I lost myself. Maybe this is love. Love give us blessedness. At the same time, love give us hurt.

      • True love is Blind, however there are many thing that you should consider before you guys go into a formal relationship, think of the future and not just for today. You should be more practical rather being romantic. Being with a family is more important than any thing is what I believe. The two Culture are very different and way apart if you are ready to adapt then Good Luck for you. However I still oppose the idea of you two getting married. By the way I know a Saudi guy who got married to a Chinese Women who stays in China & not in K.S.A.The Owner of this Blog might explain you in the best possible manner both legally & personally. All we could do is advice rest is up to you.
        Always be practical in Life, expect less or nothing in fact from others cause it only hurts when you expect things from people & expect most from God is what I believe in.

      • Thanks all friends who I do not know in real life care about me. I clear realize I and him just have short happiness time. Maybe after few months he will move to other city. Maybe I can’t meet him any more. Maybe he will forget me quickly. He came to my apartment yesterday. We slept together and said ‘ I love u ‘ many times. I just enjoy to be with him in this short time when I do not what time end up.

      • You’re an adult, Tammy, so you can make your own choices. Just be careful. You can continue a relationship with this man, telling yourself that you are just going to enjoy whatever time you have together, but being a woman I know that that will become impossible very quickly. You will grow attached to him, especially considering that there is now a physical relationship, and it will be hard to let go.
        I’d hate to someday hear that you are one of the many women who were heartbroken, left, or impregnated and abandoned. Love may blind you to a person’s faults, but it shouldn’t blind you to the point that you are unable to make responsible and informed choices.

        To add…when I first met The Mr, we were lying in bed one night and he told me “you know I’ll have to go home eventually, this can’t last forever” and I agreed with him. That it would just be something fun for a while, and I’d move on when the time came. I ended up pregnant, but even if I hadn’t, it would have been a devastating loss for me. It was always more serious for me than it was for him, but I kept lying to myself, saying I could let go when the time came. Over nine years later, and here I am. Just think. Thiiiink.

      • I am very very thank for your help. I know I am crazy now. but I am trying to let him go. Even thought I have sex relationship with him, but I don’t think it is a primary reason let me in trouble. I have deleted his phone number. I don’t want contact to him. I need time to forget all things about him. I know it is difficult, but I have to. I will tell you I have done it! Thank you~

  9. assalamualaikum wa rahamtulahi wa barakatu sis!
    this is awesome post! though it was written way back when!!!!

    I’d like to really get in contact with Tammy if possible…if Tammy reads this please email me at

    I’m a Chinese and married to Saudi .. it seems that you are having problems with a situation.. i hope i can help you and talk to you!

    Sorry @undertheabaya to barge in like this!! but i was reading Tammy’s comment and i just felt like i had to step in !!!!
    xo keep up your awesome blogging sis!

    Khadijah @!

  10. I’ve just moved to KSA and having to come to grips with many things. However, i’m not sure if it’s a cultural bias or sheer racism, which creates these barriers. Saudi men or women are no more special than any other race, even though some may think they are, but in reality they’re not. My students tell me, a saudi woman would never marry a black man as they are seen as slaves etc. Well, my wife and I’ve been married for nearly 16 years (5+ kids), and she’s arab and I’m as black as ace of spades. I’ll advise my kids to marry for the religion, and someone funny and hilarious like their mom and forget all these people who think they’re better than the rest of us.

    P.s Tammy-you shouldn’t be with a man who doesn’t love you, and if he does-then at least he should marry you-otherwise you”re going to regret it. He won’t.

    • Mashallah, you and your wife seem to have a wonderful marriage. Unfortunately, the darker a person’s skin in Saudi, the more racism/discrimination they will be subjected to. I do hope that you’re treated with the respect you deserve though.

      Thanks for stopping by, Saif, and welcome to KSA!

  11. hi. i read most of the post and comments in your blog. i have a Saudi boyfriend here in Riyadh. We’ve been for almost 1 year. We are planning to get married. My Saudi boyfriend went to the Ministry of Interior 1 mos.ago to ask permission to marry me a non Saudi. I’m bothered with my situations now because I’m still currently working as a kafeel with my employer and he already knows that I have relationship with a Saudi man at the same time a par-time worker also in the clinic. I don’t know what should I do. Now that my employer grounded me in the accommodation and temporarily implement to me to stop work for how many days. They get from me my residence permit or IQAMA. I need some advises and opinions from yours. Thank you

    • Hi Reham, Thanks for stopping by. Firstly, does your Saudi meet the requirements to apply for marriage to a foreigner? That will determine how likely the permission is to be granted, and how long the wait may possibly be. Does his family know about you? What country are you originally from? I’m nervous about your work situation. If your boss knows about your reltionship and has suspended you from work and has taken your iqama, he could very well be preparing to terminate your position and send you back home. Please check into what he is planning on doing. Also, don’t admit to ANYTHING with your Saudi…no relationship, nothing. It could get you both into very deep trouble and it could ruin any chance you may have at getting the permission. If you’d like to email me so that we could chat more privately, please feel free to do so at undertheabaya @ gmail . com

  12. I meet a Saudi girl on a trip, we click we spoke everyday, she left to Saudi and came back she change, she don’t want to tell me whats wrong more then she said i know we dont have future together my family will not accept you.. I am half kuwaiti half from a european country ) born and raise in europe and my speaking is bad. ( mom is kuwaiti father from european country ) but i am muslim…

    I love her so badly i dont know what to do, i dont want to lose her but because i am getting annoyed by the mentality i start to nag, and i do things i never done before.. I never thought i would be with anybody from khalij country because i just to say my mind is not like them and i meet this amazing person… I am losing her and dont know what to do… first time a girl brake me down this bad.. i am cold person but against this girl i cant be cold… i dont know what to do.. I cant stop think of anything, i am so in love that first time in my life i don’t care about my company since she said that to me i have not been at work and i cant think of anything more then her… she stop answer my calls and answer very short on bbm.. she say she love me and i am what she has been waiting ofr all her life, we bought are old 27 year old… i am getting crazy and lost…

    • My dear, I can understand the kind of pain that can accompany the loss of love, especially your first, so I’m going to give you my most honest and frank advice. Your Saudi girl is right. Things are different here. Her family likely wouldn’t accept even a Saudi boy of her choice, let alone a foreigner, Muslim or not. You can be the greatest man, the perfect match for her, but you’re not Saudi and they didn’t pick you, therefore they will never accept you. There is no way she could tell her family she met a man on a trip, who she’s been maintaining a relationship with, and that she wants to marry him. She would be in a lot of trouble for that. Her love for you may be deep, but her obligaion to her culture and family will always run deeper.
      As painful as it is, and as hard as it is to let someone go, my sincere advice to you is to do just that. I know it’s not easy, I’ve been in your shoes. But why cause yourself and the woman you love more heartache by continuing a relationship that will never go anywhere? Sometimes walking away is the best thing we can do for ourselves and for those we love. A great website you can read is They have excellent advice and posts on how to overcome things like this. It has helped me immensely!
      Please take care of yourself, feel better, and feel free to reach out if you need someone to talk to.

  13. BUt the girl dont want to be with a saudi guy and her mom know… she try her mom’s way and did not work, she was depress… she push me away.. yesterday she sent message i want space and i need to think dont send message… my family know about her and in love with her.. her girl cousin and friends know about me and love me, because they see how much i care about her, she told me nobody care about like you do not even my family… first day to day we did not send message i want to give her the space, but i cant stop think of her.. she is so kind lovely beautiful… funny… i cant see my self with out her… she told me the same thing, but now she push her self away.. why is she doing all that if she love me…. i am a cold person and i cant be cold, i cant scream or get mad at her… her heart is so pure….

    • That may very well be the case, but it really doesn’t matter what the girl wants in this case. Her mother may be more sensitive to her situation, but she will not go against her husband (the girl’s father). This is how it works here for a lot of families. Love marriages are very rare, even within the Saudi community, let alone with a foreigner. And almost never in the case of a Saudi girl, unless she managed to fall in love with a Saudi that her family would find suitable when he comes to ask for her hand.
      The girl is doing the honorable thing and telling you the truth, asking you to get out now before anyone gets any more hurt. So be an honorable man and do that for her and yourself. Give her the space she’s asked for, and give yourself some time to let your emotions relax so you can see the situation for what it is: a dead end.
      Bigstick has given you some excellent advice from a man’s point of view. Please consider it.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from STC

    • By the way, I have a good friend who is in the exact situation as your Saudi girl. She is 28, she wasted over a year of her life trying to convince her mother to convince her father to let her marry the man she loved, a Pakistani. Of course it never happened and she was broken hearted in the end. Her father won’t allow her to marry outside the family, so she’s chosen to remain single indefinitely. I assure you, as heartbreaking and painful as your situation is, it’s not unique.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from STC

  14. Okay and they say women are emotional.

    confused: You need to separate yourself for a while and get yourself under control. It is highly probable that you are exhibiting tendencies of tick on a dog. In other words she may need time to think and evaluate her situation and how you fit into that. It is also possible that by continuing to try to get her to take you as the one you are actually raising flags for her of being too needy or too clingy. So maybe you should re-evaluate your self esteem and your own needs as you might find that what you might desire is not what is best for either of you.

  15. thank you for the advice..

    btw the problem is her mom not the father, but apparently the mother has stronger personality then the father…

  16. Confused:

    If she has been with you for six years then she was extremely young when she had the failed experience. In addition, if you have not convinced her mother that you would be right for her at this point then I think convincing her anytime soon is not a reality.

    Oh, yes it is emotional. What you need to do is back off for your sake and see if a relationship which has provided you with only hope of something tangible vs having something tangible is worth continuing. In other words, it might be best to cut your losses and find something that has a viability of turning into a relationship that actually has a definitive furture. Marriages are suppose to be about two people building a future and opening the doorways for each other. Relationships that are seen to be heading in this direction should have many of those attributes because if it doesn’t then you are wasting your time and your future. So the question you need to ask yourself is: What type of relationship do you want at this point in your life? Is it companionship for the moment or a binding relationship that opens the door to what one hopes as a bright future of two people in an adult relationship with definitive goals and aspirations?

  17. bigstick1

    We did not convince her mother we did not try…

    both of us are the same age..

    I want the best for both.. thank you for your advice…

  18. Confused:

    Yes I am aware that you are both the same age. Which tells me that for someone who stated they are a cold person generally except with this girl …….only shows me that you really don’t have much experience in that arena due to age (not trying to be offensive just reality) as you have been in this relationship for six years.

    Since you seem to be leaving certain key elements out of your situation……..I can only assume (sometimes this is one of those step in manure tactics) that you are either in such an emotional states as to not be properly relaying the necessary tidbits or you are having a bit of fun.

    Anyway, no matter what I hope you have a life that provides you with all of what your are looking for. :D

    Take care.

  19. bigstick1

    Not having fun…

    Honestly, i never believed in relationships, i just to only have fun time with girls.. until i meet her.. she change me..

    anyway.. i hope the best for both of us.. she has pure sweet heart…. Only God know whats my future and her future..

    i would like to thank you a lot… btw where are you from

    I am half Kuwait.. trying to settle down with the different mentality in khalij..
    Thank you again for your advice… I wish there was a way i could talk with her mom…

  20. 4 Confused

    It’s easier to marry a khalij girl but Saudi … That’s so difficult

    And I am sure she loves you but her family won’t accept you , that’s why she tried to push u away

    And When she asked for space actually she thinking of things like what will happen if she ignor her parents just for u and what’s her position in Saudi law , is it legal to marry non Saudi , and of course the media .. Because similar story will take like if it’s the public issue which will hurt her family

    And I think she is smart girl , not let her emotion lead her to dark future what I mean is

    She is between 2 things

    Losing u or losing her family

    And because living in country like ksa women have few rights that she can’t have it or use it ( i mean the rights ) without her father or the man Who response of her pirmetion , losing her family will destroy her as she don’t have ID or driving license or at least can’t rent home for her self ,

    So I hope you get the point why she’s doing that ,

    And I hope her family be much easier for her coz you mentioned that you are Muslim that’s ok with Islam and that’s one of her rights to marry Muslim that she choose but the Saudi culture is suck

    I’m so sorry for my bad English (:


      Thank you for your respond…

      I really thought being Khaliji and coming from Kuwait would make it easier for her and me..

      She is not tribal family either…

      But anyway.. life goes on and we do the same..

  21. Thanx unndertheabaya for such blog

    Just comment for saif he said Saudi women won’t marry black men coz they are slaves in there opinion ..

    Ok your students are stupid enough to tell you such a thing

    First : in Islam we are equal no matter what is your color .
    Second : women here can’t choose her own husband not all women most of us How lairs they are let us decides first then you will know what’s our opinion on black men .

    And racism here not just on black ones you can find it even in same color different tribes .

    And as I said it’s not women fault ..

    If we could .. Were friend of mine marry a guy from jordan

    Or were a girl in the same class in collage married black Saudi man that she is ok with and he is so rich but her father and brother refused and gusse what ?
    Her relative refused too … Ha ha ha welcome to Saudi Arabia .

    I have similar to this.. I wanted to enter medical collage which my biggest brother refused so bad after few days relatives called my dad to tell him that’s no way to accept that one of thire girls being in medical school that’s so shame

    So my dad sadly told me my girl there is no chance for you
    I studied hard to let some people decides my future , right now I plan nothing except my clothes I can buy what I like thank Allah for that .

    • Hi, Someone. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It makes me sad for you that your family would not let you enter the medical field. It is definitely not a shame, but an honor that you wanted to dedicate your life to helping and healing others. I truly hope that one day things in this country change and that if you have daughters who someday would want to be doctors, engineers, scientists, pilots, or whatever, that they’d have the oportunity to do so.

      • Thank you for giveing me a chance , I really appreciate you for being amazing wife , I’m sure you are , you made big sacrifice leaving your hometown to stuck in such culture .

        Of course its an honor , and yes I’ll stick my dream in my daughter mind hoping she become an independent woman .
        By the way I love your writes and I really appreciate your help for other

        keep going . <3

    • I am Canadian 37years old guy Muslim Alhamdullah well establish .. i really wanna get married with nice intellectual, intelligent and pretty Saudi women. Who can teach me Islam. get back to me if you are interested :)
      Thank you.

      • I am Canadian 37years old guy Muslim Alhamdullah well establish .. i really wanna get married with nice intellectual, intelligent and pretty Saudi women. Who can teach me Islam. get back to me if you are interested
        Thank you

        who knows :) says:
        April 16, 2013 at 10:30 am
        Well I’m interested If you really good muslim guy but sure we need to see if we can get along at all levels ya know I’m picky and yes i’ve rejected good number of proposals so marriage in itself ( being with husbsnd ,having kids ..etc )not my goal at all my goal is to find my muslim soul mate , enjoy life and practise Islam together…
        I still dunno how we can reach out to one another of course i don’t want u to put your contacts on line nor mine
        hmmm I dunno

        April 17, 2013 at 03:41 pm
        Hi, Ms. Who Know :)
        I am Ready and Excited to talk to you, As you said who knows no one knows let try..who knows :) … lets carry on the conversation. write me at . Have a Good One!

    • And my Saudi fiance wonders why I want to stay in my country! Are they genius at playing stupid because all of their lives they do with their mother and sisters? I would like to hear from someone who is willing to speak candidly. Why do Saudi guys pretend not to understand that the women around them who they love want to have opportunities, have rights, and make decisions? My fiance drives his own mother, she is not allowed to leave the house without her son’s guardianship.. in this country that is how we treat our children, not our mothers and aunt’s and sisters. Why does he think I want to live like that? Is he so great that he is worth giving up my rights forever? Yes, he is if he is honest with me about all of this and honest with his mom and sisters.. But no man dare be that honest in a country where you belong to your father until he dies. Not a liveable situation. I wouldn’t recommend this country to most ladies. He can live in your home country if he really loves you, and he can be understanding of the situation. Don’t be blinded by love. Have a great time vacationing there once a year, it’s not too expensive if you are worth it to him

      • Why are you with a man whose culture you are so adamantly opposed to? I ask because this culture is a part of who he is and it always will be, even in times that he doesn’t seem like “one of them” and when you think he’s different. Yes, he may be different in the west. You probably can’t picture how he might be in Saudi. But this place raised him and molded him and made him who he is. It is in his DNA, the very makeup of who he is. You can’t ever change that.

  22. Salam Aleykum….
    I am from Azerbaijan, married with Saudi man…. unhappy. I have 2 daughters, taking all his bad behavior only because I don’t want to lose my kids. 9 years in KSA. Wanna advice you girls: If you want to marry with Saudi man, don’t give a birth in KSA. Be sure that after all you can travel with your kids anywhere and anytime. Saudi man outside of KSA different than inside of it. I can’t say don’t marry at all because my sister also married with Saudi man and ma shaa Allah very happy!!! Love you all…

    • Thank you, Jenan, for sharing your story. I think it definitely helps others when we share what we’ve been through.
      There is no telling whether a marriage will go south or not, but when you’re married to a Saudi, you have to make sure you have agreed upon protection in place for you and your children. Very good advice.

    • I hope the best for you sister inshallah and pray that things become better for you that it is now. We are all travelers in this world,however in the hereafter every person will pay the price for any good or bad that he did.

  23. Hey just to tell that after reading all this Iam feeling nervous and de motivated as I love a saudi girl and even she loves me, we are in regular touch but the problem is will we get married? Iam a non muslim ready to get converted.

    • I hate to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but the likelihood that your Saudi girlfriend’s family will allow her to marry you (even if you become a Muslim) is pretty low. There are not just religious issues to be considered. There is the social/cultural issue of how to approach her parents to ask for her hand. Do you live in Saudi? Do you have parents who would be willing to approach her parents to ask for her? If not, how will she explain her relationship with you, how she got to know you, and why she wants to marry you? There is also the Saudi government to overcome. She will have to obtain permission from her government to marry you, even if her parents do approve.
      I do wish the best for you, but to be very honest, most situations like yours do not work out.

      • Iam in saudi, we met each other here, my parents are not here with me as I work here and they will have no objection for my marriage, yes it will be duifficult for me to meet them, she wants me to come and talk to them, for now it is bit resistance for me to meet them. I dont know what will happen????
        Will she get permission from government? if at all her parents agree?

      • The least you could do is have a go at it. What’s the worst that could happen? They may say no, but you wouldn’t know unless you try.
        Getting the permission is more difficult for Saudi women marrying non Saudi men, but it can be done. Take the first step and approach her parents.

    • Hi i’m a black guy living in usa from europe i’m into a same situation in the way that i’m in a huge love for a ksa girl she also loves me since 7 months life have been so crazy for us between fighting about ur feeling for each other and thinking of, if this’ll go far. I finally decide to let her go cause even if u love someone u won’t keep her from all she has ( family & religion) i’m willing to convert also and to even fight the god for her but i learn in life to let things happen as the time want. Even if i can sleep or eat because of my decision i know i made the right call. Maybe in 5 or 7 years thing’ll change. She’s decided to never get married if it’s not with me and i’m not going to do that too cause of other raison. All i know is they one who have mean to be togethe’ll be even if they’ll have to create their own world. In this way i keep love her and keep hoping that thing’ll change in their country. But really it’s that easy tho.

  24. I’m an American revert to Islam, over year now and I’m interested in living a lifestyle that inundates me with Islam. Hence a strong desire to live in an Arab country, with a preference for Saudi Arabia. The reason for this is that this country seems to take the Qur’an seriously, as do I. But I have a few barriers with respects to matrimony. Perhaps you could offer some suggestions to remedy this? Sure, I can come to Saudi Arabia and work or something, but men and women don’t mix…how does a 47 year old American revert woman meet and marry a Saudi or Arab man that is a practicing Muslim and takes his deen seriously? My family, extended family and relatives are not Muslims and do not approve of my Islamic belief nor practice. I have no Mahram for travel, etc. I might add, I’m not hard to look at despite my age, I’m in good health. I’m also a mother and grandmother. I’ve made dua’h for it, of course, but I have to do my part right?

    Here is a way to know a little bit more about me if you need too, to offer a bit of informed advice!

    Jazak Allahu Khair

    • Hi there Rouillie,

      As an adult woman, you probably know that when the dust is blown off from the ultra religious cover of Saudi Arabia, this is not really a place that takes Islam seriously. At least not authentically. Yes, there is a religious shell around life here, but under that very fragile surface you will find that this place is really not the land of Islam that you want or need it to be.

      This question is the biggest issue: “how does a 47 year old American revert woman meet and marry a Saudi or Arab man that is a practicing Muslim and takes his deen seriously?”

      Most of the non Saudi women married to Saudi men that I know met their husbands when they were not exactly practicing or taking their religion seriously. We met in college, at work, through mutual friends, in nightclubs, on the internet, etc. The men we married have to keep up a more religious appearance when returning to their home countries, and many do take the religion seriously once they’re older, but what they really take seriously is their culture and the way that their behavior will be perceived within the culture.

      The women here who tend to lead conservative religious lives are Western women married to Western men who moved here seeking to lead a more religious life. So in short, I don’t really know how to advise you when it comes to finding a Saudi husband. If you really want to live here and get a taste of what life is like, you could seek to work here (you don’t need a mahram to do so), but living and working as a Western expat is a world away from living as the wife of a Saudi.

      Why not try to find a man who meets your requirements and scratch the location factor off the list for now? Or if your heart is set on living in the Arab world, look to other Gulf or Middle Eastern countries where people are more open and the laws are more reasonable?

      • Wow, now this reply I did not expect. And although I am old enough to recognize that people tend to take for granted that by which they are raised, I’m not dissuaded from the idea of living abroad in a community that is conducive to my deen. Additionally, I’m not surprised to find out that the more conservatively religious folks are usually among the older population and reverts…way it goes, from my objective observation, when it comes to religion – Islam or otherwise. But I’m cool with that :)

        I like the idea of living in an environment that isn’t going to bombard me with social ques that suggest I’m an oddball for worshiping Allah SWT and practicing Islam. I want to be among people I would more likely consider worthy of my trust and friendship, since like my deen, I value and take friendships seriously. But you’re right and I have, considered other countries within the Arab world and have become less judgmental about which countries I’d choose. As the other Arab countries that already accept my religious conviction and hijabi manifest would only be a challenge in other areas. And in all honesty, I don’t want to marry an American Muslim. I find that too many of them are willing to make unnecessary innovations in their deen to satisfy what’s expected and acceptable in the western world. I really can’t stand this behavior. I’m like, “Why bother with Islam at all then? You aren’t doing it right!” Anywho, thanks for your input. And no worries, I didn’t presume that you were religious, but an honest perspective on a country I’ve considered as a potential home was just what I needed, with a perspective on the matrimonial aspect, that is, as you know, half my deen. Thanks!

      • Why another person who would drink the kool aid ( Jim Jones analogy). Try reading “the hidden origins of islam” edited by ohlig and puin or “the Quran in its historical context” by Gabriel said Reynolds or “textual criticism and Quran manuscripts” by Keith small. Just a few suggestions. Maybe even research works by crone; wansbrough; kropp; gilliot; cook; etc.

      • Religion as allegory is fine but as something else is just BS. It is a story nothing more.

        All religions fall into this category. Let me give you a famous scholars quote of the time:

        Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (865 – 925 AD) was a Persian physician, alchemist, chemist, philosopher, and scholar. Also know at the time as a heretic but today embraced as a Muslim inventor.

        “You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: “Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.” Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. … By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: “Produce something like it”?!”

        Learn the history… not be fooled by the mirage. (bigstick)

      • “Religion as allegory is fine but as something else is just BS. It is a story nothing more.

        All religions fall into this category. Let me give you a famous scholars quote of the time:

        Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (865 – 925 AD) was a Persian physician, alchemist, chemist, philosopher, and scholar. Also know at the time as a heretic but today embraced as a Muslim inventor.

        “You claim that the evidentiary miracle is present and available, namely, the Koran. You say: “Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.” Indeed, we shall produce a thousand similar, from the works of rhetoricians, eloquent speakers and valiant poets, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. They convey the meaning better and their rhymed prose is in better meter. … By God what you say astonishes us! You are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Then you say: “Produce something like it”?!”

        Learn the history… not be fooled by the mirage. (bigstick)”

        Your opinion has been duly noted, bigstick1, salaam. Islam, still incorruptable after 1400 years.

      • Bigstick, I don’t understand your drive to be so anti-religion. I mean, go ahead and think whatever you’d like about any one of them, that’s your right, but why spend so much time and energy trying to prove people wrong and get them on your team? I find that people who are generally secure in what they believe and the lifestyle they’ve chosen lose the need to debate with others about it. You seem to be the exception to that rule.

      • Uta:

        Because believing in lies, fairy tales and deception which causes harm through discrimination, racism, division, gender apartheid, slavery (either acceptance or endorsement), child abuse, mutilation, etc., causes harm to not just yourself, your children, society but to the future of humanity.

        It is time humanity starts growing up and shedding tribal belief systems which are based on the fear of the other and death.

        Religion creates human harm both physically and mentally to which is projected onto another due to a belief system specifically designed for such a purpose.

      • People perpetuate these acts with or without religion, bigstick. Even in your own words, as a man who doesn’t believe in any of it, it is easy to sense hatred. The majority of the world’s population believes in some sort of higher power and most people do not use that belief to harm others. So why go on a crusade of your own? Why throw the baby out with the bath water? Wouldn’t it be a better use of your time and energy to speak intelligently and respectfully against injustice in general and leave aside the attacking of people who believe differently than you do?

      • Uta:

        I am quite happy with my life and choices but I am part of a bigger picture called humanity. I will not live in the bubble of my home but live in the world of humanity. Failure to interact with the world will effect my home and silence toward doctrines/ dogmas which perpetuates discrimination or other harmful nonsense is acceptance. I chose not to accept it. Religion causes harm on multiple levels both mentally and physically.

      • Uta:

        No one said you cannot believe in god but believing in a dogma which causes harm is different. It is religious dogma that creates harm and confronting dogma that sets up harm is not hatred.

    • Assalamulaikum,
      If you ask me Ms. why don’t you come to U.A.E,i used to live there for like 4 years,and Islam there is very much exciting and beautiful , we used to work so hard for Islam under the umbrella of the Govt by giving out so many lectures, street talks and exhibitions etc.You know since i moved to Saudi , i dint get the opportunity to all these although i tried.Why do you choose a Arab men i know they have got a very good Akhedah,but some Indians are much better than them hehe like me.Hope we get to chat or talk more about religion if we may.Hope to contact you via email or something if possible.Jazakhallah Khair.

      • How could I have forgotten about our dear Abdul Mujeeb?! Where have you been, dude? You are right that good men can be found in all ethnicities and nationalities. Unfortunately, sometimes Arabs are seen as the best Muslims, but an Arab is no more likely to be a good man than any other, and no less likely (by the way) to add his own twists on the religion than a Westerner, an Asian, African, etc. Culture heavily dictates how the religion is practiced here unfortunately.

      • Am doing good,Hey, am always around peeking at your Forums however don’t get much time these days cause i just switched my job so its like am working hard lol.

      • A geesh, it isn’t about Arab men being better than Indian men, or any men, for that matter. It’s about being fully functional in a beneficial way in a culture that is more like your own. I want to fit in best I can and get along with others. Arabs and Indians are different culturally and I’m thinking in terms of compatibility. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that I’m incompatible with Indian men, only that I’m leaning towards environments where I would be more compatible within the context of Islam. Thus, increasing my likelihood of landing a long-term mate successfully! Besides, you may be surprised to know, that I’ve a fondness for Asian men and believe that Japan would render me much in the way of a compatible mate. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough Muslims there. So I’m not going to venture that way with any major effort. How’s that for diversity? And no brother, Abdul Mujeeb, I won’t be contacting you via email. I’m a practicing Muslima, we don’t do it that way.

        And I disagree with you, Undertheabaya, on one important point. Since culture dictates Islamic practice, why not stay as close to its origins, culturally as possible? Now this may require a historical perspective, considering that places like Egypt, for instance, is seen as an Islamic country. When actually, it is heavily influenced by Roman and Greek culture.

      • Have you read this post?
        If not, please give it a look.
        This may indeed be the land where Islam was revealed, but there is very little of the original Islam left floating around here. What exists here is a ruling class cherry picking the parts of the religion that work for them. There is no such thing as a Muslim country. There are countries where a lot of Muslims live, but those Muslims are ruled by politicians with their own interests at heart, culture, and tradition. I’m not trying to talk you out of your dream of living here, but I do think you should consider things a little more realistically.
        Like I said before, KSA has a shiny religious exterior at times, but under the surface things are very, very different.

    • Uta:

      Harm can be both mental and physical. It is the harm done to mental portion that is easily overlooked but which has the greatest impact on the individual and society which can manifest itself to cause physical harm to another at some point. Religion belittles man, makes chattle of women, endorses child abuse, etc. , the list goes on and on. Just because many believe in something which embraces some form of discrimination and are happy to believe in it doesn’t mean it does not have a negative effect on themselves as well as another.

      Next why does seeking the truth behind religious dogma and pointing out that render it to hate? Why does embracing a dogma which incorporates discrimination, racism, homophobia, gender apartheid, murder, mutilation, murder, slavery, etc., not be considered accept and endorsing hatred?

      Religion does not get a pass on its hatred nor should it be a shield against defending itself because man wrote it up to say a two dimensional ink deity is beyond our demand of better for humanity. The theological god is the embodiment of hatred to much.

      If you want to discuss it further let me know.

      Take care.

  25. Its really ok for not contacting me personally, i respect your dedication to the religion which inshallah will make you enter heaven.Few things that i would like to clear Regarding religion pertaining to the Arabs,what i could find here is(as i spend most of my life in the G.C.C),that most of them without a second thought would never associate anyone apart from Allah in any way,and they deeply trust in the Lord of the universe.However 90% of them don’t really act upon the rules of the Book.Like they are unfair to people like labors,maids,drivers etc.They are proud people, a few Dinars in there pocket would make them huff puff.They don’t strive that much in life and expects things to just come to them.However if you just read the Biography of the Companions of the prophet they are way way way far from what they are now.Of course now am not telling you all are like this however there are Saudi’s in Medina and i bet any part of the cities who luv and practice there religion in full,who are very humble,God Fearing. For what i see there are only few things that they do,Close the Shops when its time for Salah & Hijab is very very important.However in terms of Humanity they are not upto the mark at all,in 19’s there were many people who dint get there wages on time months would pass on and they dint get paid.However it has improved very very much when compared to today.In India many people bow down to the graves and they have talisman hanging on there neck, i asked many of them couple of times why do they bow down to a grave,they say ohhh this man was very pious and we ask him to ask Allah to provide us so and so .. I was like where the Hell did you get that idea from?LOL,i even removed them out myself from many people and showed them what it consists of,a few lines and something stupid written inside on a piece of paper.. so there are various people doing various stuff.Truly speaking the Arabs lost there charm,and now Allah is replacing them with True Revert Muslims who are dedicating there life for the Religion like Yusuf Estes, Napoleon,Jay Z rapper & many others.So judging people from where they are from or there ethics doesn’t matter.There are many good Muslims in the U.S where you stay.Its only a matter of praying and choosing the right man & Inshallah you shall get one.

    The below mentioned websites has the biography of the Sahab’s

  26. New company :) They pay well Alhamdullah hehe.Planning to buy the new Accord lol.Hows your Daughter doing?Hope she’s good.

  27. Hello, and thank you for your insightful post. I hope it is not too late to comment. I am a Hispanic American student and I have been dating my Saudi boyfriend for about three years. He is about to be done with his degree (as am I) and I was wondering what requirements must be fulfilled for him to request government permission to marry a non Saudi woman? I have dual citizenship (US and Mexico). I have read in some places that a Saudi man must be 35 years old to request permission. Is this true? Also, I would love to hear back from anyone who has had a positive experience in this type of situation. I have met his parents and some of his siblings and cousins. He has met my entire family. His family is (relatively) open minded, as his older sister studies in the US and his mother and sisters recently traveled to and within the US alone. I feel that being from a conservative Hispanic family, the culture change will not be as shocking as it would be for some liberal American women. He and I share values: modesty, an expectation for women to behave like young ladies, the idea that family comes first before everything else, a duty to one’s parents, etc. He has been looking into work positions in UAE, but it would pain me to keep him away from his family – it would already be painful enough for me to be away from mine.

    • Hi there, Ana. The Saudi government does technically require men to be at least 35 years old to receive the permission, but many, many people get past this issue with little difficulty, so it shouldn’t be a big worry. As long as you and your Saudi provide all required documents, neither of you have any kind of criminal history or dangerous diseases, you should be granted the permission. The best way to get the list of required documents would be for your husband-to-be to contact the ministry of interior, or to have one of his family members do so if he’s not already here. The permission process can seem daunting, but as long as you have all your ducks in a row, it should go smoothly. The fact that his family accepts you is a step in the right direction and that will be a major bonus for you if you do ever live here. Let me know how things go if and when you do apply!

  28. Many thanks for this blog, it gives me a lot of comfort. Most of my questions to myself were answered. May Allah bless us all.

      • Hi undertheabaya….
        Wawww this blog is wonderfull
        I read your blog everyday . Just want to read story from westrn girl about saudi. Guys….
        May i sharing my story also :) hope you let me : thank u….
        My ex boyfriend(my husband now alhamdulilah)
        Is saudi 27 years old he is graduatted from one college in newyork 2 years ago …
        We meet in hospital. Iam nurse. from asian country indonesian .. We fall in love. Have relationship but iam refused. If he is asking me to do something more yakni sexual .before marriage And i want he respect about that.. So our story begin we are. Different city but if we miss one each other. He will come to my city. Dont think we will go for date in the club and than sleeping together… We are in saudi arabia. All thing mamnu. Haram. Prohibit :)
        Maybe outside kingdom he will be perfect match. Romantic. Care. But in kingdom belived me he will be different according to law and rulles. Really iam happy even only for a while iwill see his face. His smile .. and problem between us happen when i saw picture him and beautiful lady from arizona amerika in his facebook her name is cindy, they look so happy. together but i not ask or tell anything but deep inside really ofcourse iam jelouse.
        One day i saw one new mail in account facebook ofcourse from cindy i read and cry . but i not do anything .. Everyday cindy tagg. Picture and wrote in wall how much she miss him. And bla bla….
        And finally he closed his account facebook …
        One month after that he tell me he will continue his study he will comeback there. Amerika…..
        Ya ALLAH suddently i have difficult to breath. He will go .. I will missing him.. i cried not told anything to him only whising and pray all the best for him….
        1 month 2 month lost contac with him:( :( miss him so baddly :( but i still wait still belived with him…. Near ramadhan i still waiting him 7 month without calling .. Totally losing him :( :(
        I heard from his friend ibrahim . His parent arranged marriage for him. heartattack
        Hopeless …. I cant do anything.. YA ALLAH what should i do.. :( :( until my vacationday i didnt hear anything from him …. i went to my country indonesia with all the tears.. i cannot stop crying my heart was broken. good bye my love… :( :(
        I travelling to other country malaysian, singapore,brunei, hope will forget him….. but i cant …. My love is so deep :(
        I take exam to get job opportunity in japan and. Alhamdulilah i get it :)
        Saudi arabia airline bring me back to saudi arabia.. Only for get my certificate and finish my contrac with saudi afterthat i will go :(
        I try to confine my self . I try to be oke without him.. My day only for work. Sleeping. Eating and chating nothing else :(
        Iam serious with my plan to move on :(
        I apply paper exit ….. I will go
        3 days before dul haj amazing moment happen in my life .. when i have evening duty my dream come true i meet him come with 2 saudi lady one older one youngers suddenly iam feeling so sad … May be she is his wife :( i try to control my self … Pertending nothing but really i hate my eyes only that part cannot hidden trully feeling…. i miss him so much :( :( that is so hurt ….. i never forget until now the way he tell something to me
        Sister would you like to marriage with me sharing our life together …… and the youngers saudi came to my side and give me the ring.. my god …. And he told me that is his beloved mother and sister …. I run to. Mother side and crying she hug me and that is beautiful moment in my life ….
        That is happen last year 1433 hijriyah :)
        I just want to share my experient really dont be afraid to in love or fall in love because we never know our destiny.. We are marriage after get permit from goverment i dont know why for him easier to get permitted … now iam member familly of al jahadali …. really my husband is the best thing in my life. :)

      • Thank you for sharing your story, Ahlam. So, after a separation, your Saudi came back to you and asked you to marry him? I’m not sure I understood you correctly.

      • That was a unexpected move…Good to hear that all went well ,Hope you have a successful life inshallah ..I still wonder when will Saudi women ask me lol …..

  29. That beautiful evening happen when i was stay in nurses station alone only thingking about him. And miss him so badly … He come like dream and without tell anything not even how are you or hello long time not see you … Or anything million word that he should told me when he is absent from my life…. He should explaint to me he should responsible with my feel and my tears… But you now we just silence pertending nothing happen between us. until he told me “sister would you like to marriage me and sharing our life together ”
    Yes that is first time first moment we meet after long time separated :) :)

  30. As far as worse case scenario….i had lived in Saudi. Of the more than 30 western women that I knew married to saudis when we lived there, only one has remained married (over a 15 year period). Most left or were divorced after many years of marriage; most of them had converted to Islam also so difference in religion did not appear to be a factor. Most remained as long as they did out of fear of losing their children. One friend decided not to have children since she did not want to live in that fear brought about by the change children have in these relationships.

    • The divorce rate here is high across the board for sure and when things go south there is really no easy solution. Leaving is impossible, staying is impossible. And that’s something we should consider before moving here, but I don’t think that the possibility of things going bad should be the only deciding factor when choosing whether or not to come here.

  31. I enjoyed reading your forum. I even responded to one of the messages. The lady I responded to is from Alaska and so am I so that’s why I responded. Anyway, sounds like a lot of hassle for a foreigner to live in Saudi Arabia. Not a place I would be interested in. But then I’m not into deserts or religion.

    As for me, I guess Plato is my inspiration. He knew that all our modern religions and institutions are based on that fact that several thousand years ago we chose to take our fate in our own hands. And we did that by rejecting nature in favor of agriculture. Its worked for awhile but it turns out natures laws really are immutable. Now that the environment, Nature herself is laying prostrate at our feet, I guess we are going to have to pay the piper so to speak for our insolence over these past 10 thousand years. Sad in so many ways. Especially considering that,we lived long and well on this rock for almost 300,000 years in harmony with the world around us. Truth is neolithic man lived on average well into his mid to late 60’s. A feat so called modern man has only been able to achieve consistently and then only in a few select regions of the world for the past 50 years.

    Back in the day, we didn’t need books and prophets to tell how to be human. Does any other animal on this rock need to read books to know how to be what it is? Does a moose or an eagle need a book to tell it how to be what it is.? Now we’re so confused isolated and alienated from the world that we are willing to follow all kinds of so called wise men, enlightened men, sages, mystics and even scientists in a desperate attempt to find out that which our ancestors knew without even thinking about it, simply by the living life..

    I’m telling you, the worst day in human history was the day when moron one and moron two went out for an after dinner smoke and a stroll and moron one said to moron two, “Hey I got an idea, lets plant the things we like to eat in rows and grow it where we want it to grow” You know that one act of monumental hubris was the beginning of the end.

    There really has only been one revolution in this world. We call it the agrarian revolution and as far as I can tell, we may still have time to commit a lot more destruction before its all said and done. In fact we are just starting to really develop the ocean. I can see the day when pretty much every acre of ocean is fenced and the animals in it are fed corn meal and we continue to fight wars over ownership of that which was never ours in the first place. We are not, it turns out, smarter then mother nature.. We are so screwed. But we brought it all on ourselves Plato knew this. Well thats my two cents worth. CYL

  32. well, i’d like to say that this blog is really nice… thank you to whoever made this and to everyone who shared their thoughts and experiences! i’m a graduate student (medical field) from a university where i met my BF which is from KSA. so, obviously he’s a foreign student of my local university (somewhere in asia…😊). First time i saw him in school, i didn’t mind him although he told me that he fell inlove with me the first time he saw me but i ignored him cause mostly (though i’m not pertaining to all), arab guys are stupid, crazy, and flirt! (maybe because they came from a strict country then went to a free country…) why did i said this? cause
    i saw them with cheap girls! bar hopping around! and then in class??? hahah… 0 knowledge! but he proved to me that he’s
    different from his friends so i gave him a chance… he’s a very sweet guy! im not planning to introduce him to my parents but he made his move and that impresses me! but later on, things changed a bit… i even caught him chatting with others and that’s how we started arguing cause i told him on the first place that if he’s going to play around, i wouldn’t give him a chance… so we end up
    arguing often cause i lost my trust on him… we even broke up for so many times… but he would always asked me to go back to him… and i did cause maybe i really love him! but i told him that if he wouldn’t change, i would never think twice to separate with him forever, for good… he showed me, little by little he’s changing… and so our relationship’s just getting stronger now BUT… here goes
    the fact that he has to go back to his country since he finished his studies here… i asked him “so, what will happened with us? should we end this now?”, he replied to me “i’ll comeback for u…” hmmmm… i don’t know
    what to say about that… his family doesn’t know me, only his 2 brothers and 2cousins and friends who were from our university as well. He told me that it’s only me whom he wanted to be with and whom he wants to marry someday… I’m not a muslim neither an arab… He told me it’s allowed but i think he’s waiting for me to become a doctor first… (i’ll
    be taking the board exam this year so hopefully, i’ll pass so that i could proceed with my masterals…) so that there will be no problem introducing me to his family! hahah… but it’s ok… i understand… my parents would have wanted the same… (but still hard on my dad’s part to accept our relationship… cause i’m her only daughter! and u know what all fathers had in their mind!!! “there is no any good guy for their daughter! 😜) hmmmm… goodluck to us! sorry to bored you readers! wanna share! i really don’t have any idea about this kind of relationship cause it’s my first time to have a foreign BF and from a different religion… (but it doesn’t matter to me) and i don’t know what ti hope for…

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with dating a Saudi. Your situation sounds sadly typical of those of us who meet Saudis while they’re studying in our countries. I can’t tell you what to do…whether to stay with him or not..but I can tell you that you should not be making any excuses for him, and you should not allow the excuses he makes to effect your life or how you feel about yourself.
      A man who really wants to be with you will find a way to do so. Otherwise he’s just a man getting what he can get while he can get it.

      • thank you for the advice… im really confused about him… everytime he goes home to his country, there is no communication between us… not even a how are you… but when he is here and im with him, anytime he could pick any call from his country and get online through the internet… and sometimes he used to do
        that when he’s here… ignoring me like i never existed. then when i started to
        ignore him as well, he’d act like i was there now… 😔

      • My question for you would be…why do you stay? Surely you must know that there are men out there who would make you a priority. Once again, this is typical of a man who wants to have his cake and eat it too. You must decide for yourself if this treatment is acceptable or not.

    • Not that I know of. I’m not sure how accessible public records are here, or if they’re really public at all to begin with…so one might be able to find a marriage status by going to the courts. We’re just now able to file certain paperwork online…I think the type of thing you’re looking for is a long way off here in KSA.

  33. I’m a Saudi girl and that’s so true :( i really hate the traditions that forced you to marry only saudi!! i can understand if he’s non muslim, but nationality!!!
    some families make a big deal if you marry arab _non saudi_ so how if they are non arab!! :(
    i asked my dad “if non saudi propose to me, what are you going to do?”
    and he said: If Allah wants this happen then it will happen. im not sure how he really feel about that tho lol
    anyways i hope these stupid traditions end soon!!

    *im not sure if its related to your subject but i’m just saying lol*

    • Hi Hanan! It’s great to get a Saudi woman’s perspective on this issue. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do hope when the time comes for you to marry that it can be a man of your choice who will treat you as well as you deserve.

  34. Salam Everyone, Im from Saudi Arabia but I’m looking one girl but She is from different conutry because the life will be amazing…

  35. Hi, I am an American that accepted to be a second wife. I met my BF one year ago throughout his wife. His wife and his family became very good friends and they treated me as family. As time passed by, his wife told me that her husband wanted me as his second wife and that she was ok with it. I accepted and currently he is asking for authorization to marry a foreign. I spent nine months living with his family, I can’t find anything that makes me think that he will be abuser as he have two girls and I never saw him raise his hand to any of the girls. I am pretty convinced and by experience that I will have a happy life. What I would like to know is as being a second wife, is it better for me to marry in his country (GCC) or US? What difference does it makes?

    • Hi Maryam,
      Second wife or not, your husband will have to marry you outside of Saudi before he brings you here, traditionally in your home country. If you’re asking about a man who is from another GCC country, I can’t answer those questions for you since I’m not familiar with their laws. I’m not sure you can register your marriage legally in the United States since polygamy is illegal.
      Have you ever been married before? Ever been in a cross cultural relationship before? I ask because these things are difficult to navigate in even in your home country, let alone a foreign one, and as a second wife I can imagine things would be that much more trying.
      I’d advise you to seek out the thoughts of other women in situations similar to yours, second wives, first wives, the children who are products of these marriages, etc. Maybe that would give you some perspective and some idea on the laws surrounding your particular situation.

      • This is my first experience with a cross cultural relationship. I have never been married, I am happy but at the same time I feel insecure and scared of the unknown. I never been married and I am 32 years old.

      • Hello undertheabaya! I have a saudi boyfriend and I’m from america… I would like to know if I have to marry him outside KSA before or this could be a trouble.. we must marry only in KSA after the approval???He is student in US doing PhD( he has scholarship from the university where he is/was instructor in KSA) and I m from south america, we met during the beginning of this year, where I was studying in US as well. Now, I m back to south america and we keep this relationship by skype. We plan to meet in January. He never wants to talk about future, I always start talking about it and he stops it. He says he doesn’t say, he does. When he went to KSA in July, he told me he told about me to his family( after I insist a lot!!).. I talked with his brother by skype.. also he told his mother doesn’t accepted in the beginning, but after he insists and talk good things about me she ended up accepting me. But also, his mother told him: are you sure she wont leave you alone after moving to KSA?….Besides of that, he never told me about what his father told him about our relationship. He always wants to have the control of our conversation,..he never let me complain about something about our relationship or about the way he act. Is this normal for guys from saudi arabia?

        Thank you very much for sharing your experience!!

      • If and when your Saudi gets the permission to marry you, you will have to marry him outside of KSA and then have the marriage registered internally.

        Having cleared that up for you, may I ask…aren’t you concerned with his tendencies to be controlling as you described above and his unwillingness to discuss your future together? Whether or not this is “normal” for Saudi men, it isn’t healthy and you shouldn’t let it be “normal” for you…with any man. I don’t have a good feeling about this man based on what you’ve shared here. Please make wise choices because there are some choices you cannot undo.

      • Hi Undertheabaya,

        yeah…you were right… he just broke up with me because i faught last week, when he started saying that he doesnt loke when I ask who is calling or where he is going, he started saying I want to control him. What is not true…since I only want to know whats going on on his life! Indeed he said he can’t keep this distance relationship because we will be old when he finish his PhD.( Can I ask you what does he mean with that? he wants to party while in USA? Because anyways he will be old when he come back to KSA and marry someone) Furthermore, he started saying he can’t call me everyday because he is busy with school, he says it s fine if we talk only once in a while. I asked him to go and like my pic on facebook and he told he won’t do this because he doesn’t want to feel I can control him, he wont do what I want.
        This is all so stupid, I don’t understand, I have never seen this side of him before. And, now he broke up with me because all this stupid stuffs. Since when we like we go trough all those simple stuff. I can’t believe he broke up with me, after this time together. I always thought he won’t do it. I’m so sad. And I don’t understand why he doesn’t change for me. Because I couldve changed for him. I love him and couldve done everything for this relationship work it out.
        I’m so sad because of him!

      • Ana,

        You used the correct word: stupid. I’d also add cowardly, childish, and a jerk. It sounds to me like he’s giving you excuses to break things off with you easily.

        I know you’re hurting and feel confused and disappointed, but I hope with time you come to see that you are MUCH better off without this guy in your life. Come on, one comment from you and I had a bad feeling. You deserve better than this.

  36. I’ve come across many blogs with this same theme, and I’m thankful for them. Even though “my Saudi man” is sweet and charming and caring, it’s good to know what might happen later on. I’m completely understanding of what I know about the culture and if he were to leave then I’ll at least be [sort of] emotionally prepared :/

    Your blog gives me a bit more hope than some others, but I still have some questions.

    I’m currently a senior in university in the USA and that’s how I met “him”. At first, I wasn’t really too into the idea of a relationship (as I’m extremely ambitious in my goals for the future and I don’t want anything to hold me back). Enter Abdulrahman. We hang out a few times and he’s already introducing me to his friends as his gf. In the beginning, I told him not to do that but now I’ve accepted the title. Almost two months ago he returned home to visit with his family and to bring his brother back for university. We text and Skype everyday. He tells me that he’s told his family about me and he’s sent me surprise gifts in the mail. I met two of his sisters on Skype and one said she’d make me clothes and the other has asked me for skin and beauty advice (I’m guessing this is a good sign). I’ve met his youngest brother and a niece (all via Skype).

    After reading these blogs though, even though I act aloof sometimes, I became very upset and emotional. I confronted him about it and didnt Skype him for a couple of days. Only resuming after getting 26 consecutive text messages. Most saying he’ll prove he’s different and one saying that he’s Egyptian (I guess not claiming his Saudi side. Idk)

    After talking with a friend of mine who has a Saudi boyfriend and lives with him, I started to feel better. I have hope because his family is a mixed family. his mother is Egyptian and his older brother is married to an Asian woman (western Asia, one of the -stans) The only thing bothering me now is meeting his mother. After reading all of these blogs, I see that that is a super important step. So when should I meet her? He says he’s told her about me, I’ve been on Skype with him while he’s been in the kitchen with her. But I’ve never actually seen or spoken to her. When I asked about this he told me “she doesn’t speak English so why do you want to meet her”. I’ve even looked up ways to introduce myself in Arabic if that’s what it takes.

    He’s asked me about moving to KSA, but I told him I want to work and get my phd and eventually open up a school. I said if it came down to it, we should move to Malaysia and he said that was a great idea. Lol.

    I guess, I’m just scared. Of being left behind without a word like I’ve read in so many stories from other women. I know what it’s like to have sweet words being fed to you but in the end they turn out to be empty promises. And since I suppose I’ve fallen for this guy, there’s no turning back now.

    Last night, he asked me what love meant to him and I told him that love is a promise.

    • Hi Nana. Gosh it’s so hard to read a situation and try to give advice. Love itself is a risk and there’s always the potential of being hurt, no matter who it is with. It’s that much more risky when you love someone who is from a different culture, country, and religion. Especially when others who have been involved with men from this place have left a very bad impression for the rest of us. Your Saudi sounds like a good one. It’s encouraging that you’ve met family members, especially sisters. It’s good that he’s not “Saudi Saudi” as we like to say here :) This means his family is probably much more relaxed than others. It’s good that he’s aware of and supportive of your goals academically and professionally. I’d advise you to meet his mother as soon as you can :) Even if it’s just a smile and a wave through skype while he or one of his sisters translates for you, it’s something. It’s a major thing.

      In the end, the only way you’ll know if you can truly trust this guy is by going ahead and trusting him. Just make sure you keep your brain in working order and never give up on your own goals. Sometimes we as women are idiots when we’re in love. You don’t sound like one, so just take care to stay smart :)

      PS- don’t get pregnant!

      • UTA,

        Oh, of course not. Lol. I don’t think I’ll have any children for a while.

        I’m pretty understanding of different cultures because I’m biracial/bicultural (African American and Thai). The only thing is that I grew up predominantly Buddhist, and I’m not sure about converting. My uncle converted to Islam when he married my aunt in Malaysia. But I think it’s more for the culture than it is about the faith. I wouldn’t mind doing something like that or raising out kids as Muslim (woah I’m getting ahead of myself lol).

        Thanks for the advice though. Ive posted a couple of times on different outdated blogs hoping for a reply and youre the first to get back to me.

        Now I just have to harass him about letting me meet his mom.

  37. Hello, I am glad to see the posts are still occuring. My boyfreind is from Saudi Arabia, we have been dating for 3 years(Including a 6 month breakup, where he did not be with anyone else). He had proposed to me.. but I did not take it seriously. I want to marry him. But I worry about what is written here. How Would I bring this up. His father came to visit him, knew that I was dating him. His mother came another time, but she did not know we were dating. I think she may have an idea. My boyfriend once told me that he told her about me, and she told him that if he wants to have a university gf thats okay, but anything else “forget it” (I hope that she has changed her mind as alot of things have happened in their family and time as elasped). He is almost graduated, and will be going home soon. He said we can figure things out as they go. What do you all think? Do you think he would tell his mom? Continue this life with me?

    • In short, I think that if his family does not approve of your relationship, he will not marry you. If he had intended on doing so, he would have done so already. He may really love you, but he is very unlikely to go against his mother’s wishes.
      How you bring it up is to say that you need an answer…either he tells his family and sticks to his guns, or he lets you go and you move on.

  38. Hi Undertheabaya and everybody here,
    I have scoured through several blogs but most of them focused on American and Saudi relationships. But I did go through all of the comments here and saw the case presented by Tammy which made me think that perhaps this is a forum for me. I am Asian too and here goes my story… I’m 30 years old and Filipino and I have met a Saudi guy two years younger than me in early 2010 in the city where I’m living at right now in the Philippines. My best friend met a Saudi guy online and when he came to visit her, a friend came with him. My friend asked me to drive them around town during the duration of their stay. And since my friend would be pre-occupied with her boyfriend, I would spend a lot of time talking to her bf’s friend. We immediately hit it off. During their three week stay here, he and I had gotten deeply attached to each other. When they went back to SA, we kept in touch through phone, Skype and FB. I have done some online research at this time about Saudi men and how it is the law for them to only marry Saudi girls. Yet, I could not stop myself from sinking deeper into the relationship. And he as well. We have had talks that it cannot be possible for us in the long run. Yet, a couple of months after we met, he flew here on his day-off to see me. The attraction was just so great we could not exactly explain it. He is a devout Muslim and he often confides what we are doing (being in a relationship and being intimate) is wrong but he cannot not listen to his heart. By mid-2010, we decided to part because there was no future for us. He told me being Filipino and being non-Muslim is a huge barrier. And that mostly, only Western women, Malaysians and Indonesians are considered fit as foreign wives. Added to that the factor of our age. He was only 25 at that time (while I was 27) and he says it was unacceptable for a man his age to marry someone older, not to mention the restriction I have recently read from a blog that a Saudi man needs to at least be 35 years of age for him to take a foreign wife. After we broke up, I decided to travel around Asia and I went for eight months. During this time, my Saudi guy and I still kept in touch sporadically. Previously, I had mentioned to him that I planned going back home to the Phils in six months time. I did not know that he also timed a one month vacation leave to coincide with my supposed arrival. But I extended my travels by two months and we missed each other by 2 days. But by this time (early 2011) I was already going out with somebody I met traveling and told him it was for the better. In late 2011, my bf that time and I broke up and a few days later I got a message from my Saudi guy that he would be coming to the Philippines. I did not tell him that I was already single. The truth was I was still not over him I knew I would just be asking for trouble if he and I would get back together because nothing has changed in his country; it would still be a futile relationship. But when we met again, the attraction was just beyond any rational thinking. Although this time I had wisened-up and did pretended that I was cool with his leaving though that was not the actual case. We still kept in touch with monthly chats or emails when he suddenly announced last month that he would be coming back to the country again. I was still not over him. But knew I should control whatever feelings I have for him to save myself. However, that was not the case. The attraction was still there and it was as intense as ever. When I say attraction I mean it in all aspects. We are so attuned to each other that even if I have dated other men before, nothing compares to what we have. We spent about a week together and during this time he made a revelation. It would be his last visit to the country because he had to seriously get over me for good. He told me that because he met me, he kept on postponing his marriage plans because it would be unfair to the future wife if I am still in his mind. He tried hard to get over me and went into depression. He told me that he cannot bear to take me away from a life that affords me the freedom that Saudi cannot give women. And that for me to live in Saudi, I would be treated as an outcast. We also both know that living outside Saudi is out of the question. He works for the government and he has duties to his family. He has accepted the fact that he may never meet someone who he can connect to as he can with me and now feels he is duty-bound to marry. It made me cry and cry to know that someone I love had to suffer this way because of a culture that dictated on the hearts of their people. And we are just helpless. You cannot tell anyone who to love. And that is something that needs to go away in Saudi. I am a liberal, a feminist and and pro-gay. I just cannot believe how messed-up SA is. Love has always been the greatest motivator for me and I feel so frustrated and upset that a man I love is subjected to an oppressive situation and that eventually he would have to settle down with someone he might never love. Though I wished him all the best, I am depressed over the thought that he might not have a happy ending. I am also quite angry at the fact that I couldn’t have my happy ending.

    • Thank you for sharing, GypsyGirl.

      That’s the thing about love. Sometimes it’s just simply not meant to last, and that’s perfectly ok. It doesn’t mean that you cannot go on to find new love and still have a “happy ending”. It doesn’t even mean that if your love with the Saudi had worked out that it would have turned out to be anything even closely resembling what you thought it would be. Take the experience of your relationship with this man, learn from it, and let it go with love. Don’t dwell on the loss, but instead on the life experience you gained by being involved with him, and use it to help someone else if you can.

  39. Interesting blog.

    In general marriage in the arab world can be a complex affair, i would personally not advise any western woman in her right mind to marry an arab man . As much as he might sound ‘western’ you have alot of cultural baggage to deal with. If you personally choose to marry a saudi man keep in mind that Islam allows him to have more than one wife there is no question about it. Be prepared for all sorts of surprises.Religion is a big deal there, you must learn your prayers well and learn arabic or else you might not fit in with the relatives. Learn how to cook well and be prepared for domestic violence(am not saying it will happen to you) but remember if things get really nasty for you , the culture expects you to take in the beatenings quietly and hash it up like a good woman would.

    Wish you all the best in your marriages to Saudi men

  40. Gypy girl

    Sorry for your experience, I read your story and many things came to mind. I hope to warn asian women like yourself from being used. Alot of arab men travel to asia for sex, especially thailand and philippines, Please understand am not trying to hurt you or any other asian woman out there, am just stating the reality.

    If this saudi man intended to marry you he would have done so, the fact that he spent time with you sexually is already not a good sign. A good arab man, would never dishonour his future bride, he would have first legally married you before sleeping with you.Its against islam to have sex before marriage and if an arab man has sex before marrying you – that really means he will never ever marry you, maybe he might keep you as his mistress.
    there are many saudi men who have married foreign women mostly outside saudia – like in Qatar and UAE.

    He lied to you when he told you about ‘taking away your freedom’ . For example in UAE there are cases of saudi men married to western women but never take them back to Saudia for many reasons.

    All i can say is that be careful

    • Men do indeed take advantage of asian women in this part of the world, but I wouldn’t say that her man necessarily did that. There are men who genuinely fall in love but then just don’t want to take the risk of telling their family.

      Also, Muslim men from all over the globe have sex before marriage, and yes, even with women they love and have not yet married. It may be forbidden by Islam, but it is not uncommon. I know very few western women (maybe 2) who didn’t have sex with her Saudi husband before marriage. They were not dishonored or made mistresses. Again, sex before marriage, while taboo, is not at all uncommon.

      I agree with you that any woman entering into a serious relationship with Saudi should be careful, but Saudi men are not categorically terrible/deceptive/abusive/whatever.

      • Pardon me, but it looks like you are sounding a bit defensive here…I am sure Amina had the best intentions while she put down what was in her mind.

      • I’m sure she did mean well. I’m not intending to be defensive, just offer a different view. Yes, some Saudi men take advantage of women, Asian and other wise. Some don’t.

  41. Hello Undertheabaya
    im in almost similar situation as most of the people writing on this blog.
    Im 21 and im in love with a Saudi Guy who is 26/27. he is from riyadh. He goes to the same university as me. and we really love each other. I really cant imagine my life without him and every part of my body and soul is telling me hes the one and i will be happy with him for the rest of my life, even if he gets fat and old and whatever. But there are two problems the major one being im shea and he is sunni and the second one being his mother does not want an american daughter in law. she wants a saudi daughter in law. He doesn’t want to fight his family for me because like you said saudi men really respect their mothers wishes more than anything. his father has passed away. I dont think any saudi woman can love him and be with him or make him happy like i do. and i don’t think any other man can make me as happy as he does. I really dont know what to do. every fiber of my heart is telling me not to give up without trying even once.
    what do you think..?

    • I think this Saudi man has already answered your question on what to do. He doesn’t want to fight his family, and he likely will not. And there’s probably not anything you can do to change that, and if you did change it, and he fought his family and things became tense between them, he would resent you for that.

      Here’s the thing about love…. LOVE =/= POSSESSION

      You do not need to be with him in order to love him.

      Here’s the thing about happiness…ANOTHER PERSON =/= HAPPINESS

      His happiness doesn’t depend on your or another woman, and neither does yours depend on him or another man. The sooner you adopt that philosophy and put it into practice, the sooner your life will improve and the easier it will be to let your relationship with this man come to a natural end.

  42. Salam UTA,

    I don’t know if you remember me but I posted some time ago about my boyfriend who was in Saudi over the summer vacation. And I’m happy to say that I finally met his mother and all of his sisters. I do remember you saying that it could be possible they are a part of a ruse just so he can mess around with me while he is in school. And that is actually crippling me with fear. -__-

    I don’t want to believe people can be that cruel, but I know it’s possible from my own experience. Really, I’m just on here to vent and hear what you think about it. lol.

    We live together with his younger brother, who is younger and just started school (which is a whole other story -_-;). It worries me that we live together, but I think he tries so hard to make me happy and to prove that he isn’t like “these other saudis”. He doesn’t talk to any other girls at all and we’ve decided that I’ll take down my pictures from the social networks I have (per my request actually).

    I trust him as far as faithfulness goes, but I’m so scared that in the end he will return home and marry a wholesome, virgin, Muslim Saudi girl :/ Not necessarily because I think I can’t live without him but because the prospects of being broken and having to pick myself up again is the worst feeling. I don’t know why out of his whole family, he has decided he wants to marry for love. I can’t really complain. He seems so transparent and perfect to me. We communicate very well, and anything I ask he explains it to me.

    So, what do you think? lol

    • I do remember. It’s a good sign that you met his mother and sisters, but strange that you would be living with his brother…and that you’re not married. Maybe his family is more open than others?

      I understand that it’s hard to have complete trust and security in this sort of relationship, and honestly, I don’t think there’s anything I can really tell you to calm your fears. There’s a chance he’s a good guy and has good intentions, and there’s a chance that despite him being a good guy that things won’t work out…and then there’s the chance that he will only think of himself at the end of the day and leave you when the time comes. There’s no way to know the outcome, so if you want to stay, you just have to trust him, and trust comes with risk :) The catch of any relationship, I’m afraid. JUST DON’T GET PREGNANT. SERIOUSLY.

  43. hi i am looking a Saudi woman for marry because i like so much Saudi culture.but its so hard for me that how i get find a Saudi girl for marry because Saudi government so strict.anybody can help me.for start my happy life with a Saudi girl and make happy family with her

  44. I think the warning that was almost sent to the trashcan is very worthwhile. I am married to a saudi man, for 7 years, here in the states..and I would advise all women to think 77 times over before going through withthe intercultural marriage and then more so a move to ksa. It does not have to be a ‘not without my daughter” situation, but there are plenty of women in saudi who, similar to usa,encounter divorce except when it happens, their children must remain in saudi. What a frightful situation! marriage is never a sure thing and in the off chance that you divorce and you have kids, there is a LOT at stake! so while I applaud you for not physically trashing the comment, you really miss thr mark by not supporting that dire warning. Just bc you are muslim and you are not divorced doesnt mean its not an immense risk to others.

    • It’s not that I don’t support the warning, I don’t support the way in which it was delivered. We can intelligently exchange information here without going off the deep end.
      Yes, there are risks to coming here…I’m living with those risks every single day…but that doesn’t mean that having an enjoyable, stable life here isn’t a possibility.

  45. i’m a saudi women i feel you all ..i reached a stage i will never believe in marrying a saudi guy .. unfortunately saudi guys are heartless .. i’ve seen it i read about it i’m living it .. the goal of married in their eyes is sex ,and having kids are a result of doing it .. they don’t care about their children . you want proof go to , i only said that so u dont make fall in this horrible situations

  46. Amazing blog u got here, got me entertained, warned, learned myself Your blog is amazing! Keep on posting! Eid Mubarak! :) -Filipina working in riyadh

  47. hi, i was reading this blog and loved all the post & comments. thought i would share my story….HERE IT IS….. i am an american girl that lives in mexico i met my saudi guy on twitter, we are both fans of the same artist jojo. i found him on twitter we began talking then he later one day asked me to be his girlfriend, i was scared at first cause it’s online!!! but he is so sweet, he cares about me alot saying “i love you so much babe” “ur amazing” and stuff. I really love him!!! we have been dating for over 1yr and have not met yet, just thru skype. he plans to meet me in the u.s.a, but its alittle hard his mom doesn’t believe in dating someone you have not met, but they are okay with it but wont help him meet me they say he has to do it on his own. i told him im willing to do anything to be together even move to saudi arabia one day allthough it will be hard cause i hear its diffrent, but having a hispanic background im more open to it, we have the same family values. i am not muslim tho. he met my ants, uncles & sister thru skype! i talked to his friends via twitter and pheed they are nice. his family knows about me but dont want him telling everyone in the fam about me yet cause we have not met. when i read blogs about americans marrying saudi’s it scares me cause they say all these bad things that happen to the woman over there. although i dont believe that my bf is like the storys im hearing. he is diffrent sweet and caring and he studies at quassim university he has all the things i want in a man. but hearing the story’s worry’s me, but i love him so much, i know it will be hard but i think he is worth it!!!! WELL that’s my story for now… lol

  48. Adriana – you sound young and naïve. My best advice to you is meet him, spend time with his family in KSA – and then make any decisions. trust me, Spanish families are not similar to Saudi families. You are only talking about someone you really don’t know yet. And it sounds like you don’t know much about their culture. Learn and spend time – don’t jump into a darn thing. If you wait and watch, you’ll know for sure whether this guy is for you.

  49. Hello Under the Abaya,

    I have written before here… that my saudi broyfriend broke up with…

    Well, we still talking, but he says he doesnt want to have relationship because this complicates everything
    Yesterday he told me he never loved!! I was so choking and sad with that!!!But he says that love is not important, that if he treats me well, like me, and we have great time together thats what is important! He said he even doesnt love his mother and his dad! actually he Always says he hates his dad, because he never talk to him!
    But this confuses me!! He says that he wants to meet me on xmass, but he doesnt want to have relationship! He asked me to go to live with him in US for 1 year to try a normal life and see if it is work out well before take decision to get married!
    This is so confusing me!!! I dont know what to think about this!! I know it is complicated we get married now, because he is under scholarship! but he at least should consider have serious relationship with me! He doenst want to be my boyfriend, but he told about me to his Family in July when he was back home! He definetely confuses me!! I dont know what is his intentions really! because for me love is most importante thing!

    • I’m not sure what’s confusing to you here, Ana. The guy says he doesn’t love you, doesn’t love his parents so he’s possibly incapable of love, which sounds a bit like a mental illness. He broke up with you, clearly states he doesn’t want a relationship, but still wants you to come and live with him…and you’re still hoping for marriage?
      There are so many red flags here I’ve lost count. This guy doesn’t sound like one I’d want to be with, or want my friends, family, or anyone I remotely care about to be with. But I can’t make that decision for you.

      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from STC

      • You are right! I just need to forget him! I have been trying to forget him for 1 month but is completely hard for me… i love him so much! But thanks God I have my Family, friends, and your sincerely comments to help me puting my mind in the right place!

  50. Asalaam Aleikum UTA,

    As I read many of the stories here, i found myself being one of the women. Muslimah and in love with Saudi student. My question is if we marry under Islamic law and also in the city hall, how can that affect his scholarship and what are the appropriate steps to follow.. I really apreciate your answer and any input you might have on this.


    • If you marry in any way before Saudi approval, he risks losing his scholarship (and having to pay it back) and he will also be faced with a fine of 100,000 riyals. Please don’t do it. If you want to marry, go through the proper channels, get the permission, and go from there.

  51. I dated a Saudi in the USA. I got pregnant and we were planning to get married before he left, visa was expiring. We did not marry because I was in the process of becoming a USA citizen and did not want to slow down the process. He went back to Riyadh when i was six months pregnant promising to return. I had my baby boy and about 6 months later he came to visit and wanted a DNA test performed for his family to proof it was his child. Test of course was 99.999997. He then told me that when he went back he married. I was heart broken and destroyed. It has been about 5 years and he sends on a monthly basis about 250.00 dollars. The door has always been open for him to communicate with his son but he never does, i cant force him to either. I was wondering if my son has any rights in Riyadh ? His father did sign his birth certificate and I have the DNA test proving that he is the father. Can my son be recognized as his son in Saudi? Can my son have dual citizenship? My son is his first born son, but now he has two more kids, a son and a daughter.
    I think that what happened is not my sons fault and if he has any rights or benefits that can help him in the future he deserves to have them.
    Thank you for your time,
    Ivette S

    • Hi Ivette, I’m sorry for what you’ve had to deal with, but I’m really happy you’ve decided to share your story with me.
      Have you tried contacting the Saudi embassy in DC? I asked the mr, he said there is an office at the embassy dedicated to dealing with these issues. You have the birth certificate, you have DNA proof, there’s no denying that this is his son. I would pursue it with everything I have if I were you.
      As for dual citizenship, Saudi Arabia doesn’t recognize it, and I’m not sure what the details are on him gaining citizenship, but your son does have rights, so please look into it with the Saudi embassy.

    • That’s heartbreaking – and more common than you think. You are not alone but here’s my opinion on the matter: While Islam requires a father to be a provider for his child, Saudi rules are dodgy. I wouldn’t even bother trying to hunt down your son’s father for communication because he’s obviously made a very evident choice. The only thing you can do is keep a doorway of communication open, that way he always has the choice. Now, my experienced opinion is going to tell you to stop. Do not proceed with approaching embassies, citizenships, etc. Stay as this situation has intended for you and realize the gift. If you push, you will get way more than you bargained for. I understand you want your son to know his dad – I was a single mom too for so long, I understand. BUT, there is a moment when a child’s bio dad is not the right person to be in his life. Leave the door open, but proceed with caution. Riyadh is very religious and strict. Take a big stand back and protect your son, work hard, and move forward. If you don’t know God, know God. Pray in Jesus name for direction and help – He will fix it all.

  52. I’m on my break at work and wanted to update on my situation.

    My boyfriend and I are still together. We’ll be going to DC next month (inshallah) to see if we can marry while he’s on scholarship. He has sat me down and talked to be about all the complications: his scholarship, approval from his family and religion.

    I’m happy that he’s being open with me about these things. But I’m concerned because of the whole religion thing. As his wife, I’d convert to Islam. My views about religion are much more agnostic and I believe in a higher power whether it is called God or Allah. But he was worried about that so I’m worried about it.

    I believe that I’m more open to inter cultural marriage because I, myself, am a product of one. My advice for anyone dating Saudis or anyone outside of their cultural realm is to keep your eyes open. Ask a lot of questions. And consider all the possibilities!

    Hamdullah my boyfriend and I communicate very well, for the most part lol. And he doesn’t talk to any other woman or go out to party anymore. I believe he’s a good guy. ❤️

  53. Being a hepa b positive denies the application for marriage? my saudi man knows about it and he took necessary vaccines and he still wants to marry me.

    • According to information located on the US State Department website on Saudi Arabia, those entering the country must be free of contagious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. You may want to have your Saudi man check on that information locally, but I believe it to be true as of now.

  54. I AM BEAUTY FULL BOY FROM PAKISTAN .i am studying in university as zoology student .i invite nice saudi arabian girl for dating also contact me (number deleted)

  55. Does any pretty girl wants to marry me I’m Saudi but not Muslim and no one knows that I’m catholic
    (email deleted)
    Contact me
    And please keep my comment

  56. Hello I just read this entire post and comments and really learned a lot from it!
    I came here because recently my Saudi boyfriend has started talking to me about marriage. We
    met in the University like mostly everyone else has, he is 23 and I’m 21 (mexican/american). We barely have 2 months of relationship so the fact that he has brought up marriage so early has really confused me. I’ve met all his cousins/friends that currently study in the same college as us. I admit that before reading this blog I was unaware of the importance of their family to them and how they will most likely not approve of a relationship abroad. Now I understand some things that I didn’t before.
    The first time was when he was textin with his sister and I told him “tell her I say hi” and he said “oh no i can’t, if not she will tell dad and then dad will want me to marry” I didn’t understand this response and said “ah ok” but then he just told me “maybe i will marry you”.. and since that time he has asked me “do u wanna go with me to saudi, but it will be forever and you will have to cover up”. I really don’t know what to respond to this since I think its way to early for him to bring this up in our relationship! The last time he mentioned this again, I was asking him who chooses the husbands for his sisters. After he answered me I told him “well we pick our husbands here in America haha” and he said “pick me” and got my hand and said “marry me” and randomly asks me for my father’s number. I also told him I wont marry until I finish my degree and he said i will wait. As for the stories I’ve read that talk about how women lose their children in Saudi has really scared me! Since one time I was just finished eating and said “uhhh i feel pregnant” and he said “oh what are we going to name him? I will take my son to my country”!!! I never gave importance to his remarks/questions/responses before but now I realize that I have to especially cause I’m falling in love with him.
    This blog has been really helpful and as I read it I realized so many things I didn’t understand before!

    I would really like sincere opinions/advice/suggestions on my situation. It has just started but I would like to know if there are certain things I should be aware of or that I should ask him! Thanks for your time if you read this and feel free to advice me :)

    • Hi there, Natasha! A bit of a disclaimer: most girls in your situation who ask me for my advice don’t take it so well and I never hear from them again. Read on at your own risk.

      I don’t know this man so I am not a good judge of character. I can’t say “he’s not a good guy, you’re wasting your time,” for example. But I can say this…your situation is likely to end in one of two ways. One, you will continue to date him and fall in love with him but will eventually have to part ways because of familial/cultural reasons. It will shatter your world, but you’ll be ok eventually. Two, he will make good on his intention to marry you and you will happily follow him to Saudi Arabia where, yes, your children will definitely be raised, and you will have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. It could be a great life, could be your worst nightmare.

      What you have to decide as an adult woman is how much of yourself are you willing to change or give up, because I promise you, you will have to change or give up something. I don’t know a western woman in a relationship with a Saudi man who hasn’t. Are you willing to eventually leave your home, your friends, your family, and everything you know someday? He said FOREVER, he’s not joking. How long are you willing to wait as he applies for the government permission that he doesn’t yet qualify for? How much do you know about Islam and are you willing to convert? Are you comfortable enough with the Saudi version of Islam to agree that your children be raised as Muslims? Are you ok with no longer celebrating your family’s traditions and holidays? Are you ok being with a man who’s totally comfortable with you as you are now, but will someday want you to “cover up” and change yourself?

      These are hard questions, I know. But you have to consider them all.

    • Natasha,
      I think you should maybe wait a little longer. Ask him questions. Get him to act as candidly as you can because it is possible that he will change completely once married. Ask about his family and where they are from. Ask about his sister and if they have traveled or go to school. Try to stay aloof, too, because emotions can cloud your better judgement.

      I am in the same situation as you. I’m currently testing my prospective fiancé. I’m moving to Thailand for a little while and hopefully our relationship will survive the test of time and space. haha. We are also waiting to hear if his Grandmother will allow our marriage, and if it’s a yes we will wait another 2 or 3 years until he finishes his degree.

      Also, the space between us will show us both what we really want. I have no doubts your boyfriend wants to marry you, because most good muslims feel it is completely necessary. However, pay close attention to is intentions and his character. <3

      • Thank you for responding and giving me advice and information :)
        I’m continuing my relationship with him since its not even possible for us to marry because of the requirements any time soon. I will see how things go :p

  57. Pingback: The Men We Should Not Marry

  58. Hello all,,very interesting blog i just got here because i read a story happening now that a saudi man “kidnapped ” his son from his american wife and go back to saudi arabia. I am a saudi lady, now i’m living in Canada for 5 years for studying, married to my wonderful saudi husband and have 3 children. I will tell that i want my children to be raised in saudi. The life here is much more beautiful but at the end i will go back and i bet all the saudi men want too. Think several times before deciding what to do. Of course your fingers are not equal and so are the saudi men and men all over the world. Keep in mind that saudi men who have sex before getting married are more likely to be playful. Drinking alcohol and having sex outside the marriage frame are sins in Islam. And yes they respect their mother and father which is a good thing and if he refuses to introduce you to them you should know that he wants you to be hidden. Cultures play a major role in their lives, I think that he will treat you in USA differently than when you are both in saudi. Living in USA is A LOT different than living in saudi especially for women. I feel sorry for saudi children who come to the life for a non-equivalent relationship and i don’want this to be repeated over and over. Pleaaaase think million times before deciding. Thank you under the abaya 😊

  59. Hello everyone. I’m so glad to see that this blog is still up and running. I would like to share my story and possibly get some feedback. I am an Iranian girl currently talking to a Saudi man who attends the same school as I do. We’ve been friends for more than a year but our friendship somehow developed into something more to the extent that marriage became our only option. He’s a very sincere, hard-working, and truly inspiring gentleman and I really do mean it when I say that he has proven not all Saudis/Muslim men are disgusting. If anything, he’s given me faith in Saudi guys… Anyways… things were going great and upon to returning to Saudi for break, he spoke to his mother and his siblings about me (two people he had expected to reject the idea). Surprisingly, they were encouraging of him marrying me. However, he now is doubting whether or not our marriage will last. He’s consistently been bringing up how he is torn and doesn’t know whether or not he should go through with the marriage and all the burdens there are to marrying someone who is not Saudi. He tells me that society there is different and that people will always look down on me and our future children because I’m not Saudi and they won’t be full Saudi… and his legitimate reason for not moving this forward is because he’s afraid that I won’t fit in there and that our children will have a hard time. I’m a sunni Iranian and I am completely aware of these challenges. I just feel like they aren’t legitimate reasons for us to not be together….. I’m so heartbroken and i’ve never been so low and down. I wanted to post here in hopes of getting feedback from you guys. Are these legitimate concerns? Legitimate enough to not want to marry me?

    • Hi there, Neda. Your Saudi’s concerns are totally legit and the fact that he’s being up front with you about them now is a sign he truly cares for you and wants what’s best for you. He’s not just thinking of your wellbeing, but also your future children’s. I can’t tell you whether or not to marry this guy and move to Saudi (because frankly, my first instinct is to always say NO), but do take his honest concerns seriously. It’s not an easy life, even in the best of marriages and circumstances.

      • Thank you for the honest reply. I know very well that he loves and cares for me, and that’s the reason why he’s bringing up these concerns. I’m not questioning his love. But if there have been so many successful interracial marriages like some have posted on this blog, why he thinks our marriage would be doomed before it even happens.

        You would think after all the marriages to non-Saudis that have happened in the latest years, Saudis would become more open to it or at least push to become more open with it. Guess not.

      • The thing is, even though the marriages between saudis and non-saudis are plentiful, these marriages are not mostly successful. The divorce rate is high and the unhappiness/regret rate is astronomical. I think he’s only being realistic with you. Inter-cultural marriages, especially in an environment that expects the woman to basically forget her culture and adopt a new one, are no walk in the park.

      • Salaam,

        I hope your in your best spirit as you read this. Your site is a blessing! I just read most of the posts and now, I want to share my story so that you would give me your thoughts, please.

        I’m in college, and I live in off campus apartments. They are interesting because you never know who you will room with if you didn’t arrange it yourself. In August 2013 my guy friend and I moved into a 3 bedroom apartment. In October a Saudi guy moved in and things began to move extremely fast for us. I felt very close to him, because he was warm and endearing. A physical relationship was shortly established afterwards and we will together. So talk about complicating things! Soon, he stopped hanging with his guy friends as tough and wanted to spend every second with me. I always enjoyed a balance because I know this is temporay.

        Well, things have changed. I lost my apartment in December, when I told him he particularly begged me to live with him. At first I said no but I couldn’t afford it because my parents are going through a divorce so I didn’t want to burden them with my situation and begin to worry about me.

        So, now I depend on him fully. I live with him, and he pays for everything but I feel like this is still my home because he hasn’t made me feel uneasy about anything that he does for me. MaShaAllah!!

        Here is where things turn. I had been learning about Islam before I met him. I was introduced with a class at my college. With everything going on with my parents and myself I began to seek peace or guidance. I had a Quran and 6 DVDs for the local Imam from when I interviewed him from school so I naturally started to educate myself on what was before me and he was there to encourage me. Doing chirstmas I went home an fasted for two weeks and 3 days seeking Gods guidance. It was tough but when I return, although I’m dependent on him I still choose to accept Islam. When I accepted I followed the rules. I stopped touching him, no physical relationship, etc etc.

        Soon afterwards he asked me what I thought of a temporal marriage because he was going to ask his father and see if it’s in the religion because he wants to do the right thing because we both are now Muslims and what we are doing is harram. I said no. Later he asked more serious questions. Do you see yourself with me in 20, 30 years? Where would we live? How would we vist families and the matters of kids. At just point I was open, he is good to me and I would marry him. The told me that he would tell his parents that we wants to marry me and he did.

        They didn’t tell him no but also didn’t tell him yes. This is our big situation for weeks now. I haven’t met the family, only his brother.

        But last night he spoke to his mom and said he wanted me to met her. I was supposed to but had a stomach ache and when I came out while they were still talking he didn’t ask me to met her again. I asked him about it and I believe he try’s to cover me fron the truth when it comes to his family because he mentioned she really didn’t want to talk to me because then it be like she accepts our situation. Then he said it could be shame on his family if he Marty’s me because I’m older than him, I’m american, I’m a revert, and my culture.

        I live with him. I see now that marriage is a big step and we problem shouldn’t make it. I still follow Islam as much as possible and he respects my deen. How can I live with him and have all my emotions bottled up and try to create space for my mind and still enjoy my time with him?

      • Hi Maha. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your story.

        You’re in quite the pickle, aren’t you?

        As far as marriage goes…is it even possible for him? Is he on a government scholarship or paying his own way through college? If he’s on a scholarship he cannot get married legally. I’d insist on meeting his parents if he’s serious about marriage because without their approval your life with him will be difficult, and the best way to win them over is to meet them. With all of that said, please don’t just marry this guy because you live with him and you like him and that will make your living arrangement “legal”. Big mistake. If you living situation isn’t desirable, do what you can to get a job and make different arrangements. Marriage is not your get out of jail free card here. It’s a serious lifelong situation…and like he said…what about 20-30 years from now? What about family? What about your children? If that’s what you want to do, don’t take the decision lightly.

  60. Nice blog- here is a question:

    are there any western wives of Saudi that remained Christian ( officially) and were able to go through the marriage permission successfully? did they find any hurdles in the permission procedure simply for the reason of having not converted?

    Also after the marriage permission- does the iqama of a wife of a Saudi write across it that it does not grant work rights?

    Looking forward to hearing from the readers that have gone through this experience

    • Hello and thank you :)

      I know of women who converted to Islam on paper and then quietly continued to believe or not believe whatever it is that they wanted, but I do not personally know of any woman who has moved to Saudi with her Saudi husband and remained a Christian (or any other religion other than Islam) on paper. There may be some, but I don’t know. When I went through the permission process, I had to actually prove I was a Muslim by providing a notaraized certificate saying so.

      Currently the iqama of a non Saudi wife of a Saudi citizen says “housewife” and says in red letters “not permitted to work”. There is supposedly new laws in place that give non Saudi wives of Saudis and mothers of Saudi children permission to work, but the iqamas still say not permitted. No idea if or when this will change.

  61. Hey I’ve just come across your blog and I have to say it’s FANTASITC!!!! I love the subject matter’s you discuss and shed light on! I’m actually an Arab Student from England, doing my dissertation on culture and how the Islamic/Arab culture influences one’s life in the West or people who have moved away to the ‘Western World’, particularly artists. What would you say? I’d love to know what you think?


  62. Hello again,

    I have a question. What are job opportunities (specifically healthcare) like in Saudi for American women? Like if I marry my Saudi and we end up moving to Saudi, what will I be doing there? What have you and all the other non-Saudis who live in Saudi been doing? Thank you!

    • Job opportunities here will depend on your degree. Jobs for expat women are mostly in the medical or educational field, but if you are fluent in Arabic you might find more options. Check around online before you come to see what’s available.
      If you do not have a degree, you will have a much more difficult time finding work, but some women still find teaching positions without a degree. Your income will be much less, of course. If all else fails you can offer private English lessons at home for extra spending money.

  63. I am loving your blog. I am a revert, 36. Recently, a Saudi friend (who I’ve considered my brother) has made his intention to marry me more than clear. He is much younger–almost 10 years. Any specific advise for me? He is good brother who I’ve been able to observe for many month as a friend.

  64. I really enjoyed reading your blog.

    The only thing that bothers me is the fact that Saudis are a lot more tolerant for a Saudi man to marry a foreigner and rarely approve of a Saudi girl marrying a non Saudi.

    I’m a Saudi girl and I’ve been living in the States for a few years now. Saudi men ,at least the ones around, are mostly interested in foreign women.

    I am completely supportive of multiracial marriages but how is it fair that I’m only allowed to marry a Saudi when they prefer dating girls who are “approachable” since they know that it is considered very wrong in our culture to date.

    I didn’t have much luck finding the right person the traditional way. I rather be friends with someone before I marry them.

    If only there was a blog post that would have helpful tips for someone like myself. The focus always seems on Saudi men.

    • Thanks for reading, Jude. I’d love to be able to write about the other side of the coin, but I don’t have any experience to back me.

      I agree that it’s not fair that Saudi women aren’t afforded the same opportunities to choose their spouses. From an outsider’s point of view, I think the tribal/cultural mentality that a child is traced via his father…and that a child of a foreign father would not be considered a Saudi (culturally and legally) is what keeps the doors closed for Saudi women. I have 3 sisters in law married to non saudi arab men and their children are not Saudis. And 7 of them, since their fathers are Palestinian, are considered refugees. Can you imagine?

      What are you thoughts on that?

      • It’s one thing not to grand a foreign woman/man who is a spouse of an Arab/Saudi citizenship but it’s sad that children have to go through such things.

        A have a friend who just recently got a Saudi citizenship at the age of 25! She had a hard time finding a job and it was a miracle that she was allowed to go to a public university. She was born and raised in Saudi..

        As for the tribal culture is filled with contradictions. As women our children will never carry on “the family’s name” and in a lot of Saudi families women are not even included in the family tree. Honestly no body could make sense out of this for me I get conflicting answers on why someone origin is that important.

        I really admire what you’re doing, not that many people are open about talking about such things.

        Thank you.

        Wish you all the best <3

  65. Salam!

    Thank you so much for this blog! I’ve spent the last hour reading through all the comments. It makes me happy that there are people who can relate to my story.

    I met a Saudi as I was doing a Masters degree in DC. Never thought he would consider me “girlfriend” material because I was from South America, dated other men, and wasn’t Muslim at the time. After being friends for a while I decided to give it a chance and completely fell in love with him. At the beginning of our relationship I knew he would eventually move back to Saudi, but I never expected to care for him as much as I do now. The pain of knowing that he would have to leave eventually lead me to Islam, but I didn’t want to convert until he left to Saudi so that I could make sure I was doing it for me and not for him. He left in October, so it’s been 5 months since he’s been in Saudi, and we haven’t been able to stop communication. Now that he has a job, he asked me to consider the possibility of marriage, but I would have to move to KSA.

    I am familiar with the family issues, and his family seems fairly “liberal,” with his parents and his brothers being American educated. I have met his family (just father and brothers), but only one of his brothers knew we were together. He says that if I am willing to move, he will find a way to make it work so we can start telling our families.

    My concern is actually living in KSA. I’ve never been there, and I know there are many misconceptions. I am at a point in my life where I want to give it a chance because he is such a wonderful man and I feel as though I could make it work, even with the difficulties. What steps and things should I take into consideration before making such a decision? When you decide to move is there any time when you are 100% sure of moving or is it more of a leap of faith? Any information will be greatly appreciated. It’s hard to talk to anyone about the topic because they automatically have the “Not without my daughter” scenario playing in their head.

    Thank you again

    • Hi Ameera. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I really believe that the more people who share their stories here the more helpful this post will become because the stories are all soooo similar.

      My thoughts on a few things…

      No matter how liberal and educated his family seems to be, they’re still Saudis, and in Saudi Arabia they will behave like Saudis. If they were as liberal as you’d probably like them to be, you would have met them all and been introduced as his girlfriend and possible candidate for marriage. So it will be different, even if only slightly. The same goes for your man. He will be different here.

      In regards to living in KSA, if you would have asked me in 2007 when I first decided to move here if I was 100% sure about my decision, I would have said undoubtedly yes. But Within a few weeks of being here I knew that in reality I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So even if you feel certain about it, it is a leap of faith and a risk.

      I cannot tell you whether or not you should marry this man and come here, but I will tell you the same thing that I tell all women asking me these questions…BE CAREFUL. Think long and hard on this decision, because it’s one that isn’t easily undone.

      • Thank you so much for your response. Believe be, this is not a decision I am rushing to, that’s why I’ve been doing research and asking questions. As much as I love him, I am aware of how Saudi is, and I don’t know if love can make up for all the things I’d be giving up. I wish there was a way I could go and see how it is and then make my decision… but I’ll have to make a decision with what I’ve got.

  66. 2 years ago, I fell in love with a Saudi guy from my university, he was different, absolutely different from anyone else. He was caring but at the same time careless. He was committed, but at the same time, never belonged to me. When we were alone, he was to most emotional, loving person, but when we were outside, he wasnt even holding my hand. I never managed to understand him, never understand his feelings towards me. I was 20 years old; too young for making decisions for future. But, I decided to be with him. I am a Muslim, but even for a Muslim woman, it is one the hardest decision to think living in Saudi Arabia. I was so sure, because I was loving him. All the mystery of this unknown country was calling me. However, at the same time, he hurts me several times. He never accepted that we were in a relationship, he was afraid, he was coward. he was thinking that it was impposible for us to be together because of his family, his community. As a woman, I was ready to face with all difficulties, i was brave but he never be that person. I always knew that he is going to leave one day because he was in his final year. everyone around me told me not to believe him, not expect anything from him but you know, it is a woman`s heart, even we are trying things so hard, not to love, not to belong, not to be hurt, we are becoming all of these. And i became, i tried so hard to let him go, never successed. he was calling me at 3 oclock and i was waiting for him. you might think I did lots of mistakes, But I did not do anything wrong, I did everything for someone I love, but the only mistake was the person himself.
    Then something happened, someone else found me, saved me, he fell in love with me and since then, I am with him who is treating me as a lady and most importantly as a lover.
    what happened to Saudi?
    He kept calling me, tried to see me, tried to change things, gave promises that he never managed to keep. I did not listen, did not want him back, but deep down, I wanted him so much, i wanted him back so much. Before he leaves the country, we met one final time. We talked everything, we talked about what we did wrong. He accepted that he did everything wrong and lost the best thing in his life. what hurts me most that; first time he told me that he loved me. I cried so much that day, we hug each other, we kissed each other. it was the end. it was the last time that i could see him.
    Then, he left back to Saudi. Never saw him again. Since then, I am living with his memories in this city. I am final year in my undergraduate now, and everywhere i am looking, we had a memory with him. Interestingly, I forget everything he did to me to hurt me. I all remember the best memories with him. After all these years,even he is still somewhere in my heart even i cant remember his face clearly.
    When i saw this blog, it touched my heart and i wanted to share this with everyone, to show that i am never afraid to say and accept that I loved him soo much and I was ready to leave everything behind me and go with him! And like you did manage, we could have that chance to be together. I know it is not easy, but the best things come from the hardest things.
    Hope you people who never gave up and always fighted for your love , will be always together for rest of your life. because you just showed me that nothing is impossible if you both really want it without hiding from your excuses.
    Best wishes

  67. Hello everybody :)
    I really enjoyed reading the posts in this website and how you all are trying to help each other and give advices. It is very interesting topic for me especially that I am in the opposite side and I know how my society is . I am a saudi girl and totally fall in love with a European guy . Our relationship started 3 years ago since I came to Europe to study . He is so caring guy , calming and really different than his society and I am more adventurer and self confident .our different in characters make us complete each other . I noticed that he never was around girls and change them every time and he was saying that he has his own view about relationship and he is serious and he believes that love is only once . Seriously his thoughts made me interested on him we became best friends and after awhile we became so attached . He lives and studies in his country while I am studying in another European country , but even with that we kept talking every single day for hours and try to visit each other from time to time . I was totally aware about my situation , I have a scholarship , I am from society won’t forgive me if I get married with a European especially I am from big tribe family and he is not a Muslim .. But even with all the difficulties I am insisting to be with him no matter what and I will fight till the end .. I want to be happy and that’s my right . Last December he invited me to his small city to meet his parents and make step up forward .. And he was the translator between his parents and me because they don’t speak English and they loved me and they welcomed me also brought a gift . I talked to my mom , in the beginning she didn’t feel comfortable but after awhile she noticed that I am very happy and he is serious with me , so she accepted him and support me even she asks me about him always .. And her support gives me a lot of power . Finally after a year she accepted him thank god . Just I will have to face my father and my brothers and that would be the biggest obstacle because my father will say ( what the people will say about us ) but I will do whatever to be with this guy I will fight till the end and I am a believer I trust my god and I study too hard to finish my studying in engineering with a good grade inshallah so I can get a job out of Saudi Arabia to establish our life. This month he will visit me inshallah and convert to Islam then I will talk to my father directly .
    I just shared my story because I feel upset why Saudis start a relationship with foreigners and they realize their situation but even with that they be in a relationship and in the end give up because they can’t face their families or the society .. IT IS NOT AN EXCUSE .

    Best wishes

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Rona. I always love hearing from Saudi women on my blog. I wish you all the best with your future with your special guy. I hope that with your family’s support you will have a happy life together with him.

      • Its been 4 years since u posted ur lovely article about the hazards pf marrying a saudi man …hi …i am a saudi man , divorced twice ,i have three kids , 38 years oooooold ……i stated those ugly personal facts to show that i am no catch …to add insult to in injury i am bald , i applied to marry a non saudi girl ….i thought it was going to be a piece of cake , but man , i was soooo wrong!
        It took them less than ten days to refuse to give that permission . It took me twenty days to collect the stupid papers they wanted ….just so that i get rejected by the E…. I dont want to spell the whole name of that particular governmental sector . So back to ur topic , its a lot of fun to marry any saudi who lives in jeddah , dammam , khobar ,yanbu ….about women rights and custody ,things have changed a lot .about wearing the abaya or nigab and worrying about going out and being harrassed ;just youtube jeddah redsea mall and u will see that things are very different in the forementioned cities . When it comes to the other cities i would prefer not to comment coz i have never been to the rest of saudi .
        If any one knows how to help me to get permission to marry my fiancee i would really appreciate it .

      • I’m sure you’re a catch, Majid :)

        My advice to you would be to be persistent. Not that you haven’t already been persistent, but you know how this place is. Sometimes you have to kiss a LOT of ass to get things done. Were you given a reason for the denial? If you wanna chat specifics privately, please feel free to get in touch with me via email listed on the contact page.

    • Hi i’m really happy to hear a from a tough girl like u. I can see i do really love this guy and u’re willing to fight till the end. I’m in love with a saoudia girl also she’s still wondering know if she’s willing to take the same risk like u. But unfortunately because of her mood changing all her time and all my effort to make her smile i decide to give her time to think strongly i didn’t really have choice because i hate to see her angry because of what she’s feeling for me.
      By the way good luck. I’m from europe also we seem nice guy fro ksa girl for some raison that i ignore. Lol

  68. Please help me. I fall inlove with saudi guy i am a filipina nurse in saudi arabia working in government hospital where he is working too as our muder. We started talking for several months and as months passed i started to fall inlove with him.he is not courting me we only talk hi and hellos but i feel he has feelings also to me because he always call me and one time he asked me to eat outside.that i refused coz i i know its not allowed to eat together but insisted that there is no problem to go out.i am christian and he is muslim i dont know if he is just playing with me.i dont know how saudi courted.but we are still talking until now.i dont know how to control my feelings.please give me advise

    • No. No, no, no, no.

      Everyone likes to warm their hands by a fire, but no one likes the fire so much that they wonder what it would be like to go ahead and jump right into it. And that is what you are essentially contemplating with your Saudi coworker. You already know the reasons why a relationship or marriage is not likely to work out, so why put yourself in that situation?

      Stop contact with him. You’re an adult, make a responsible decision.

      • Thank you so much for entertaining my problems i really appreaciate it. I really tried several times to forget and ignored his messages and calls but i cannot control and stop myself loving him especially we are working in the same hospital.but i will follow your advise. If my father knows that i am communicating with saudi guy maybe he will get angry too. I never recognized him before i had a relationship for 8 years with the same nationality a filipino but unfortunately when i leave phils and came here he did not wait me and married another girl that made me depressed for almost 2 when i started talking to him i forgot my ex bf and diverted my feelings to him..

      • You really can do it. It’s just a matter of making up your mind and sticking to it. I’m not saying that this saudi guy isn’t worth your tine, I don’t know him to make that call. But the way you describe it, even if he was a great guy, it’s not going to work, so save yourself the heartache.

  69. Dear UnderTheAbaya –

    Asalamalikum – My name is “Lulu” and I have been engaged and living with my Saudi since 2012. As per your blog post, I feel that I should not be worried…although I am occasionally.

    My Saudi told his mother that he wanted to marry me back in 2012.. Although I do not speak with his mother or sister directly (due to the language barrier) he does send them pictures of us together. His mother and sister also send me MANY gifts (clothes, jewlery, spices, hijabs, perfumes, etc), when he visits them.

    This last trip they even worked at finding a wasta to make our process easier – his mother even offered to pay for the wasta and papers.

    Does it sound like I should be worried? I mean his mother and family know of our relationship, intentions, and life together. I am also already Muslim, and we have my family’s blessing.

    Another question: I have become very close with a Saudi girl who is getting married during Eid..I have also become close with her sisters and family. She (resides in US) and her future husband (resides in KSA) are researching ways for me to attend the wedding. Is there anything you can think of?

    Inshallah – any advice you have would be great!

    • Hi there Lulu. I don’t personally see any red flags in the story you’ve provided. I would personally want to strengthen the relationship with my future mother in law, but that’s up to your preference.
      As far as entering Saudi to attend a wedding, I don’t know of a way it could happen.

  70. Assalamu 3laykum :)

    Well, it’s 3am and I’ve been up reading this for an hour almost. I feel confident that you will be able to give me excellent advice on some things I have been struggling to get my mind around. I shall start by telling you a little about myself.

    I’m 22 years old, a Muslimah and from a mixed ethnicity background (dad’s family are Hashemites mixed with Pashtuns :O). My dad wasn’t born in KSA… long story (but neither was his father) but they originate from there. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom and I am currently an undergraduate student studying at a Russell Group University, in Nottingham (kinda like Ivy League but for the UK). I have a few more weeks to go and I am writing my dissertation on Muslim women in Leicester and Islamaphobia… so tensions and emotions are running very high. Unfortunately I have gotten myself in to a bit of a tizz over marrying my Sau3di… tears were shed, things were said and then everything was okay and… currently he is asleep with his tango video on :P

    I should probably tell you about him too. He is nothing at all like any of the other men mentioned, good or bad. Firstly, he was born in East Saudi Arabia and he was then moved back and forth between Damascus and Dammam and Jeddah. He mostly lived in Damascus (his mama is Syrian) and then when the war broke out they considered moving. When it got serious (2012), being the sore thumb and obviously having a Saudi father (not holding Syrian citizenship was dangerous) so they relocated to Jeddah where they have settled down. His mother and father had gotten divorced a few years before, and he never sees his dad, just the odd time, and mostly sends him money for him and his younger brother. His mother married the dad’s brother and she’s pretty happy. She knows about us. She refuses to talk to us both collectively any more (together) and doesn’t talk to me about him, because she doesn’t agree with us talking until we’re married (even though it’s mostly over the phone) which I totally understand and she chooses to keep her hands clean of it. Regardless we talk everyday and she is secretly excited. She treats me more like a daughter than my own mother did. He is a year and a half younger than me. (In Hijri he is 21 btw)
    Now before scepticism arises, by some people on the post :P I have known him for quite a long time now and I know what he is like. His entire family (I mean EVERYONE, including first and second cousins, uncles, aunts – it’s so cute how he told everyone) know about me and I know he will treat me well. I am a very well spoken person and I have my ways of ensuring things will go the way I want en sha2 Allah and he understands this.

    A complicating detail is actually not concerning his side, nor is it an actual problem for marriage – but it is a huge thing nonetheless… I intend to leave here and my family, after going through years and years of abuse. Now I know there are gonna be gasps of HELL NO, but I have already tried every damn method of sorting this out in the past, countless times – nothing is going to change my mind about it – only Allah (swt) can control everything that will happen in my future now. I think given my circumstances it is perfectly acceptable. Ignore this as a possible blockade in my future plans. I will continue to give my approach to that a lot of thought.

    Anyway I have just a few weeks to go like I said! I will be graduating in July and all of my deadlines are May 16th 2014. I will then proceed on to a MA degree at the same university. After this I plan on taking a PGCE. For him, he had to move from Damascus University to UBT in Jeddah so therefore he had to start again. He has two more years to go after this one and he is planning on doing a MA/MBA abroad.

    Now my questions are…
    1. We want to get married in 2/3 years… we don’t mind if it’s during his MA or if it is just after he finishes. How do we go about this in your opinion? I have no idea where to begin and I have heard countless horror stories.

    2. I will be getting my PGCE en sha2 Allah and then a TOEFL teaching qualification to teach English as a second language. And then we want to relocate to KSA. Now I know this isn’t as easy as 123… and I am hoping, given that you have the time, that you could give me good guidance… I want to get a job in a school in Jeddah; I am always readings that the supply doesn’t satisfy the demand in Gulf countries (for English speaking teachers) and I know they are mainly talking about UAE, but there is some truth in it for Jeddah (I have some cousins who live there as ‘expats’ -_-)
    I have great GCSES… and straight As in my A-Levels… due to health reasons I am predicted a 2:2 -_- but I could possibly pull off a 2:1 en sha2 Allah (need all of your du3a2s), and this is why I am taking the MA so that I can make up for the 2:2 (not that a 2:2 is really bad) but most unis want a 2:1 for MA. I have an excellent teaching background but I really want to get in on academic merit instead of experience – and taking an MA gives me the opportunity to get another degree :D

    What do you think about job prospects and what is usually available for people like me? Also what about pay?

    3. Are there any other difficulties, or things I should know? What about citizenship? If you could tell me all you know about the process and such – I would be sooooo grateful!

    I know it’s not easy to move there but I am willing to try :D I love living in hot countries. I lived abroad for a few years in a few different countries.


    • Hi there. Thanks for taking the time to share a bit of your story. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

      1. When the time comes and your bf has met as many of the current Saudi government requirements as possible, he will apply for marriage permission at the Ministry of Interior. Currently the requirements are 35 years old, not on a government scholarship, not being a criminal, and having a job. Requirements for the woman are to be a Muslim (and be able to prove it), no criminal history, no major communicable diseases.
      I wouldn’t stress myself over the details if I were you. Laws and requirements are subject to change at any time, so when the time comes closer to apply for the marriage permission, your bf can find out how to do so.

      2. Teaching in KSA is easy as 1-2-3 belive it or not. You should aim high, because the higher the level you teach the more money you will make. Also be aware that local hires (such as the resident wives of Saudis) make significantly less money than those who are hired from their home countries and come on the sponsorship of their employers. You also may not be entitled to the benefits that expat teachers get such as housing, medical, and travel.
      Most schools here are nothing like what you’re used to. A recent report from the ministry of education revealed 90% of teachers to be inadequate…the system is archaic and depressing. So if you want to teach here, do your research and find a good school…British and American are the best ones.

      3. The difficulties of life here are numerous, as I’m sure you’ve heard.
      Currently citizenship for wives of Saudis is on hold and is not possible to obtain.

      • Thank you for the awesome response. The answer to the second question is perfect and no further problems with that.
        The first answer… I kind of dreaded that and knew that and I was hoping to hear something different >_< We really can't wait for 14 years for us to get married; I think you'll agree it is pretty ridiculous, not to mention unislamic (Especially the fact they don't recognise your halal marriage unless you got the permission from them). Is there anything that we can do? We want to get married when he is about 25 years old, which is in 3 years. I read somewhere that in some cases the age limit is 25? Could you please advise about this?
        He was thinking that I apply for a job there at the British school or others (like you have suggested) and then request marriage permission because apparently if the foreigner is working in the kingdom then the age limit for him changes to 25 (I did say apparently :P ). Policy and legislation isn't clear, I'm reading one thing here and a different thing there. It is extremely frustrating.
        Also, can you tell me more about the Saudi wives citizenship thing.

        I can't believe I have to go through all of this to live in my own homeland -_-

      • I agree that the age limit is ridiculous, but you may notice I said as many of the requirements as possible, because a lot of men have had luck with overcoming the restriction through good old fashioned persistence (or wasta). Again, the rules may change by the time you’re ready to apply, so don’t stress it. When the time comes, cross your fingers and go for it.

        I’m not aware of the age limit changing if the foreigner is working in the kingdom. Never heard of that. If you would make that sort of move, please be aware that it would be illegal and therefor dangerous for you to ever meet with him in public until you’re married. Yes, people do it…dating is common here although kept very much under the radar, but getting caught would hamper any chances of your marriage being approved when the time comes.

        Regarding citizenship, the process is on hold and it is not possible for wives of Saudis to get the citizenship. It used to be easy, then they made it impossible, now they’ve stopped it altogether.

        I know the process to come here is frustrating, but imagine all of the people who have been born and raised here, who consider this their home land, and they’ll always have red tape to cut through because they will never be allowed to be Saudi citizens. Your journey will be difficult, but not impossible.

  71. Hi. I have read a lot of blogs about how hard it is to apply for marriage and some even have steps to do which mostly says you have to wait and be patient. But I would like to ask if you happen to know what are the requirements a Saudi man should present (both his documents and the documents of the non-saudi he wishes to marry) in order to apply for marriage in Saudi Arabia?
    They are not married yet in other countries and this will be their first time to get married. Both are single but the non-saudi woman is not living in Saudi arabia.

    thank you very much in advance :)

    • The basic requirements for a Saudi man to be able to apply to marry a foreign woman are that he be 35 years old, employed, and not a criminal. The easiest way for him to find out what paperwork is currently required (because things here are subject to change without notice) is to visit the Ministry of Interior and inquire about the process.


  73. I have a Saudi boyfriend who just proposed to me on Sunday. He is a student in USA and he is 22 years old. His family knows about it, and I’ve met his sister as well….I just stumbled along this blog today, a question plaguing my mind is, whats next? what happens

    • What’s next: a lot of waiting :)

      Assuming your Saudi is a part of the government scholarship program, he will not be allowed to get married to you during that time. He will need to wait until his studies are finished and then apply for the permission to marry you. Currently the conditions for a Saudi man to be allowed to marry a foreigner are to be 35 years old, to be gainfully employed, and to not be a criminal. Ideally he would also need to be residing in the Kingdom to help the process move along efficiently. These rules are subject to be changed at any time and without notice, so it’s something he will need to check on once he is finished with his education.

  74. Hello Mandi, I was already married to a Saudi and we got our permission lately ( after the marriage). The question is this: I was on my job sponsor iqama and now after the permission I want to move it to my husband. My job says that this is not possible, as iqama’s for Saudi wives do not permit work. We will go to ask at the passport office anyhow but as you already have such an iqama could you tell us your experience- could you work without problems on your husbands iqama? Thank you very much!

    • Hi Nicola,

      While recently the government has announced that Saudi wives are allowed to work and are to be counted as Saudis for the Saudization progran, there have not been any steps thus far to actually put that into action and offer us iqamas without the “not permitted to work” printed on them. So, while it is legal for us to work, companies might be hesitant to hire you or keep you on if you’re on your husband’s sponsorship.
      If it were me, I’d stay on the company sponsorship and keep reaping whatever benefits they’re offering me.

      Let me get Yankee Doodle Saudi over here to answer for you though. She has been through a similar situation with the iqama switching (although she is currently not working). Maybe she would know better than me.

  75. Dear Mandi, many thanks- I really appreciate your response.

    We went today to the labour ministry and they said this-

    your sponsor must write to us a question if they are allowed to transfer the iqama to your husband and we shall reply positively in less than a week. Actually I would even be allowed to take the singed/stamped question letter from the sponsor myself and hand it the ministry. That means that now I must convince my sponsor to write this letter, as I prefer to transfer.

    Another question is this- does on the iqama on your Saudi husband write explicitly not allowed to work? and when was it issued?

    The labour ministry said that it is lately that this change was made and that I am allowed to transfer to my husband…..

    All this is really helpful to know, so we are clear of our rights……

    • Yes, my iqama explicitly says not permitted to work and it was renewed maybe a year ago. Every Saudi wife’s iqama says that if she is here on her husband’s sponsorship. Yes, recently the law has changed that wives of Saudis are allowed to work, but the iqama will still state not permitted to work because (at least as far as I know and have been told when we checked on it) there is no system in place to implement the new law. Craziness.

      Just curious, are you planning on keeping your job if you do indeed transfer your sponsorship? If so, have you discussed how your contract will change as a local hire as opposed to company sponsored? Most companies here do not give as much salary and benefits to women who are hired locally, so I hope that you wouldn’t end up getting screwed on that.

  76. Dear Mandi,
    many thanks again for the very helpful information.

    Initially my sponsor said that I can easily transfer to my husband if I want to quit. That would be easy and straightforward.
    Nevertheless I want to transfer my sponsorship and still work. Now after what the ministry of labour gave me hope that I can, I updated with my hr department and asked them to write a letter to the ministry of labour to get the green light ( the hr is still hesitant).

    I am not sure if I succeed how this would affect the contract, but still as it is they have not cut my accommodation allowance and my ticket-but….would not give for schooling or tickets for my family though.

    I checked with the pension agency if I can get pension, but still that is not possible even with the new rule that I can transfer my sponsorship to my husband- which they seemed to be well informed about.

    Lets see how this unfolds, as the news you updated me that the iqama will write that I cannot work as you mentioned, would contradict the labour ministry directions…… or if my husband would go for the transfer with my contract and verification from the jawazat would produce an iqama without the work restrictions…..

    This would need a little running around to find out……

    • Please do let me know how it goes! We’re supposed to be able to have permanent residency here, even without the sponsorship of a Saudi husband for those of us who are Mothers to Saudi children, along with the permission to work as a Saudi anywhere we’re qualified to do so. If they’re issuing this kind of thing, PLEASE TELL ME.

  77. Dear Mandi, yes definitely I will let you know how this goes.

    My job also told me also this- they were sent explicit instructions for men married to Saudi women and their children that are on their wives/mothers iqamas that they can work without any problem, but did not get anything on women married to Saudi men yet……thus for them the saudisation is already well applied.

    Do you know any other women married to Saudi’s working? It would be good to get some more ideas on this.

  78. Hello! Sister, I’m an expat living in Saudi, I have been separated for the past 1 year. It happened so, while going through my separation trauma I fell in log with pious Saudi lady. I met her on the phone while procuring some products for my project at a vendor. It was from the phone the relationship started. Months passed, our conversation is going on. She trusts me and she know by past. I started to love her from her imaan. We want to turn our relationship into marriage, but she is much afraid of her family. Her brothers may not allow us to get married.
    Saudi custom… Tribal … she is from different belief. I don’t wanna change her belief or her culture nor I want the citizenship or economy benefits.I just want to give her a good life. We understand each other much better.
    We tell to ourself that we will wait for years and leave it on Allah to help us. We both are in our 30’s and she is elder than me. I know even Saudi being an Islamic nation it doesn’t really imply Islamic law when it come a Saudi lady marring an expat even though that person is a Muslim.
    Is there any solution or any guidance that you can provide. I know my case is complicated.
    ‘If there is a will there is a way’ I beleive in this.

    • The only thing you can do is try. If she is interested in marrying you, approach her family and ask for her hand. If they say no, they say no, but you won’t know unless you try. Please prepare yourself, however, that she will not be interested in pursuing marriage despite her love for you, and please also be prepared that her family will most likely say no, at least at first. It may not work out, and if that is the case, know that that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You’re right, although this place claims to be an Islamic country, it is driven by cultural standards, so set your expectations according to those, not to Islamic standards.

  79. Hi I have been in a relationship with a arabic man for almost 6 years. And I have no idea who to talk to in my group of friends about my fears of tge future. He will be graduating next year and wants to take me to Jeddah to see if I want to live there. I love him and I know that I would be so very happy if we got married. But at the same time I have fears of what I am lose in the process. I still can barely read or write let alone speak arabic, am I ready to lose the right to wear what ever I please, to go where I please. I am also so scared of losing my family too. I am now 23 years old almost 24 and my father and stepmother both tell me that I will not be marrying him as if it is not my chose at all.
    And yes I have met his parent, little brothers and a good friend of his third youngest brother that is just a few years younger than me.

    • Hi, Katie. Is your Saudi boyfriend aware of the marriage permission process and are you also aware of what it entails?
      How does he plan on getting you into the country if you’re not his wife for a visit? Unfortunately, it’s just about impossible to visit Saudi unless you have family, have business, or you’re a Muslim going for haj or umrah (for which you’d need a mahram since you’re a woman). Do you meet any of those requirements?
      Please do not be ready and willing to give up your rights to ANYONE. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

  80. i have a boyfriend saudi we love each other and are relation is 3 years now i want to ask you if you think this saudi men have a plan to marry me bcoz his parent looking for a girl for him and i told him that tell to her mother that you love someone but he say that he dont like bcoz he is afraid that his family will leave him if he tell that he love someone and i dont know if he is playing with me or he really loves me but he dont know what he will tell to his family i hope you can answer me bcoz im really stress and depress

    • If this man had a plan to marry you, I’m guessing he would have made an attempt to do so by now. He may genuinely love you, but that frankly doesn’t matter. Let his actions speak. If he wants to marry you he will tell his family.

  81. hi can you please tell me the paper i nedd me and my husband becase we just got permission from his country and he will come here in usa but i dont know what do embassy need

  82. Hello,I am 48 years old and i am married with an arab man for almost 25 years.We are living in Europa.Even so it is difficult ,especially now (in our midlle age )to have the same cultural life toghether.When you are young, love (can I say passion ? ) is most important ,then you will have children and that is your life for a while ,but after a long while ,don’t forget girls that everyone returns to his origins.I know what I am talking even I am not married with an saudi.I know a lot of arab culture,I lived 5 years in an arab country,I have friends living and working in KSA .I am the only wife ,we have two children (two boys ),we have a stabile life ,we both are working (we are doctors ) and even so it is difficult .So my opinion :if you have a little (just a little ) doubt, don’t do it !

  83. hello,

    i don’t know if you remember me, but i wan’t to tell you that i’m getting married to my saudi in December/January in sha allah.

    signed nana.

    wanted to know if you had any suggestions for the prenuptial nikah agreement. he’s asked me to move back to Saudi Arabia with him…

    • Oh wow! I’ve just gone back and read all of your previous comments here on the blog. I must say that you’ve undergone quite the transformation in the past year or so. Have you and your Saudi received the marriage permission? Have you achieved all of your educational goals? How are you doing with your transition to Islam (you were a little unsure if it’s what you wanted a year ago)? How do you feel about the invitation to move to Saudi Arabia?
      You’re of course not under any obligation to answer my questions, but I’m curious…and I’m sure other women in situations similar to yours would be as well.

      As far as what to put in your marriage contract, I’m afraid the contract you make won’t have much weight, if any at all, in Saudi courts, but if you’d like to make specifications for some sort of spiritual peace of mind, you should do so. I can’t, however, tell you what you should put.

    • LuLu Update –

      UnderTheAbaya –

      I just wanted to update you all regarding my relationship with my Saudi – Since his scholarship has ended; we have gotten MARRIED! Both of our families are happy!

      We are now working on my papers for Saudi – Insha’Allah this will be a smooth process with the help of our wasta!

  84. HI! I want to share my experience too.. I’ve been here for 6 years working as a medical professional..I’m a strong woman and never came to my mind to fall in love with a Saudi man.. because i know that you will end up crying.. but one day a fairy love story came across my way.. i was madly in love with a Saudi man,his sweet and caring messages turn me on, for me i believed that its a destiny that we met each other.
    We both dream an impossible dream and he keeps on telling me that he will make the impossible possible. i was amazed..after few days of happiness everything turns into sadness, he told me that his mother want him to get marry as soon as possible with a Saudi female.. he cannot do anything to stop that he told me that he don’t want to hurt her mother’s feeling but he will try his best to tell her not to pursue in searching a girl for him.. i felt so bad because i know that sooner or later he will get marry.. i freak out and blame him.. he told me to calm down and promised to arranged everything.. i hold on a single hope that someday we will be together but that hope turns to depression when he stop sending sweet messages and even not calling.. he still send messages but just a simple friend message.. and i found out that he was also absent from his job for few days.. i know he is on a difficult situation.. i want to send him comfort messages and also want to tell him how much he hurt me.
    it’s hard to move on but i have too.. it’s really hard to forget him. with my cousin’s help i can say that I’m on the process of acceptance..
    Foreign ladies may it be westerner, Asian or what ever nationality… think 100 times before getting involve to any relationship especially to Saudi men…. personally i met some ladies who experience the same.have pity to your self and your future…
    Your blog helped me a lot to move on.. thank you. may Allah bless us all..

  85. I’m so glad that I found this! I am an American female that met a Saudi male who is studying abroad at a local University. He has been in the U.S. for a little over a year and will be studying for 4 more. Right now he is unsure if he would like to stay here or move back to Saudi Arabia. He mentioned that there are many opportunities in the U.S. We have gone on a couple of dates and I have to admit I’m starting to develop feelings for him. He treats me kindly with respect and is so sweet. I admire all of his qualities and he is very intelligent. After looking more into the culture I had some huge concerns that made me question whether I should continue to date him or not. I heard that Saudi men are not supposed to date American women and their parents would never accept them. American females are looked at as being “easy” and Saudi men abroad can secretly get away with dating them because they are not in the Kingdom. Can someone please give me some helpful input? Thanks!

    • This is always such a tough question to answer, because it’s hard to advise someone on what to do with such a personal decision without knowing them (or their potential partner) personally. I’ve recently (yes, recently….even after everything life has tried to teach me these past few years) learned that if a guy is GREAT it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s GREAT for you. Know what I mean?
      He’s stated that he’s unsure of what he wants to do with his future, you’ve got huge concerns regarding Saudi culture…why bother putting yourself in such a vulnerable position and beginning a relationship with this guy?
      Again, I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy…but there are MANY wonderful men in this world who may be a better fit at the end of the day.
      Tread carefully.

    • i say don’t. Saudis are super nationalist and even if one KNEW he wouldn’t marry you (or couldn’t) he would still proceed to make you have feelings. if you want to see if he is telling the truth, consider these things:
      1. do not sleep with him
      2. do not sleep with him
      3. do not sleep with him
      4. it’s weird to hang out with your saudi boyfriend’s male friends.
      5. your saudi boyfriend wouldn’t have female friends.
      6. do not sleep with him.

      @UTA so, i found out some uber BS. and i’m not getting married and apparently it’s illegal to marry a non-saudi now. i also agree 100% with what you said.

  86. i’m just going through this dialogue in my head of whether or not he really loved me or meant to marry me. i wish i could stop thinking about it, because whether or not i know i’m not sure if it will benefit me.

  87. I never thought I’d comment on a blog like this. I had a tumultuous relationship with a saudi that lasted over a year. Knew absolutely nothing about the culture. Damn I’m just a small town white girl with a doctorate and a horse ya know? But I was a mess…separated w 2 kids and going through a divorce from a 15-year marriage. My relationship w the saudi was a whirlwind and to make a long story short over time he told me he loved me deeply and would die for me. He was intense about me, always available to me, always by my side, and all the other beautiful things that make people go “oh wowee jee”. Although towards the end it became so intense it started to get physical. And a day before he left he started blaming me for anything and everything…even saying he hopes God forgives me for what I’ve done to him. Tho I spread myself so thin for him that it was affecting my own health. Can u say red flag? Unhealthy? In the end he left me without a word or trace…completely abandoned. No way to contact. He even left items here with me under the pretense that he would be back. Let me just pray my period comes next month…(laugh now but I’m serious) Now I’m left to feel like a tool…or realize that’s what I accepted myself to be used as…and a fool…especially when I should have had more integrity than being in a relationship so soon from my previous. But my point of commenting is that a man will even tell u he would die for u…it’s all fluffy pie in the sky in the end. At least my 2 kids are by someone who wouldn’t take them from me as his cultural right :/ “love” is significantly down-prioritized when it comes to the need for respect trust honesty ETC. I’ll stick with my good ol’ redneck roots, country folk, campfires and crazy stories, thank you very much.

  88. Hi everyone!
    Okay, so I read a lot of these comments and I have a lot of things I’m confused about. I started seeing this saudi man over two years ago when he was studying in the US. This December he graduated and went back to saudi. We did not see eachother the whole time because I got freaked out about a lot of things in our relationship after reading into islam and the different beliefs and whatnot. Now he is in saudi and asking me if there is any chance of us being back together. He told me when we were together before he was afraid because he knew he would ask me to leave the U.S. one day and didn’t know how I would respond. He was always very good to me but I can tell he is controlling. Every time he asks me about marriage I talk about his family not accepting it and he says they will but if they don’t he doesn’t care. He seems to care about me. He wants me to go back to school and told me if I was his wife he would take me by the hand and help me as much as possible. We also talk about religion a lot. I am christian and have thought about converting but not because he has pushed me. He has always left it to me and said he doesn’t want to force anything. I just don’t know if I should take him seriously?

    • No, you probably shouldn’t take him seriously. My advice is to move on. At this point, why bother? If you are interested in pursuing a future with him, at the very least finish your education first (and you don’t need him to hold your hand to do so). Let him tell his family…don’t believe in words, believe in actions.

  89. Hi Does somebody know any attorney that can help my saudi boyfriend to get the government permission to married me?
    Or u know if is easier to get it if I am there with a work visa ?
    Thanks so much

  90. Hi Everyone. I’m new to the blog. I have a question. Is it possible for a Saudi man to marry a foreign woman who already has a child from a previous marriage?

    • Yes, it is possible. But the woman would have to leave the child behind to move to Saudi with her new husband, OR, for that woman to bring that child to Saudi Arabia to live, she would have to receive permission from the child’s father. And the new Saudi husband would never legally be able to be considered the child’s “father”. The child would not receive the same rights as future biological children shared between the Saudi man and non Saudi woman.

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