Monday, July 7, 2008

on marriage to a non-Saudi in Saudi

Maha Akeel follows the story of a friend of hers, who has encountered some difficulties in trying to marry her non-Saudi fiance in Saudi Arabia. Here's a preview:

At the women’s section of the principality, the official told her that they receive around seven applications a day from Saudi women seeking to marry non-Saudi men, but that there are restrictions. The authorities would reject an application if the woman is under 25 years; it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a never-before-married Saudi girl under 25-years to be permitted to marry a non-Saudi. If the woman is divorced, a doctor, or handicapped, then it is much easier to get the permit. A Saudi man does not fancy a woman in this category to be his wife. Such women can go for “the second best choice”. So basically, the restrictions are not meant to protect Saudi women but for guaranteeing that Saudi men have the first chance to marry a Saudi woman.

I couldn't help but laugh at the bit about "divorced, a doctor, or handicapped". It has a ring, doesn't it? We could use it as a little catch phrase on the things a woman has to be to get married: sexually pure, constantly available, and physically attractive. The specific parameters change depending on the society you are in, but the existence of ridiculous standards certainly doesn't.

The Nemo picture is from Heba Farahat's blog,

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