Share With Me

Do you have a story about your experience living or working in Saudi Arabia that you wish to share?

Are you married/involved/separated/divorced from a Saudi and wish to share your experience?

Is there a blog topic that you wish to suggest?

Do you have helpful advice for foreigners living or working in the Kingdom?

Please feel free to contact me and share!  I can be reached privately at undertheabaya@gmail.com

I can also be reached on the submissions page of Ya Majnouna, a community of non Saudis in relationships with Saudis. Share your story, have your advice published, and help others in your situation!

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23 thoughts on “Share With Me

  1. hi! i read more of your post here i do really like about the topics i can relate to this because i experienced it myself….

  2. I am in a relationship with a Saudi guy. I happen to be very close to a group (about 12) guys mostly from Saudi (with 1 Oman & 1 Pakistan). Me and this guy are getting along great and have resisted having a “physical” relationship for the 3 months we’ve been dating. As is typical, this guy is on a scholarship through his government to complete his schooling the the U.S. I have met his brother, who is also a student, and I am around the guy all the time. I have begun to learn Arabic (beautiful language, but very difficult to learn). I have also begun reading the Qu’ran. I think in any relationship, whether with an Arabic guy or not, it is necessary to find out about that person’s culture, traditions, religion, and lifestyle. I have been doing that. I have asked this guy (let’s call him Bob), if his parents would allow him to marry a non-Saudi. He said honestly that he is not sure. He is not the firstborn son, so typically it is a little easier on the middle sons. Also, his brother and I get along very well. I am going to be finishing my college (nursing) around the same time “Bob” is finishing his school/scholarship (Elect. Engineering). He has signed a contract with his government that he will be teaching engineering in Saudi for 3 years after graduation. This helps him get experience as well as find a good, well-paying job. I would not mind moving to Saudi Arabia. I do know that some places/regions/cities are a lot more strict and difficult to get used to than others. I talked to my Arabic friends and they’ve told me some stories about people they knew marrying Americans and how things worked out. In most of these stories, the woman found out she was pregnant and “faked” a visit to the U.S. and never came back. Keeping the child. I have heard of it being reversed, if the child is born in Saudi, the Saudi partner will keep custody of the child. For this reason, I have already decided that if it does happen (marriage and moving to Saudi Arabia), I will return to the U.S. to have my children (I know it’s easier said than done). I was wondering what other advice you would give me in my situation. I’m not ignorant or naive enough to think that life will be “peachy and happy” in Saudi. I will most likely be a stay-at-home, dependent mother that has to wait on my husband to make a move/choices.

    • Hi there, Anonymous!

      You said “I’m not ignorant or naive enough to think that life will be “peachy and happy” in Saudi. I will most likely be a stay-at-home, dependent mother that has to wait on my husband to make a move/choices.”

      My question to you is, why are you ok with signing up for a life that you know you will most likely be restricted and unhappy in? Don’t you think you deserve more? That your children would deserve more?

      If you can answer that question and feel confident in your answer and willing to own up to the responsibility of that decision (should his family actually allow him to marry you), then you don’t really need anyone’s advice. Your mind has been made. If you are not able to answer that question, or the idea of the reality of life here doesn’t settle well with some part of you, I would suggest you rethink your relationship with this man and what good it is actually doing in your life.

    • Hi,
      excellent point what “undertheabaya” said, but I just want to add, what good would this decision be for your own mom and dad….? The pain it would cause them would be unbearable. Perhaps you won’t understand right now….because you perhaps do not have children yet, but….is this the life that you want for your daughter? or have a son that mimics this?

  3. I confess I find your story a very sad one. I stumbled across your blog while I was reading up on Saudi Arabia. I have a pen pal there. He is a man so his accounts of life there seem to sound better than I would have guessed. Now I see its because he has the man’s perspective on life there.
    I’m from California. I actually moved to Virginia with my ex and then moved back to CA with my children once my relationship was over. I had an awful experience with the slight change in culture there so I can’t even imagine what your going through. I hope you find the strength to overcome all the obstacles on your journey. Love makes you do things that you otherwise would ponder more carefully. I wish you all the best. I will be keeping up with your blog from now on.

  4. Hi under the abaya thanks for share All of this information I have a boyfriend He is from saudi I love him yo much the problem he is you ger than me And sometimes i Feel like Im losing my time. With him because one day He have to go back to saudi And His family doesnt know He has girlfriend Just his father and His brother but no his sisters i need your Help i do t want Lose my Time And i do t want to lose him. But i dont know How serius he is taking our relation pls a need help

    • Ok, where to start….

      You need to decide what you want. If you want a serious relationship, this is probably not the guy you need to be with. Like I tell my daughter all the time, sometimes situations aren’t ideal and the only thing we can do is accept and move on. Especially if you’re worried about wasting your time.

      Secondly, something I always tell the “my Saudi is leaving/has left and I can’t live without him I love him so much” girls who write to me…love DOES NOT have anything to do with possession. Love also is not a good indicator on whether or not a relationship can or should continue. So unless and until he is on the same page with you relationship wise, his family knows about you, and he’s ready to marry you, take love out of the equation. Frankly, it doesn’t matter.

    • Hi Lucia, I’m also in a similar situation as you are with your Saudi guy. I am also older than my Saudi boyfriend and sometimes feel like my time is running out. I’ve read a lot about Islam and the Saudi culture and customs especially on marriage to a non-Saudi wife. I also have had long discussions with my boyfriend on this topic. His entire family and two close friends know about me. We do intend to get marriaged after his education since he is on scholarship. I wanted to make sure that he was serious about our relationship first before I decided to make plans for the future. I do not socialize with his male Saudi friends at his university since it is just male bonding. Most of the Saudi guys here do not intend to date a foreigner as a potential partner because their families would not allow it and they will move back to KSA after graduation. They also only socialize with females when they are sewing their wild oats as I am told by my boyfriend. When my boyfriend and I are out and we run into his friends, it is as if I don’t exist for the duration of the conversation. I asked my boyfriend if his family would accept our marriage and he stated that it depends on the family. In his family and some family friends, several males have married non-Saudis and it would be okay in his family because his family trusts his decision. If I were you, I would have a long conversation about your future with your Saudi guy. And, if you are okay with living with a Saudi and his customs is something you want, otherwise, you are waisting your time.

  5. Hello! Nice blog 🙂 I’m european girl and i read many things about islam and arabic countries. I have to say that i love this world! Anyway, I have a query.. If one saudi man wants to be with a girl non saudi he can’t to live with her to other country? He must to live always in saudi? Thank you!

    • Hi there. A Saudi man could theoretically live outside of Saudi Arabia with his non Saudi wife, but he should still get the government permission to get married to her. This is for her protection, mostly.

  6. Hello There,

    I am glad I came upon your blog as I have been in the process of devouring about as much online information about KSA of late as I can get my track pad over. And why, you may ask, would a rather humble and introverted guy from the Midwestern USA be in need of such info? Perhaps a little background in in order…

    I am in 26 and recently finished up my Master’s of Engineering In Petroleum Engineering And Geophysical Science from a little university that I am sure you have never heard of called the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. I have spent the last several months post graduation just doing absolutely nothing to be honest. After spending a little over 8 years under a fairly excruciating academic regime, I felt entirely justified to just travel and hang back for awhile.

    However, I am one of those people that can’t stay dormant for long, and I decided about a month ago it was time to start hitting up some job fairs, tapping some of my contacts, and get my career off and running. I am rather fortunate in that those in my area of expertise are always in demand. Especially with the domestic oil boom in the US Dakotas and Gulf states in the last few years. Hell, I may actually have to start paying off some of my students loans here shortly after all. After a couple of job fairs, it was not long before I had some offers start to come in from the usual suspects that I have become all too familiar with over the course of my academic career; Shell in Houston, a couple of off-shore rigs in the Gulf, and a couple of firms about to begin exploratory drilling and analysis outside of Billings, Montana, and Yankton, South Dakota respectively.

    None of these opportunities were particularly bad per se. The pay is actually quite phenomenal all things considered, just not anything I could really sink my teeth into professionally. What can I say? I aspire to be more than a paycheck engineer I suppose. I was getting burned out on job fairs, and I was about to just resign myself to pick the best of a flawed set of cards and hope for the best. At least then I would be gainfully employed. All of that changed at my last job fair in St. Louis.

    I was honestly just planning on dropping my resume off to these guys at the booth and heading off for the afternoon. They are historically pretty picky, like most OPEC operations, and have one the biggest oil reserves on the planet, so they can afford to be picky with their deep pockets (I am sure by now you probably know who I am talking about). To my surprise, I ended up spending almost 2 hours talking to these gentlemen, and another hour over dinner. They were unlike the other guys in every way. They were passionate about their jobs, technically brilliant, and (dare I say) even inspiring.

    The catch is, naturally, it would require me to sign a 2 year deal, move to Saudi, and turn my life entirely upside down from everything my midwestern acumen has come to find as my comfort zone. I might be, on technical matters anyway, a pretty smart guy, but cosmopolitan and sophisticated I most certainly am not.

    The plus side is money, and by money I mean more money than I thought I would be making even 20 years from now. When you add in the fact that I would also be supplied with free housing and medical care and pay not taxes, It is unbelievably tempting. Sweetening the pot further is that I would be given drastically more responsibility than a rookie would typically get. It seems so surreal to be contemplating such a significant life decision. It’s is that feeling you get when you know it is ultimately a decision that will dramatically effect the course of your life.

    Anyway, sorry for the Hemingway narrative, I just wanted to let you know that I have found a great deal of benefit from checking out your various blog posts. You are quite the talented writer, and if you have any words of wisdom to share with a nerd from the midwest, I would love to hear it 🙂

    Robby.

    • Hi Robby 🙂 Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you’re about to embark on an exciting new phase of your life, and I think you should go at it full speed ahead! I’m glad you’ve found the blog helpful, and if you do end up in KSA feel free to stay in touch and let me know how I can make your adjustment to life here easier.

  7. This is in reply to a statement Robby made regarding not paying taxes. Please check out the laws. If you are US citizen, then it is not completely tax-free. Only the first $90k of foreign-earned income is tax-free, and you still have to file return, regardless. I recommend you look at US tax laws at IRS website. They changed the laws a few years back, and it would be sad to return to this country and find ugly tax bill plus penalties. And, to the owner, thank you for this blog. I was offered an opportunity there, and blogs like this convinced me not to go. I enjoy reading your blog.

  8. Hey, does the sex ratio in KSA, 57 women to a 100 men and add to that polygamy make women less secure?Also Is it true that no birth certificates are issued for girls?

    • Your stats are WAY off. The population of males is only slightly above that of females and has nothing to do with the reasons why polygamy is practiced. It is 100% not true that birth certificates are not issued for girls.

  9. Hi undertheabaya, i’m glad to find your blog! I just want someone to share my situation. I’m a filipina nurse working here in ksa and i’m inlove with a saudi man. I know this is not new scenario but i just want some advice. I met him at work were in the same department. He was already married to a saudi girl but yet he fall inlove with me. When he said he like me i thought he was just joking knowing that he already has a wife. So i did’nt mind it. But then when he pursue with me it just happen one day that i find myself liking him.At first i told my self it’s just for fun but day passes i caught my self falling for him. Sometimes at night i cried when i missed him so much , to think that shes with her wife it give so much pain on me. He always told me that he loves me so much and he want to be with forever, that he missed me too and wish to be with me. We’re already one year in our relationship,i love him so much that sometimes i’m thinking i want to marry him but we did not even discussed about that. He’s married already and i’m afraid for what he will answer me if i will ask him about his plan for me, for us.

  10. Thank you for explaining so much about the Saudi man and how he behaves towards woman. I have been Facebook friends with a Saudi man for 5 years. We meet while he was finishing his BA degree in the US. At that time we were only acquaintance. During the five years we were FB friends I have married, had a daughter and are now divorced. This Saudi man has now started to show interest in dating me. He is 30 yrs old and says he is not married. I know now of the tribulation with his family, but is the family going to accept my child or me for that matter.

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