It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department's standard bureaucratic style.For prospective spouses, "Marriage to Saudis" constituted an official tutorial in Saudi culture; for others, it served as a fascinating example of practical anthropology, school of hard knocks.
During it the two fiancés will be helped to know and consciously "assume" the profound cultural and religious differences they will have to face, both between themselves and in relation to their respective families and the Muslim's original environment, to which they may possibly return after a period spent abroad.
If the marriage is registered with a consulate of the Islamic country of origin, the Catholic party must beware of reciting or signing documents containing the shahada (profession of the Muslim belief).
the Saudi-American relationship virtually always blossoms in the States, in a climate that allows dating, cohabitation, children out of wedlock, religious diversity, and a multitude of other Islamic sins which go unnoticed by Saudi relatives and religious leaders thousands of miles away.
American citizen wives swear that the transformation in their Saudi husbands occurs during the transatlantic flight to the Kingdom.
Note to readers: This weblog entry on official advice to women not to marry Muslim men has, to my surprise and delight, become the springboard for an intense, heated, and personal dialogue between non-Muslim women romantically involved with Muslim men.
Judging by a number of testimonies of many writers, the site has proved valuable to many women benefiting from advice and the sharing of information; for a couple of examples see the postings by Sally, Nourshehane, Jeweler46, and Cindy (starting here, continuing here, and ending here).
There is the universal recollection of approaching Riyadh and witnessing the donning of the black abayas and face veils by the fashionably dressed Saudi women.
For many women, the Saudi airport is the first time they see their husband in Arab dress (i.e., the thobe and ghutra).
Speakers: Kathryn Lukas, Farmhouse Culture; Megali Brecke, Kitchen Witch; Jenna Muller, Full Belly Kitchen; Danielle Shaeffer, New Leaf Community Markets; Merrilee Olson, Preserve Farm Kitchen; Shermain Hardesty, UC Small Farm Program; and Erin Di Caprio, UC Davis Food Science Department. The workshop registration fee includes an organic lunch. Contact Shermain Hardesty, workshop organizer, regarding questions about the workshop content.
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Others have found solace in kindred spirits (see the posting of Becs).