Saudicat
Not without my cat

Just a few meows, some might call it rantings and ravings..


Name:
Location: Jiddah, Saudi Arabia

An old Cologne cat that had to adapt to a new home.. lol

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Saudi Arabia.. eeeeek!

I guess everybody knows this typical stereotype - naive woman from the West falls for some exotic looking culprit, marries into the Arab version of the Munster family and suffers all kinds of ghastly hardships until she finally escapes to the shores of freedom where she belongs. Add a helpless child or two that evil Munster man does not want to let out of his desert cave (but loving Mama saves them anyway) and you have everything you need for your next bestseller.

The morale of such stories usually is something like 'only an idiot marries an Arab'. There is so much in our presumably advanced Western society that you will miss, that you cannot do without, the cultural clashes will ultimately prove out too much. You cannot love a man that seriously expects you to put a bag over your head and be a nonperson, can't you?

A typical conversation with a German friend of mine when I sorted out my things before marriage..

Me: "Somehow it breaks my heart that I cannot take my Quadral Montan speakers to Saudi Arabia. It took me so long to save up for them..."
Friend (aghast): "Oh no!! You cannot take your speakers to that country? You, who love music so much? Oh my God, why won't he let you take your Quadral Montan with you?"
Me: "Because he just got me a pair of classical Dynaudio Consequence..."


For those of you who do not know much about Hifi speakers, it makes no sense to stuff a pair of rather big and bulky speakers into a plane when there is already a better pair of speakers waiting for you. I just got a bit nostalgic that day. And no, my 'Wahhabi' husband did not throw my Montan speakers into the River Rhine because they were haram. They are still fine and standing in our German apartement.

What was so typical about this bit of conversation was the blank presumption that Saudi Arabia means loss, restriction, renunciation. The simple idea that you might get something else for it, probably even something better, simply doesn't occur. And the thought that there might be some things you not only do not miss but are actually glad you got rid of them is far too much to comprehend.

And at times, it is outright funny to see the flabbergasted faces when you tell them that marrying an Arab and going to Saudi Arabia definitely was the best choice of your life.

(to be continued)

52 Comments:

Blogger Abu Sinan said...

Great post. I understand a lot of what you are saying. I am a western guy who married an Saudi woman. This means that some of our experiences are different, but at the same time very much alike.

You give and you loose, but on the whole I would say I am much better off now. Having moved so much in my life, all over the US and Europe, I love change and can easily adapt. As a matter of fact, I can safely say I would probably be VERY bored with a woman that didnt offer any challenges or opportunities to experience something new.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Farooha said...

Awww you're so cute Rani. So sad, I'm not going to be marrying anything different. Saudi, Saudi all the way :-(

Your husband seems a whole lot cooler than the people I get proposals from. Any brothers in law perhaps? lol
Hook a sista up, woman ;-)

2:36 AM  
Blogger Abu Sinan said...

Come to the USA Farah, I am sure we can find you a nice convert. I know a guy who converted about two years ago. He is a local school teacher, active at the mosque, but doesnt seem too radical. LOL! Come on over!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Rani said...

Sorry Farooha - I'm afraid I've picked the best one out already..

But hey the young Saudis cannot be all that boring.. best advice: look out for the families' black sheep. I got one.. ;)

Funny - I never liked change. Travelling was and is a pain for me, and my favorite place was and is my own living room. So the move was quite big for me, but then it was like I found my real home in the end.

10:49 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

Wonderful blog, Rani! I'm glad I came across it in the beginnings of it! You have a great sense of humor and have jogged my memory of life in the Kingdom. Just today my blog was about how I miss it (sigh). It's very nice meeting you, we have a lot in common (except the steak-eating thing, lol)!

I look forward to reading more!

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"What was so typical about this bit of conversation was the blank presumption that Saudi Arabia means loss, restriction, renunciation. The simple idea that you might get something else for it, probably even something better, simply doesn't occur. And the thought that there might be some things you not only do not miss but are actually glad you got rid of them is far too much to comprehend"

Yeah, I guess those 15 young girls burnt to death at school for not having their ninja suits on got something better too.

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