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Our Embassy is acutely conscious of the dual-national marriages which fail, monitoring approximately 40 child custody cases and instances of extreme marital discord and abuse.But American women who are both happily and unhappily involved in relationships with Saudi men admit to having been appallingly ignorant of the Kingdom and its culture prior to their betrothal.The stories of those whose marriages have failed underline the necessity of looking before leaping into the cultural chasm that separates Saudi husbands from their American wives.The following advice and guidelines for women considering marriage to Saudi nationals were culled from interviews with women well known to our Embassy for their embattled relations with their Saudi spouses, from anecdotes from women whose husbands are well known to the Embassy because of their positions in government or business, as well as conversations with women happily or tolerably married to middle and lower class Saudis.The majority of American citizen spouses fall into this category.Inevitably, American citizen spouses characterize their Saudi husbands during their school days in the United States as being completely "westernized"; drinking beer with the best of them, chasing after women and generally celebrating all the diversities and decadence of a secular society.When they arrive in the Kingdom, they take up residence in the family's home where family members greet them with varying degrees of enthusiasm and little English.Typically, their only driver will be their husband (or another male family member), their social circle with be the extended family, and they will not be permitted to work or appear uncovered among men to whom their husband is not related.
Saudi women are prohibited from marrying non-Arabs except with a special dispensation from the King.
Most notably, William Mc Gurn, chief editorial writer at The Wall Street Journal, has written a series of hard-hitting pieces accusing the Saudis of holding Americans captive. A new book by one of the mothers will appear early in 2003. The issue has yet to be resolved, and it has come to exemplify the sharp cultural clash suppressed by the interest-driven politics of U. No document better conveys that clash than the eight-page brochure entitled "Marriage to Saudis," which was published and distributed by the consular bureau of the Department of State, from the mid-1990s. It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department's standard bureaucratic style.
The document is an advisory to American women contemplating marriage to Saudi men, based on the long experience of U. 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.
The women are allowed to travel separately with the dual-national children.
The women may or may not have converted to Islam; their conversion may or may not be sincere.The straightforward and talkative frankness of "Marriage to Saudis" also led to its retraction by the department.