This blog is blocked in Saudi Arabia. It is written by a Saudi professor. It has been hit by 173 countries worldwide. It has been translated into 7 languages.
A non-Saudi reader of the blog has written to me her experience with Saudi Arabia. In her words:
I’m 30 years old and Filipino and I have met a Saudi guy two years younger than me in early 2010 in the city where I’m living at right now in the Philippines. My best friend met a Saudi guy online and when he came to visit her, a friend came with him. My friend asked me to drive them around town during the duration of their stay. And since my friend would be pre-occupied with her boyfriend, I would spend a lot of time talking to her bf’s friend. We immediately hit it off. During their three week stay here, he and I had gotten deeply attached to each other. When they went back to Saudi Arabia, we kept in touch through phone, Skype and Facebook. I have done some online research at this time about Saudi men and how it is the law for them to only marry Saudi girls. Yet, I could not stop myself from sinking deeper into the relationship. And he as well. We have had talks that it cannot be possible for us in the long run. Yet, a couple of months after we met, he flew here on his day-off to see me. The attraction was just so great we could not exactly explain it. He is a devout Muslim and he often confides what we are doing (being in a relationship and being intimate) is wrong but he cannot not listen to his heart. By mid-2010, we decided to part because there was no future for us. He told me being Filipino and being non-Muslim is a huge barrier. And that mostly, only Western women, Malaysians and Indonesians are considered fit as foreign wives. Added to that the factor of our age. He was only 25 at that time (while I was 27) and he says it was unacceptable for a man his age to marry someone older, not to mention the restriction I have recently read from a blog that a Saudi man needs to at least be 35 years of age for him to take a foreign wife. After we broke up, I decided to travel around Asia and I went for eight months. During this time, my Saudi guy and I still kept in touch sporadically. Previously, I had mentioned to him that I planned going back home to the Phils in six months time. I did not know that he also timed a one month vacation leave to coincide with my supposed arrival. But I extended my travels by two months and we missed each other by 2 days. But by this time (early 2011) I was already going out with somebody I met traveling and told him it was for the better. In late 2011, my bf that time and I broke up and a few days later I got a message from my Saudi guy that he would be coming to the Philippines. I did not tell him that I was already single. The truth was I was still not over him I knew I would just be asking for trouble if he and I would get back together because nothing has changed in his country; it would still be a futile relationship. But when we met again, the attraction was just beyond any rational thinking. Although this time I had wisened-up and did pretended that I was cool with his leaving though that was not the actual case. We still kept in touch with monthly chats or emails when he suddenly announced last month that he would be coming back to the country again. I was still not over him. But knew I should control whatever feelings I have for him to save myself. However, that was not the case. The attraction was still there and it was as intense as ever. When I say attraction I mean it in all aspects. We are so attuned to each other that even if I have dated other men before, nothing compares to what we have. We spent about a week together and during this time he made a revelation. It would be his last visit to the country because he had to seriously get over me for good. He told me that because he met me, he kept on postponing his marriage plans because it would be unfair to the future wife if I am still in his mind. He tried hard to get over me and went into depression. He told me that he cannot bear to take me away from a life that affords me the freedom that Saudi cannot give women. And that for me to live in Saudi, I would be treated as an outcast. We also both know that living outside Saudi is out of the question. He works for the [state] and he has duties to his family. He has accepted the fact that he may never meet someone who he can connect to as he can with me and now feels he is duty-bound to marry. It made me cry and cry to know that someone I love had to suffer this way because of a culture that dictated on the hearts of their people. And we are just helpless. You cannot tell anyone who to love. And that is something that needs to go away in Saudi. I am a liberal, a feminist and and pro-gay. I just cannot believe how messed-up SA is. Love has always been the greatest motivator for me and I feel so frustrated and upset that a man I love is subjected to an oppressive situation and that eventually he would have to settle down with someone he might never love. Though I wished him all the best, I am depressed over the thought that he might not have a happy ending. I am also quite angry at the fact that I couldn’t have my happy ending.