Is it wrong not to want to visit my husbands family is Saudi Arabia?

It's not his family, they're lovley people, but the country makes me uneasy. From what I understand women have practically no rights there and I think I have reason to be worried.

His dad is from there, his mom is American and they all used to live here until 2 years ago. Keeps saying that his grandparents are wealthy and have a huge house so I'd be safe there and we'd barely have to leave it. Also that as long as I stay with him, there'd be no safer place on earth.

But still, Idk, I just don't have a good feeling about going there. I've also had a bad expierence with the country. I've been there for a day with my parents when I was 12 and some guy just randomly grabbed my (at the time noexiestent boobs). To be fair, we went to the police and they couldn't have reacted in a better way. Still I don't really want to go back. Is that too selfish, should I just suck it up and go with him?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • You realize that there are literally thousands of cases of American women getting married to Saudi's/Iraqi's/Persians, they go with their new husbands to see the Middle East...

    And things turn bad. Depending on the nation, husbands can pretty much hold their wives captive, refuse to let them leave the apartment/property, take their passports... I'm two months from getting my Bachelors in Political Science and International Affairs, and it's really shocking what you learn about foreign countries that the press never tells you. Example: did you know that in Saudia Arabia just passed a law making domestic abuse a crime?

    Let me rephrase that--legally speaking, wife abuse didn't become a crime until last month. August 2013. I read that enforcement hasn't even been delegated yet, meaning most cops/etc over there will probably ignore it under the excuse they don't have jurisdiction. People say abuse is bad in the United States? Until a month ago, it was perfectly legal in Saudi. Another nice example? Women can't drive legally in Saudi Arabia.

    Also, keep in mind how people are affected by the culture. Muslims in the States have to at least abide by certain practices, because Sharia Law doesn't apply here--people can call the cops. Over there? Sharia Law, baby. You also realize--his pals, family, etc, will be a huge influence on him, persuading him to act more like the locals, and less like us evil westerners?

    Seriously--don't go. Please, do yourself a favor, and stay where you have legal rights as a human being. Over there? You're literally, and legally, a 2nd class citizen. (Though if you listen to women's rights group, they'd tell you you're legally not a person but property in Saudi Arabia.)

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    • I did notice the lack of counter facts too, from people who say it's completley safe place to be, not just on this answer

    • he is right choose this anwser as well. don't go and save yourselve from being forced QA.

What Guys Said 26

  • First off read the state depts cautions and warnings for traveling in Saudi Arabia. Note that the state dept generally errs on the side of caution in their warnings but heed the advice.Also note that Saudi Arabia is nothing like Iran, Iraq, Yemen, etc. Finally just keep the US embassy Phone and address in your phone or on you somewhere

    link

    link

    tell your husband about your concerns and what he thinks about them. The fact is their crime is lower than most metropolitan areas in the US. There are religious police and state police. As a woman you should know that you should NOT associate with a man who is not in your family as this is considered forbidden. You should dress conservatively (no dresses, skirts, tanks, spaghetti straps, etc in public). Also unless you are Muslim you are not allowed in the holy cities (Mecca, Medina, etc). It is rare but not unheard of for the Muttawa (religious police) to arrest an American but this happens rarely because it only results in a quick release and embarassment. The only major concerns are the terrorists sects which if you are truly in a huge mansion and urban area I'm fairly certain they are secure

    read the state dept cautions (put the embassy phone number and address in your phone or somewhere handy) and try to get your info from unbiased people who will give you info on facts. I think you would be OK as long as you are smart and educate yourself on what to expect

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    • i'm not saying go. there are certainly concerns but I'm also saying that their is a lot of fear mongering on this page and there is a clear issue of reality vs perception.

      I went to thailand in 2006. the state department had staunch warnings abotu traveling there. Why? because a 5x10mile area in the far south was rampant with Muslim extremists. they had taken multiple military men hostage. so what did I do. I stayed far away from that area.

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    • there may be similarities in the same way there is a similarity between say Beverly Hills and south Centra, Culver City or whatever l but they are wholly different as far as travel safety goes

    • hm... OK then.

  • Why would you jump into a pool of grenades hoping one of the pins don't fall out? you wouldn't right, so why go to a country where they rate women as low as dirty toilets as far as rights go, and especially as a woman, surely this is Russian roulette.

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  • Don't think about what every one else is saying here. Every place has its laws and customs. Respect them and no harm will come to you. I go to Saudi and it's a very relaxing place to go to for the mind . Just don't let western perceptions and prejudices define your experiences. It's not fair

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    • Have you ever been there?

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    • The women who live in Saudi Arabia don't seem to have to many problems at least the ones that have been living for decades in that country without being executed

    • if you define not being executed as not haing any problems, than that comment may be true

  • i don't think it is wrong considering the bad experience you had with sexual harassement. I wouldn't worry so much about the other stuff.. you are married... you have a husband from the country and so is his family.. you are American and have an American passport . You aren't the only foreigner in the country . And you like your husband and his family. I am sure nothing would go wrong. But I can't and shouldn't invalidate your feelings.. specially the sexual harassement incident.

    just talk to him about it.. tell him you are uncomfortable and talk ina civil way .. and ask him to have time to think about it .

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    • ,idk if he counts as from the country, he was born in America, grew up in America, has an American pssport and speaks only English, french and Spanish but not arabic

    • Excellent advice.

    • Thanks AshBrown,

      Well.. no matter if he is or not from the country... he considers it somehow part of him because his family is there..

      again.. I am not trying to say your worries are unfounded.. I am just saying my point of view...

  • I understand that you don't really want to go back. KSA isn't on my short list either (and I'm a guy)

    They understand it's time to do something about it but will it succeed? : link IMHO they aren't complete savages either.

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    • I'm not saying they're total savages, but as for today truth is their legal system punishes the wrong people and that scares me. You can get raped, robbed or murdered anywhere but in most place I'd trust on the police and courts to deal with it adequatley

  • Do not let a male saudi get you into the country as his wife. He will basically own your butt. You'd be nothing but a foreign female. Eff that. Tell his family to meet you some place where they don't turn you into chattel.

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  • As long as you don't do anything "outrageous" or go to the wrong places you'll be fairly safe. A good friend of mine came back to the United States as a high school sophomore after living most of his life there, and my understanding from his accounts of Saudi is that if you stay pretty inconspicuous you'll be fine. It helps that you have connections there, too.

    However, it absolutely isn't wrong at all to be afraid of something like that, even if you hadn't had the bad experience you described. It might be helpful to talk to someone about it so you can incrementally feel more comfortable and eventually go there in ample time, but don't feel like you "owe" it to anyone to go there if you're afraid. I'm sure his family will understand.

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    • well I think it's much easier to inconspicuous there if you're a man, than if you're a woman. Things that are normal to us, like publicly disagreeing with your husband.

      I get that bad things happen everywhere, but I feel like if I get raped here I'd go to the police and they'll get me all the help I can get. That'd be different there, I just feel I'd be left alone by the legal system in case anything happens. Like what do I do if he suddenly dies, I have no legal power at all

    • How long would you be staying over? How far away would your lodging in Saudi be from wherever you've landed? I don't want to say "stay cooped up in your room until it's over" but if it worries you very much and you're still willing to go through with it, it may be best to spend most of your time in the company of your husband and/or parents-in-law.

  • Like other people have said, being a woman would be more problematic than being American. Although they're the most restrictive country in the region in terms of their governance, Saudi Arabia is probably the greatest U.S. ally in the area outside of Israel.

    Still, with few exceptions, nowhere in the Middle East is particularly safe these days, and as some people have mentioned, if things go sour you could easily get stuck. Chances are if you go nothing bad will happen, but for me, it would not be worth the risk. If you're uncomfortable, then your husband should understand. What's the worst he could do (in this country, anyway)?

    You can also find more information and advice on the U.S. Department of State website.

    By the way, beware of advice from the politically correct... they would tell you to go to Somalia just to prove you're not a racist.

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  • DO. NOT. GO.

    Saudi Arabia is a hell of a scary ass place. Same with Iran, Iraq, Yemen... shet, almost all the countries with Muslims as the majority there will be high chances of you getting into DEEP crap. But Saudi Arabia is even more dangerous for foreign non-Muslim women since it harbors the Muslim capital of the world- that is, the Kaaba is there.

    Unless you're a Muslim willing to cover up your ENTIRE BODY with some shady crap, there's a high chance you're going to get bad attention and/or assaulted.

    DO NOT GO THERE. Your life and human rights come first.

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    • Stupid advice.

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    • If they treat their women badly, it's not even my issue, I'm not Arab or Iranian, and all cultures hold unique values. The Koran says that life is meant to tough and that joy is fleeting, so be it.

    • it looks like you're post is meaningless again.

  • I don't blame you at all. Saudi Arabia is a piece of sh!t wasteland. No one in their right mind would want to go over there

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  • no its not wrong.. you're uncomfortable. You know what's wrong? How you feel the need to justify you're feelings with morality. Morality is stupid bullsh*t. You're feelings tell you the truth

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    • It's just that I get that he wants me to see family at every occasion, since they live so far away. It's not morality, it's just that you should compromise in a relationship and I'm not sure if I should make tht compromise

    • yes you are.. you just are afraid of your own judgement

  • just don't go, you don't have to. your a free person. the people that said get over it, block them and ignore there advice. if he doesn't respect your wishes, just get rid of him away from your life. you deserve better to feel safe.

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    • some of you people down below are way immature, try saying all of that as a women and see what happens. I hope something bad happens to the ones on here that said get over iot. I hope your cursed and put in jail and worst. she is a girl, she will not survive there.

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    • you defiantly divorce him, then since he is half serious by not listening to you. he probably doesn't care at all. So divorce him immediately when you have a chance before things escaulate.

    • just save yourselve a hassle and divorce him. you would be much happier without been forced to go there without listening to your concerns.

  • There is nothing wrong with the fear that you experience. There have been countless women executed for Miscellaneous crimes in that country.but As long as you do not do anything illegal and keep your whole body covered by black cloth In public you will be just fine

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    • As long as you don't GET ACCUSED of doing anything illegal.

    • Why would you get accused of if you didn't do anything if they have no evidence even in a hole in the wall like Saudi Arabia they can't convict you if you if they have no evidence

  • don't go there at all. those places are very dangerous esepically for Americans now days due to all of the wars lately. don't go there I repeat don't.

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    • You've never been there. You should only talk of what you know of

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    • You're lacking in so much knowledge. If you think you're safe in USA then goodluck. I know Saudi well, I speak their language, and I hope you never go there, and if you do I hope you're given hell because that's your opinion of them and that's what you'll find

    • What teh f*** is wrong with you montova1, I never said anything about being safe in America, she doesn't have a rigth to be force to go somewhere where it is not safe? you are messed up in the head, I hope your dead oneday. how dare you say that. I'm blocking you bitch. your a dumbass to force someone like her where she feels unsafe, dumbass controlfreak.

  • Sounds like he is doing everything in his power to keep you safe. I would go.

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    • well the thing is that there are a lot of things that aren't in his power

    • This is true. But a lot isn't under your control when you drive, either. You don't stop doing that. But I understand your concerns. It's not my decision if you go.

  • It could be dangerous... trust your intuition.

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  • Do you watch "Total Divas" on E?

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    • I do not, what is it?

    • Look up episode 8, watch it, and then come back to my answer when you have

  • Yes, you should. You owe it your husband.

    How would you feel if he didn't want to see your family?

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    • It's not that I don't want to see his family, I don't want to see his family in saudi arabia. I'd love to see them anywhere else

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    • I already addressed him being "insulted" on my previous comment to your post. Besides, I said there *might* be something hidden. I didn't say it with absolute certainty.

    • Danix, starting off your comment by laughing and saying that we're idiots won't make you look good.

      Just saying.

  • Wow I didn't want to go anon but I'd better :D

    1. Saudi is a very safe country with their laws and stuff for protection of especially women

    2. However, your fears about 'women having no rights' is a fact - the Shariah is more towards male dominance (required for the way the world was at that time in those parts - not too different even now)

    3. If it's a visit, keep the embassy informed of your whereabouts (hopefully you are American or Brit)

    4. The bad experience (even worse) you've had there can happen to you even in America or Europe.

    5. However, if you aren't comfortable going there please ask him to respect your wishes. His parents can always come down since they are wealthy and also that their currency is higher than even the $ (thank the oil :D )

    I'd say don't go :)

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    • what exactly in their law protects women if I may ask? Because I've researched the topic and I couldn't find anything. I'm sure there are some points that in their eyes protect women, from a western perspective they are a big step backwards

      I know that things like that can happen eerywhere, it's not my only reason not to want to go there, it's just one more reason. You said yourself women have little to no rights there, so at the very least you would say that men have less of an

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    • ... or a Muslim, I'd say stay out. I know many cases of the nice guys turning hostile once back in their territory. If he's got to stay nice to you let him stay nice to you where you guys are.

      And yes the unfortunate thing that happened to you can happen anywhere but the worst and stringent punishment meted out to a perpetrator instantly happens only out there :) - fact

      But bottom line young lady, don't go :) especially after knowing his mom's American and his dad's native there AND ...

    • ... they've settled down there which probably is the reason why she's safe (unsure if happy but maybe too) cause once you are in there and you get stuck your voice may never be heard - the law and people there ensure that

  • I think you should get over your fears and go there to see his family. AFAIK, Saudi is not a dangerous country and they're pretty open to foreigners, you shouldn't have any trouble.

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    • Stop forcing her, she does not have to idiot!

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    • You should stop watching Fox News. You have a seriously distorted view of the World.

    • i actually never watched news anymore gaved up on it, nothing but negativty, however I always check my email and always come across dumbas articles, lol. I have actually been trying to avoid due to the nonsense of the newstation but they keep posting crap.

      I been focusing on my gaming news lately, lol.

  • No don't go. There's plenty of stupid Europeans and Americans who feel that since they're European or American that they can go anywhere in the world especially countries that hate them.

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  • No safer place on earth? A place where you have no rights? Seems unlikely.

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  • I wouldn't go to the kingdom on a bet, if I were a woman. Especially if I were married to a Saudi man.

    I'm sure your husband is decent and honorable. But the letter of the law and more importantly, the practice of the law there, puts you as a woman in the equivalent legal standing of a pre-Lincoln era slave in the southern United States. Add the fact that (I presume) you are of another ethnic and cultural background... Possibly another religion, puts you at an even further disadvantage, if not peril.

    There just is no way. I couldn't be dragged there.

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  • Let me tell you frankly, I'd stay FAR AWAY from Muslim countries if I were a woman. All your fears are totally justified. Women have absolutely no rights there, and quite surprisingly, most Muslim laws favor men even when its their fault. Consider this example. According to Muslim law, suppose a woman is raped and she goes to the police station to lodge a complaint, its SHE who is arrested and given a prison term ranging between 10 years and 20 years. The reason for this is, in Muslim law its a crime for an unmarried woman to have sex, and also for a married woman to have sex with any person other than her husband. So, even if she is raped, she is still convicted for the 'crime', unless there are at least 3 male witnesses (women won't qualify as witnesses) who say in the court that the women was indeed raped, and it was non-consensual. You can very well understand how often that happens. And the worst thing is, this ridiculous law applies to ANYONE in the country at that point, and not only to Muslim residents of that country.

    This is just ONE example which I gave. There are many others. There have been several instances where a couple had consensual sex while dating, later broke up, but yet the woman was sentenced to be stoned to death whereas the man wasn't even called to appear before the police or court. I can go on and on regarding the barbaric stuff about Muslim countries. If you husband REALLY loves you and cares for your safety, he would never force you to visit such Muslim countries where women are CONSTANTLY at risk. I would go even as far as to say that you can even consider divorcing him if he forces you too much, because that would be much better than the HUGE risk of visiting such countries. Please don't feel that I'm scaring you. I'm only telling you the actual facts so that your life doesn't get ruined.

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    • No I know that, and that's one of my main concerns. But he said I don't have to lie there, it's just a 10 day vacation. And that it's also illegal for women to leave the house without an adult male relative (not that I would there anyways) and it'd be almost impossible for anything to happen when I stay with him

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    • You have no idea what you're talking about. Never heard anything more wrong

    • @Montoya1 I know PERFECTLY what I'm talking about. I'm not a lunatic who just scares random women on the internet. I live in a country which is surrounded by many Muslim countries, and I read about such cases in the newspapers almost on a daily basis. And there is loads of such information on the internet too. You could say they were 'false' in case of a few such news, but I'm sure you're not foolish enough to say 'all' those reports are false.

  • I'd honestly never go there. You saw what just happened in Kenya and Saudi Arabia is not really far away from countries where similar things happen on a daily basis.

    Maybe his family is nice, but who around them can you really trust? Most Arabs I know are nice people, but a place like Saudi Arabia has like no constitutional rights for the people - you could get in any situation and the police blames it on you - just remember that woman from Norway ( link )

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    • No I didn't see what happened there?

      This article is exactly the reason why I don't want to go there. I know that bad things happen everywhere, but most other legal system would deal with them very very differentley and it makes me feel unsafe and left alone

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    • Read what happened to an Indian student in the USA recently: link This happened to black guys in the USA: link like no constitutional rights for the people - you could get in any situation and the police blames it on you and shoots you.

    • Zimmerman acted allegedly in self-defence. And since nobody could prove otherwise, he's a free man. That's what a constitutional state is based on. If you can prove otherwise, go to police and show them - otherwise accept the court sentence, anything else is mob law.

      And mistakes happen in a legal system even in Western Europe which is already far better off than the US. But Arabian states have like no law at all concerning women.

  • Yeah I am all set with traveling to any Muslim countries, and I wouldn't advise any American to do so either. I know that the President thinks that everything is normal in the world, but it's not.

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    • I traveled in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey. Alone or with my wife and I never had any trouble with the people there. If you travel in the USA and you come in a town where the sheriff doesn't know you or your family you could get in serious trouble too, if you ran into a problem with one of the local people. Just ask Trayvon Martin or Melissa Alexander.

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    • Not in those countries in Particulr, as I said I've been to Turkey and Morrocco, who both hae relatiley secular legal systems. Lebanon, Malaysia, Indonesia and Kuwait are other examples

    • "Secular legal systems" in Turkey? "Liberal" laws? I doubt it after Fazil Say was placed under investigation by Istanbul authorities for "insulting religious values".

      The "worst" thing he said that made the government go after him was "since you get promised drinks and beautiful women for doing good deeds, Heaven sounds a bit like a pub or a brothel" and that his career will end if he's jailed for saying these things.

      So people in Turkey get jailed for free speech? Secular indeed.

What Girls Said 8

  • As a female who's boyfriend is half Arab and who has dated Arab guys in the past, I honestly don't know that I would go to Suadi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is one of the more hostile, repressive, chauvinistic Arab countries. To my understanding, Saudi Arabians are often very arrogant and think they're "the better Arabs" because it's a wealthy country and the home of the Kaaba. Which if you're unfamiliar with Islam, the Kaaba is a place where Muslims from all over the world go to once a year. One of my close friend's husband is stationed in Saudi Arabia and he has mainly negative things to say about the country outside of the stunning architecture. He says the men are disrespectful towards women.

    Maybe it's ignorant, but the only Arab countries I would feel comfortable going to are Kuwait and Dubai. Now, that may change if I went there and had wonderful, positive experiences but those countries are more welcoming to the Western world. Culturally, they're much more similar. I don't think you're being selfish, but it's a sticky situation : / Saudi Arabia is great for an Arab man, I'm sure! But for an AMERICAN WOMAN, a white American woman or African American woman at that, HELL NO!

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    • Actually, it's Mecca that millions of Muslims go to every year- not kaaba. The kaaba is the stone structure that's pretty much the center of the world for Muslims. Muslims should always pray towards the kaaba.

      Mecca is the city :). Just fyi.

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    • yeah, no problem.

    • Good answer. If I remember right, Dubai is a bit of a vacation spot for Westerners, so they're more okay dealing with Euros/Americans, and Kuwait is a good bit more progressive/liberal than some nations in the Middle East.

  • It's all right to have fairs, especially having a bad experience the only time you ever went. But, you also have to remember that you'll be with your husband, so it's less likely that something bad would happen to you. It's good to be with somebody who understands how things work, anyway. So, while you should definitely trust your gut, I doubt you have anything to worry about as long as you're not alone (but I think that should really go for any foreigner-I mean, if a person from Saudi Arabia was visiting America I would give them the same advice. It's safer and not to mention, easier to get around).

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  • DON'T GO. Your safety comes first. If you are an American, you WILL be a target for terrorists, end of story.

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  • Not all men are like that, plus they are your in laws you should meet them. Besides if you were uncomfortable with the country why marry a guy who's home is in that country

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    • FROM that country not in that country. I don't think I should limit my dating pool based the politics of his country of heritance.
      And as I said, I did meet them before, here.

      As this question is a bit older, we decided that we weren't going to visit them. Instead we met in italy

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    • he's not muslim no, but of arabic descent

  • I would think it is still better to go for a few days, I understand what you meant, I wouldn't be comfortable there too due to culture. They are still afterall your relatives, your husband family...

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  • Follow your instint it's never wrong

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  • well I lived there for 16 years and non of that happened to me. I am in the U. S right know and I am planing to go live back there again. I am actually excited to go back home. Any further questions? :))

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  • I'd feel uneasy too, and I get your concerns. It's hard, because you do want to meet his family. Best case scenario is that going is an interesting cultural experience and you have a nice time with his family. Worst case... is pretty scary to think about. I think the crime rate is fairly low, but their government and practices are what's intimidating. I'd just thoroughly research the place and their laws before deciding whether to go or not. Can you talk to your mother-in-law, or another American woman who's been there? That would help.

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    • See, and that's what's so scary because in the event that you have a negative experience in a foreign country, you would hope that you would have full support from the government and police. Yet Saudi Arabian goverment and police seem to support the f***ery and outrageousness moreso than people who were negatively effected.

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