GCC · Iranian revolution

Do Saudis really fall in love?

When it comes to love, the issue with Saudis isn’t about whether it’s religiously allowed or not. From an Islamic point of view to love is to live. Love is the base of all religions. Love itself isn’t the question. Our ability as Saudis to love and be loved isn’t the thing. There are so many religious figures who married women they loved or had feelings for. Pure kind of feelings. That kind of relationship has always been acceptable. Love itself is acceptable. To fall for someone is okay. It has always been. In fact my parents married each other after they had feelings for one another. 

I believe that the whole issue of romantic relationships between the two genders in Saudi isn’t at all about love. It’s about trust. And society started to have trust issues back in 1979. That’s the time when the Iranian revolution started and eventually affected religion in GCC. Just then, an extreme version of religion prevailed. Women in GCC started to cover or were forced to wear hijab even when they travel abroad. Those who didn’t at the time, would very possibly be harassed in local streets. Men suddenly became more religious. Clear segregation between the two genders started. Mentally and physically. 

Before 1979 when a man loves a woman, the whole neighborhood knew about it. The whole family knew about it. They were okay with it. Even when he visits her at home just to stand by the door for a few-minutes-talk, which is the closest version to a standup- date, that was not forbidden. People would not make a big deal out of it.

The Iranian revolution added an extreme version of religion which didn’t exist in such an intensity before. People called it “awareness”. I wouldn’t use such a term to describe it though. That version has prevailed ever since, and the look on love has changed eventually, as a part of the whole package.

Ever since 1980’s, any connection between men and women has changed. People then started to portray any relationship between two people before marriage as a sin. Men in books were described as “wolves” and women depicted as sheep, who should be protected by being away from men, their predators.

Trust issues started to arise. Even when a man falls in love for real with a woman, she would typically fear him. She would doubt his intention. She would fear that he plays around. Many people were brainwashed that all relationships between men and women before marriage are meant to solely serve physical pleasure. Such a process which happened in a relatively short time affected many people for real into believing it. As a result, people started to suppress romantic love and marry based on their mothers’ choice. Such suppression has started now to show result with a huge increase in the percentage of divorce in the GCC area. 

Many men and women eventually were raised to lose trust in one another. It’s not love which they lost as many would claim, nor the hope of finding it. It’s trust. 

If there’s anything which we, Saudis, should be working on, it is our trust in one another’s genuine feelings. Trust shouldn’t be an individual process. Nothing equals real feelings if you want to live, not just exist like everybody else.

*photo belongs to the talented Saudi photographer Hesham alhumaid.

* kindly note that the article reflects my own personal observation on society and culture. I didn’t conduct any kind of scientific or sociological researches to write this article. 

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Thanks for reading this article..

My name is Noor and I love writing, eating bagels and dancing.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, let me know. Your comment or like go a long way.

Please dont hesitate to ask me any questions about Islam, Saudi Arabia or GCC. I always like to share my knowledge.

I am an educator too. This is my Telegram channel for teaching English language to Arabic speakers through “edutainment”:

https://telegram.me/active_english_wth_Noor

Love💚

Noor

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23 thoughts on “Do Saudis really fall in love?

  1. Trust is a good finding. 🙂 Do I trust the shopkeeper to sell me the 1,000 grammes of chicken that I am paying for? (Sorry for the comparison, but you will see what I am getting at). Do I trust my Boss to have my interests in mind as an employee or an executive? Do I trust politicians? Do I trust this stranger walking towards me on the same sidewalk, at night, in a dark alley? Do I trust my banker? Or is s/he going to run away with my money? Leonard Cohen (RIP) got ripped off by his manager of many years. Millions of dollars. That is why he had to go back on tour again. Do I trust my wife (as an equal) with my own life? 🙂 There are countries/cultures where you can trust no-one. 😦 As you said in a slightly different manner, Lumière, Trust is the basis of all human relationship. (Trust me!) 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I confess that I got dizzy at first when reading your comment 😄 trying to relate it to what I write. Then I got the point.
      Trust is indeed the core of everything. We can do literally nothing and move to nowhere if we have no trust in ourselves or others.
      Thanks for being an amazing reader. Stay well.
      How’s Mexico?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Mexico is sinking into violence and corruption. What can we do? 🙂 Dizzy? That generally happens after several Rock&Roll spins. 🙂 I knew as I was writing that I was “moving” very far away from your thoughts. But you had said it right: “TRUST”. Shukran for being an amazing writer, Lumière. 😉

        Like

  2. How can saudis fall in love, when they’ve a completely diff culture as compared to ours… ?
    I mean Saudi people make their gatherings separated as women in houses and men in some common majlis…
    When you are not allowed to meet and talk, how could you love a stranger?

    Like

    1. Well, interesting point.
      I believe though that the sharpness of segregation differs between one family to the other.
      Some maybe having a personal problem with the segregation more than society itself. More than life itself. Those are the kind of people who should be complained about. Thanks God many people are starting to change.
      Thanks for dropping by mahreenii.

      Like

  3. Dear Noor, great article as always I think in Saudi Arabia we have very much difference in culture even between the same tribe or the same family. Some families deal with love as great sin while others enjoy seeing it. It’s all about how lucky you were born.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Abdullah,
      Thanks a lot for your comment. Appreciate it.
      I believe that to love and to be loved is a birth right. And rights shouldn’t be waited upon.
      Each person deserves love. Even if his family or society doesn’t like it.
      Regards,

      Like

  4. hello, nice to come your blog again, but i’m as someone who never come to saudi, i think that saudi is islamic country so they will use every law base on islamic point of view, isn’t it ? but what did you tell was about something social changed about the gender liberalism system. so ironic but that’s the fact. thankyou.

    Like

  5. Thank you for letting me know that! Was, it’s really always a pleasure to learn more about other cultures.
    Thank you so much.
    After 2 months away from here I’m back, come and say hi whenever you like 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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