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I never dreamed that my life would someday lead me from hearing about Saudi Arabia on the nightly news to actually living there.Even when my tall, dark, and handsome Saudi walked into the bar where we met, even when this friend of a friend became my lover, then my husband, and the father of my child, I never imagined that his , just outside my heavily curtained window.

For example, you can delete cookies for a specific site.For the longest time, women’s issues in Saudi Arabia were something I was aware of, but never concerned with, until they began to affect me.Isn’t that the way all causes for change around the world work?A woman cannot travel, attend university, work, or marry without her guardian’s permission.In some cases, although the law doesn’t support the practice, a woman cannot receive major medical treatment without the permission of her guardian.Since I came to Saudi Arabia as the wife of a Saudi citizen, my life resembles something between that of a local and that of an expat.

I live like a local, in a large villa in an upper-middle class neighborhood.

I am not permitted to move back home with my daughter, not able to move on with my life, not able to work to support myself, my gender being the only thing that is limiting me.

The issues facing Saudi women seem a little more relevant to me now, a little more urgent. I am the mother of a spirited, intelligent, and talented half-Saudi girl. She will grow up a witness to the struggles of her fellow Saudi women, but I’ll not raise her to be a victim to those struggles, let her believe that she is limited, or let others tell her that her gender is the reason why she can or cannot do what she wants, say what she believes, or be who she is meant to be.

I knew about the rule that said only men can drive.

I knew I’d need to have my husband’s permission to travel outside of the country.

With my inlaws, I am looked at as an honorary member of their tightly knit family, abiding by the unspoken rules of their culture when I’m in public or when they’re around.