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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?
Restrictions on women In Saudi Arabia, women face several restrictions based entirely on gender.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.I socialize like an expat with mostly expat friends who are also married to Saudis.
Our children play, we meet for dinners, we know each other’s husbands, we gossip, and we talk about how much we miss our home countries.
We as expats have the power and the responsibility to make a positive difference in our host countries. Mandi is an American woman who grew up in the Midwest, never dreaming that her life would take her halfway around the world.
She first moved to Saudi Arabia in 2007 after marrying a local, and now lives in the country’s capitol, Riyadh.
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.
If she is not married to a local, an expat woman is not bound by as many religious or social customs of the country, especially not while behind the walls of her compound.