Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Letter to Saudi women: Please leave my husband alone!

Dear Saudi women out there who have the bad habit of stalking my Saudi husband. Please leave my husband alone. You drive me crazy!!
Not that this letter will be likely to ever reach you.

Could you please stop staring at my husband and following him around when we are out together?

Yes he is married to a westerner, does that make you feel jealous or bitter that he didn't marry one of his "own kind"?
Please just leave him alone, he is a shy guy. He doesn't want the attention.

Staring is actually really impolite, did you know?
In fact leering at someone is viewed as inconsiderate and uncivilized.
Civilized people do not stare at strangers so recklessly.
Civilized people also do not whisper, point at people and giggle in their presence. Especially adults.

Shouldn't you be minding your own business rather than gawking at him like he is an alien?

Or do you perhaps view him as a traitor? Since he is with me, a western woman who stole such great marriage material from a Saudi woman?

Yes, my husband is very handsome, tall and well-built. Are you checking him out? I think sometimes you are.
Please lower your gaze.

Wearing niqab is not an excuse to stare and does not give you the right to neglect the first part of the ayat of lowering gazes.

Aren't you worried your husband if you have one, will notice you staring at another man?
Sometimes I've seen you with your husband, looking at mine.

Do you not feel guilty at all for leering at him so blatantly, and for flirting with an obviously married man?

What about batting your long fake eyelashes at him like you are the Queen of Sheba? Do you seriously think it has any effect on him?

And for your information, I am not a stupid, or blind. I can see very well you eyeing him from behind the anonymity of your niqab.

Sometimes you follow him around the store with your girlfriends like he is a piece of meat and you forgot to eat your iftar.

Or are you really this bored? If so, couldn't you think of a more stimulating and intelligent way to pass your time than shopping and evaluating other womens husbands?
Can you please be a bit more respectful? My husband does not stare back at you, he has done nothing to you and just wants to do some shopping in peace with his wife.

Sorry to disappoint you but he is not looking for a second wife.

Your co-operation is highly appreciated.
Thank you!

P.S Here is a very similar experience written by an Englishman in Riyadh:

P.S. Just to clarify this letter is not meant for ALL Saudi women!


Umm Latifa said...

wow ;), alhamdulilaah you are in Saudi Arabia ;), they can only stare ;). Does this kind of behaviour make you uncomfortable or your husband?
It seems the men should also be covering (haha). Wish you peace!

Layla said...

@ Umm Latifa

I don't know which one of us it makes more uncomfortable. My husband feels really awkard about the stares and doesn't like to go out much because of it.
For me I guess I'm just protective of him ;)

Layla said...

@ Alice
What these women will do also is evaluate my appearance, like what kind of abaya I'm wearing, they will giggle to theirselves especially if Im wearing the blue one.
They will also check out my bag and shoes..
but 90% of the time they focus on my husband!

Dentographer said...

i am a married man,and from my experience,Saudi women do stare at married men MUCH more than single men,and thats what happens with me personally.
when i asked the ladies,i got a variety of responses on why they do that,some say because married men are very well groomed because they are taken care of by their wives,while others say they are more attractive because they are married and proven marriage material and taking responsibility of a family,and not just a wild loser of a man.

trust me,it has gone alot further than just feeling awkward,ive witnessed cases when the wife went and beat the crap outta the staring woman and told her to stop staring,and guess what,no one tried to stop her because everyone knows the wrath of an angry wife!

and i am sorry to say this,but those who stare are not really concerned by what the ayat says,actually its the least of their concerns,and they actually use niqab as a tool for them to look anywhere they want because they think that the eyes are hidden so no one can know where i am looking.

though i know that this blog post will not reach the gazers,cos english to them is probably a language of the extraterrestrial creatures,but i hope the message is delivered.
best of luck,and its always good to see posts from you.

Vanamo said...

Salam aleikum,
insha Allah God will show relief for your problem. If I would be in your situation, I would probably start going mad. For me, that kind of behaviour sounds very odd and un-islamic. I can only hope that you find strength.

Anonymous said...

I am a man, and believe me, you are making a tempest in a glass of water. Relax. Is it because you feel inferior and afraid of loosing your husband? If you are better than those wild girls, then, ignore them the same way your husband does (or doesn't he?).

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I know MANY Saudi men who are married to foreign women, it never really bothered any of us. I never stared, I don't know anyone who stares. So, no, I don't think those who do are jealous or see your husband as a traitor.. they might as well be just bored :P
Is your husband that gorgeous anyway?

- H

Layla said...

@ Dentographer

Nice to hear from you for a long time :)
Your insight is always appreciated!
I can't imagine attacking these women, although I must admit it has sometimes crossed my mind to confront them and just ask, why are you doing that? She would probably reply by giggling..
I agree those who do this most probably will not read my post, or if they do would they do anything about it?

Layla said...

wa aleikum salaam Nadia!

thanks for you support!
Im a strong woman I can handle it, I just hate to see my husband bothered so much, and of all places, conservative Riyadh by muslim women!
I'm used to it since he gets looks from women anywhere in the world we go because of his charming looks and courteous manners but here its so much worse!

Have a happy Eid!

Layla said...

@ Anonymous

"Is it because you feel inferior and afraid of loosing your husband?"

No I certainly do not feel inferior to these kind of disrespectful people..And what in the world would make me afraid of loosing my husband to them? LOL!!!!!
Are you serious? You are really gave me a good laugh though.

Layla said...

Hi H!

Do you live in Jeddah?
I guess ppl would be more accepting and use to it there.
Thats great you or your friends are not like that, doesn't mean it doesnt happen though.

Yes my husband is exceptionally handsome (of course im biased) he doesn't even look so typically Saudi, maybe more Italian..So he gets the ladies attention everywhere but he is shy so he doesnt like attention.
But the attention is different here its not just a look, its so much more.

Anonymous said...

LOL pls say u r not serious !! how can you ask for such a thing if you are confident your husband is yours and yours alone you should have nothing to fear, as a matter of fact if I were you I would be so proud and gaze right back with confidence and pride, let them think he is yours and your alone, we say in arabic HARRAA all of you gazing women.

Layla said...

Mary, dont take this post too seriously, im sure you can also see the sarcastic humour behind it??
Where did I say I fear them??
What these women are doing is RUDE and UNCIVILISED.
Im not that kind of person that my husbands good looks would make me proud, its just a superficial thing. sure I feel lucky to have him, and he feels the same about me..
but I think you have just totally missed the point of the post. Most people that commented did understand though.

Have a nice day!

Mubeen Shahid said...

I fully understand your concern. In a country like Saudi Arabia, where saudi men are considered second only to God, and can dump wives anytime they want plus considering the fact that an expatriate women/wife has absolutely no rights, you really need to take this issue seriously Laylah. To start with, make sure your husband is modestly dressed. Also, while in the market, try to observe your hubby from a distance and see if he is not throwing any vibes or doing any eye-contact flirting.

Layla said...

@ Mubeen Shahid

hahaha thanks for a good laugh!!
Yes I will ask him to wear niqab. I could also hire a someone to spy on him, what do you think?

Ok maybe not :D but thanks for your insight!

Noor said...

Asalam Alaykum, I am an American married to a Saudi and living in Riyadh and I know exactly what you mean.

Anonymous said...

May be your husband is so handsome he is irresitble to these saudi ladies... lol you watch out for him.

Maha Noor Elahi said...

Wow! I was just writing an article about that issue!!

Dear...don't bother yourself with such B*****!! I am a Saudi woman married to a Saudi and they do the same with my husband, too!

This does not happen because you are not a happens because your husband - as you said - is happens to my husband for the same reason :)

The best solution that I found over my 18 years of marriage is:
1- ignore them completely
2- DO NOT go out with your husband unless you are 100% dressed up elegantly at your best every time you go with your husband
3- if they stare at you or your husband, stare back at them and whisper to your husband a few words while you look at them...and don't forget to giggle while you talk to your husband..
4- if they have husbands with them, stare at their husbands

These tips are dirty - I know - but they work :)

By the way, the same thing happened to me in Orlando ... American women were staring at my husband and one of them actually approached him and started to flirt!

The problem is that you and I are married to handsome men :) If I only knew that something like this would happen, I would have married the ugliest of them all LOL

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Isn't jealousy just the vilest curse there is. LOL! Your judgement on these women is spot on, they are green with envy. But you shouldnt be so suprised, with the high levels of spinsterhood in the Kingdom can you really blame them? I know several girls who do nothing but sit at home and sulk all day about being 30 and single. Can you imagine for these girls marriage is freedom. Dont be too hard on them, people who are satisfied with their lives have no time to look or gawk at other people. Clearly they have too much time on their hands and little to do but grumble about being unmarried. You should pity them. Maybe next time give your salam and see how they react. I highly recommend this, i have done it before ;)

Dr. Nassef said...

Now that is topic that is i found amusing :) made me smile actually. Well i think you should thank them for showing their appreciation ;). Wish them they be as lucky as the BOTH of you. May God keep your blessings alive between you both.
Dr. Nassef

Anonymous said...

@ Dentographer

What a condescending comment, you write " not reach the gazers,cos english to them is probably a language of the extraterrestrial creatures,but i hope the message is delivered”.

Oh really I hate to tell you this, but being proficient in English, doesn't mean in any way, shape, or from that you're smart or well educated. Take the Japanese for instant, many of them don't speak English, yet they're probably one of the smartest people on Earth.

Back to the topic, girls usually stare at Married men, because first he is not available, second, it has to do with the forbidden fruit syndrome. And in most cases, it’s just harmless starring and they don't mean anything sinister by it, nor are they checking your husband because he is with a western woman

So ease up and relax, not everyone is trying to get your husband...

Anonymous said...

Such bragging and no photo of the topic...tisk tisk. I think he is a big boy [grown man] and can take care of his self; did he not before he met you? no need for a mommy figure to get all upset. believe me, he has crossed paths with many beauties...he chose YOU!! stylingirl

Anonymous said...

when i go out shopping ect.. i usually have tunnel vision, i don't notice or

Layla said...

Interesting how this topic still seems to stir so much feelings!
I would like to remind that these women are seriously staring at him without any shame for many minutes and even stalking or following him around shops. It is rather odd and disturbing behavior I must say and not something "normal" that can be seen elsewhere in the world.
It might be like someone said, the women are just bored! Who knows :)

UmmRayomi said...

Assalammua'laykum sis,..
OMG!i thought it's happens to foreign man!!so it does to your husband?
They should fear Allah!i always watch them too, yes my husband and i are foreigner, and they thought they can trying to take my husband from me?!Oh God..I dunno sis,i always hate when i saw them watching my husband everytime we walk out TOGETHER!!even with our KIDS! they are covering with niqab,but showing their beautiful eye lashes or let the abaya open,so man can see their tight jeans and high heels!or even parfum!Lahawla walla quwwata ila bilaah..Allahu Musta'an

Anonymous said...

You surely need the MUTTAWA team to resolve this matter looolll.

Anonymous said...

Oh woman!!! get a life...there are far too many fish in the ocean for so called Saudi women staring at your husband..Do you think of yourself as Victoria Beckham married to a David Beckham...Only an insecure woman who is afraid of another woman stealing her husband would behave in this manner...Most of your posts are one sided portraying a so called western lifestyle as being far more superior than the lifestyle here which is not true. As a British Saudi women I far more prefer the lifestyle here than back home.The culture and tradition in this part of the world works for the people here. They understand the system. Its their land and culture and if they are happy with it then so be it. Respect the rules of the place.. respect the laws of the country and if you don't like them then instead of moaning and groaning and trying to inculcate western ideals into a culturally and traditionally based society..there is always the option of leaving..As a muslim woman when I visit France on business trips I can not wear my veil or my head scarf.. So I cover my hair by wearing a chic hat for example.. that's the rule of the country that we abide to.

Anonymous said...

The fact that comments can only be posted after you have approved them, proves to me how biased and one sided you are....I guess comments that do not fit into your western ideal will not be posted.....

Layla said...

The fact that you chose hide behind anonymity instead of respecting my specific wish to use a nickname I think shows that you have a negative attitude to begin with.
As to your comment, I ,like many bloggers out there must moderate comments in order to see when someone is commenting on the older posts. Otherwise many if not most of the comments I get to the older posts like this one would go unnoticed by me.
If the comments are really offensive or rude thats when I wont publish them.

I the Mom said...

Salamo alaikum (tervisia suomesta!)

Know exactly what you mean and I am not being rude or anything, I know in many countries it has become common for girls to fool around and annoy married men and try to destroy marriages.

I know many Saudi girls who have added my husband on different chat servers 'to teach my husband arabic' (he loves Arabic language and it clearly says in all his profiles) and I see that they tell him that 'oh I am looking for a good husband' and I am like (excuse my french now) WTF woman! get a life!

Such a shame that Muslims abuse the beautiful name!

Layla said...

wa aleikum salaam! Thanks for your comment!
I've come to the conclusion that many young Saudi girls are just A)bored out of their minds
B) been separated from the opposite gender their whole lives and upon seeing a handsome male cannot control themselves and C)because of the inhumane gender segregation they are deprived of male attention and thus seek it in any means possible.

Ania said...

Hi I really enjoyed reading your blog - very eye opening (for me) and open minded (from your point).
I admire that you don't censor your posts and aren't afraid of your feelings, such as this one about the women staring. A feeling is just that, if the stares make you feel uncomfortable why put it down to insecurity like come comments have done? There are no wrong feelings, thank you for expressing them all.
(Notice how all those who tried to ridicule you here hid behind anonymity.)
In case you see this response since the post is older, maybe one way dealing with these women would be exactly what you have done already... Turn around, take out your camera and start taking photos of them. Even if you delete these photos and the women remain anonymous, it is bound to make them feel uncomfortable. :-)

Layla said...

Ania- thank you very much for your encouraging words!You have understood my post exactly.
What a great idea to start whipping out my camera, will try that next time will be fun to see the reaction to that.Will it be running, screaming, cursing me or perhaps a combination of those :D
I hope to see you around again!!

Anonymous said...

Your husband should stare them back! (;

Tiina Kovanen-Bergman said...

You are a very brave and modern finnish/saudi woman! All the best and I am not surprise of your attitude, it rocks in both cultures!

Layla said...

Madame Kissankulma-thank you and welcome to my blog!I guess its that Finnish "sisu" that helps ;)

Anonymous said...

this is just like the UAE!

Anonymous said...

Very Sad....I lost my husband because the women wouldn't leave him alone and he didn't have the strength of character to tell them no. I found that he cheated on me with several married women while I am waiting for my visa to join him. Although my stupid love for him allowed me to forgive him, he did not forgive me for the angry e-mail I sent to one of the women. Hasn't spoken to me in six months and four months after this he engaged himself to a Saudi woman. I'm still heartbroken .... after eight years together and finally marrying that he could cut me so cleanly from his life. I should be hating him, but I don't, though, I won't forgive him to the doomsday for this.

Saddest Eyes

Yeloush said...

Hi, I'm Korean lived in Riyadh for past 17 years and I totally agree with ur posting!! Though i'm not married yet but if i walk around wt my family or friends, they can never take their eyes off from me!!! how irritating that is! the most thing i hate is when they giggles and point out fingers at me!
anyways i love ur blog! i've found ur blog by googling about janadriyah and this is really wonderful blog! thanks!

Layla said...

Sakhina-exactly! You got my point! Many commenters didn't but hey that's because they can only see things in a certain way ;) Sorry I haven't replied to you yet, just noticed the comments on here!

Layla said...

Saddest eyes-What a tragic story! I am so sorry to hear this. BUT you could also think of it this way: You are actually very lucky, not to be stuck in Saudi with this type of "man". The looser would've cheated on you here, or maybe taken two or three more wives and then how miserable you would've been!! So consider yourself saved from a horrible fate.

Layla said...

Yeloush-Wow Korean! This year you have a section at the Janadriya :)
I hate the giggling thing too, I just don't get it. Not even 10 year olds should act so childishly!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I did not know about this.

If you are being stared at and it bothers you, I suggest staring back while picking your nose. Faking the dry heaves works too.

Jean said...

This is kind of wierd. Is it still a problem?

Do Saudi women really ogle men? Or maybe it's certain men they perceive as attractive/ liberal (meaning who might treat them well/better), etc.?

Layla said...

Jean- it is very much a problem not only in Saudi but other GCC countries as well like you can notice from above comments from western women married to Khaleejis testify.
I know many american women married to Saudis in Riyadh and they all say the same thing..Doesn't seem to have much to do with how they dress(ie how liberal they seem) but of course there are some characteristics in men that all women find attractive..and women would stare ogle whatever you call it more at those men..
Some women even have come up to suggest "things" to the man, accompanied by western wife :/

Layla said...

LMAO ok, I will tell my husband to try that next time.

Jenny said...

This is a hilarious post with great responses, especially the staring back while picking your nose. These women sound so immature and ignorant. I think you said it right Layla - bored out of their skills. How can they tell if you are a foreigner if your face is covered.

And please please post a photo of your hubby. I'd love to see an Italian/Saudi combo lol!

Pearl said...

Btw, nice post

Pearl said...

if she does that, even more women (in that case all over the world!) will stare at him lol

Layla said...

LOL my husband would kill me if I posted his pic :) He is way too private and shy for that!
My face is not covered so they can tell :)

Anonymous said...

AWESOME! Thank you to all! With all respect, the post and the comments made me laugh like I haven't in years. It never crossed my mind that Saudi girls would dare to check men in that way, I noticed those looks before but I used to think that perhaps my abaya opened and I was showing my skin or something like I wondered if my husband has known what it was all about and kept quiet...anyhow CONGRATULATIONS Laylah, it is a great blog!

New here said...

haha...i so relate to new and a foreigner to this place my hubby and my four month old get such odd awkward glares and stares ask me about it....firstly i used to get uncomfy is there sumthin wrong on me did my kid puke on me or my hubby or sumthin...but then i started realizing they don really digest the fact we are family...they wud look at me then my hubby then wid frowns towards my kid...hhahah...theyr strange behaving women here...anyhow its a good laugh in my heart and sumtimes a smile at my face to see the dissapointment in their eyes when they notice me and the KID then!!!...great blog :D...

Shawarmer Lover said...

Meeeoww! Now you know how we feel in the West when (especially the men) we are walking around the streets with people gawping at us because they never saw a covered woman or bearded man before.

Basil Brush said...

As a Western expat here, it amuses me that for the most part this blog seems to be about your disagreements with the Saudi social system and structure especially the gender segregation but when it came to your own husband, you turned female Mutawa! :)

Unknown said...

WEll this is old post but it continued until 2012 lol! It must be really hot discussion for many poeple ! Really some saudi ladies stare a lot at me too but i don't think is intentional ,i see many good saudi women and dutiful and religious sisters ,and they wear niqab as a way of modesty ,only becoz someone stared doesn't mean anything ,it doesn't mean they are trying to be perfect since Islam teaches people to repent all the time for their sins i think they deserve the benefit of the doubt ,the one who stared at ur hobby! Just relax,if ur hubby is real man and u have no doubts about him then don't feel offended

Unknown said...

Salam aleykum wa Ramadan Kareem wa mubarak to every one! I wish that in this blessed month we should try to do more ibadah then critisize others ,if we are perfect then why critisize anyone?If someone chooses his partner from other cultures is normal to encounter some difficulties.People here are extremely social and like to socialize and they see normal to stare at someone without serious reason but when u do not have contundent proof of your alligations then it's not fair to try to say what was their intention since this is haram!

Anonymous said...

Hi there im really glad i came by this blog, and this post in particular beause i thought i was going mad. I also witnessed a little staring but what really concerns me is the, what i call, 'abaaya flashing'. Me and my husband are both from the U.K and since being in Jeddah i have noticed women, not randomly, lifting or carryig their abayas and exposing their legs with just skin-tight leggings or tights. It actually happened yesterday when we were enterig the mall a lady saw us coming in as she was leaving and she parted the slit in her abaaya and flashed us, of course neither of us knew how to react or where to look subhanAllah ma Allah cure them of this its actually very sad. I have come to the conclusion that they are desperate for male attention as you have mentioned and dont know how to behave around the opposite sex.

Anonymous said...

hi susie ,indonesian woman,,i got married with a lebanese,,we live in australia.when we went to lebanon,its happened to me,many women stared on my hubby..but i dont care about it cz i knw that my hubby loves me so much.
so laylah..relax,,no one can take ur husband away.
n dont judge them,,maybe they stared on ur hubby cz his wife is a forigner. :)
no wife says that her hubby is ugly.
i said to myself that my hubby is the most handsome man in old over the world.. so u do n other wives ..

Layla said...

thanks for the comment, but you've misunderstood my point here :) I'm not worried about that at all. They are just extremely rude and immature women..
Sure no wife says hubby is ugly (I hope lol!), but how many can say their husband has been asked to join modeling agencies ;)

Saadia said...

I so relate to this experience of yours. The staring is just immoral!

Anonymous said...

come on women Saudi men are not goodlooking at all I think your exaggerating.Get overyourself

Anonymous said...

This happened to me in New York City while pregnant and vegetable shopping with my husband! This hot-jabi started demurely making eyes and smiling at my husband and I audibly asked him, "Oh, do you know this woman?" Once she heard that comment she rushed away embarrassed because there were lots of other conservative, religious Muslim women there who probably knew her family. It's a tightly-knit community here.

To be honest, in my case, I don't think it is because my husband is terribly handsome. And here it is against the law to have a second wife. I think it is because he is a dark arab and I am white because, in my neighborhood, people tend to stick to their own kind.

Anonymous said...

It happens to my husband and I when we are out in the mall in UAE. I would not worry about it at all. I simply ignore them. In fact, I take it as a compliment. I am a "look, but don't touch" kind of person. I don't mind them looking, but harassing is a completely different thing.

Anonymous said...

Another thing is they follow your husband, but if you did the same to them, they would be very pissed off and unhappy. Some people think they can do stuff to others, but others have no right to do it to them.

Anonymous said...

In some cases they are jealous and get angry as to why your husband married you and not one of them. Same thing happened to me and I just ignore them completely. Remember, there is NOTHING they can do. Your husband will be with you and no one else and that is all that matters.

Anonymous said...

The "West" is a very broad notion. If you are in the US, especially in Michigan and New York, there are PLENTY of covered people. The situation is different here. They are following her husband and not because they have never seen a white woman.

Anonymous said...

Very funny article.

Intensive-anaesthetist said...

Hey Laylah
Did you marry a saudi prince? Is that why you have the liberty to write elaborately on such varied topics? Would it be as convenient if some commoner (not married into royalty) tried his/her hand at blogging on so many saudi issues without his page being blocked?

Layla said...

Hi there! No I didn't marry a Saudi prince :)
I am not entirely sure what you meant by your comment, care to elaborate?

A Free Spirit said...

I should thank you here
You gave me today one reason , not to let my wife wear niqab..I always oppose niqab considering it a poor taste , but now i can see a legitimate reason for the opposition. wife and niqab become like a bird and a cage ..the bird doesn't want to leave the cage.

Unknown said...

Hi, you are not the only one who's suffering from this bad habit , I'm a Saudi girl , I remember one day me and my uncle we went for shopping and there was a woman staring at him she were look like she wants to kill me to stay with my uncle , she thought that he's my husband lol anyway I stair at her & I was like what do you want ?! Then she leave us alone, the conclusion is if you are saudi or non saudi those women's will not leave us alone with there creepy look , yes it's make me mad & I want to punch them in the face but I always remember that one day she gonna suffering just like the way I did with her bad habits

Asia said...

This post made my day! Couldn't stop laughing! I am Asian and married to an American living here in Riyadh, and believe me, we got it 3x worst. I mean 3x because my fellow Asian men and women will stare at us, my husband's fellow men and women (which is not as often as I get from my fellow men and women) will give us confused looks, and last but not the least Saudi men and women checking him out and then checking me out. It has been frustrating for the past 5 yrs and still is, but I learned these 2 tricks works: Trick#1 When they stare at my husband, esp the women, I sweetly whisper at my husband ears "Babe, that woman on your left is staring at you..." and then we will both look back at the staring woman. Most often than not, she would look away. Trick#2 When women check me out from head to toe, I will give them a left eyebrow up and do the staring game! I make sure I win the game everytime. Lol! Its so funny but frustrating at the same time. By the way, I LOVE READING YOUR POSTS! Your attitude, your view, your personality, is just heartwarming! Keep it up! <3