Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Angry Arab Women Mad at Expat Wives of Locals: wth?!

To be honest, the almost total majority of Omani women are totally sweet to me, and every single one of them I know personally: 100% sweeties and happy for me.

My experience of being married to an Omani is NOTHING like the experiences of a white Canadian friend being married to an African brother (African-American [not born in Africa ones] Sisters can be the most shockingly RUDE over this---and Arabs to Arab brothers married to black sisters, vice versa), or a Native Candian married to an Emriati. I don't get the cold shoulder in the prayer room at the malls with Omani sisters whispering behind their hands "Magrebi" [Morrocan] like a dirty-word, tantamount to the racist prejudice of "slutty husband stealer" like a friend in the Emirates [why this hate for Morrocan women???] . Because I was Muslim before my marriage, most Omani women are happy for me.

But still, occasionally when my English is overheard by random strange Omani women in restaurants and malls accompanied by the presence of my husband in a dishdasha and kuma [Omani hat] I get dirty looks. I find it funny, because there is this kind of this attitude in the Gulf, that GCC women own their men and should have absolute rights to them. [Not ALL WOMEN].

Which would be fair, since many GCC men are insistant, through ignorance and prejudice, that their sisters and daughters should only marry the same nationality as them, or even the same family name.

But to me, ignorance and prejudice and injustice are never fair. So I give them no credence.

Omani women, while not supported by their family traditions, CAN marry ANYONE Omani by passport, and have less restrictions on them legally then men when applying to marry a man from outside the country. I know five Omani women happily married to Canadian men. Four of those went against their family to do so at the Interior Ministry, and the other, her husband courted his potential Omani inlaws for a loooooooooong period of time.

I know friends who have lived in Saudi had the same experiences. One particular friend was invited to a Saudi women's party just so that the women could see why her husband married her. They were only pleased with her when they discovered her hair was the same colour as theirs, that she regularily wore loose dresses like them, and liked all the same cultural things as them. Then at least they knew her husband hadn't married her because she was "not Saudi". God forbid she would have been a blonde. She'd not have been invited again she supposes.

The first time I ever went to a restaraunt with my husband I remember my husband picking a table near some Omani girls cuz at least then there'd be no men nearby. He was just so happy to finally be married he was grinning and we were talking English, and I noticed the girls giving me such dirty looks it made me laugh. I wondered then if they thought I was some whore-y girlfriend in an abaya and headscarf. I know expat workmates and friends (not romantic ones) of Omani guys go through the same thing. It's sad.

The other night though, I am pleased to say, I visited the same restaurant and saw an Omani man having dinner with a Lebanese woman (I know Labnani accents now very well), an Omani girl [most pleasing of all] on a date with her expat Brit husband, and me and my man. All us girls gave eachother quiet, encouraging smiles. We felt sisterhood, not possessiveness.

I no longer own the men of my passport than they own me. If any racist jerk from my country ever says to my Omani husband he's stealing "his" women, I'll tell him to screw off. I'm not a slave, and I am not any man's "his" regardless of passport. Arab sisters, you should do the same with your family, or ask/demand your governments for the right. Please don't hate me cuz I married someone who loves me and if is a perfect husband for me, and would definately be a less than prefect husband for you.

Shout out to the totally awesome Dhofari girl in the prayeroom at the Ruwi Lulu, and the Omani girl who works at "First Choice" abaya store in City Center, because their super nice-ness desipte being random strangers undoes all the nasty dirty looks on local faces, lol.


♥♥♥ said...


sometimes, i wish they will marry foreign. coz i totally would love them to hv someone like Sergey Brin! or someone like that Ferrero guy, isn't he cute and seems nice - his business empire employs needy people.

when a girl need not wait for their own kind to marry them, and easily marry her true love who maybe will share her dreams and fund her company startup... When their options are as wide as the universe - that would be nice.

hijabi said...

Altough I'm not an expat I also get the same evil look by other girls/women. I'm a revert muslimah (Dutch) and my husband is an Iraqi. I know many dutch women who married Iraqis and trust me the iraqiaat are NOT happy with this. Comments like you Dutch women steal our man etc are common.

Boxie said...

:) keep up the strength in your love and no one can nock you down.

Anonymous said...

"whore-y girlfriend" ... Come on, you write about the experience of being judged by others yet you do the same to other women. This phrase is beyond offensive.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

anon: I don't think your ead it right, but I said it was people assuming I was some "whore-y girlfriend" not that I think women who are girlfriends of locals are whores... So please don't be mad:)

Anonymous said...

Although as Muslims we should accept each others, we can't ignore the social issues right in our face everyday. And it's easy to overlook the obvious when you live a privileged life simply because of your skin colour.
I'm assuming that you're White. We (anyone aware of this world) all know that we live in a white-supremacy world that glorifies being white or made sure every colonised land glorified being White. So often times, the Arabs men being affected with this reality prefer to marry anyone white (non-Muslim, Muslim, righteous, or not as long as she's white). So it's understandable why some Omani women would feel this way. I wouldn't know because I'm from a country where the locals prefer to marry the local women because of commonality.

Sometimes you don't have to agree with something,but it's always good to understand where people come from; whether right or wrong.