Sunday, May 28, 2006

Divorce, Saudi style

There's an interesting article in Arab News, interesting both by what it says and what it doesn't say. First, what it does say.

When Nawal Mohammed married her husband, he appeared both to her and her family a normal, ever day guy. But shortly after the marriage, he became volatile and violent, and as it turned out, was mentally ill, according to the article.

Afraid she would eventually be seriously injured by her husband, she left and returned home to her family. But:

In order to reconcile the couple, family members representing both sides met to discuss the issue. After intense discussions Nawal’s husband assured her family that she would be treated well if she returned.

“But the fourth day after returning, my husband went back to his old ways. Then I realized he wasn’t going to change so I decided to leave once more,” said Nawal.

When she demanded a divorce from her husband, he demanded 30,000 Saudi Riyals to grant one. According to the article:

Nawal finds her husband’s demands unreasonable and says that she only wants a divorce so she can continue with her life. Her husband has miserably failed in fulfilling his duties as a good husband.

Nawal hopes that the law will soon help her in resolving the mess she is in.

What the article doesn't reveal are things like:

  • Why hasn't this man been arrested for beating his spouse?
  • If he's mentally ill, what's he doing out and about in society?
  • Why can't this woman be granted a divorce decree on the simple basis of abuse?

For that matter, the article can't see fit to even mention the husband's name.

So, how are those "reforms" working out for you there in Saudi Arabia?

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