Monday, September 28, 2009


. I'm a little shocked. In fact, I'm really shocked. THREE people I know got a divorce this week. THREE. Why has marriage/divorce become so easy in Salalah/Oman nowdays? I was just talking to a friend on the phone half an hour ago and she gave me everyone's divorce news. As I was talking to her, I received a text message from another friend telling me 'Did you hear that so & so got a divorce? On the third day of Eid!'. Need I mention that all three cases were results of an arranged marriage? Two of the cases involve a very young baby (six months in one case, eight months in the other). The third couple didn't have kids, thank goodness. But, hey, seriously, if you have a six month old baby, are you seriously going to consider divorce? What's going to happen to the child? Obviously the kids live with their mothers, but what kind of a life is that? A young child needs 'parents'. Two.
Another point worth mentioning is that both women got pregnant immediately after the wedding. Umm... hello? If you're marrying a stranger (i.e arranged marriage), wouldn't you want to wait a bit before getting pregnant? Wouldn't you want to figure out if you can really live with your partner and if it's safe to have kids? So many young people realize from the beginning that they have serious relationship problems and they dumbly assume that if they have a child, all their problems will be gone. Like magic.
It saddens me to see how people of my generation see divorce as just another option. I get married, I get divorced, I get married again, I get divorced ... 3adi. So many young men especially threaten divorce if they have ANY small argument with their wives. I know so many young women who suffer from husbands who threaten divorce on a monthly basis. They use it as a weapon. Whether they mean it or not doesn't matter. All that matters is that the couple will never have stability in their marriage if the women is on her tiptoes 24/7 waiting for him to explode again and threaten divorce.
Society in Salalah has real issues with choosing 'the right partner' for marriage. It's taboo to get to know members of the opposite sex before marriage, but how else are you supposed to know if the person is right for you or not? We CANNOT depend on parents' advice when choosing a partner anymore. My generation has different requirements and needs when it comes to marriage. As I mentioned in my Internet Dating post (see below), I have no respect for young men who go to their mothers and announce 'Mama, I'm ready for marriage. Find me a wife'. It just doesn't work anymore. Look around you. The divorce statistics are frightening in Dhofar. I can't remember exactly where I read this, but last year in Dhofar, 64% of new marriages ended in divorce during the first year. 64%. I will say no more.
I don't have much time for blogging today. I'll have to write about this topic in depth some other time. Keep one thing in mind; divorce is frustrating, sad, and painful. It should be the last option; never the first.


  1. Hi Nadia
    It is a hard topic; divorce.
    As you said 'divorce should be the last option; never the first'
    Divorce is a big problem in arabia in general and the reason is as you said the arranged mariage
    But in Salalah the arranged mariage is not going to be solved very soon eventhough the new generation is not happy with that, because the alternative is not there!
    Could you date someone who you trust? If yes, How did you trust him to date him?
    Its not easy even if you have a classmate or a workmate from the other sex to have a privte time to chat with him/her until you understand each other..


  2. 64% in dhofar @@.. wow...

    i totally agree.. i have 3 of my frineds who go divorced, one was over a stupid argument,,, the second and third thier husbands were not good!!

    its hard to find a good guy.. ba3deen i also dont get it.. if you dont know the guy why bring children from the first month :S

    muscat is not doing so good also.. even by knowing the guy its not helping!!

  3. language effects the way you think. In Arabic we say (فلان يطلِّقُ فلانة) which means one way only (XY divorces XX) but no XX can divorce XY. So when you say (the got a divorce) I hear it (Some guy kicked his wife because he is not satisfied or any other reason.

    Any women want to divorce her husband has to do it through court of laws. But if A man want to do that he only has to say the magical ugly word (أنت طالق) which means (I divorce you).

    just an idea.

    by the way

    great post.

  4. Muawiyah, when I said 'Got divorced', it's because I don't know the whole story behind their divorce, but I assume the man said the magic word 'Inti Taliq'. In English we say 'XY and XX' got a divorce. I actually should say 'He divorced her', but it doesn't sound right in English. Thanks for your philosophical wisdom.

  5. I dont think the high divorce rate is due to arranged marriages, in South Africa the divorce rate is just as high and these are people who were dating before they got married, they made their own choices, some dated for many years before marrying. They were madly and deeply in love before marrying. Many of them have big kids, in the last month i heard of 3 friends who got divorce.
    In my opinion its the way we view marriage, we dont fully understand that marriage is an institution, it comprises of many facets.Divorce is the easy way out, to make marriage work is the difficult part. I think couples should go for pre marriage counselling, because most of us have this utopian view of marriage, and when we do get married its a rude awakening to reality

  6. Abu Nafeesa, Exactly. I know my three friends got divorces because of arranged marriages. But that was the case in their situation. In general, as you said, people don't fully understand marriage and that it involves a lot of patience and sacrifice. Young people these days are impatient and look for the easy way out because they're so brainwashed by the modern world (phones, TV, internet, time-wasting, materialism) that they don't know how to deal with 'real' relationships anymore. They don't have the patience for marriage.

  7. Hey Doppelganger!

    1) Nope i dont think the person u mentioned in ur previous comment is my sis..although u got me worried that she's following me around now *looks around suspiciously*

    2) This is one of the aspects I LOVE about dhofari culture! How getting divorced (sad as it could be) is not as taboo as it is in the North. Women aren't shamed for it, and it's common for her to get re-married without being labelled a divorced good for nothing sl*t.

  8. Yeah ADG, that's the good thing about Salalah. Men seem to like divorced women especially if they work and have a salary/car. Move to Salalah!

  9. Hello Nadia,

    Where did you get the 64% number from? Seems way too high.

    -Omani in US

  10. I think that divorce in most cultures is based upon mainly two things:

    1. Selfishness

    2. Unrealistic expectations

    I support divorce in cases of unfaithfulness, especially if the party isn't repentant, and in cases of abuse. A lot of divorces now are just petty though. This is why they end up getting divorced again after remarriage. We are all human and imperfect, but I think that a self-serving materialistic culture has a lot to do with it. This has been imported everywhere, even Oman, so it brings its negative consequences with it.

  11. So Nadia a question - well a few really.
    On the Thursday, in the mans tent, there is an accountant; I pay my 1 Rial (true) my name goes in the book (as the bakeel Ingleizi) - the happy couple gets divorced - what happens to all that money? Do I get a refund? (that’s a joke of course - but what should happen to the money) and ... do the female guests have a similar money organisation at their celebration

  12. Whenever the case of divorce comes up, i remmber the "speach" i got from my grandad before getting married. He basicly told me: Dont expect to return home again. The only reason we will accept you back if your husband hit you.
    It sounds harsh, but he was trying to tell me to solve a problem before running back home whenever I have a minunderstanding with my husband. I was sure I have thier full support, but I was also sure that they will not accept any reason when it comes to divorce.

    This is why I think divorce shouldnt be simply by mentioning the "taliq" word. I think legally, there should be council where the couple have to meet and sit with before taking such a drastic decision. I think Kuwait follow that concept.

  13. I know that in a general way, Muslims are allowed to divorce.

    But can two Muslims decide beforehand that they want to make a commitment NOT to divorce? Period?

  14. Nadia- Packing already, haha - ADG

  15. Anonymous: I read it in a publication somewhere. I think some European sociologists working in Salalah, but as I said, I'm not sure of the source.

    Stacy: unrealistic expectations are it! Young people these days think marriage is so damn easy! They're used to getting everything on a silver platter in life, so why not marriage? Marriage doesn't just 'happen'. You have to build it.

    ynotoman: the money given at the wedding is supposed to cover wedding expenses (imagine having to slaughter six cows for a wedding? That's the standard in Salalah. The cows alone cost 500 rials EACH, that's without the expense of the other food, band, hotel ballroom for women, etc. Women don't pay).

    Um3azzan, your grandfather is a wise man (even though you probably felt it was harsh at the time). I agree with you .. even though the concept of just saying the word 'taliq' is Islamic, our young men have abused it and used it in an irresponsible manner. I think divorce shouldn't be made so easy for men. As you said, there should be some legal procedure in there somewhere. At the moment, divorce is so easy that a man can just go to court, bring two of his best friends with him and create the divorce document without the woman even knowing! Then he can 'mail' her the paper. That's it. He doesn't even say the word 'taliq' to her. I know someone who went through that. She was at her family's for Eid and he just mailed her the divorce paper without even saying 'taliq' or talking to her father or anything. It was horrible.

    Jeff, Oman is opening up to the idea of 'marriage contracts' even though some religious leaders think they are sinful (i.e they think it's outragous that the man can sign a document saying he will never take on a second wife, he will let his wife work, etc, etc).

    ADG, who's packing?

  16. Good topic, and sad at the same time.

    I agree that getting a divorce (for men) is way too easy in Oman, and the law has to be changed, especially on alimony and splitting of assets as in the west, as well as banning polygamy.

  17. In response to one of the posts above about S. Africa having same percentage of divorces - I don't think this is relevant. Wouldn't YOU rather know that it was YOUR choice in the first place. Then you can take responsibility for it, rather than having to go through the charade, like several people i know in Salalah, who have done it just to please their family. And maybe, if it was your choice in the first place, you might try a little harder to save the marriage. or maybe not. certainly where i come from, marriages don't usually end in divorce in the first year - it takes a couple at least! And nadia, lots of girls I know have no say in getting pregnant early in marriage, the men here think it shows they are real men. Choice

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