Murtadha, of the excellent blog Saudi Alchemist, is a 22 year old, 4th year student in Finance and IT, at Portland University, Portland Oregon. Among his inspiring posts on Saudi Alchemist, was “The Beauty of Pain”. While the rest of us waxed philosophical on that theme, a woman in England sent a private email to a Saudi man she perceived as understanding and compassionate, and whom she entrusted with her most painful story, in order to seek an explanation for her Saudi love’s behaviour. She later agreed to let Murtadha post her email on his blog, under the title “The First Step Into the Unknown”.
* Since the original postings there and here, and despite taking comfort from the comments left on both blogs, Consumed by Love has requested that Murtadha delete her post, which he has done. I wish to respect her privacy as well, while dealing with 2 important topics she raised; so I have edited out a couple of details from the original posting here, and provided an extremely reduced anonymized summary of her story as follows. Murtadha and Consumed by Love have agreed to this edited version of the original post continuing to appear on Chez Chiara, for which I sincerely thank them both.
Consumed by Love, who is neither Saudi nor Muslim, began a relationship with a Saudi classmate who had pursued her. Both were in their late 20's. Over the course of their 2 year relationship they began to live together as if they were married, although he always protested that love and marriage were 2 different things, and that he had no intention of marrying anyone anywhere. During this time she became pregnant, and he persuaded her to have an abortion, which was against her values. She was 8-9 weeks pregnant at the time of the abortion. Later he returned to Saudi Arabia, accepted an arranged marriage, and was engaged to be married when she last heard from him--after he threatened to change his number if she continued to phone daily, whereupon she reduced her communication to the occasional desperate call or text. She has suffered extreme pain and confusion from this relationship, all the more so as she cannot rely on her family's support, has gone against her own conservative morays, and has trouble believing that he is/was a bad man.
As I commented on the original post, the writer has suffered a double loss, that of her Saudi love and that of her pregnancy. In fact, as she is also struggling with her sense of her self as behaving differently than she would ever have expected, she is suffering a 3rd loss, that of a former self--but not her Self. She faces these life altering losses without the benefit of her family’s support, yet fortunately she has friends, and she chose wisely in reaching out to Murtadha, who has shown such care and compassion with her feelings.
The original comments below (November 4-8, 2009, reposted on January 17, 2010), on the original of this post, were by commentators who had read the full post, and the comments on Murtadha’s blog Saudi Alchemist, before commenting here. None of their comments reveal any more detail about her situation. Please feel free to add your comments based on the summary above, and analogous situations of which you may be aware.
What impressions do you take from this story?
What positive suggestions do you have for “Consumed by Love” or “Writer” (as many comments addressed her)?
What lessons should Saudi men studying abroad take from the stories of Sad Girl and Consumed by Love?
What lessons should women having relationship with a Saudi, or any man, take from these stories?Does the heart necessarily rule the mind? To what extent?
What is the long term impact on someone of having experienced such a disappointment?