Saudi men abandon 598 families abroad: panel

JEDDAH — Saudi husbands and fathers have abandoned 598 families abroad, according to Awasir — the Society for the Welfare of Saudi Families Abroad.

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Published: Wed 21 Jul 2010, 9:56 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:48 AM

Awasir counsellor Ali Al Hinaki said in a press statement on Sunday that the situation of the families had been brought about by the death of the father, his illness, imprisonment or absence, or failure to care for his children.

He added that foreign women sought marriage to Saudis in order to obtain Saudi nationality, and not to build a family or married life.

“As soon as they get nationality, they change. They then want to get a khula divorce and afterwards bring into the kingdom men of their own nationality to work and later marry them,” he said.

Al Hinaki said that material needs were of prime consideration when Saudis marry abroad, and that some marriages involving elderly men had been subject to forms of bribery on the part of wives-to-be and matchmaking agents. “Some couples married abroad have contagious diseases and illnesses like AIDS, hepatitis and venereal diseases,” he said.

According to Al Hinaki, studies have shown that Saudi men may be led into marriage with women who are already married or work in prostitution.

“Saudis should turn to Saudi girls for marriage as that would also solve the problem of unmarried Saudi women, while we should also make things easier for our sons in terms of costs,” he said.

Awasir announced last month a summer plan to raise awareness among Saudi national about the “negative effects of marrying non-Saudi women and the resultant social and family problems”, and expressed “particular concern” over the rising rate of unmarried Saudi women and an increase in the age of marriage for Saudi girls.

Awasir officials also plan to visit 30 Arab and non-Arab countries this summer to inspect the conditions of Saudi families living abroad and find ways to help them return to the kingdom in coordination withthe government authorities.

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