Have you ever thought of marrying a westerner? What’s it like? What would your mother say? Would he make you leave
There is nothing new about marrying a foreigner. In fact it has been going on for quite a while.
Many Egyptians marry foreigners, whether it is an Egyptian woman marrying a foreign man or vice versa. But what sort of problems emerge when couples mix and match? Does it work out better? Or do culture differences get in the way and civilizations clash?
Clash of Civilizations
I married a British man almost two years ago. It was different than meeting an Egyptian man. He was caring and romantic but at the end of the day – he was a foreigner, not only because he was from another country, but also and more importantly, because he was foreign to me. He looked foreign. There were cultural differences which took me a while to understand. But by both sides being flexible and patient, we were able to cross the divide, bridge that gap, make our wedding vows and bring our families together from across the world for the wedding!
Marrying a foreigner means exchanging Arab habits for Western habits and vice versa. What kind of habits? Well, the funny thing is that the bad habits Arabs have, are totally different from the bad habits you find in the Westerners. Westerners are more liberal than Arabs. Arabs are more emotional than Westerners.
Arabs like to talk about their personal problems and families more than they like talking about politics, global warming and art. Yet Arabs concentrate more on their families and their partners more than they concentrate on their professional life. Westerners grow up thinking how they can become independent; Arabs grow up thinking when will I get married and have a bunch of kids.
There are so many pros and cons it can make your mind spin. If you look too far into the future with any relationship than it can make your head spin. But here are some key questions to ask, before running off and marrying a westerner:
Is he aware of my cultures and traditions?
Am I aware of his culture and traditions?
How would your family feel if you came home with a European or an American man?
What would their questions be? Would you be able to convince them?
What about religion?
But most of all, the questions you need to ask yourself are do we love each other? And would he take care of me?
Some of these questions you might think you can tick off right away. Some might be more difficult! The key is there always needs to be flexibility and compromise from both sides in any relationship – and from both families – if love sparks are going to fly!
Anna and Ahmed married a year ago. Anna is from
Noura is Iraqi, married four years ago to a British man. For her the most important issue was always religion. “It was very important for my husband to convert to Islam before I met him. Seth converted years before we even met, so my parents accepted him immediately. Marrying a westerner has it advantages and disadvantages, just like marrying an Arab I guess. But I think I am happier with Seth than with an Iraqi man. Our marriage definitely widened both our horizons and now we travel back and forth between
But intermarriage does not suit everyone. Mahitab from
So if you have ever thought a marrying someone from another country, then don’t give up the dream! We are all human beings and learning new cultures improves our views of other people. Understanding, trust and love is what maintains a healthy relationship- and that’s what we should worry about most!