“Mother, I’d like to get married,” Ibrahim asked his mother on one fine day.
“But, you’re still very young, my son. You’re only 16,” her mother replied.
This conversation marks Ibrahim’s life journey. Ibrahim comes from a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia. When he asked her mother to get married, all parts of the family agreed, except her mother. She thought Ibrahim, her second son, was too young to start a family.
But Ibrahim was clever. He said, “Yes, I’m only 16, but I already got a job at father’s company. I’m sure I can manage it.”
With that, her mother approved. As what usually happens in Saudi, it is the mother’s (or sister’s) duty to find the most suitable girls for her son. She went to several candidates for Ibrahim’s wife. Ibrahim did not know who the girl was, because as tradition says, the mother’s choice would normally the best and he had to obey that.
It had been a month since his mother went searching for a wife but no news appeared to be good for him. His mother had visited 7 houses that had 7 girls in it. Most of the girls thought he was too young, though. Finally, the last girl, 2 years old younger than Ibrahim, agreed to be his wife. Ibrahim was very happy. They never met before. But his mother said the girl is beautiful as well as kind-hearted. Ibrahim didn’t bother too much with that.
They then met when they got engaged 3 months later. They just had the ceremony then went back home separated ways. During this time, Ibrahim tried to get to know his fiancee better. He had 1 year before the marriage came.
It has been 17 years that Ibrahim got married to the girl he got engaged with earlier. They live happily and have 7 children already ranging from 22 – 4 years old. He even has grandchildren already! This culture is probably strongly in contrast with some of us. But it is what they do in Saudi Arabia, especially in the past. Today, as modernity approaches all people’s lives everywhere in the world, this custom of choosing a wife and its procession is slightly changed.
Ibrahim is now a PhD candidate, like me, who shares a lot of interesting cultures with his friends. He’s supposed to pursue his study in the U.S., but the bombing of WTC earlier by Bin Laden had caused a lot of troubles for Middle Eastern people like him to visit the country.
Like all of International students, he also struggles a lot with his English, but heaps of practice have been endlessly attempted and it could help him to better communicate his ideas.
Again, learning from different stories and perspectives, which are sometimes in contrast, would give us better ways to perceive the world. I hope we all do.
I am happy to share this. Please feel free to reblog or share the link, all with my accreditation. Thank you.