Marrying foreigners has become a dream for many young Yemeni women. Yemeni girls find foreigners more open-minded and rich enough. Most girls want to marry a foreigner because they want to achieve their ambitions with a more open man, while others want to leave Yemen because of the current situation. Different reasons make Yemeni girls marry foreigners without thinking of the results of such marriages.
Unlike other girls, Rania married an Iraqi man because of love. Rania is a doctor. Before her marriage she lived a very beautiful love story for a year and a half. She fell in love with an Iraqi doctor who was working in the same hospital. She saw his high morals and very handsome face. They loved each other and decided to get married. He asked her family for Rania’s hand for marriage but her family refused because they didn’t trust foreigners and couldn’t give their daughter to a stranger. Rania didn’t give up and tried to convince her family, and finally they agreed. They lived a very happy life and had a cute daughter. After two years, her husband received a visa from Denmark because his brother was working there. He went to work in Denmark and promised her that he would arrange his work there and then he would take her to Denmark.
He had been in touch with her for ten months before he disappeared. She was worried until she talked to his relatives. She found out he married an Iraqi girl and now she has no solution other than to divorce him.
“Although we had a very nice love and spent quiet days, at the end he preferred to continue his life with a girl from his home,” Rania said.
According to statistics by the Yemeni Ministry of Justice, Yemeni men and woman marriages to foreigners reached 1,256 official cases in 2014, the largest number in recent years.
Saudi citizenship has the highest number with 433 cases, including 429 Saudis marrying Yemeni women and 4 cases of Yemeni men marrying Saudis girls. The Emirati (UAE) nationality has second with 199 Yemeni girls marrying Emiratis and 6 Emiratis marrying Yemeni girls. There are also cases of marriages to other nationalities such as American, Egyptian, Bahraini and Omani.
The General Director of Documentation in the Ministry of Justice Adel al-Bukhari said that the documentation process is going according to precise legal procedures to ensure a high percentage of Yemeni women’s rights in case of suffering in their marriage.
“The present legal action came after the spreading of tourist marriages in Yemen, where foreigners from Arab nationalities spent their summer vacations in Yemen to marry Yemeni girls, which causes social problems ending with tragedies for girls,” al-Bukhari added.
For her part, Mariam al-Yjori, a teacher, said that for a woman who has dreams and ambitions, it is better for her to marry a foreigner from Iraq, Jordan, Egypt or Syria. “These are the best nationalities to change your life for better, because they themselves are looking for change and development.”
According to her, Yemeni men are confined in providing food and Qat and don’t believe in women’s abilities or desires. They are not aware of her rights in life.
Women in their nature don’t like to share a man with another woman; they want their husbands for themselves. Sana Ahmed said that she doesn’t care about society’s perception, customs, and traditions. She wants someone to love her. “My dream is marrying a foreigner to achieve my wishes and live with him as a human being, not a maid. I do not want a man who then goes to marry another woman. Foreign men will not marry a second woman, and this is a big advantage not found in Yemeni husbands.”
Marriage is fate and sometimes it may be successful while in other times it fails. Yet nationality has nothing to do with fate. Balqis says that she knew a lot of marriages from foreigners, and some are happy while other are sad. “I really prefer to marry a poor Yemeni man than a foreign doctor, because foreigners may vanish in a moment and leave you behind without asking and are difficult to reach while the Yemeni is one in your same country.”
Noha Ali said that the first things she thinks about are her children. Yemeni women who marry foreigners suffer a great deal and have many difficulties with their children that make their lives trouble when they can’t give them their own nationality.
“To suffer with a Yemeni and your relatives around you is better than suffering with a foreigner alone,” Noha added.