Shoura looks at Saudis abandoning families abroad


Increasing cases have been reported of Saudi men marrying foreign women while abroad, siring children and abandoning them once they leave to return to the Kingdom.

In the Council’s weekly session on Wednesday, members recommended the creation of a coordination council supervised by the interior ministry and including representatives from the Foreign, Finance, and Social Affairs ministries.

A foreign ministry report puts the provisional number of cases registered with 23 Saudi embassies abroad at 835. The Saudi charity Awasir provides aid to 461 families living in Arab countries.

Researches from Saudi universities and ministries have identified additional social problems concerning Saudi children born to Saudi fathers and foreign mothers, saying that children embrace traditions and customs from the mother’s country of origin which in most cases conflict with the conservative nature of society and weakens their affiliation to their original country.

They also note some children who have been made to change their fathers’ faith and embrace their mothers’.

In the meeting, Shoura’s members called for a relaxation of the rules governing marriages with foreign women so that Saudi men are not forced to break the law, a situation which has led to the emergence of the current problem, with husbands and fathers relinquishing their responsibilities upon their return home.

The Council further suggested that deserting fathers be severely punished by law, and recommended social insurance be awarded to abandoned families with greater assistance given to the charities that care for them.

Researches say the reason for many of these marriages can be put down to aging Saudis seeking to satisfy their desires and ageing men passing away leaving their wives and families with no one to support them.

Another factor is students marrying while studying abroad, only to turn their backs on their wives and children once they leave the country. Many cases are also said to occur due to drawn-out procedures and restrictions making obtaining permits difficult.

Other reasons include handicapped men who marry abroad after finding social stigma a barrier to marriage.


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