The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

A Wedding to Remember 

I am grateful to someone for emailing me this page:

World Destination Weddings - Destination Weddings in Saudi Arabia

Apparently, they arrange weddings in exotic locations in many parts of the world including, so it seems, Saudi Arabia.

Mmmm. Perhaps the market in bridges and national monuments has gone a little quiet lately. Or perhaps they're only at the "conceptualization" stage at the moment, haven't worked thru all the cultural and legal issues yet. However, they are right about one thing, when they say, "A wedding in this dramatic country will be an unforgettable experience." This will be the itinerary...

Day 1. Fly to Jeddah. We'll get 3 hours to admire the beautiful Immigration Hall. Then Transfer to Hotel. (Please note that this hotel is "dry". However we recommend an early night. We have a busy day tomorrow!).

Day 2. Buffet Breakfast. Then transfer to the Corniche, Jeddah's beautiful seaside promenade. What a location! How you'll boast to your friends who only got married on Malibu Beach!
The service starts on the golden sands. Soon you will be man and wife. Of course, crowds of colorful locals willl gather round. They don't see many non-islamic ceremonies conducted in a foreign language. Look how they enjoy using their cellphones!
The traditional dancers arrive in their Suburbans! They are called "Muttawa" - in Arabic, that means "Men who love to dance and sing and bless your marriage". Their "Thobe" only goes down as far as the calf, for ease of movement, and they carry a ceremonial stick. See how they dance around and make strange cackling sounds. They come to link arms with you, they want you to join their dance!
Your Muttawa "Bridesmaids" escort you to their Suburbans. Transit to their traditional abode. You'll get to see the inside of a genuine Saudi building!
How they are curious in you and where you come from. Their questions never seem to end! And their rough horseplay! We must bear in mind that theirs is a different culture.

Day 3. Yet more questions! Think how you'll tell your friends back home about all the interesting conversations you had with the local people!

Day ?. Can these guys party! They call Jeddah "The City that Never Sleeps". And neither do we.

Day 14? The legal part of the ceremony takes place. There are lots of men in long beards, all talking in Arabic. Your marriage is legalized.

Day 15? Off to the Stag Party! We told you it was a different culture, everything is in a different order. The Hotel is huge, it's got a big wall so you don't lose any soccer balls. And all these guys at your party. Some of them look real ruffians! And the themed outfits for your party - it's called "convict - chic"!

Day 16? Hummus and Pitta Bread for every meal. Yumm.

Day 222? Hummus and Pitta Bread for every meal. Yumm.

Day 475? Hummus and Pitta Bread, with a "Cockroach Crouton". Yumm.

Day 1182? Hummus and Pitta Bread for every meal. Yumm.


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