Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How I Met My Prince

I t was the fall of 1977 as I skipped down the stairs into the basement of the Student Union. The semester had just begun and I was one of thousands of students at the busy beehive of higher education called the University of Arizona in Tucson. Already in my mid-20s, I was making a career change from law enforcement to journalism. While taking a full course load, I had also landed a part-time job right there on campus to help pay for my living expenses – working in the games room, where many students killed time in between classes to meet friends, release tension, socialize, and have some fun. My job there entailed overseeing about 50 pool tables, several dozen pin ball machines, and other games that students could rent out. It was really convenient and easy for me to attend classes and then just walk over to another building right there on campus for my four hour shift working in the Student Union several days a week. Not knowing many people there either, the job gave me a way of meeting new students and making friends.
The afternoon shifts were usually extremely busy. On those days, the time would pass by very quickly, and sometimes it was such a madhouse, I could hardly wait to get out of there. The evening shifts were usually much slower and quieter, giving me a chance to do my homework if I was lucky. Many of the students who came into the games room were foreign students, and I couldn’t help but notice that a large percentage of them were young Middle Eastern men. They had wierd and wonderful sounding names that I had never heard before and some of them had thick accents that were very difficult for me to understand. Many of them were short in stature with small scrawny frames and dressed in tidy polyester dress shirts and pants. Definitely not my type. I always went for guys with solid frames who were at least as tall as me and weighed more than me. However, coming from a small town on the Mexican border and with no previous exposure to Arab men at all, I was intrigued. I found most of them polite, some of them funny, and a few of them even attractive. But ALL of them seemed to smoke cigarettes, which was a real turn-off for me.
 Adnan had just arrived in the United States to continue with his studies, working on his Masters Degree in English as a Second Language and Linguistics. The very first time I laid eyes on him down in the games room, the attraction I felt was overwhelmingly strong and immediate. He was wearing bell-bottom jeans (so IN at the time!) and a long sleeved woven cotton shirt with his sleeves rolled up. The top two buttons were undone so that a tiny crop of his manly dark chest hair peeked out. Adnan had absolutely the biggest afro you ever saw and a full black beard. His eyes were dark brown and sultry, yet danced with a mischievious twinkle. At almost six feet tall and with strong broad shoulders, Adnan seemed older and more mature than the other Arab students I had seen. He looked mysterious, very masculine, strikingly different, and extremely intriguing. The effect he had on me was surprising. I felt flustered and practically weak at the knees just at the sight of him.

Adnan came into the games room almost daily to play pool. I discovered what his name was because whenever anyone wanted to rent a pool table, he had to leave his ID at the check-out counter where I worked. Even Adnan's name sounded exotic and exciting to me. I was definitely interested, and I felt strongly that I wanted to get to know this tall-dark-and-handsome mysterious stranger.
There was just one little tiny itsy bitsy teensy weensy insignificant problem. Every single time he came in to play pool, Adnan was accompanied by an attractive petite blond, whom I secretly named Miss Priss. Was she his girlfriend? She had an adorable perfect figure (like I always wanted but would never have) and cascading golden curls that tumbled down her back. I would watch them together on the sly. She always appeared bored. They never touched each other or flirted or really even smiled at each other. I decided that I hated her and her perfect little body and her flowing blond tresses. She never ever spoke to me. Adnan did speak to me, but always in a very business like manner, and he never made any small talk with me. He never really seemed to notice me because Miss Priss was always around.

One night several weeks into the term while I was working the evening shift, Adnan came in to play pool. Lo and behold, THIS time Miss Priss was nowhere in sight! THIS time he was there to play pool with another guy. So, I decided to seize the opportunity – Carpe Diem! This was my big chance to try to make an impression, to make this oblivious guy who made my heart flutter notice me. As I handed them the rack of colorful pool balls, I assigned the two young Arab men to the pool table closest to me, just a few short yards away from the large counter where I worked. Lucky for me, it was a very slow night in the games room. Miraculously Adnan and I occasionally made eye contact and exchanged a couple of brief smiles while he played. But what could I do to really make him notice me, to make myself stand out? Trying to be charming or cute was out of the question - when he was around, he made me feel tongue-tied. So as Adnan and his friend played pool, I hatched a plan. I decided to draw a sketch of Adnan. So I got out a piece of blank paper and a pencil and began drawing him.

When Adnan and his buddy finished playing pool, they approached the desk to return the rack of balls and pay. I presented Adnan with the sketch I had made of him, saying simply, "I made this for you." It had actually turned out to be a pretty good likeness of him - although admittedly, he was fairly easy to draw since the sketch consisted mostly of his big curly afro and beard!
 Adnan's eyes flashed at the sketch and then to me and then back to the sketch, at first a little confused, and then with the realization of what I had done. Flattered and humbled by the attention I obviously had shown him, he was visibly taken aback and duly impressed. And for the first time in all those weeks, I felt that he actually looked at me. He saw ME, not just the girl who worked in the gamesroom. I still remember the exact words he spoke as he thanked me for the sketch: "This will be framed!" Without missing a beat, he then asked if I played pool, and we made a date to meet at the Student Union to play the following afternoon. My heart was pounding wildly and I felt like I had just hit a home run, but I contained myself and acted cool until he and his friend left. Mission accomplished - I had gotten that tall-dark-and-handsome stranger to notice me!

I was so anxious about our date, I must have changed outfits a dozen times before I settled on a pair of cream colored jeans and a purple sweater. I applied minimal fresh faced make-up, tossed my hair, and I was out the door, arriving promptly on time for our first date. But to my surprise, Hassan, the friend he had played pool with the night before, also showed up. However, it was okay because it actually helped ease the tension I was feeling and made me more relaxed and not so nervous. We laughed and talked while we played pool, and I discovered that Adnan had a great sense of humor, one of the most important qualities I look for in a man. I learned my first Arabic words that day, "Darba helwa!" which means "Good shot!" I found Adnan to be very likable and easy to be around. My nervousness at the thought of being near him quickly vanished. He was smart and witty, and I thought he was very handsome, of course. He was the whole package. And I was smitten.

The following week after I drew his picture was my 26th birthday. Adnan invited me to his tiny efficiency apartment for a birthday party. I had no idea what to expect. Again I became nervous about what to wear and I fussed about styling my hair. I decided to wear a fairly simple brown faux suede sleeveless dress with narrow cream colored lace and brown satin ribbon adorning the fitted bodice and straps. My shoulder length blonde hair was flowing loosely, with soft gentle curls framing my face. I kept my makeup to a minimum, and in the end, I was quite happy with my appearance that night.
I arrived at the appointed time and as I knocked on the door, the butterflies in my stomach were fluttering like mad. I had the feeling that this night would be a very special one, and I wasn't disappointed. He opened the door and welcomed me warmly with a big hug, a huge smile on his face and those twinkling chocolate brown eyes. He was wearing a neatly pressed red and white striped cotton shirt with a crisp white collar and the sleeves rolled up and brown dress pants. He looked amazingly handsome and sexy. I melted.

The birthday party turned out to be a party for just the two of us, although he had arranged for his friend Hassan to come over and act as the photographer and take pictures for a while. His stereo lightly played typical 70s music, like the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Kool and the Gang, Barry White, and Irene Cara. The small but tidy space was decorated with a few streamers and balloons and lit candles were set about the room for mood lighting. Spicy incense was sweetly burning. The table was adorned with a cheerful tablecloth and offered an assortment of goodies like cashews, chips, pretzels, veggies with dip, other munchies and delectable chocolate truffles. Plus a birthday cake and ice cream - all that, just for the two of us!
 I was undeniably blown away and swept off my feet. I felt so comfortable around him. He was charming, intelligent, handsome, and fun to be with. Never in my life had anyone gone out of his way like that to impress me as he had done. He had thought of everything, attended to every little detail in planning the perfect evening. Throughout the night, we talked, danced, nibbled, laughed, and played backgammon. And the icing on the cake was that I discovered what a fabulously amazing kisser he was that night. It was a magical and enchanting evening ... like a fairy tale. I didn't want it to end. That very night, I fell in love with Adnan, although I didn't let him know for a while.

And that was the beginning of what was to be our twelve-year long courtship. Yes, you heard it right! Twelve long years before we finally tied the knot! True to his word, Adnan framed the drawing I had made of him and we still have it to this day - it is part of our history together, what initially brought us together in the first place.

Oh! And remember that gorgeous blond, Miss Priss, who used to come into the games room with Adnan to play pool? Adnan told me that they were just friends, that she was actually the girlfriend of another friend of his. He was apparently just keeping Miss Priss company and babysitting/watching over her for his buddy while he was in class. I don't know how true that story was, but I just let the matter drop since the Miss Priss no longer came around anymore once I entered Adnan's life. And that was enough for me!

Over the years when people have learned that my significant other is from Saudi Arabia, often the very first question I will inevitably be asked has been if he is a prince. My answer has always been a resounding, "Yes! He is a Prince ... Among Men!" Adnan is MY prince, and I feel like a very lucky woman, indeed.


  1. What a lovely, sweet story. It's nice to know romance still exists and love can go strong for a long time.

  2. What a beautiful story!
    1977?That was a while ago......and you haven't aged a bit,so whats the secret?

  3. Hi Heather!
    Thanks - glad you enjoyed it. I wish you as many happy years as together with Rob as Adnan and I have shared.

    Hi Always!
    Thanks so much - but there are wrinkles and much larger hips now that you just can't see in my photos! I guess maybe the secret is ... LOVE!!!

  4. Hi, Susie,
    I have really enjoyed your last blogs since you returned to Saudi Arabia. The luxurious life style of some is interesting. It reminds me of pictures my grandson has sent/brought from Dubai. Shopping..well, what can I say?? What a wonderful love story, and the pictures are how I remember y ou growing up in Douglas..your mom's smile!

  5. Awww - I love your story..I was glued to the computer screen...I had a crush on Wael when I fist met him and I stared him down and gawked at him until he finally came over to me and said " The least I can do is introduce myself" with a laugh..Of course I was blushing!!

  6. Dear Susie,
    What a lovely story. May Allaah continue to bless you both and may your love continue 'til the end of time.
    Warm regards, Paula

  7. Hi Mama Kalila -
    Glad you liked it!

    Hi Lindaleck!
    Thanks so much. I always thought my mom had a pretty smile - thanks.

    Hi Marika!
    I'm always fascinated by how couples meet, so I thought I would share my story. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed it.

    Hi Paula!
    Thank you for your good wishes - I appreciate it.

  8. Funny enough I met my husband while we were playing pool too..thats about all that is similar to our stories...mine had a disturbingly different outcome.

    Its nice to know not all marriages are hell bent on destruction...sigh.

  9. Hi Susie! I was so glad to see your comment on my post because..and this is true... I was thinking about you over the weekend and had planned on 'stopping by' to visit as I haven't in quite a while! I was thrilled to see you had beat me to it on mine and yeah! for entering the little give-away! What a great trip down memory lane with your special Prince! A beautiful love story that has endured and look at where it has take you! I always am in awe of your pictures an stories of life in Saudi Arabia... a world so removed from my little reality. I don't think I'll ever make it to that part of the world to visit, so I feel like I have the next best ticket when I visit your blog! Thanks for sharing! : )
    aka Carol

  10. Susie - How wonderful of you to share this special bit of history.
    And to have the photos too! So 31 years? He is a prince indeed, and you a princess.

  11. Dear Susie -

    This story - so beautiful- brought back special memories of you two and that time a while back - the music, all of it. thanks for reminding us all of those good times and bless you two and your love that has
    survived and grown. I remember you bringing Adnan to visit San Francisco back then - do you???
    Hugs to you - Pam

  12. So sweet!

    Just curious - does his family know how you guys met and how do they react?

    I love these kind of stories...

  13. I loved the story and laughed out loud when I saw the picture of the big hair. I also fell in love with an Arab 21 years ago but he also had the open shirt showing the chains, and a Transam with his name on the license plate. So typical of those days. Ha ha. We moved to Riyadh 3 years ago so I completely loved the story about hating shopping in Saudi, every word of it soooo true!!! Keep up the great stories.

  14. Hey, Susie,
    It's Maria.
    What a great story, as usual. You are such a talented women. I read your blog daily and feel honored you included me in your original plans with it. XXXOOO

  15. Behind every bi-cultural marriage and especially when it involves a Saudi and a Westerner there is a story. Yours did not disappoint and I'm sure I am not alone wanting to see future installments about your courtship leading up to your marriage.

    Best Regards,
    (American Bedu)

  16. Hello
    a small mark at the time of my passage on your very beautiful blog!
    thanks for making us share your moments
    you have a translation of my English space!
    cordially from France
    ¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* ~ Chris ~ -:¦:-

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Hi CoolRed!
    Sorry you didn't have a "happily ever after" ending. But we both know you are better off without him, so be happy. You deserve it!

    Hi Velvet Brick!
    Thanks for stopping by and letting me know that you enjoyed my story. Good to hear from you!

    Hi Lucinda!
    I guess the only thing we need now is our palace!!! Glad you liked my latest chapter.

    Hi Pam!
    Of course I remember our trip to the Bay Area - we stayed with you! I'd love to visit there again some day...

    Hi L_Oman!
    I don't think I have ever told his family about how we met. I think my nieces and his sister might enjoy hearing the tale though. I'm sure my husband has never told them either - you know how men are!

    Hi Kristi!
    I'm so glad you could relate. I know we all have our own stories about how we met our loves - and it warms our hearts hearing them. Thanks for letting me how much you enjoyed it.

    Thanks, Solace!

    Hi Maria!
    Great to hear from you - thanks for the nice comment!

    Hi Bedu!
    I remember reading a while back about your experience of how you met your hubby and how much I enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for romance! A 12-year courtship - there should be plenty of material there for future installments! Thanks for commenting - it means a lot to me.

    Hi Coupdecoeur!
    What a lovely imprint you left - it's beautiful!!! Thanks so much!

  19. Susie! What a beautiful story and memory! I love to read your stories! Please keep them coming! Someday (soon! I hope to read a book by you!) You are an AWESOME and powerful woman!

  20. very beauiful story,, i really enjoyed reading it,,,


  21. Wow. Susie. I can't believe how much Adam looks like Adnan. And how much Adnan looks like Richard Pryor! Ha!!!
    I love the pictures of you.

  22. Hi Terri!
    Thanks so much for your kind words. You never know what might happen in the future...!

    Hi Murtadha!
    Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoyed this post. And welcome to my blog!

    Hi Schmlinda!
    You know, you're not the first person who ever told me that Adnan resembles Richard Pryor. I think Adnan is much more handsome though!

  23. Hi,
    Thanks for your latest blogs. I cracked up over the shopping. Sounds like an ordeal to me. What I don’t get is that if all the employees are men, and there are no dressing rooms…..do they hide their eyes when a woman has to try something on? What if they peak? Is the woman arrested for indecent exposure? Crazy life over there.
    Thanks and keep up the great writing. Also, loved your Adnan story.
    Bye. Love, KT

  24. Hi KT!
    Shopping here isn't always that bad, but when you're fasting and you go to the souk in the middle of the day and it's the hottest month of the year, well, it's just the pits. If there aren't any dressing rooms, we just don't try things on, period. I've never seen any woman trying something on out in the open, and I haven't seen any dressing rooms yet either, although I've heard that a few shops have them. Glad to hear that you are enjoying the blogs.

  25. Susie you might eventually find some changing rooms...but more often then not they are little messy cubicles that seem more like sauna that barely allow you to raise your arms much less get some pants on and off with any semblance of grace. Not to mention...there is rarely a hook to hang your current clothes on. Last but not least...the small insignificant lock seems to have been added as an afterthought...and your generally left with two choices....change (as best you can) with your back pressed against the door just in case...or have a friend or family member stand outside and guard your modesty...lol.

    You kind of get the feeling they dont want you to try on clothes...you think?

  26. Awwwww, what a lovely story but a TWELVE year courtship?! You guys sure took your time! Waiting to read more! :)

  27. I LOVE this story! Thanks for sharing. Gives me hope :)


  28. Hi Susie! I just popped over from my blog to check you out! I havent read a thing yet but already I LOVE your blog! I just added you. Now I will read. Looks like great stuff hewre.

  29. Hi CoolRed!
    Eeewwww! Doesn't sound very appealing at all! I think I'll just continue to try my luck at eyeballing a garment for the right size!!!

    Hi Stranger!
    Yes, 12 long years. My friends thought I was crazy. Stay tuned!

    Hi Anne/Pret a Voyager!
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think your blog is very creative and beautiful.

    Hi Queen O'Danile!
    Welcome to my blog! Love your name - sounds Irish/Egyptian!

  30. Oops I just realized I posted my previous comment in the wrong area...ouch...senility is apparently setting in!

    Its interesting to note that the mass hysteria associated with all things Afro did not miss the middle east either...lol. Now there was a plague no dose of medicine could cure....lol.

  31. Awwwww...very sweet indeed. Both of you are lucky to have found each other.

    Mabrouk! And here's to another 50 years of wedded bliss for you.

  32. Awwwww.....extremely sweet love story...Both of you are lucky to have found each other.

    Mabrouk! And here's to another 50 years of wedded bliss.

  33. Susie,
    I read your blog as much as time permits me to. Great job! Loved the pictures of you and Ad during the U of A times.
    See ya,

  34. Hi Susie! hahaha@Irish/Egyptian...yes I was going for that multi-cultural flare. Anyway, can you shoot me an email to
    queen.o.danile@live.com ?

    I want to invite you to my private blog!

  35. Oh susie thank ou so much for sharing that. Since reading your blog, I have always wondered how the two of you me. This definitely did not disappoint. MashaAllah 30 years! I wish for you 30 more years of love and happines together.

  36. What a sweet, romantic story...I love the pics. :)

  37. OMG!! I luuuuved reading this, and when I saw your husband's afro I laughed:D But that was the style back then, huh?

    I can't wait to here more insha'Allah!

  38. P.S. I love your picture, it reminds me of my mom back when she was a young woman in the 70's, hehe!

  39. Hi CoolRed!
    That's OK - I knew what you were talking about anyway.
    He had SO much hair, it would take 3 days for it to dry completely! I think it was its own contained Biosphere in there!!!

    Hi Fida!
    Thanks so much! I hope so.

    Hi Gary!
    Thanks! Those were the days...

    Hi Queen!
    Will do - sounds like an undercover assignment!!!

    Hi UmmAbdurrahman!
    I appreciate your kind words - thanks so much.

    Hi Lena!
    I wish I still looked like that!

    Hi Aalia!
    I love old pics - that's the me I think I should be seeing when I look in the mirror, but I'm getting someone else nowadays!! Ah, to be young again!

  40. Such a sweet story! I loved it! I read your entire blog this weekend. It's fascinating. Keep it up! ;)

  41. Oh, Susie and "Eggnog,"
    How sweet. It brings me to tears, your incredible love story which is still unfolding. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. I vouch every word is true. Yes, even your friends fell for the prince!

  42. Hi Sobia!
    Wow, such a nice compliment! I'm so glad you ahve enjoyed my blog. And a warm welcome to you.

    Hi Mariva!
    It makes me feel good to know that my friends care for Adnan so much. Thanks for commenting, Mariva, and great to hear from you.

  43. Susie,

    Loved the photos and your story. It brought back memories of when I lived in Jeddah in 1975 when my husband worked for Saudia Airlines and I taught at Parent's Cooperative School in Jeddah. So much has changed, yet much is still the same in Jeddah.

    I did notice that the "Creek" had changed. There were very few places along the Red Sea when I lived there. It was the place the American women went during the week, but never on a weekend, to enjoy the water with little worries for "covering up". I loved the way you went "driving" in the country. We did the same and costumed ourselves in a similar manner.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

  44. Oh my goodness...masha Allah!!!! What a sweet and wonderful story! I loved every second of it--it ended way too fast. Now do tell..why 12 years??? Girl you could make a book out of this! Plzzzzzzzzzzzz--details--plzzzzzzzzzz. Oh--and top o' the mornin' to ya!

  45. Hi Anonymous!
    I'm sure glad you were able to revisit some of the memories you have of living here so long ago thru my blog. There has been so much growth - construction is going on everywhere!
    I didn't think I was the first to ever drive here in disguise - glad to hear you did it too. It was a little thrilling and scary, not wanting to be caught.
    Thanks for commenting.

    Hi Queen!
    I guess I WILL write some future installments about our 12 year long courtship ... stay tuned!

  46. Awww!!! Excellent!!! I have been wondering about your meeting!!!!
    Adnan looks like a seventies pop-star! George Baker!!!

    I loved to see the vintage photo's together with the story! So if it was just you and Adnan who made those photos??
    You defenitely looked dressed to kill! And what a lovely idea of Adnan, I am seeing a bit rosy now! :)

  47. Hi Aafke!
    I had to Google George Baker to see what he looks like - I guess the big hair and beard maybe look similar!
    A friend of Adnan's took the photos. Adnan arranged for him to show up for a little while just to take pictures. He thought of everything!

  48. Just wanted to say hello~ :)

  49. A great story! Thank you for writing so honestly and posting it! The photos are wonderful-- brought back lots of my own memories of those years, too.

    You are so blessed and lucky to have met this man. Mayn Allah grant you many more happy years together.

  50. masha'allah.. what a cute story :D true love eh?

  51. My goodness that was a beautiful story...I almost wanted to get teary-eyed! Lol...you should consider making a movie based on your courtship...it was tooo cute!

    Im still in my early twenties and I havent met anyone yet so I dont really have a story to tell...but I cant imagine it being any cuter than that!

    ( The dark eyes and the cute accent gets me every time too!)

  52. Hi Sandra - Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Maraham - Thank you so much for your best wishes. I think I am pretty lucky too.

    Hi Ammena - Yes, it's true love!

    Hi Saira - I hope that one day you will meet your prince and have a great story to tell too.

  53. Oh Susie!!
    This love story should be filmed!!
    An amazing and warm love story to be honest!!

    Wish you guys the best ever!!

  54. Hi, His Sweetheart!
    Thanks so much for stopping by - glad you enjoyed my love story.

  55. Susie,
    I loved this post so very much. Thank you for sharing it.

    So do you think it will work for me too if I go to play pool and undo the top buttons of my shirt? ;)

    P.S: sorry.. cant have an Afro.. I'm getting bald! :(

  56. i came across ur blog..it is really nice story..
    wish u the best of time with u and ur family

  57. Thanks so much for sharing this story Susie. It was so wonderful to read. Sigh.....

  58. In a way, this reminds me of how, in Chicago in the 1960s, I "fell in love" with actor Peter O'Toole on the big screen as Lawrence of Arabia. :)

    Thanks for sharing your story. And they lived happily ever after...

  59. You guys look so goofy but I guess we all did in the 70's lol. I mean that in a nice way! I love this story its very sweet!

  60. It's an amazing love story, so romantic! You both look so beautiful, neat and happy.
    I wish you all the best, and even more.

  61. Hello
    I am experiencing something similar with a Saudi guy and our stories are so close. I loved your story. and by the way... u are such a good writer.Please u have to continue the story.... why did u say 12 years?

    this is like a book....
    thank you very much for writing for u!

  62. Susie--yes great story and storytelling, and you must narrate the 12 year courtship. It beats out my aunt and uncle's 6 year one--he was unacceptable to her mom, because he was/is Italian, not yet educated enough (spent part of the 6 years getting a BEng), Italian, not socially prominent enough a family, Italian, didn't go to a private school, Italian...

    Yes, Adnan's Afro rivals even the Jackson Brothers ones.

  63. Hello Susie of Arabia!

    I read your story twice. I cannot say that I enjoyed your story, because it brings many of the issues up with being a single Muslim sister in the United States. Where I go to school, there are many Saudi's. They range in ages, experiences, families, but I see the "saudi dating" male a lot.

    Most of the time, it is not a happy ending like yours though. No marriage happens. Usually the Saudi boys date the girls for their own selfish reasons and the girls for their own selfish reasons. The girls like the Arab boys, because they will shower the girls with gifts. And in return, most of the Saudi boys get sex. It is a never ending circle.

    An aquintice of mine ended up pregnant by a Saudi boy, but he talked her into getting an aborotion. It was very sad. When people ask me if I joined Islam for a man, I look at them straight in the face, and say "No". I joined Islam before I met the "love of my life"...but circumstances that I have no control over...means we cannot get married.

    I happy that you got your happy ending, but I am curcious...why do you not join Islam? And I have read other post about being a female? My dear, do you realize there is more than being a female than wearing make up, having high fashion, perfect hair. You should not feel ugly wearing hijab...

    No, it does not protect you from the evil eyes of other people...but what makes a woman a woman is how she feels about her on the inside. Physical beauty will fade away in time...but the beuaty of a personality, kindness, genouristy will never fade away.

    Amazing to me is that you have spent so many years with a man and I am guess you are different religions. Massahallah...I wish everyone in this world could be less judgemental...I look forward to reading more post.

  64. Great story and I can only say how lucky you were in having a happy ending to your romance. I fell in love with a Saudi student staying in my home. Totally unexpected and it has caused me so much pain and suffering. The love of my life will always be in my heart. Platonic love can be the strongest. "Love doesn't know age".

  65. A wonderful love story, inspiring and admirable your commitment to each other and your marriage.

  66. Hi Susie.. It is an amazing story. I am going through a similar situation and I need your email if you don't mind.

  67. For Anonymous -
    You can email me at:

  68. I loved your story and will follow you on twitter. I found you while researching women and driving in Saudi. I'm obtaining my MBA at CSU-Monterey Bay, in California.

    I didn't know women couldn't drive there, although I have many Muslim friends from college. I married a muslim from lebanon right out of college -our marriage didn't work as yours did, but I met my prince a few doors down when I moved to pacific grove, california to be near my parents. We are celebrating our 7th anniversary now ;) Your story fascinates me. I look forward to remaining in touch. My dear friend from Abu Dabi will be visiting me here in July 2010. I am looking forward to it! Are you on facebook? You can find me under Juliette Calandra Ferguson, jette direct

  69. Hi Susie:

    I stumbled across your blog when I did a google search on Halal meat. I am a new Muslim Convert and I wanted to find a decent description of what Halal meat is for my non-Muslim friends. Anyway, I came across this story about how you met your husband and it was so touching it almost brought tears to me. I'm following you on Twitter:) I am also American but plan on moving to Morocco to be with my husband to be. I know it will be a culture shock but I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to looking at more of your blog to get a perspective of what it's like for an American in a Muslim country. Thanks for your blog!!!

  70. Leslie, I really advise you to do that: read the whole of this blog before you decide to give your life and future into the hands of a man in a country where you are a secondgrade human, where your word counts for nothing compared to that of a man. Where, if your husband beats you up, you will be told it is his right and you should be patient and pray.

    I also suggest you read the quran and hadith for yourself, and not just the cherry picked bits they like to feed westerners to make Islam palatable. I seriously think that as a woman you should be very wary of a religion which puts you categorically second place, which takes your human rights away. A religion which allows men to have four wives, and rape their slaves. Yes, Islam condones slavery, and which admonishes men to beat up their wives. Now that depends on the man in question of course, but there are enough imams which tell the men that Allah approves of the beating up of women who are not ''obedient'' enough. That it is their duty as muslim men.

    And once you are in a muslim country you will be completely in the man's power.

    Read the whole of Susie's blog and see how great it is for a woman to live in a muslim country.

  71. Lesliel--Susie's blog is great and I suggest you continue following, learning from, and enjoying it. Morocco is very distinct from Saudi Arabia, however, so you should follow some Moroccan blogs as well, and read Moroccan news sites. If you don't speak French you might want to take an introductory class. It will ease the transition and is an easier language to learn than Arabic. Also learn spoken dialectal Moroccan which is very distinct from Arabic. If you are moving to Tangiers, or farther east, Spanish is useful as that was a former Spanish colony. NB your Islamic marriage contract, and relationships with the inlaws! The country and the people are wonderful...I am sure you will have great times there. Just some hints from a Canadian married to a Moroccan. :)

    Susie--it seems someone has chosen on your blog roll to replace Carole King's version of Tapestry with her own a capella version. Let's just say Carole sings it better. If the singer is someone you know and love well then...very interesting interpretation! Or is it a new kind of hacker? The random singing bandit?

  72. Hi Susie,
    Your narration of how you met your prince is a wonderful recollection of the events during your college days. It is very interesting you have used the term "Tied the Knot" (Twelve long years before we finally tied the knot). To my knowledge only in India and in a few other oriental cultures especially Hindu bridegrooms tie a knot using a sacred thread around the bride's neck during the marriage. So you see there the literal meaning of tied the knot means formally or officialy getting married. But it is interesting to see certain terms or words transcended the cultures and used universelly

    I posted a comment on your Feb 2008 'Price is right' blog a few weeks back though it is not appearing on the messages bottle. I'm catching up your blogs and I'm here right now. Guess it will take a couple of months for me to be up to date with your latest post


  73. Hi Balaji - Thanks for your comment and for the explanation of the term "tie the knot." I know lots of the expressions we use today originated centuries ago, and I always find it fascinating to discover how an expression came about.
    There have been some problems with Blogger comments, and I may have also accidentally missed some with my internet problems and my husband being in the hospital. I'll try to find your comment, but you might try reposting it.

  74. This is such a lovely story- He is very handsome esp. with the 'fro. 12 years is a long courtship but it makes some sense given the vast cultural and religious differences- definitely not something to be taken lightly.

  75. What an awesome story! Near the end I was worried you weren't going to tell us the true identity of Miss Priss, so I'm glad we get to know!

  76. I was interigued by your story and but so disappointed to how muslims act. no offense to you since you were not muslim but if you are now. I think its best if you repent for any haram that occured in your relationship and its best if you dont expose such a sin since Allah wont forgive those sins the person themselves expose, and especially boast. Allahu Alam.

  77. Yasmine - As far as I am concerned, I have done nothing that I feel I must repent for and neither has my prince. And I also don't think there is anything boastful written here - this is simply the story of how we met, nothing more.

  78. What an unfortunate observation from Yasmine. Susie, mainstream Muslims know that only Allah knows what is or isn't forgiven, and certainly you were not boasting of anything "haram". Though it is true the Salafi/Wahabi sect often claim to know these things about who is going where in the hereafter- similar to some Evangelical Christians that claim to know Allah's will as well.

  79. I like it very much!

  80. Dear Susie of Arabia,
    I just found out about your blog and I find it extremely interesting as I am dating a Saudi man myself. I'm only 20 years old and I was deeply moved by this article since it reminds me of how I met my own prince. I felt the same kind of enchantment and I'm still under the spell! Though I sometimes find it frigthening to imagine what the future would be like. To tell you the truth, I find it such a relief to read a testimony such as yours after all the continuous warnings, embarrassing questions and prejudices revolving around my relationship. As if I wasn't allowed to dream, to believe in the power of love beyond cultural borders. I don't know if all this will come true, maybe it won't, but at least, I'd like to be able to dream :) Inshallah! Thank you for your writings.

  81. What a lovely story!!

    I met my ex-husband through friends and we got married all too quickly after only few monhs courtship and also got married within a short period of time. All in all, time from meeting him for the time and getting married was about 5 months only. In the end it didn´t work with us and we divorced 11 years and three sons later.

    Everybody hopes for happy endings, but unfortunately there are no guarantees in this world. Now I am in love with someone, but there still BIG obstacles to win on the way. I am praying to God that the obstacles will be thrown away from our way, or then is not maybe the man for me in the end. I love him though, we are coming from the same country, but we have yet some cultural differences. I am Finn and he is Finnish gypsy with partly different traditions and ways of living.

    1. So even within your own country, there are obstacles and cultural differences to contend with - interesting. I wish you the best!

  82. You must really love the guy if you're willing to move to a country of fundamentalist bigots where women are treated as subhuman for him

  83. My husband and I have been together since 1977 and we are still happy together. I do not feel as though I am treated as subhuman here in KSA. I actually have a pretty good life here. While there are things I would like to see changed, there are also many good things to appreciate in this society and culture.

  84. Susie, your story actually brought tears to my eyes, what a beautiful story,, and to think you are now married, with a son and living in KSA. You are truly blessed, thank you so much for sharing.


    1. Hi Lorena - I do feel blessed, and I'm glad you enjoyed my story. Thank you.

  85. Loved reading your story. You are a talented writer, maashallaah. My wife and I live in Jeddah. My family is also originally from the Douglas area, so I imagine we may know some of the same folks. Funny that we have not run into each other at some point, because the expat community is not that big here. Look forward to reading more of your web log entries.

    1. Hi Anonymous - Sorry I'm just getting around to answering your message. I'm shocked to learn that someone else from Douglas is here in Jeddah! Please feel free to email me at: susieofarabia@gmail.com

  86. You actually inspired me to do that for the guy I like! I know it's not original at all and I totally stole your Idea hehe sorry for that! But I just thought it was sooo cute, I had to try it :) Lets see if it works - C

    1. Hi Anonymous - So I'm dying to know if it worked! Best Wishes!

  87. omgosh... such a cute story!! & cool blog, btw.
    xx, Evey


  88. Jamal Jan 6, 2013

    It is a true love story and I hope it will always be like that. Welcome to Saudi Arabia and I hope you would admire the good things here. Wishing you the best and a happy new year. Thank you for sharing your story with the readers.

    1. Thank you, Jamal - I have written and shared many good things about life here in Saudi Arabia. Thanks for your comment.

  89. Hi Su...very nice story, mine is the opposite ..im omani my husband is american from NY...we met in qatar he came for work..its amazing that i ve never thought i would marry an american lol...but we fall inlove, he converted to islam and we got married. this is our fifth year together we are so happy but,...but,,,,he lost his job and he is back in NY im still in qatar and its really hard for us. now we are looking for a job anywhere in gcc so we can sattle again. no one can say diferent culture cannot live together ..its all about respect,love and understanding! i love my american man very much :-)...salma

    1. Hi Salma - I'm sorry your husband lost his job. I hope that things work out for you both and that he finds a job and the two of you can be back together very soon.

  90. WELL REALLY AMAZING I WOULD SAY CAUSE THIS IS WHAT I HEAR AND READIN BOOKS....may ALLAH swt keep yyou and your family happy and prosperous ameen

  91. simply awesome ...veryy touchy story dear.loved it!

  92. This is beautiful and very touching. I really enjoyed reading this and I hope I get to meet my prince one day :)

  93. Spent my whole afternoon reading your blog, it's true Arab men (and women) are charming and with magnetic appeal and visual impact. I dream of one day writing my own love story on how I met my prince. But I haven't found him. Also I am just curious if ya ever encountered interracial marriage prblems or conservative ideas about marriage that Arab families have. I have persian friends and i think they are not allowed to marry outside their race, though I never really asked them if its true.

    1. Hi Grace - I personally haven't really encountered any interracial marriage problems. There are many cultures that discourage marriages outside their own pool, and that way of thinking is especially strong here in Saudi Arabia. That being said, my own experience has been very positive with his family and other people I have met along my journey. I wish you all the best in your search for your prince and I hope you have a very happy ending!

  94. That is a true love story. I have dated and worked with several Saudi men. My masters is ESL also and Id love to marry a Saudi man and teach English in Saudi Arabia later. I have a son so thats my concern now with moving. I have been invited to visit and hopefully soon to there and Dubai. Maybe I will find my Saudi prince as u did. ❤️

    1. Hi Stephanie - Saudi Arabia is not the kind of country that is easy to visit. I had never ever visited KSA prior to our move. There is really no tourism other than religious tourism. It would be quite difficult for you to obtain a visa to visit. I wish you all the best in your quest to find your Saudi prince.

  95. OMG .. I loved this story.. very romantic.. and I was smiling throughout the story.. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.. I wish I had a picture of my parents to show you.. cause your picture reminded me of them.. Keep writing, thank you so much for sharing.