Many young Saudis are adamant that they will not follow tradition and get married to women chosen by their families.
One such person is Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, who told a local publication recently that he has decided to follow his heart in matters of love. He said he came from a small village in the southern part of the country to study medicine at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
It was while attending a course that he fell in love. The object of his affection, who made his pulse race, was a young woman working at the hospital, from a decent Jeddah family.
When he was sure that the feeling was mutual, he started to plan his marriage. The task was complicated because his first challenge was to get his family's blessing. "We come from a simple but traditional environment where my family is very keen on maintaining the old customs and traditions," he said.
Al-Ghamdi said that while the family was very excited hear he wanted to get married, they would not accept his choice because they were fearful of the reaction of friends and relatives.
When he checked Islamic law, he discovered no obstacle to the union and decided to take one of his teachers to ask for the woman's hand in marriage.
However, he lied to the woman's family and said his parents could not come because they were ill. When they found out they would not accept the proposal, said Al-Ghamdi. "I don't blame them," he said.
Al-Ghamdi said he is still determined to get married on his own terms. "I will follow my heart's choice, and not that of my parents," he said.
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