Came across this angst-filled blog. These stories do not make front page news, nor are they unique to Saudi Arabian men abroad.
Some are posted by freshly-abandoned young girls with a new born in toll. Some by grown men like Atif who feel lost and long to find their roots. Some are linked to prominent Saudi families. All of them tell the same story: abandonment by the father, denial from the family, and lack of help or acknowledgement from Saudi institutions. Most of these fathers are nothing more than ghosts in old photos never to be seen again; in the rare instances when they do resurface, acknowledgment may mean years of legal battle and possible loss of freedom for child and even mother.
These stories transcend religion and culture, as one reader points out,”…other groups from different race are doing the same exact thing somewhere else around the world, as the Americans in Thailand, the Japanese in South Korea…” However such a blog exists as an outlet for these women and children, and also as a channel for “social network justice”, a place for social pressure to condemn these behaviours, where laws and religion have failed, the way it used to in traditional communities.
The effect was evident in the number of comments left by Saudi men and women who denounce these men’s behaviours and even offer to help track them down. In the Saudi society, family honour and and esteem are highly valued, which is why these men ran off in the first place. But they probably never imagined that 20 years later a little invention called the internet would be hunting them down and publicizing their wrongdoings to the world.
So moral of the story is… keep your daughters locked up til they are 40, and tell your sons about this site!
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