This is particularly surprising because of the images Jordanians receive of Americans as selfish, opulent, sex-driven, and sometimes violent people (thanks, MTV and Hollywood).
I get a number of emails from American women asking advice about their Arab men. Some of the men are Arab but born and raised in America. And don’t ask to look through the one you DO know about… You’ll need to tell him where you’re going, with whom, and approximately how long you expect to be gone. 1-9 above still apply and perhaps seem even more frequent. You’re more than likely going to meet male cousins and maybe a brother or two.
These days, Jordanian women are marrying around the age of 24, and men around the age of 29.
This is one of the highest ages in the world for men to be getting married for the first time.
I wish I had all the answers and could guide everyone off into a land of never ending bliss. Women in the Arab culture are highly respected and taught to respect themselves. Expressing dislike for certain outfits or style of clothing you’re wearing.
But since that’s not reality I’ve decided to compile a list in hopes of answering some questions. Spends every night away from his home, doesn’t answer his phone, and finally calls at 6am claiming he was at dewaniya all night. Get used to it, you’re always going to be less important than dewaniya. Having intimate relations with you then either disappearing for a few days… Being intimate with a man before marriage is almost unheard of. He believes you should only look good for him, at home, behind closed doors.
What strikes me the most in this regard is not the fact that most women dress more conservatively than in America; I respect these decisions to dress modestly.
It is the ways in which young men and women are expected to communicate and the degrees to which they are allowed to have contact with each other. People in Amman are generally expected to not initiate contact with strangers of the opposite gender.
Despite her long-distance love and the wedding planning falling squarely on her shoulders, she is among the few young Jordanians getting married at her age.
The next time Nisreen will see him will be at their wedding in Amman, several months from now.
Mousa lives in Saudi Arabia, working a job that will help him pay the cost of their marriage and provide for their future life together.
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