Others have found solace in kindred spirits (see the posting of Becs).
During it the two fiancés will be helped to know and consciously "assume" the profound cultural and religious differences they will have to face, both between themselves and in relation to their respective families and the Muslim's original environment, to which they may possibly return after a period spent abroad.
If the marriage is registered with a consulate of the Islamic country of origin, the Catholic party must beware of reciting or signing documents containing the shahada (profession of the Muslim belief).
It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department's standard bureaucratic style.
For prospective spouses, "Marriage to Saudis" constituted an official tutorial in Saudi culture; for others, it served as a fascinating example of practical anthropology, school of hard knocks.
For those American women reluctant to wear an abaya (the all-encompassing black cloak) and for those Saudi husbands who did not make an issue of the abaya prior to arriving, the intense public scrutiny that starts at the airport—given to a western woman who is accompanying a Saudi male—is usually the catalyst for the eventual covering up.
Since the overwhelming majority of American citizen wives never travel to the Kingdom prior to their marriage, they are abruptly catapulted into Saudi society.Here is the key passage: When, for example, a Catholic woman and a Muslim wish to marry, ...bitter experience teaches us that a particularly careful and in-depth preparation is called for.In any case, the marriage between a Catholic and a Muslim, if celebrated in spite of all this, requires not only canonical dispensation but also the support of the Catholic community both before and after the marriage.One of the most important tasks of Catholic associations, volunteer workers and counselling services will be to help these families educate their children and, if need be, to support the least protected member of the Muslim family, that is the woman, to know and insist on her rights.After a slow start, the discussion took off and now has 17,000 comments, or about four a day.