Wary Saudi wives block husbands’ solo travels

Updated 06 June 2015
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Wary Saudi wives block husbands’ solo travels

ABHA: Many Saudi women are now refusing to let their husbands travel abroad alone because of what they see as enticements that might lead them astray.

Tourism expert Khaled Dughaim said women are knowledgable about overseas travel. “Many of them fear the attractions and openness their husbands might encounter in some countries,” he said.
Certified family counselor Jamila Al-Harbi said that more women are refusing to let their husbands travel alone. However, she said that women must understand if their husbands have to travel abroad for work, and should allow them to do so.
“When a woman accompanies her husband, then their children are often left alone.” However, wives must draw the line if the trip is solely for tourism purposes. Then they have the right to join or limit these trips, she said.
Teacher Amira Abdel Ilah said that she refuses to allow her husband to travel alone. “It is something that every woman should refuse. We women have our reasons. There are some countries that we don’t want our husbands to even get close to,” she told Arab News.
She said that she once threatened to leave her husband because he wanted to travel abroad alone. “He had started packing so I left to stay at the home of my parents and refused to talk to him. I told him that I wanted a divorce if he left, so he decided not to do so.” She said married men must remember that they should not leave their families.
Social worker Hind Al-Anzi said that husbands must devote time to their families, especially during holidays. Men are making a big mistake if they travel alone or with their friends, especially if they have teenage children. “They will be suspicious and want to know whether their father is leaving them,” she said.
She said some men want to continue traveling the way they did as bachelors, which threatens to break up their families. “I believe that husbands must not travel abroad without their wives and children because this means they either do not love them or are looking for other things that are not available when they are with their families,” she said.
Noura Sulaiman, a housewife and mother of four, said that she has a good relationship with her husband, but has experienced strain in her marriage because he used to travel abroad with his friends. “Now I insist on joining him without directly saying so.” She said that she tries to sabotage any plans he has of traveling alone.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.