One of the most interesting things about living abroad is getting to talk to people and see what their points of views are. I have had some interesting conversations with my family recently. My brother, who is married, knows I am against “woman’s work” and “man’s work” and that I feel that in a marriage you should share in the household work. Now this is coming from someone who plans on being a working wife. I understand that the men here think that the woman should do all the work around the house, because they go out and make the money. However, getting into a deeper conversation with my brother he still believes this to be true even if your wife works, he says that sweeping is deeming work for a man. Of course this led to a VERY interesting conversation between us. He actually told me that women want to serve their man!!! What was I to say at that point? So all I did was smile. My family is a really great family and I’ve realized that they just look at things different than me and I enjoy bringing up these topics because we can have a really great conversation and disagree but still walk away liking each other.

Another conversation that I had was between my brother and cousin in regard to men here being allowed up to 4 wives. My cousin had some interesting points, none that I agreed with. One of his major arguments was that people in the Western world cheat on their spouses all the time and since it’s against Muslim culture to have sex outside of marriage to prevent this they are allowed to marry a second, third, even fourth wife!! That was a very interesting point, didn’t really know what to say to that, I know what I thought but didn’t want to offend. Another point was that people change their minds about things all the time so how come not marry another woman who is better than your current wife. Hmmm??? Alas, women can’t marry someone better. However, he did explain to me kind of where this whole marry more than one woman came from, back when everyone here was dependent on the land, they had to “create” their own insurance in the form of kids and if one woman can produce x amount of kids, then 2 can produce 2x, etc. OK, that point I get, but I don’t see the purpose of it for those men who live in cities and no long “live off the land”.

The reason that I bring up these two examples is because I like that fact that I live amongst people who make me re-evaluate what I think. I still hold true to my thoughts, but where else could I really get to know the people well enough to talk about such things without offending them? I think that’s one of the wonderful things about living here is just sharing different points of view.


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