spending time with the in-laws

Today I've got to attend the party held in honor of the birth of my brother-in-law's son. I hate these kinds of events. Hours and hours spent with in-laws. . . .uuuugh!

My husband complains about the fact that I always get depressed about going to any family event. He wanted to know why I never look depressed when the event involves one of my friends. I told him it's because I LIKE my friends. I LIKE spending time with my friends. I know that I'll ENJOY myself when I'm with my friends. We'll have a good laugh and none of us will be compairing what we're wearing, or the amount of gold we have 'or don't have'. My friends are intelligent - I can discuss such things as current events, work, and things that require thought and insight. My friends don't discuss such boring things as how many blankets they've washed in the last week or whether smeed is available at the jamiah like most Libyan women (at least the ones in my family). My friends don't care about things like that!

It's not the same when it's with family. The ladies gossip about each other and compare and become envious. You seldom see those ladies having a good time - they're too busy worrying over whether someone is backstabbing them. And they've spent hours and a small fortune to get all dressed up to sit and stare at one another. To me this is so ridiculous. None of them ever look comfortable.

Actually I think Libyan ladies have more fun at funerals. I can tell because they smile and laugh alot at funerals (which is another thing I find weird). Maybe it's because they don't have to get all dressed up or spend any money on a gift. And at funerals they can gossip more because they don't have the loud music to try to shout over.

I'll go and do my best to be pleasant. I have learned to paint an interested look on my face while I sit and daydream. If I take advantage of the time I have to spend there I can make up all kinds of things in my head to entertain myself. And you know what? I plan on wearing an outfit that they've all seen at least a dozen times! That will give them something to gossip about. . . . hehehe

Can you tell how excited I am about this?

Comments

  1. U r sort of bright American woman and I could not understand why U are living this sort of life in Libya ! R u on a mission impossible !!? If u do not like it just say that and let them get lost or run away to where u like to be ! upppps

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  2. sigh . . . it's not always possible to be where you want to be. Sometimes you have to give in and do things with your inlaws whether you like it or not. . .sigh

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  3. Hello Khadija,
    Do you really have anything positive to say about Libyans, I always wondered? You seem to be bashing the Libyans and their way of living. I’m not saying that they are perfect but come on, you are married to one of them and live in their country; try once, even once, to be fair and stop flogging the poor Libyans.

    You always moan and groan, and moan again; never seem to run out of negative things to highlight. Dear, don’t compare yourself to the poor Libyan women who were and still oppressed by their fathers, brothers and husbands. I bet, if your hubby was married to a Libyan he wouldn’t have treat her and given her the freedom he has given you. Why don’t you talk about such double standards?

    The Libyan society has lots of problems, I admit, but you are not doing us any good by bashing us all the time. If you think you are way much better and far more intelligent than all the Libyan women, then why don’t you go back to where you came from?

    Honestly, I’m sick and tired of you patronising and stereotyping us, Libyan women.

    I’m sure you wont like what I said and will delete my post but I only hope you reread it before you delete it and think about what I’ve said.

    Regards
    Libyan-Female

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  4. Can you tell how excited I am about this?
    :(
    Libyan-Female :
    I’m sure you wont like what I said and will delete my post but I only hope you reread it before you delete it and think about what I’ve said.

    I hope not.
    I have nothing to say just " ????? ?????? ????? " ????

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  5. I totally agree with u but why do not u try 2 change them then, rather than being like them by this gossiping. Do not tell me that u have tried, because I do not accept failure ! Cuz u either change them or they will one day ...Ta

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  6. I told him it's because I LIKE my friends. I LIKE spending time with my friends. I know that I'll ENJOY myself when I'm with my friends. We'll have a good laugh and none of us will be compairing what we're wearing, or the amount of gold we have 'or don't have'. My friends are intelligent - I can discuss such things as current events, work, and things that require thought and insight. My
    friends don't discuss such boring things as how many blankets they've washed in the last week or whether smeed is available at the jamiah like most Libyan women (at least the ones in my family). My friends don't care about things like that!

    It's not the same when it's with family. The ladies gossip about each other and compare and become envious. You seldom see those ladies having a good time - they're too busy worrying over whether someone is backstabbing them. And they've spent hours and a small fortune to get all dressed up to sit and stare at one another. To me this is so ridiculous. None of them ever look comfortable.

    Actually I think Libyan ladies have more fun at funerals.

    >>>>GOOD STAFF<<<<<

    Are they better off than you or more liked than you .... or what is the matter exactly... By the way, I could not see your photo on the web ! What is the issue !?

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  7. I don't hate Libyan women, just pointing out obvious differences.

    I come from a very different culture and I've decided to live my ife here in Libya - where I can say I'm happy. But does that mean that because I decided to marry a Libyan man and live in his country and culture that I must give up my culture and 'become' a Libyan woman? No it does not. If my husband wanted a Libyan wife he'd have married one.

    I can quite honestly say that I met very few Libyans in America that assimilated themselves into the American culture. Libyans for the most part choose to keep themselves either very separate or on the edge of American society when they live there. Why should it be any different for me and my life in Libya?

    And I don't think that I am given any more freedoms by my husband because I am American. Probably it's just the opposite. I have to live my life knowing that anything I do or say will be turned around and it will always be pointed out that I am a foriegner. I also make sure my kids behave themselves at all times. I don't want anyone to ever say. 'Look how she's dressed!' or 'Did you see what she's done?' - 'Well what do you expect, she's a bint al ajnabiya!'

    I certainly don't think I'm more intelligent than anyone, but I definitely know that I'm different. And I don't want to change anyone.

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  8. I think it is pretty healthy sometimes to have an outsider to tell us the obvious - we ourselves are far to blind to recognize our silly daily behaviors.
    Of course sister Khadija is stereotyping Libyan female behavior! That´s what makes her blog so funny.

    There is a cartoon b y Mohamed azZwawi which I think illustrates sister Khadijas post quite well:
    http://www.libyana.org/art/zwawi/gurma.htm

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  9. Dear Khadija
    I don't know if you remember me . Anway I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your version of Libyan women and their ways ,which I as a Libyan totally agree with.I always try to point this out but nobody seems to care . At last I have someone who thinks in the same way!!!
    All the best /Laila Arif

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  10. I am a fellow American married to a Libyan and I choose to live here off and on for the last 35 years . I have had 4 childern,3 of whom were born here in Tripoli.I am a Muslum as well , not that is really relavent to this commentary but I thought I would throw that in for free .A Libyan women mentioned ALL the Freedoms we Outsider wives have from our fellow Libyan Sisters, some of us do I admit but I would like to take this oppertunity now to bring you up to speed on the true circumstances Some ( not all of us but a few of us )live with here .It is not meant to be offensive , just a statement of fact , so please don't turn this into a " us and them " sort of thing .When you have a death in your family , everyone comes and Salems you over the loss , but when one of our families back " home " die's it's just another day in the neighborhood for us because no one bothers to try to console us , whom are so far from home and alone at this time .You get to go home every Thursday or Friday or even both days , but some of us haven't been Allowed to go home in over 15 years . Imagine that !There have been outsider women who have been locked up in a room in the garden because the husband is tired of her or mad at her .We are all alone , no brothers or fathers here to stand up for us .No one to defend us .If our husbands die , we loose our rights to our homes... by the law because we are outsiders . That's true even if we have childern . Most of the times we are allowed to stay in out own homes because we have childern but if the family wants us out what do we do ?What happens to Libyan women in the same circumstances ? Nothing !Some of us have been forbiden to even speak our own language to our childern by our husbands families . So just what kind of freedom are we talking about that we have that you don't ?
    And another thing while I am busy venting ..... one of you said we should teach our familes , what makes you think we haven't ?Soapoan Tide is no longer used to shampoo hair, people know how to SIT on the toilet seat instead of crouching above it like a marhod.How to use the freezer to freeze food for future use .Washing machines & dryers,store bought underwear,going to a male doctor in a life or death situation,plus all those other thousand and one things we don't even think about anymore because they are normal today , we were ridiculed for trying to get our families to do way back when . I love my life here and am truely happy here but don't think for one minute that we have it easier just because we are outsiders, because it isn't true .We accept things as they are , but it doesn't mean that we don't find them differnt and like to point them out to each other as a way of saying "we belong", therefore we can comment on them just as you do .Sydney

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  11. What do you mean that you foreign wives are not allowed to go home for a visit? How could this be?

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  12. how you feel about your inlaws is how I feel about some of my family especially at holidays... I try to limit my contact to a few times each year. blah.

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  13. hahaha it is the same everywhere! Sounds just like Pakistani women and family events.

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  14. Do not u think that it is better to try to change things rather than gossiping like them ! our messenger said if u see some thing wrong then try to correct it and if u cannot then shut up because this is better than gossiping !

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  15. Thumbs up, Khadijateri! Keep saying it like it is... This is not stereotyping--it is the simple plain truth! I am a Libyan woman and I would never go back to live in Libya, because of everything you mentioned and more, superficiality, lack of intelligence, too much social pressures... Hey, I can't even have an intelligent conversation with Libyan women who've been here in the US for years and decades! I'm telling you, you have lots of guts and courage to survive there and stay on top of things.

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  16. Hi there, I'm here since three months and I love this place. I'm italian and used to all inlaw stuff, it's everywhere the same story....even if you have the same religion, culture and bla bla bla..
    You are a funny lady, nice blog

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  17. Good Morning, Mrs. Khadija.

    I agree with you here totally. And I don't think this is a stereotyping.
    I'm a Libyan citizen, and I do believe that the way the common Libyan women are living their lives is so pathetic.
    And Mrs. Kadija was so accurate, when she spoke about what the common Libyan women would usually do in their ritual social events/parties.

    The description, the picture she drawn is so real. I mean we all know that the life of our mothers and sisters are miserable, to say the least.
    And I recommend Sadeq al-naihoum. The Libyan writer/philosopher, who dedicated many of his books to this very topic namely.
    He also has been strongly criticized by conservative Muslim scholars, writers and Imams.

    For in societies like ours, where traditionalism is exceeding rationalism, and where modernization is considered as a threat to the society's identity, rather than a chance for a better life, people won't be so happy when someone tell them their perfect world isn't really that perfect!!

    By the way, you have the right to be unhappy, especially if you are living in Libya. I'm unhappy and I'm living in Libya ( Unbelievable eh?!) and let me tell you a surprise you guys; There are so many Libyan people here in Libya, and guess what? Yes, they are not happy. Just walk down the streets of any given Libyan city, and tell me I'm wrong!!

    Again Mrs. Khadija, I don't find your posts offensive as a Libyan. In fact, I'm enjoying them to the full, and I think they are informative and so funny. Reading your blog has became a ritual for me. Go on and on and on...

    Stereotyping!! Give me a break!

    YouCef.

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  18. I'm enjoying all the back and forth of all the big Libyan ladies and their pastimes argument. Thanks for all the comments - no one has yet managed to change my opinion. :)

    I'm sick with a miserable chest cold and hope to be back to blogging as soon as I feel a bit better. In the meantime I have a headache from all the coughing I'm doing. But I will continue to sit and read the comments as they come in - - - keep arguing! I'm enjoying it! :)

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  19. The point is not what you saying is happening or not , right or wrong. We all agree that this is not Islamic and it is bad habit, not only in Libya but also in other places. The important thing to notice is that by talking about it in this way, we doing exactly the same thing "gossiping" which is sin in Islam. What we need is constructive discussion to try and find ways to solve the problem not repeating the same by saying yes this thing is happening and that Khadija is saying the truth ! The bottom line in Islam is that if you can not help to improve quality of muslims, it is better not to gossip. Why instead of publishing this on the net in this way, did not you try to advise or remind them that this is not good habit in Islam and even in life.

    This might be better than trying to patronise and stereotype Libyan women in this way. I do not think that all Libyan women are like this but may be you are with the wrong group which you are obliged as a muslim to try advising to get thawab/ajer or not to expose in this negative way because this is just hurting other's feeling when they know that you are gossiping about them without trying to help.
    I must admit that most females are like that in general and this has no thing to do with being Libyan or muslim.

    I do not know exactly if i came to the point i wanted to touch but at least i tried and may Allah forgive us all.

    Hope that you won't take it personal and keep your spirit up !

    KK

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  20. I tried just tonight to have a "meaningful" comversation with a young , educated Libyan woman that came to visit. She would bring up child care .... I would try to talk about new things I had heard or read about this feild, but no go . Then I introduced the " current affairs "into the conversation , namely the cartoon topic, she got tooo bored by it .I tried 5 differnt subjects with her and it was like pulling teeth because all she wanted to discuss was the family, who did what , to whom ,and so on , no matter how many times I tried to steer the conversation away from this topic .What can I do now ? Your Sister in Islam

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  21. Sounds like the same when visiting my inlaws, worse when they come to my house to visit. I have a few that I like and have no problems with, but most.. my goodness shoot me please put me out of my misery. My husband doesn't understand either no matter how many times I tell him. Of course he is on the mens side usually having some good conversations that don't involve who did what to who.

    And the whole 'foriegner' stigma we get is enough to drive anyone crazy. I have one inlaw that simply refers to me as "the american" my children are constantly referred to by her as the americans. She even came to MY HOUSE sat on MY COUCH after eating MY FOOD that was served by ME that my husband should get another wife, an Arab one. nice huh.. oh yea I want to go visit her often.

    Why do we talk about these things like this? Because we if we don't we would go insane. I've talked to several foriegn women married to Saudis here. And let me tell you the relief of just knowing that they arent alone, aren't insane, and have done nothing wrong is what they need. Hard to battle an entire family of inlaws who don't embrace you as their own, who have different cultures and thinking than your own and deal with that ALONE on a daily basis. I wish others who give us the 'holier than thou' attitude can walk in our shoes a bit. I would love to see how much they can change with a speech about what is Islamic and what isn't. Especially since us foriegners can't possibly know Islam like them.

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  22. I've been missing all the fun here Khadijateri. I don't think you are stereotyping too much, the trick is to find someone like minded at those parties to get into the hang of things lol otherwise you gotta grin and bear it ..that's what I do --- I don't mind wearing the same stuff over and over again lol but I like my gold too much to give it up. Nice post. As for inlaws it is the same everywhere, don't worry. All the best and hope your chest clears up !

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  23. LOo0o0l

    http://madang.ajou.ac.kr/~isam/ezwawi/20.html

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  24. Libyam women are a jock
    hahahahahahahahahaha
    punch line

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  25. there are no more jam3eeyat in Libya, they were all closed.

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  26. the worst creature in the plant are Libyan women , they are superficial with no brain at all I am Libyan but married to none Libyan most of my friends and 3 brothers married to a Libyan I can clearly see the different life I have, and happiness I have I am honestly and proudly can say | made the right choice for not married a Libyan by the way we have 3 lovely girls and 0ne boy all are growing up to be fine , intelligent and beautiful human beings ( thank you god ) Sami xx

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  27. I hope Sami who commented above re: difference in libyan vs. non-libyan wives can elaborate. I am a foreign wife of a libyan and I want to know what "typically" distinguishes foreign wives from the libyan wives. i don't know much about libyan women but would like to know what my husband is "potentially comparing me with". please reply

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  28. Khadija,
    I can honestly say that 100% can relate to you with this. I recently got married in the summer and have had to move here to libya and ive noticed in the women exactly what you are speaking about, actually I've been complaining to my mum about it alot. Its hard for me cos my family are all still in the UK and I'm just here with my husband, I really dont have anyone i can trust or be so close to. Everything here is based on image. I cant say that ive met anyone down to earth or real. People have such a fake relationship which at most times endures competition rather than relation. I wont bash libyan women, they do have some good qualities (like kindness) which aganib dont posses as much, but i will say this has become their ways mainly because this country has nothing else to offer! Everyone is so bored and has nothing to do with their time so they tend to have alot of gatherings which have developed these negative behaviours. All i will say is maybe this works for them but having been raised outside, I'm finding it hard to connect with anyone and it is tireing faking a smile on your face and pretending to be interested all the time ... I really cant wait to go back to the UK and im actually doing everything in my power to find a job for my husband there.
    Allah y3een!

    Hischerryblossom

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  29. I would just like to add one more point khadija.
    I've noticed how most of the people commenting on this topic are complaining about their in-laws, well let me tell you i'm experiencing these difficulties with my own extended family :(

    hischerryblossom

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