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Chapter 3

Some events have been manipulated for safety reasons!

Let me tell something about visiting Saudi Arabia. You can’t! If you’re not working in Saudi, if you don’t have first degree relatives in Saudi, if you’re not Muslim performing Hajj or Umrah, you’re not coming into the country! Saudi Arabia does not issue  tourist visiting visas. So to me, their condition felt like a crippling one. So another obstacle I had to overcome was convincing David to convert to Islam officially, so he obtains a pilgrim’s visa. He willingly converted before, but off-records. But to publicly and officially, it was a decision he had to weigh. As an American converting to Islam going to Saudi Arabia as a pilgrim, he was convinced that the U.S. government will blacklist him. Especially with all the ISIS nonsense going on in the Middle East.

After explaining all the complications and consequences of such a decision, and after consulting friends and family, he decided to go with it, and converted. He even tried so hard to practice it, something I appreciate. He was excited to visit the Grand Holy Mosque of Makkah and the Kaaba for they are places only Muslims are permitted to enter. We together performed Umrah. I acted like a tourist guide explaining all the religious and historical significance of the rituals and places.

Going back to my story, the shock here happened when my family thought it would take David forever to get to Saudi Arabia, or maybe they thought it would be so hard and expensive for him to fly, or maybe they thought David would back off when he realises the nonsense he’s marrying into. We were so determined David converted on 12/17/2015 and landed Saudi Arabia on 01/13/2016. In less than a month we contacted the embassy of Saudi Arabia, and issued an Umrah (pilgrim’s) Visa, booked tickets and hotels, and voila!

Surprise! Surprise my family! I told my family that David arrived and was leaving in two weeks, and I am leaving with him. They only had those 14 days to get to know him, marry us, and send me off to the States with him!

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