Behind the doors of the harem: how to live in reality arab women

Polygamy and the harems, the lack of education and rights, the brightness of the diamonds and the paranjá. The life of muslim wives have a lot of stereotypes for foreigners and now it is very difficult to distinguish between what is truth and what is lie. decided to see how they live in reality, the wonderful and mysterious women of the Orient.

Contractual marriage

  • The truth is that half of all marriages in many arab countries, still rely on the will of the parents. Many are sure that no one takes into account the opinion of the girl. In reality it is not so. If the woman does not like the boyfriend, has the right to reject the proposal of being his wife.
  • The contract of marriage is signed obligatorily. Unlike the rest of the world, in the arab countries obey strictly the rule.
  • Women rarely marry men gentiles, because by marrying they can remove you from the country. Men have a more privileged position, it is permissible to marry christian or jewish, but in this case the woman does not get the citizenship. In the case of divorce, the children remain with their father.
  • The age to marry. In most of the arab countries the minimum age for marriage for men and women is 18 years. For example, the citizens of Tunisia can marry when they turn 18, but in fact the average age of brides is 25 years old and the groom is 30. Although in some developed countries still continue to practice marriages at an early age. For example, more than half of the women in Saudi Arabia and Yemen are married before the age of 18.

How they celebrate the wedding

In different countries the customs are not the same, but often the bride and groom arabs celebrate the wedding separately.

  • The wedding male may not be held on the same day as the wedding of the bride and takes place as usual: tea, coffee, dinner and just a communication that lasts for 4 hours. The wedding the bride is more luxurious: large rooms, waiters and artists.
  • Wedding female is a reason to brag about their diamonds, shoes and designer prom dresses, since usually this beauty is hidden under scarves and hiyas (abayas), that is why it is that these weddings are only invited to the women. For men is forbidden to be in this wedding. The staff consists only of women, including singers, photographers and DJ. If you invite a famous singer, then he won’t see neither the bride or the guests. Sing behind a curtain or in a separate room with the transmission to the room where the bride and the guests.
  • The arrival of the husband will be alerted in advance to all of the ladies are changed and clog with abayas. If the husband comes in with their brothers or with their father, then the bride also cover themselves with an abaya white, as even the male relatives do not have to see their beauty.
  • It is not okay to give away money or appliances for the wedding. As a gift to the bride be delivered to jewelry.


  • The majority of marriages are monogamous. Not all arab men can afford polygamy. Islam allows you to have up to four wives, but each must have its own house, the gifts, attention, and jewelry have to be almost of the same level. Having multiple wives is a privilege of the sheikhs and the rich people.
  • The first marriage is the most important. For many couples that have the man, the first is “the great marriage”. It is considered as the main and the wife as the “greatest”.
  • If the husband married one more, the other spouse must accept it. They have to obey the will of her man and not show any emotion. Usually all wives live in their homes and are seen rarely.


  • If a man wants to divorce his wife, according to an ancient custom, you could say three times, “go”. After this, the woman had to leave her home wearing only the things which at that time had placed, that is why women wore all the jewels given away. In reality, divorces by the initiative of men rarely happens. In addition, in the case of divorce the children remain with the father.
  • The woman can get a divorce if her husband does not hold up very well. These declarations, the courts pay a lot of attention and often meet. In the arab world, the man expresses his love not with flowers, but with gold and jewels. For example, he is forced to take his wife to a restaurant, buy her expensive gifts and clothing. If you have multiple wives, you have to give the same amount of attention and gifts to each one.
  • In other cases it will be very difficult to get the divorce the woman, because often the courts make a determination with a preconceived idea until the last moment to support the husband.

Rights of women

Despite the existing stereotypes, the arab woman is very respected by the men. She should not have any need.

  • Arab women were the first who obtained the right to marry of her own free will to divorce and own property. This had already happened in the seventh century, while in other states the ladies had not had this opportunity. The muslim laws as the marriage between the man and the woman as a contract that could enter into force only with the agreement of both parties. In addition, for a period it was approved the law that women could hold property and dispose of the wealth that brought to the family or won.
  • There are days a week of the woman. Once a week all the beaches, spas and aesthetic of the united Arab Emirates serve only women. Access is prohibited to the men.
  • However, the wife of a muslim husband has to do everything with the permission of their man. To go somewhere, she has to contact you and receive your confirmation.


  • The women have to hide your body with long clothing, not tight-fitting and a veil. They may dress differently: mini-skirts, jeans and shorts. A lot of girls who know fashion today might be envious of the dress of arab women. But when you exit to the street, the women have to wear a mantle of silk that covers your body up to the ankles, and the face has to be covered with a handkerchief. As her beauty belongs only to her husband, other men are not allowed to see it. There are exceptions, such as the ceremonies for the women, the weddings where there are not men and they can release their dresses designers. However, this custom is not observed on all sides, but they need to have covered your head in almost all the arab countries.
  • Kuwait is the only arab country where the women wear european clothes. However she has to be very modest and well covered.
  • In contrast with Kuwait, there are countries like Yemen and Sudan where it is still preserved the old customs and the women are required to wear a black cloak that covers you completely from head to toe.

Education and work

  • A woman wants to get education is not prohibited. Many women even go abroad to study. For example, in Jordan, the illiteracy of women is 14 per cent. In the united Arab Emirates 77 percent of the women manages to finish high school and 75 percent studied at the University of Al Ain.
  • The management of the household rests on the women. However, in the rich countries this obligation is left to the maids and the main task of the wives is procear and care for offspring.
  • There are job opportunities. In the united Arab Emirates to 2 percent of women occupy a management position, a 20 percent occupy administrative positions, and represent 35 percent of the labor force of the country. In addition, in the United Arab Emirates, women can occupy positions of judges and work in government offices, for example in the police. In the parliament of Tunisia more than 26 per cent of members are women. But there is no honey without gall, as there is the fact that in many arab countries, women can not work without the authorization of her husband or guardian.

Feel free to leave any comments here at

Check out more Related Articles around Cool Life Hacks