Stories with Soos: Interracial Marriage

I took a hiatus– sorry about that.

I want to start a series about different topics, so I asked ya’ll what you wanna hear about, and two people said interracial marriage. I might do a post someday about how my family and my husband’s family took our marriage, but that day is not today. Instead, I will tell stories regarding us… how we have adjusted merging our lives together between the USA, KSA, and even my short time in Turkey. So here’s a story about the first time I met my husband’s family in the United Arab Emirates in 2014.

In case you were wondering, it’s hot in the UAE in August. Yes, of course you know, but you don’t know until you walk out of the Dubai airport and the heat hits you like bricks. It’s hot.

I went to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in August of 2014 for the first time. I had just converted to Islam a few months before and completed my first Ramadan, so I decided to take a trip. I booked my flight 2 weeks before departure to meet my now husband’s family, and we honestly had a blast. For 10 days, we explored between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, going to Yas Water World, the Dubai Mall, going on a safari, and even going to Ferrari World! It’s not cheap to travel to Dubai in the middle of summer, but I worked all summer long at WalMart and saved every penny and booked the flight.

A preface to this story, is that showing the bottom of your foot to Arabs is very offensive. I knew this, again referencing my Arabic classes I had completed  two years of at this point in 2014Рbut I seemed to have forgotten when our story starts.

My Arabic was very limited at that time, but I knew quite a good amount of vocabulary from spending all of my free time with my Arab friends. I was desperate to become fluent in Arabic and later live in the GCC– so as I sat in our 5-star hotel room (AlRaha Beach Hotel in AD~ I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH; it’s the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in still to this day, in my life), I listened to my husband’s parents talking about various things, trying to follow.

It came to my father in law’s career in Saudi Airlines, and I do not even remember what we were discussing… other than I decided that instead of pointing to my husband’s father or gesturing to him, I would simply point my foot in his direction.

You can only imagine the shock on his face, my husband’s face, my mother in law’s face, everyone in the world’s faces… you would not imagine my embarrassment as I realized what I had just done. And I had no idea how to fix the situation because I was 20 years old and very dumb! So what did I do?

I ignored it of course.

And my husband later brought it up and years later, I apologized to my father in law who did not even recall the situation.

But, that’s the thing when you mix cultures, and especially in marriage. Alhamdulillah, I have a great relationship with my in-laws, but that doesn’t mean somethings don’t get lost in translation.

Let me know in the comments if anything embarrassing has happened to you in your interracial marriage! I would love to hear some stories!!

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