Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is it a coincidence or what?



I currently have a house full of teenage boys staying for a few days. These are friends my family have grown up with and everyone has remained great pals since they were all toddlers.


I was talking with them earlier and realized that all of these boys (except the one in the red shorts) has a Bahraini father and a foreign mother. The mothers range far and wide in the countries they hail from....USA, Ireland, Finland, Columbia plus the girls (some sisters to these and others) that use to hang out in my house when my daughters were here have mothers that come from such places as Philippines, Peru, England and Canada.


We are a mixed bunch with different lives and different backgrounds all up to one point in time...the point in which we all came to Bahrain newly married to our Bahraini husbands. (ok some were married before they came here but you get the point).


Everyone of of these children (mine included as well as the girls not shown) come from torn families and abusive fathers. All of them. Not one of these children has a father that is not abusive to either them or their mother (some very abusive), or a father that was either secretly married already or secretly married at some point in his marriage to their mother. These fathers have cheated on their wives, abused them, held them hostage in marriages the women did not want to be in but could not get out of due to child custody and divorce laws. These fathers have made these children miserable and unable to trust for the most part...except their own mothers and each other.


There is something else I find interesting, if not sad, when it comes to these children...and so many others like them that have Arab fathers. While the marriage is still legal the father will rant and rave at his wife that these are HIS children. They will remain his children and no law or govt will change that. He will keep her tied up and bound by her love for her children and most of the time he is well aware that she will not leave without them...and uses that to his advantage. His children are HIS children...end of story. Heres the funny thing though, for those few women that actually manage to gain custody of their children and obtain a divorce....suddenly the very same fathers that fought back so ardently....the same father that laid claim to HIS children and vowed they would never know another father or life without him etc...are suddenly nowhere to be found..so much so that now the mothers have to fight in courts to get even the smallest amount of child support for these same children HE couldnt or wouldnt give up before the divorce...such hypocrisy...such dismal failures as men...as husbands...as fathers.

They have all been virtually abandoned by these same fathers that made their lives a living hell by abusing their mothers...sometimes them as well and demanded the marriage stay intact if the mother wanted to remain with her children...these very same fathers quickly jumped ship when custody was given to the mother and now most of them cant be found or make rare appearances...either to create more drama in the household or apparently overcome with the urge to play Daddy for a moment.

People tell me I generalize Bahraini men too much...that not ALL of them are abusive and controlling and use their children to keep reluctant wives hostage. Well, from my personal experience and from the lives I see around me I cant help but assume that...I can only form opinions of the men I come into contact with and so far...most of the Bahraini men I personally know are incredibly bad examples put forth for the Bahraini nationality as a whole.


Of course not all Bahraini men are like that...thank God all of them are not like that...I do know a couple that have wonderful qualities and are admirable fathers and husbands...unfortunately none of those men are the fathers of any of these children.

Most of the mothers I know that have previously been married are adamant they will never marry again...at least that is how they feel after coming out of a battle that took much of their lives (in years) and occasionally blood was shed, bones were broken. Hearts are not easily mended and trust is a hard commodity to hand out when it has been crushed so thoroughly by one entrusted with it. These mothers might very well stay single for the remainder of their lives...which means these children will likely never know a true father figure they can learn from. A father figure that will teach them that NOT all Bahraini men are like the ones they suffered from. Step fathers in this society are hardly ever given the chance to become father figures....generally speaking the children already have fathers, such as they are, so step fathers as almost an unknown concept here.

I personally cannot imagine myself marrying again simply because my entire life has been subject to the whims of abusive controlling men...needless to say Im somewhat hesitant and extremely wary of coming up unlucky for a third time in my life...better to remain single and focus on my children having a better quality of life then they previously enjoyed. Most of the mothers I have known have had similar thoughts.

My children have no men in their lives for the most part. Brothers of my best friend occasionally make an appearance as well as one of her cousins of whom I wrote a post about before as being one of the BEST Muslim men I have ever known hands down. He is a wonderful caring man...but he has his family, his children. Even though he helps us a great deal...he has a busy life and doesnt spend more than a passing moment with us as he's coming and going...there is also the one man who reached out a generous and caring hand for my daughter of who I mentioned in a previous post as well. Both of those men are exemplary and the women in their lives are definitely lucky to have found them.

As much as I shy away from the idea of a man in MY life....I do wish they had one in theirs. A man that would show my boys what it means to be a real man. A man that would show them how to treat women with respect and honor...and man that would show them how to love and protect without letting jealousy and suspicion rule their lives. I wish there was a man in my daughters lives that would teach them that men are not only for abusing and controlling. That men are not only for criticism and judgement...for name calling and slandering. I wish there was a man in their lives to teach them that men are essentially good...they were just very unlucky in the drama that is life.

Thats one of the reasons I dont care much for segregation because due to segregation in this country my daughters cant just "hang out" with a man they arent related to. There really is no way to allow them to learn that not all men are like what they are use to. In their futures the only men they will be able to learn from will be their potential future husbands...and possibly father in laws...maybe brother in laws...but in this country even that might not give them what they need as far as a true father figure of leadership...and of course by the time they are married to these men...chances are they might realize then that they once again fell into the hands of a less then honorable man.

I know this all sounds confusing and scattered but I really didnt give this post much thought from the time I had all the kids together for the pic and sat at the laptop to write it. I just felt the need to get something down. I may revise it in even after I hit publish.

So much pain in the minds of the children in that pic...as well as the ones not shown. Makes you sad to know that it didnt have to be like that.

62 comments:

*~Ange~* said...

well there goes any faith in bahraini men. lol.

Bee said...

I made myself a promise that I would never marry a Hispanic man. Not all of them but a lot of them think they are the rulers of the household and women must do their bidding. I wanted to find a partner not a boss so I went outside of my race and culture and found my husband. My family in Mexico says “if she had married a Mexican man, she would have had to have children” and I always say “no, I would now be divorced”.

It’s sad that women are treated a step up from a dog.

coolred38 said...

Ange...sorry...lol. I feel someone will read this and get upset...but I cant help but write what I experience...what I see.

Bee... I totally understand. I really have a hard time accepting that my girls will most likely marry Bahrainis...all though you never know the future...but I feel that the chances of finding a good one are slim considering what Ive seen and been around.

minus a few exceptions

Chiara said...

A great post! I think you did try to be gracious about the existence of better Bahraini men than the fathers of these children. Hopefully the majority are more like the good than the bad, even if your direct experience has been negative.

You made an excellent point about the disadvantages of segregation in learning to appreciate the diversity of the other gender. Your daughters are lucky to have brothers, as well as the other men you mentioned who are at least part-time role models.

Should I mention I think I see a girl peeking from behind, in both photos, and I think she looks like your previously blogging daughter, or consider it a visual illusion? LOL

Chiara said...

PS one of my biggest cross cultural shocks about Morocco was that in cases of divorce the husbands either totally abandoned the children, or were forced to by the wife and her family, including changing phone numbers, threatening ostracism to anyone who kept contact, etc.

I found this particularly unsettling in the case of an extended family member who is a subspecialist physician (meaning like it or not she was forced to study a reasonable amount of psychology and sociology), and herself was abandoned as a child by her father. Her late teenaged daughters had no choice, no matter whose side they were on or their love for both parents, and her 10 year old son was suddenly fatherless, especially when a year later his beloved, and livein grandfather died. That I know of two of the daughters have saught therapy while studying in Europe, and hopefully the others will too, as needed.

Okay, now I'm officially dysphoric :( , off to treat it with some sunshine!

Chiara said...

PPS I read your tweets before putting on the shades and heading out:

Gulf Aviation Academy--YES! Sending them positive vibes as I type!

Another baby--BORROW ONE!

janice said...

CoolRed, I believe you were being gracious and honest in your post. And it is so very sad that these children had to suffer and continue to suffer from the hands of their fathers.

Wanted to know if your son was in the picture?

Gardens of Sand said...

Hi Red,

I have to say that your blog is a difficult read for me. I enjoy it very much and love to keep up with your life. But it is also sad and heartbreaking. It opened my eyes to the harsh realities of my beloved Bahrain.

Do I know Bahraini men that abuse and misuse their wives. Yes I do, plenty. But I also know many, many more here in America. And many of different nationalities. What I am trying to say is that nationality doesn't have an impact or cause one to be abusive. But the family laws in Bahrain or lack of ones do make it easier for abusive Bahrain husbands.

I also have to say that the abusive men that I have known are the exception. Maybe a large exception but still not the norm. Most of the men I know, the ones that are married to foreign women included are good husbands and good fathers with families that are love and support the foreign wife. Are the majority? I dunno but I know they are not the exception & that they are plenty.

I am sorry that you and your children got the husband and father you did. I truly wish your time in Bahrain was kinder to you and yours. I am not try to belittle or reduce the suffering that you have experienced. I am just sorry that you did not in contact with good Bahraini men.

Maybe its the environment/area/circle that you are in that is rampant with such men? Sometimes our own experiences attract similar situations and experiences. I dunno.

I wish you and yours all the best.

love, Gardens.

Suroor said...

I have heard similar stories about Saudi and Emarati families and Egyptian and Kuwaiti.

Isn't this a typical trend?!How awful.

Chiara said...

Janice--the handsome one standing on the far left, in thobe and smaug looks like her eldest, the recent graduate of the Proud Momma post.

Coolred--are there prizes for correctly identifying your children? LOL :)

coolred38 said...

Chiara...your right. My daughter is in the back there insisting to be part of the "family" photo. Good spot.

One of the things that has surprised me the most about my ex-ass is that for over 2 years now he has mostly kept out of their lives. Oh he causes trouble now and then...but from a safe distance (from me?). I assumed he would give me a "cooling" off period after divorce before coming back strong and trying to excuse the past away...but so far...nada. No contact with the kids at all. Which I prefer...but still surprising.

Im hoping the baby thing is a desire for GRANDbabies...lol.

Janice...yes both of my sons are in there...and my daughter. Chiara is right that the one on the left is my oldest...can you spot my other son among the troop...lol.

Garden...I do realize there are good men out there of course, thank God for them as I mentioned...but the "norm" for me are the abusers and not the peacemakers as almost hands down the women I know married to Bahrainis...or trying to divorce one...or even having obtained a divorce...are suffering abuse in one form or another. For us its not the exception but the norm.

Thank you for reading my thoughts though.

Suroor...are you asking me...lol...well then you know my answer already...sigh.

Chiara...yes thats him. The pic is not that good as I was trying to round them up to take it. Like a bunch of 3 year olds trying to keep them still long enough.

Can you spot my other son...lol.

A prize...hmmmm?

Nikki. said...

The only thing that kills a Man is his EGO, he just cant think to live a life that is mostly equal with his partner. If noticed he always tries to, or wishes to(in some cases) remain a step ahead of her. If he unwantedly fails, he denies all the facts of respect and honor in life and leads a life filled with abuse and daily mental torture.

Chiara said...

Okay, I'm looking for an eleven-year old, with a 5'3" mother--so no facial hair, and not overly tall for his age.

The one making the Texas Hook 'em Horns is obviously a trick child, probably the son of some "Dixie Chick" Natalie type and a Bahraini; or, he is making la mana cornuta, in a rather graphic expression of displeasure at his father, taught to him by his Italian mamma and nonni.

So I'm going with the handsome, slender young gentleman to the Right of your daughter (to her Right), wearing the black T-shirt with the orange markings.

For a prize you can email me pictures of Bahraini pearls, 1 per correctly identified child.

You know where to find me! :)

PS very clever identifying the photos only as "boys", no cheating with the cursor. :(

San Antonio Cicily said...

I don't even know what to say anymore about the stuff I hear about Middle Eastern men, I would never marry one! This seems to be a rampant problem with them. They are raised this way and it just continues generation after generation. All this virgin crap and honor killings. They wouldn't last with me, I can assure you of that. Of course I could never attract one anyway because of my personality. Usually they are very turned off by me. It takes a strong man to be married to me because, well, I'm an asshole! You have to test drive a man before you marry him. If he doesn't get up and get you a soda pop every time you ask him, thats a no right there! If he gets upset when you say men are stupid and only good for fixing your car and "well you know" thats a no. They have to know that you are the boss and if they disobey you you'll kick their ass to the curb like that old couch you got rid of. I have just never attracted an abusive guy. I don't know why? I'm a loveable person! I guess my dad just taught me not to let some guy abuse me and told me I could do whatever I wanted. My sisters husband hates me because I tell him off all the time, I don't know how she lives with the guy or even has sex with him. He has about as much sex appeal as a paper bag! He didn't last long at my house when she kicked him out LOL

San Antonio Cicily said...

Most Arab men have about as much value to me as a dog turd on the lawn!

Eastern Reflections said...

Coolred: I am more inclined to favoring mixed people....being a mixed person myself (half mexican, half white).....:-)

I come from a different perspective/upbringing though. I was raised by my single father all my life. My mother had no part in my life, and didn't want to, even when I tried to reach out when I was older. So when I hear of neglectful, abandoning fathers....even though it's common worldwide, I shake my head in disbelief.....at the same time, I can't relate with people who talk about how wonderful their mothers are. I never had one that cared enough to be part of my life. It's heart breaking to hear of any child being deprived of a mother or father. I dislike it a lot when I hear about "respecting your parents"....just b/c they gave birth to you, or donated their sperm, doesn't earn them the respect...it's what they do AFTER that counts!!!

Bee.....it's interesting. I joke with friends all the time about how horny and wild hispanic men are. Yes, many hispanic men from their native countries do have that "I'm the King" attitude, fostered and nurtured, in almost every case, by their own mothers!!! My cousin recently got married to a "native boy"....he's from Mexico City....she's half mexican, half white, all-american like me.....man, is she ever a spitfire!!! Her mother-in-law disapproves A LOT that her daughter-in-law makes her beloved son WASH DISHES AFTER MEALS!!! Men don't do that! But nope....my sweet cousin said she wasn't going to "play that bullshit"....:-p He has cleaning duties too just as much as her. And he needs to spend quality time with their daughter just as much :-p

San Antonio: Saying Arab men are less than "dog turd" is denigrating and just outright prejudice!!! I've been around many, dated only a couple and even though those were bad experiences for me; but as much as I feel upset, even at times angry and humiliated when thinking of those dating experiences , I know a handful that I am proud to call good friends of mine and they are the sweetest, studious, most pleasant men you'd ever meet, wallah!!!!

They will make good partners for women one day. Sometimes you just get that vibe from some men, whether they are white, asian, arab, hispanic, or purple....They are good men. Now if only they or any good man for that matter would show an interest in me, and I no longer be afraid of dating men in general....all would be good, LOL

sorry for acting like a blog hog, coolred!!!!!

janice said...

Oh my goodness, CoolRed! I'm going to take a guess and say I think your youngest son is the one with the white police t-shirt?

Am I correct?

Did I win a CoolRed NO-Prize?

coolred38 said...

Nikki...thats true. Welcome.

Chiara...sorry to say...NO. Lol. The child you are looking for is 17 not 11 ha ha.

Cicily...unfortunately I had a father that taught us women are for abusing, owning, controlling and being constantly in a state of suspicion over...and for some reason I went out and married the first man that reminded me of father. Dont ask me why...mental defect for sure.

I wouldnt quite categorize them as such a lowly item...there are plenty with redeeming qualities...now if I could hear about those guys more...all would be good.

E.R....I agree. Your not a parent simply because you donated either sperm or a womb for a period of time.

Ive also raised my boys to "help out" and told them that if your wife is ever sick or unable to take care of you or your needs...do you think your running home to mommy to be taken care of? Noooo...your staying with your wife and taking care of HER!!! They are good boys...despite the "role model" they were forced to endure.

Feel free to comment as much as you want. This is a serious topic and requires more than a 6 word comment..so to speak.

Janice...Ive got my nose pressed up to the screen trying to figure out whose got the white police tshirt on...my eyes are bad....I cant see it...but I do know that my son isnt wearing a white tshirt...big clue...ha ha.

San Antonio Cicily said...

Yeah I guess the dog turd thing is a little harsh do I really mean it of course not but this subject just irritates the hell out of me. I'm also missing my Iraqi friend but I blew the whistle on him to all his girlfriends because my conscience got the best of me and I felt like what he was doing was wrong. It sucks we used to talk everyday for hours. One of them was glad and the others didn't believe me so was I wrong for telling them what he was doing and should I have kept my mouth shut. He was and is a player who is not abusive by any means and is a very nice man but he leads these girls on to believe there is more to the relationship than there is. So I told them all what was going on. I lost a friend and the girls I told didn't believe me anyway so what was the point. We knew each other for years and now its all gone. I just miss the friendship.

San Antonio Cicily said...

Sorry for going on about my problems on your blog I just feel well I don't know. I just refuse to go crawling back I'll get over it it will just take time. the baby thing don't have one just borrow one. Your just begging a new life and it seems like everything is going right for once. I see babies to and want one but than I think about the loss of sleep up all night diapers and I think I just don't want that anymore 3 is enough!

janice said...

ALright, let me take another stab at this. Is your son the one sitting on the floor with the white T with a blue design on it?

janice said...

No no no, I want another guess! I think your son is sitting on the floor with the gray Tshirt on.

Anonymous said...

Hey Red,

Great picture, fun to see the kids in a happy together moment. Is your second son the one with the big grin and hook em horns gesture infront of your daughter?

Sad to hear about the difficulties these kids have had to deal with in their short lives. On the silver lineing side, I hope it has been a source of comfort for you knowing so many other foreign wives with which to share your experiances.

Fat Too

coolred38 said...

Cicily...no worries. All is good.

Janice...narrowed it down eventually...lol. Yes...he is the one in the middle of the two white tshirts. His name is Zackaria...or Zack...or affectionately Zacky.

Fat Too...yeah when we ladies get together sometimes it can be a real bitch fest. Lots of anger to expel.

janice said...

After I looked carefully, I noticed he looked most like your other son. Especially the lips, that was the give-away.

He's handsome as well CoolRed. And I love Zacky as a nick-name too.

Chiara said...

PS or you could make a brief post acknowledging Janice and my child-detecting prowess!! LOL :)

3 children down, and 2 more photo identifications to go!!

Fair warning--this time I have my genders and ages straight!!

Chiara said...

PPS or do I? Now I'm crippled with self doubt! :(

Eastern Reflections said...

San Antonio. I've known a lot of men who play the field, not just Arabs. I'm sorry you've lost the friendship. Losing a friend, male or female, SUCKS *hugs*

Chiara said...

Computer jinn?

Before the PS and the PPS there should be something like this:

I had my genders and ages mixed up. I was thinking 2 boys and 3 girls. It's 3 boys and 2 girls, right?

Another handsome son! And great name in all variations.

For my 2 correct child identifications you can just copy/paste 2 photos of Bahraini pearls into an email to me, as my prize. I can't speak for Janice though. LOL :)

coolred38 said...

Janice...the lips...lol. He was Zacky the Wacky when he was young...due to his crazy personality at the time. He's mellowed out considerably since...sigh.

Chiara...we have a pearling museum type thing here...am I required to go get some official pics or cheat and get them on the net etc? lol.

Umm Omar said...

First of all, I'm sorry for what your children and all those boys and their siblings had to endure from their abusive fathers. Even if they do not have a "father figure" in their lives, they are not doomed to a life of history repeating itself. I'm sure that with education, guidance from their mothers, and maybe some therapy, they will all be wonderful examples of good people.

Secondly, I'm a little confused. You noted both positive and negative examples of Bahraini men, yet you seem to be reinforcing more the old stereotype that Arab men are abusive and controlling. I'm sorry,but I'm tired of this. Losers abuse and control, and in every society, there is a segment of the population who fall into this category. And losers tend to stick together in groups. Maybe that's why some people tend to generalize? Because it's all they see? I don't mean to be harsh, if that's what I'm being. My husband is normal and stable and most of our friends are the same. Sure, a few people we know have serious problems in their marriage, but I can say the same easily about my American friends.
Verbal, physical, and emotional abuse is a global problem, not an Arab one.

Umm Omar said...

Sorry Coolred-but to San Antonio Cicily-I saw your comments before over at Lisa's blog and now here-you really anger me!! Show me one group of people in the world who don't have a population of men who don't abuse or control. When you can do that about ALL other societies other than Arabs, then you can call Arab men dog shit, ok? And I'm sorry, but you seem like an abusive person yourself, the way you insult people, saying this guy has as much sex appeal as a paper bag and Arab men are "dog turd."

coolred38 said...

Umm Omar...feel free to have your say...I dont expect everyone will agree with all things I say...thats fine.

Now I of course realize that not only Arab men re abusive...if you read past posts of mine you will know that my own father was the very worst example of a man I have ever known...my husband outshines him only to a certain extent.

Now, for the past 23 years I have lived in an ARAB country....I am surrounded by not only ARAB men but by women who are married to these men...and more still...women who are abused by these men. While I have no doubt that American men and every other nationality in the world abuse their women....I dont live in those countries, not even the states for most of my adult life...Ive only ever lived here...only ever been married to an Arab...only ever really been friends with women who are married/divorced/abused and rarely, happily married...to Arab men.

Since that is MY experience...it is the only experience I can view the world from...can write about. I do NOT mean to degrade Arab men...as I stated in the post there are obviously some good one...its just MY experience not to have come across all that many. Its not something I actively chose....to be surrounded by women who have less than fortunate lives with Arab men...but it is what my life has come too...so what can I do and why should I be blamed for that?

If you or any other women are happily married to an Arab man, heck any man for that matter, then obviously you have not shared my experience and the women I know...so your outlook will be different. I understand that an I envy you to a certain extent...but it doesnt lessen my experience...which has been very bad. It is what it is.

If I were in American surrounded by women married to American men...I might find myself in a similar group of abused women....but Im not...Im in Bahrain...which happens to be an Arab country. It is what is is.

Thanks for the comment.

marianna68 said...

I am Hispanic and my dad is white, mother Puerto Rican and dad was VERY abusive to us kids and mom growing up. Now he is simply mentally abusive because he is too sick to hit any one of us anymore so it has nothing to do with race but how one is brought up. My mother is the eldest of 12 and her brothers treat their wives with respect. So please don't label Hispanic men as being abusive because it is in their DNA....it depends on how they were raised. I feel bad for the kids in the picture and sometimes no father is better than having an abusive one in the picture. I wish those boys the best.

Chiara said...

Coolred,

Well, you know if it weren't so ممنوع, 禁止, verboden, verboten, interdit, proibito, Запрещается, prohibido,cấm;

and if I were confident anyone else in the blogosphere were aware of, and able to use it, I would suggest, GULP, BLUSH, g**gle im*g*s!

LOL :)

Chiara said...

Regarding abuse and culture/ ethnicity/ religion/ race/ country:

Alas, none of the above is without their abusers, though some have better laws about it (which makes a huge difference).

If I may Coolred, I believe in her comment at 3:51pm Umm Omar was referring to SA Cicily's remarks not yours. I do think you make it clear that you are speaking from your own experience and how that has been scewed towards knowing or knowing of more abusive men, American and Arab.

SA Cicily--I can appreciate a need to vent, but your comment at 2:42 was full of stereotypes based on hearsay, and the one at 2:45 was just gratuitously hostile and vulgar. Coolred is the queen of all she surveys here (the Red Queen of Cool), so I respect her regal blog mistressing decisions, but you should realize that at some point you are denigrating the loved ones of readers here, including Coolred's children (1/2 Arab, Muslim, and raised in the Middle East) who will have to battle these stereotypes about themselves soon enough if not already, and the young men pictured who are facing enough challenges.

Chiara said...

Edit: ...has been skewed towards...

not scewed, and certainly not the other word LOL :)

Eastern Reflections said...

marianna, please pinpoint exactly where anyone said Hispanic men are abusive....b/c I looked and nowhere did anyone say "hispanic men are abusive".......

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

wow... I had no idea. I'm relatively new to your blog. Thanks for writing this down, and letting me in on something I'm very ignorant about.

You're right though. There are honorable men out there and that man role will be filled by some other means, you do the best you can do and the cards hopefully will fall into place for you and your children.

Yasemin said...

I am so sad for these boys. I do still believe that there are good Arab men out there (look at Pixie's husband). I think that sometimes this is a problem for mostly reverts. I noticed that the women are almost all converts. I hope that maybe we can find some imams who really counsel the man and woman before they ever marry. I think 6 months of counseling would solve so many problems and unveil any red flags.

The Queen said...

@San Antonio Cicily OMG LOL Are you my long lost identical twin??

Ok, I'm going to go back and read the rest of the comments now

The Queen said...

'It takes a strong man to be married to me because, well, I'm an asshole!'

I just saw myself there and I tell you, that attitude really works on weeding out the bad ones. It got me the best husband in the world!!

coolred38 said...

Chiara...was wondering about that typo...from the one that makes noooooo typing errors I might add...ha ha. I get your point completely tho.

Shell-Blok...thanks for visiting me. Im not sure if Im dispelling anyones ignorances or not...but I know Ive dispelled quite a few of my own this past few years. Painful but necessary.

Queen...lol. My blog is now a match making site...for long lost sisters no less...ha ha.

Reeshiez said...

Dear Codered,

I read your bog often but I usually don't comment. I was really saddened by your post. My heart goes out to all of those children that you were talking about. From the picture, they look like wonderful children - smiling and full of energy and life. May God help them and help you get through this.

I do agree with your point on segregation. I think that the mixing of the sexes is important, because that way we can learn much more about each other. I hope your girls find good male role models someday. Just keep emphasizing the good men that you do know. I know a person who grew up with an abusive father. She now has married a wonderful caring man. I wish the same for your daughters.

Your post made me sad in a different way also. We all like to idealize our country. Of course I know that many Bahraini fathers, like many fathers in the world are abusive. But your story makes it much more personal. I'm sorry about the way my country has treated you. I hope that one day you come in contact with good Bahraini men, and that the children you talked about do also.

Take care

Reeshiez said...

sorry meant to say coolred :P Its 3 am here in the US and I've been up watching the news on Michael Jackson's death :P

coolred38 said...

Reesheiz...thanks for the comment. I do believe a certain amount of mixing of the sexes needs to be allowed...boys and girls grow up knowing nothing of each other for the most part. Obviously this creates problems in establishing productive and enlightend relationships later on.

These are a great bunch of kids...lots of talent and drive to accomplish their goals. And they all take care of their mothers like you cant imagine...very attentive and willing to help.

codered sounds good too...lol.

RIP Micheal

Chiara said...

Coolred, Red Queen of Cool, and Codered: in the interest of blogging ethics and full disclosure, I must admit it was a spelling error. You can't make me say how many times I looked at wondering what was wrong with it, though. LOL :)

coolred38 said...

Chiara...sometimes full disclosure is not required...some of those accidents turn out to be something pretty cool.

Chiara said...

LOL

marianna68 said...

This is why I posted what I did because it hints at abuse:

I made myself a promise that I would never marry a Hispanic man. Not all of them but a lot of them think they are the rulers of the household and women must do their bidding.
-------------------------------
I simply feel that spousal abuse crosses all cultures, colors and social status. Doesn't matter if you are black, white, Asian or Hispanic....many many many women have suffered greatly by the hands of abusive husbands. The stats alone here in the USA boggles the mind just imagine if we had reliable stats in other countries. I don't understand why people think violence is the way to ressolve any situation and the children. LORD....a child has to make a conscience decision to STOP the abuse with THEM before it recycles itself into the next generation.

coolred38 said...

marianne68...thanks for the clarification. Your right...the abuse needs to stop with the current victim. I pray that my children have learned from me to not accept it anymore...and not to force it on their loved ones in the future. One can only hope...and guide.

Susanne said...

Aw, your kids are so cute! Your daughter looks a bit like you in your profile picture. Maybe it's the tilt of the head. :)

I'm sorry this group of young people have such lousy fathers. I know there are great Arab men out there, it's just too bad these children (and their moms) have had to deal mostly with poor ones.

I wish some wonderful man would come along as an example for these guys and also for your daughters.

coolred38 said...

Susanne...thank you. I hope she dont look like me..lol. She is beautiful tho...so I take that as a compliment.

As for a man coming along...who knows...not looking but who knows.

desertmonsoon said...

I just found your blog and I really like it, though this post made me sad.

I want to respond to the comments people keep making like "America has abusive men too" (blah blah blah), that is true but why do people always bring that up to deflect away from the topic of abusive Arab men? Furthermore, because of certain legal and cultural constraints (or at least in Gulf Countries) Arab men DO get away with it more than some other nationalities of men do. As you mentioned, divorce and custody laws are used by abusive husbands to keep women hostage in abusive relationships. Places like battered women shelters are rare - virtually non-existent in the countries in this area. Foreign women married to GCC nationals risk not only losing custody in a divorce but also being deported so that they have no hope of even visiting their children. GCC National women who return home to their parents in protest of the way they are treated by their husbands are often advised to return to their husbands. They rarely report the problem to the authorities. If they do get a divorce, their chances of remarrying are slim.
All of this means that many women remain with these men and their children end up growing up with only the example of a bad father / husband to go on and this often perpetuates the cycle of abuse into the next generation and so on Unfortunately, sons of abusive men often grow up to be abusers and their daughters often end up being the victims of abuse. If their mothers had been able to get away from their fathers and they saw that a man that behaves that way does not get to keep his family - this might not be the case.



you said:
"if I were in American surrounded by women married to American men...I might find myself in a similar group of abused women....but Im not...Im in Bahrain...which happens to be an Arab country. It is what is is."

Obviously every country has abusive men and certain subsets within a certain country might have more or less.

Racially, there is nothing about any kind of man that makes them abusive, but I do think that certain environments can give rise to a larger number of abusive, narcissistic men and I personally think the Gulf countries with the combination patriarchal laws, rampant wealth and materialism are an ideal breeding ground for such men. I have met little boys (8, 9, 10 years old!) here with such arrogance, lack of empathy for others, and huge sense of entitlement , that I fear what sort of men they will become.

There are good Arab men, but there are BAD ones too and the real problem is they GET AWAY with being bad. Pointing out abuse problems in countries where at least it is acknowledged as a problem and there is legal recourse for the victims is not helpful. It is only by drawing attention to the problem and discussing it, that there can be any hope of change.


It really is irrelevant how abusive American, or British or Canadian men may or may not be when addressing the issue of abusive Arab men.

Sorry for my long rambling rant -

coolred38 said...

desertmonsoon...I agree with everything you said. I couldnt have put it better.

I do believe this culture and system of laws (or lack there of) perpetuates the myth that the man can do whatever he wants and the woman should just suck it up...its her lot in life. To speak out causes shame so better to be quiet and be patient and endure...all for the "sake of Allah". I hardly believe God would ask us to accept such abuse in His name...but there you have it.

I hope I have taught my children that violence and abuse is not accepted...I hope I didnt leave it too late to get that message across.

Chiara said...

Desert Monsoon:

"It really is irrelevant how abusive American, or British or Canadian men may or may not be when addressing the issue of abusive Arab men."

Actually it is relevent, if only to be clear that abuse isn't race-based but culturally and legally mediated, and why it is even harder for women in some cultures and countries to "just leave", as you so eloquently point out.

My comment above was directed more to the fact that abused women are more likely to find others in a similar situation since they feel safer with them to share what is often hidden, or have saught out supports where they are likely to meet. Coolred having the misfortune to know first hand both American and Arab abusers has a social circle that reflects that. She also is well aware of the statistical higher risks for abused girls to marry abuse men, and for abused boys to become abusers themselves, which is why she has taken such preventive steps as she has.

coolred38 said...

Chiara...as I said...I hope it wasnt too little too late...so far the signs are all good.

Chiara said...

Coolred--You acted as rapidly as possible once it was obvious what levels of abuse were happening to your children, and have battled effectively to have them receive professional help, an education, and support from friends, who act as family. In my books you're golden!

If they need more help along the way, which often happens when in romantic relationships, making marital decisions or contemplating raising children, they have the role model that getting the help they need is desirable and courageous.

The most courageous patients I have met are the ones male and female, adolescent and adult, who when asked "Why did you come to the clinic today" have said "I was abused and I'm afraid of abusing someone else". One 19 year old punched his girlfriend, was appalled he had done what he vowed never to do, talked to his favourite professor who sent him via me to an excellent fatherly male therapist. I never met that student but he has my endless admiration.

Similarly one of my own undergraduate students showed up to my office before class with a fat black lip, to tell me she couldn't attend class 2 hours hence. One of my best statements ever was "I don't know who did that, and you don't have to tell me, but no matter who or why, you don't deserve it and you can get help and support, you know that right?". I knew I was on target, because she smiled, let a tear fall, nodded, and returned to class the following week a transformed woman.

Ya' dun good, Coolred!
(I get all Texan when I don't want to cry! LOL :) )
And so far the signs are excellent! :)

Sand Gets in My Eyes said...

This is a very powerful post...thanks for writing it.

coolred38 said...

Chiara...thanks for the advice and inspirational stories. Point well taken.

Sand...ur welcome.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This post sure has attracted many comments! So I'll just add mine, firstly to make it a little longer :D and secondly to say that you have very beautiful wonderful kids that you're obviously proud of and they are of you and thank you for sharing your experiences with us.May God be with you every step of the way,inshallah!
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