Yemeni Knights in Shining Armor [Archives:1998/06/Last Page]

February 9 1998

By: Athena Al-Absi
Many young women have certain expectations concerning their future husbands. Not all that is wished for can be realized, though. In order to avoid disappointment, compromises and adjustments have to be made. Following are six Yemeni unmarried women who had frankly expressed their expectaions of their future husbands, some are realistic while others are not.
1- A university graduate, an accountant, 28; I want my future husband to be well off and open minded. I don’t want him to smoke, chew qat and stay out late with his friends. I don’t mind what kind of a job he has as long as it pays our expenses. I do want him to be a university graduate. I also want him to be calm, meet all of my needs and not disagree with me. It is not necessary that he has a car. I don’t mind if he owns or rents a house, as long as it is affordable for us. I would like at least 3 or 4 rooms. As a condition, I want at least 2 rooms with furniture, but it doesn’t have to be grand. We will spend our honeymoon in Yemen and when we have enough money we can travel abroad, maybe Europe. A reasonable dowry is about YR 500,000. I want my wedding ceremony to be at home. I don’t want to marry any of my relatives because we have problems with them. I would not want to live with his family. I only want to have one or two children. I don’t want to stop working. I don’t want my husband to be a rich man, so he can’t say to me “I support you!”. We shall share the expenses equally, then he will know he is not better than me. Also, if he is rich, women may be enticed by his money and he may find another wife. I expect to buy a house or a plot of land and build a house together.
2- An illiterate seamstress, 22; I want my future husband to be rich, modest and never to have been married before. It would be nice if he worked any job abroad as long as I can live with him. As for looks, they aren’t important to me except that I want him short. I want him to be a university graduate, if not higher. I want to own a house in Yemen and rent one abroad. I want particular furniture for more than two rooms. In my house, I want at least four rooms and one big salon. I want to spend our honeymoon somewhere outside of Yemen. I think a reasonable dowry is around YR 1,000,000. I want my wedding ceremony to be in a hotel. I don’t want any of my relatives for a husband, because they are all uneducated. I don’t want to live with his family, I would want our own house. I will have 2-6 children. I will give up my job after marriage because I want to travel. To have a happy marital life, I want to live away from our families, have understanding between us and for him to be open minded. I expect him to buy me a house outside of Yemen.
3- A university graduate, travel agent, 25; I want my future husband to be a university graduate, well off, open minded and help raise the children. I only want 2-4 children. I want him to have a respectable job, provided his salary is enough for our expenses, along with my salary. I will not give up my job as long as it benefits us. A car is not necessary, but in time it may be. I don’t mind living in a rented house, as long as we can afford it. I wouldn’t mind if we lived with his family or in a separate house. I want furniture for the bedroom, sitting room, dining room and kitchen necessities. We can furnish the rest of the house after marriage or maybe buy our own house. I want four rooms in our house. I wish to spend our honeymoon abroad.
I think that YR500,000 is a suitable dowry. If we have our wedding in a hall, we shall share the expenses. We could have it in my father’s house, since it is very big. I want my husband to be calm, of fine character, cooperative and a model father. I would prefer to marry a relative because he can understand me more and respect my feelings, since we were brought up in a similar environment. For a happy marital life, love, understanding, contentment, good manners, mutual respect and a sincere heart towards marriage are needed. I don’t have any specific expectations except that we save money to buy a villa and travel together.
4- A university graduate, school social supervisor, 32; It doesn’t matter what my future husband looks like as long as he is rich enough to meet all my needs and live in great luxury. I want him to be a company owner or a rich merchant. In other words, he must be a millionaire. He does not have to be educated and have a car. It doesn’t matter if we rent or own a house, but I don’t want to live with his family. I want a villa with four rooms and a salon, and I do impose particular furniture as a condition and it is not modest.
I wish to spend my honeymoon touring around Europe. A reasonable dowry, to me, is YR1,000,000. I want a magnificent wedding ceremony in a grand hotel in Yemen or abroad. I want my husband to have a strong personality, so I can feel that I am the woman and he is the man. I don’t mind if he is a relative, as long as he is rich. I would like to have between 5-8 children. I will give up my job once we are married. I expect my husband to take me on vacation every year to other countries. I would also like to know him before we get married.
5- An unemployed woman, 30; I want my future husband to allow me to finish school and not reject any of my requests. He should already be married with children, and not expect me to bear children. He can have any job as long as he can support two houses. He should be a university graduate and have a car, since I would like to learn to drive. I want to own a house and not live with his family. I want a 4 bedroom house with at least 2 rooms furnished. I want a magnificent wedding and a honeymoon in Europe or in a few Arab countries. I think between YR600,000 and YR800,000 is a reasonable dowry. It doesn’t matter where he is from, as long as he possesses the qualities that I want. I want to continue studying through university and then get a job. For a happy marital life, he should be educated, open minded, allow me to work after finishing my education and not want me to have any children. I expect to travel together and live abroad.
6- An unemployed illiterate woman, 24; I will be happy with any qualities that my future husband has or whatever job he has whether an employee, trader or qat seller. His educational level doesn’t matter as long as he is capable of getting married. He should not reject any of my requests. A car isn’t necessary. A rented house is fine, although I don’t mind living with his family. I expect furniture for at least one room for us to live in. I would be happy with even a one bedroom house.
I want to spend our honeymoon in Sanaa. I think a reasonable dowry for me around is YR700,000. But the final word is left for my father, who may ask for a higher amount. He can be from any family, its not up to me, but destiny. I will have as many children as he wants, even one. To ensure a happy marital life, I will obey my husband, prepare food, clean the house, help his mother with chores and respect his family. In my life with him, I expect him to buy us a house.