My National

My National

Marrying the responses to being an Emirati woman with a career

  |  January 28, 2013

My post on Thursday about how a career was hurting my chances of marriage has certainly provoked quite a response, with about 30 retweets, five emails, and many comments.

I expected to be attacked for the somewhat "radical" notion of even thinking about deciding for myself whom I should marry, instead of having my parents find a suitable husband for me. And while there were some who said women had to accept what they were given, more than I expected were positive.

Young people, especially, were supportive - even those who were not Emirati or even Arab. Many said it would be better if we as young men and women are able to represent ourselves in society, and to show our families how we are fully capable of making the right choice of life partner. I mean, we know ourselves better, and we know what we would like to have in the future. Who better understands us?

I knew when I wrote the original post that it would be controversial. I was ready to accept criticism, and I did accept it. To those who wished me luck in my chosen career choice I say thank you. And to those who chose to judge me, I also say thank you. Having such people around me only shows me how much I, as a person, am developing.

Again, I know myself more than anyone else does. I am more aware of my own community and my surroundings. I have seen and heard and physically lived through many issues that I do not agree with, but am forced to live with. I know what I want, and how to get it.

I want a home and a family and I want to be able to raise my children, and raise them well. But, I don't want a husband who will control me. That is not what married life is about, as that is how it is perceived as in the society that I live in. Marriage is about mutual respect and understanding, whether I am a working woman or a stay-at-home mother. Hopefully, that is what I will have if and when I am married.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae