We’ve all had this discussion at least once in our lives; “A9eel, a9eela, mu a9eel, mu a9eela.”
It honestly hadn’t been brought to my attention until a few years ago. I never knew or realized that an epidemic like this existed in Kuwait. My only knowledge was that certain families married into each other because they were rich, and they were trying to keep the wealth “in the family”. I felt so naïve when I realized I had barely scratched the surface of the “blue blood” shit-fest.
My family raised me to see everyone as equal, because we are all humans who are born and will die the same way, and will be judged for our actions and not by our family names or tribal origins. So with that notion, I jumped into many failed relationships with men from prominent families without realizing why they ended so coolly. I’d simply shrug off the pain like nothing happened and spend long nights trying to figure out what I did wrong.
It would only be when I found myself in a very serious relationship that this issue would be brought up. He was the most wonderful man to me; smart, funny, educated, incredibly handsome, and treated me like a princess. My family knew about our relationship; even my mother treated him like a son.
After years of being together, he told his family that he wanted to propose, and they firmly rejected the thought. He tried for months, and it put a strain on our relationship. Being together forever was all we wanted, but we wanted his family to be happy for us. The fire fizzled and his parents threatened to disown him if he didn’t stop talking to me. A month later, he got married to a distant cousin, and I never saw or heard from him again.
I’m not one to disrespect tradition, but this is not tradition. It is elitism, and in some cases, racism. At the end of the day, we are all Kuwaitis, so why separate and divide our already tiny society and stop people from being together because one’s family history is deeper than another’s?
Years down the line, I would hear too many stories of girls running away to marry the man they love, or men denouncing their family or having their trust find taken away from them for the sake of marrying the woman of their dreams. It breaks my heart, yet no one is actively doing anything to change the mentality of our elders. Some of our generation have proudly adopted this archaic way of thinking without realizing how stupid it all really is.
The first precaution I take before going into any relationship is testing the waters in terms of how the guy feels about this issue. Thankfully, no one I’ve met after that major incident has felt that he is superior to me or to anyone else. It is still a scary thought, though. I may never fully understand why it separates us, but I hope that the generations to come don’t perpetuate such an awful notion. Especially for the sake of love.
Have you ever been in a relationship where your lineage was an issue? How did you deal with it? If not, how would you address such a subject with the person you are dating?