Whole families can be disgraced if one member — particularly a female — is seen to have stepped outside of society’s strict social norms.
Afterward, Fadila decided to focus on academics, where she has excelled.
She gained an honors degree in accounting and now has a good career.
“I like my job — I speak numbers,” she says, smiling.
But the relationship has no future unless Lulwa leaves her country, or he proposes marriage and converts to Islam. Finding and maintaining a relationship is a challenge even for those who haven’t fallen for a foreigner.
Fadila, 29, an accountant, has been looking for love in all the wrong places since she was a teenager.
After meeting her intended just twice, Fadila went through an official engagement ceremony, which involved the couple signing a contract specifying that she would never be forced to live with her in-laws and prevented from working outside the home.
Then she channels her father and says: “Why would you date — where does this go?One day a boy tracked her down and left a note on her older brother’s windshield, she says.“I know your sister, she does bad things,” the note read.When Fadila was 17, she fell in love with a member of the country’s vast but powerful royal family.“I thought he was the one,” she says.Since her experience, the religious police have been stripped of much of their power.And thanks to government efforts at increasing Saudi Arabia's employment rate, more and more women are working and studying near if not alongside men, providing a plethora of romantic possibilities. 24 when the powerful crown prince declared that the country would return to “moderate” Islam and “eradicate” extremism.