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British Mum & Arab Dad.(18 Posts)
After that rather odd title; (well, how else can you put it!) I wondered if there are any peeps out there in similar circumstances to me ....
I'm married to a Kurdish Iraqi and we are expected our first baby on 15.01.05 :-) (I converted to Islam a little while before meeting my husband) My husband is claiming asylum in the UK (I've worked in Immigration for five years professionally - but sadly don't have Blunkett's power!! he,he) and it is likely to be a long and stressful process before he is a permitted to stay with me indefinately. I know sometimes asylum seekers are misrepresented in the media but the moral panic is largely unjustified in my opinion... but that is by-the-by ... don't want to get started on that one ;-)
I'd like to know if there are any other mum's or mum's to be who want to share their experiences of being married to an Arab or anyone who's been through the asylum system as a wife..... Bye bye for now ....
My husband is Egyptian and we have a 6 month old little boy. My husband is not an asylum seeker but we had to go through the immigration system when he came to the UK 6 years ago. Thankfully he had very few problems and became a British Citizen last year. It must be awfull not knowing if your husband will be granted indefinate leave to remain especially when you are expecting a baby as it is a stressfull enougth time already.
My husband is Muslim and I am Christian but we have never had any problems. I respect his religion and beliefs and he respects mine. I am happy for our son to be raised as a muslim but we want him to grow up to respect and be aware of other religions too.
Alot of people have many misconceptions about Arabs, especially men but I find my husband very kind, considerate and open minded, always putting his family first.
I wish you the best of luck with the baby. do you know if you are having a boy or a girl and have you picked any names?
I'm not in your situation, JuJuMoo, but just wanted to say hi and congratulations on the baby and best of luck with the immigration process
Think I may be having something to do with the immigration bods soon to to adopting a child.. long story but if I can be of any help or support JuJuMoo don't hesitate to to ask!
I have no experience personally but a good friend of mine is also married to an Iraqi. They met when he came over here as a student and although he wasn't an Assylum seeker, I know it did take him a long time to get British citizenship, especially as he started applying for it just before the last Gulf War - possibly not a good time. I also know that he had a lot of problems getting a job in the field he was qualified for (civil engineering) and met with quite a bit of discrimination - again this was at the time of the first Gulf War. Eventually he had to take a cut in pay and work in a call centre.
Just also wanted to say hello and wish you congratulations on your pregnancy (not long now ) and good luck for the immigration process.
Hi everyone, thanks so much for the replies :-)
Pinkmagic - Congratulations on being a mum to your little lad :-) I'm glad the whole immigration trauma wasn't too bad for you. The worst of it will be is when and if my husband has to go back to Iraq and apply for entry clearance as a spouse - it will mean us being seperated for a while (there is no way I can go out to Iraq at the moment with him as a white british women , even though I'm Muslim, I'm still fearful of being targeted) and he'll have to go into Bagdad to get papers and passports and the situation there is blantently not stable at the moment so I'll be terrified. Anyway, we've not got to that point yet thankfully so we may have some luck with our application for LTR on basis of marriage. We will see! I'm glad you've not had any problems on the religious front - my family had a lot of misconceptions about Arabs and Muslim's too, but when they met my husband all their fears melted - although I still think to some extent they feel he is the exception to the rule! I'm not sure of the gender of the baby, had two scans but baby was being modest and delightfully covered his/her "parts" with carefully positioned feet! Thanks anyway for your help. By the way - this is a strange question - sorry - how dark is your little boy? My husband is really quite golden but I'm as white as milk (the sort of skin that turns pink and then red but never brown!) I'm wondering whether the baby will take after one or the other or be a shade in the middle ;-)
Hester - thanks so much for your words of support. I'm a frantic worrier at the best of times - but my fears of labour have now overtaken my immigration worries ;-)
Peskykids - Good luck with your immigration process, I hope it all goes well for you. It's a minefield isn't it! There are so many rules and regulations that seem almost flippant sometimes but they can have such profound implications. Anyway, thanks for your offer of help. I'll keep you all posted.... might have to hang around for a couple of years though for an update as it might take that long for us to get sorted! :-)
Tabitha - Thanks for your post, say "Mahaba" to your Iraqi friend from me :-) (and his lovely wife too of course!) My husband finished university in Iraq too, in mechancial engineering, and he is amazingly bright - its just getting employer's to see that! He ios restricted from working anyway at the moment whilst his immigration status is resolved; which seems an awful shame as he is dying to contribute, involve himself in the economy, and simply provide financial assistance to myself and baby (upon arrival!) ... espeically when you consider that lots of English people have the chance of working but just don't want to for whatever reason! Hopefully your friend's husband will be able to progress into the field he wants to eventually. Where do they live?
Hi JuJuMoo. I'm not in your position but wondered if you'd talked to anyone like Refugee Action? Bound to be some people in a similar position around there...ohn and be prepared for any colouring in the babe - my mother is Indian, my father is Anglo/Scandinavian, and both my sister and I are white.
I'm sending heaps of sympathetic thoughts re your situation, and congrats about the baby!
My husband is from north Africa and we are mired in immigration hell too, our situation seems never ending. it makes me quite sick to think too much about it. Our little girl (8 months) has both taken our minds off it and made it all more scary at the same time.
good luck with it all!
Hello again JuJuMoo
my friend lives in Bolton. Re your question about the baby's colouring, her first little boy is very fair actually - blonde hair and blue eyes. The younger one is darker. My friend is very fair skinned with brown hair and blue eyes and her husband, like yours is quite 'golden'.
JuJuMoo-My husband is very dark skinned with dark eyes and afro hair. Our son has a slight olive coulouring with very dark eyes like his dads but straight brown hair. To look at someone might think he was of mediterranean origin, he is certainaly not as dark skinned as we expected and takes more after my side of the family than hubbys.
JuJuMoo, if your DH is claiming asylum, they can't make him return to Iraq to apply for a visa? Surely not? I did some immigration work years ago, and if someone who was claiming/had claimed asylum returned to the country they were claiming asylum from, this voided their claim to asylum. So I would say they can't make him return. You sit tight and don't take any nonsense! And good luck.
Feel like I have to stick my oar in here as this is all too familiar!! I have been in immigration hell previously and am likely to be again at some point in the future. I have an 11 month old daughter whose father is Algerian. We are not together, he left me when i was in early pregnancy, although now we have managed to be friendly for the sake of our little one. However we are still legally married as he had nopapers here despite 12 years in the UK and I (very stupidly but I wanted to hold on to my child's father) married him to help him. Now i am desperate to divorce him as it's over a year since we made our application and he has had no answer. His file is with a caseworker now so any minute.....
Just to complicate matters further, for the last couple of months i have been with a very sweet and lovely palestinian man who cares so much for me and for my daughter - but who has no papers here. I feel so depressed sometimes when I think
that if i had not married my daughter's father,I would now be able to marry a man who really wants to be with me and who needs that help. I have already decided that if there is no joy from the Home Office with my daughter's father in the next few weeks, i am fiiling divorce papers as I have had enough of feeling trapped because of a promise I made when I was pregnant and vulnerable.
Phew!!!! Sorry about that stream of information!! I would love to have contact with any other mums with a part Arab child. I'm in London, Shepherds Bush
How badly do you want your baby's father to remain here, and in contact with your DD, and how far do you think he is doing this to be able to have acess to DD, rather than to get papers? Does he give you support for DD? Do you trust him never to abduct her to Algeria? (because if he did, you'd have less of a leg to stand on if you were married, I think).
And sorry if I sound horrible, but I don't think you should rush to marry into such a new relationship: if it's the relationship he wants he will wait, and come and go on various visas for a while, won't he?
Sorry, I may be being naive - maybe he can't do that. Buut you have already discovered that marrying for the papers is a) lengthy and b)fruitless if it isn't for a long and deep relationship.
Good luck, and I do hope things work out for you.
JuJuMoo- just wondering how the birth went, you must have had little one by now. Did you have a boy or a girl?
Hi everyone - totally forgot about this thread! Thanks for all your replies. Still nothing from the Home Office although they seem to be aknowleding that it's not safe at the moment for Iraqi's to go back as there is no approproiate route of return - it all depends on when the Home Office make their decision.
Habibti, how awful for you, I know how hard it having your life dependant on the Home Office. I'm glad you have found someone nice, at least you have a while longer to get to know your new man :-)
We've had a little boy by the way, Ali, on 24.12.04. He is actually quite dark, but his hair is dark brown rather than black - and falling out in little wisps all around the house! He looks like a funny old man with a little bit of hair around the sides and back with a big bald centre! He is beautiful though :-)
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I'm a bit similar. My husband is from Egypt (Muslim) and I'm British (basically atheist, Christian to his parents). We don't have children yet, but we'd like to soon.
Immigration is such absolute bollocks isn't it? DH is not an asylum seeker, he's on a Tier 2 visa, but has to pay about £1k every time he changes job (happens frequently by design in his career/training). It's got messed up by his employer twice and the Home Office aren't currently processing updates, so has dispensation to use his current visa in a new post --- but can't travel outside the UK so is currently completely gutted because he missed a trip to see his family that he'd been planning for about 8 months. Everything about the whole system is designed to screw over the applicants and squeeze money out of them. Makes me so angry.
On the religion front, DH and I are fine with each other's beliefs. Our families get on pretty well -- they all met up when we got married and we have a big combined family whatsApp group. It was quite a big deal for his parents that I'm not Muslim though -- once they met me it was OK, but it took a bit of time!
I'm learning Arabic, but I started with fusha/MSA and it's too different from Egyptian to be much use in real communication. Hoping to start an Egyptian course in the next few months!