Staff Member and frightfully nice rat catcher
- Nov 10, 2014
We should keep this post bumped because it really shows the true reality for many who go there for the first time, totally unprepared and having complete confidence in their on line stranger. She was very lucky to get away after two weeks, as we know, many were not so lucky. I hope @Katelynn Smith reads this post.Post from a victim
Hi ladies and gents. I recently came back on a trip from meeting my "Tunisian Lover" but we did not meet in Paris...instead I went to Tunisia to meet him face-to-face. I'm a 24-year-old girl from America and this was my first time flying on an airplane, my first time traveling outside America, and first time meeting the guy I thought I was "so in love with." It's been almost 3 weeks since I arrived back to America and I'm really struggling with life. Going overseas had some strange affect on me, and I can't seem to shake it off. I feel that I've lost my identity. I feel ashamed and foolish and it's just now occurring to me that I was part of their scam. I'd like to share my story to others in case they are thinking of going to Tunisia to meet a guy they met off the internet. Of course, I thought my situation with Wajih was special, and I went with the plan of staying in this country for at least 6 months - getting to know Wajih, his family, his culture, and confirming whether or not our love was real. I still don't know about that last part. Because this culture is so shady and the people are not trustworthy at all. I still don't know if he really felt anything for me or not. In my personal experience going to Tunisia, I learned that not all people are treated equally. Especially if you are American and especially if you are a woman. Wajih wanted me to think that I was special, and he was going to serve me the royal treatment, but this is all a hype. It's just for one thing - the golden ticket. AKA - the visa. I read in previous posts that often times, the Tunisian family is in on the scam. Let me tell you what - this is absolutely true. The family will put on a face lift just to get you to marry their precious son. And in case you are wondering - yes, I returned to America a new bride. No, it was not because I wanted to marry him. In my heart, I wanted to be far away from him, hence returning to America after less then 2 weeks in this God-forsaken third world country. By the way, not all parts of Tunisia are third-world...just the neighborhood Wajih lives in. Even his English-speaking friend admitted his "hood" was pretty unsafe. But we did marry, per his request, because remember - this is a Muslim country, under Islam law, and being a woman, the men do not have to listen to you. They do not have to respect you. Once they marry you, you are considered their "property." This is true. I experience it firsthand. I was lied to about everything. Everything Wajih told me, prior to going to Tunisia, EVERYTHING was a lie. He even lied about the reasons for which he was denied an American visa. They told me I could keep my original birth certificate after marrying him. I nervously gave them my real birth certificate, and then they told me it now belonged to them because I had married Wajih. Of course I understand it is easy to replace a birth certificate, but just the fact that they lied about returning it to me, they do not care. They can lie, because they are men, and they are dominant over women. Wajih has called me every name in the book - he has called me a "dog" "b!tch" "wh!re" "prostitute" and other names I don't want to think about. He was not the perfect gentleman I thought he was, prior to going to Tunisia. How can a person truly love a husband or wife who calls them terrible names? My American friends, they do not understand what I am going through now. They do not understand when I tell them I was forced to marry. Because people do not understand that when you are in a Muslim country, and especially because I traveled alone, my western independence and freedom were left at the airport in Chicago O'Hare. Unless you travel in a group of people, or go with friends or a boyfriend/husband, anything can happen to you. I was just lucky I was not raped or beaten. I was lucky Wajih did not take away my passport and prevented me from returning to America, because at times I did not understand what he was thinking or saying to people when he spoke to them in Arabic. I still do not know if he wanted to marry me for a visa, or if he really loved me and wanted to prevent me from leaving the country. Nothing is clear to me. Everything is hazy. I'm just so lucky to be back on American soil, where I am safe and protected under American law. During my travels leading me to Tunisia, there were times I spoke to other female travelers either on the plane or at the airport. They were curious as to why I was going to Tunisia. When I told them I was going to meet my boyfriend for the first time, many of them warned me about the dangers of being a blonde Christian girl going to a Muslim country. They encouraged me to leave right away if at anytime I felt unsafe or did not understand what was happening. And I did exactly that. My very first night in Tunisia, Wajih took me to a dirty, nasty apartment complex where we would be staying for a couple nights. I did not understand why we were not going to his house to meet his family. I had bought presents for the Mother and Father and 3 brothers and I was very excited to see them in person. He lied and told me they were on vacation in Djerba, but then I learned it was not true when I tried to leave Tunisia and Wajih found me and called his mother to come to the dirty apartment to calm me down. Wasn't his Mother supposed to be in Djerba with the rest of the family? But prior to calling his Mother, he had finally agreed to take me to his house because I was freaking out and crying, and then left me on the porch steps of his house to go find keys so he could open the doors. It was such a weird house, it was like 4 levels and each level had a room but the rooms were tiny and his whole family was crammed in this strange home. Only one 2 levels were furnished, the 3rd level was a secret, I was not allowed to go inside, and the top level was not furnished. This was where the 3 brothers slept, I guess. There were mattresses on the floor and and clothes and junk everywhere. I did not know where he was going to put me. Did he think I was going to live in a hotel for 6 months? I have tried asking him, what his plan was for me, where we were going to live during my time in Tunisia, but he never did give me an answer. Well it was at this point when I was waiting for him to return with the keys that I was convinced he was hiding a wife or girlfriend, and I got scared and started running 2 blocks and I found a guy and asked him to call police but he did not understand my English very well. Then Wajih caught up to me and spoke to the guy in Arabic and then we walked back to the car together. And then we stayed in the dirty apartment another night but he locked it from the inside so I could not leave the apartment unless he was with me, because he said he was afraid I was going to run away again. But isn't it my human right to leave anytime I want? From the very first night of being with Wajih, I felt something was wrong and I knew that everything my mother had told me, well she was right. Plus being English speaking and Wajih is Arabic speaking, made me paranoid everytime he spoke to people in Arabic. I did not know what was being said about me or if he was making devious plans and saying them right in front of my face. I just had no trust in the people anymore. So I asked to go to the American embassy the next day but he kept telling me they were closed and we could not go. He said he was driving me to Djerba with another guy named Zied and we were going to be leaving at night, but like it was going to be an 8 hour drive because Djerba was far away. He did not want to stay in Aryanah anymore. He did not even want to bring my luggage in the house because we were leaving right away, but in order for me to travel with him to Djerba we needed to go to the police station so I could write a statement saying that I agreed to travel with Wajih to Djerba so he did not get into trouble with the police in Djerba. But it was not a police station is was different, there was no sign outside the building a lot of people entered and exited but nobody looked like police. And he talked to a guy but they guy did not understand English and Wajih did all the talking. And then he called his father to ask permission to marry me but we did not get married that day.
The reason why I'm saying all these things, is because I'm going through something terrible in my heart and I can not talk to friends or family about this because most people who have not been to Tunisia can not identify with this way of life or culture. I remember talking to some of you ladies about this a few months before I went to Tunisia, but during that time I thought I might be meeting Wajih in a different country. It just didn't work out that way and I was so blinded by this guy that I had this fantasy in my head that life was going to be really good with him in Tunisia. I had to try it to learn the hard way. On the contrary, maybe life can be really good, maybe there are some great Tunisian guys and it's romantic and true love and you can make a sustainable life in this country. I have so many more stories to tell just from my quick 2 weeks of being in this foreign country but I've written so much already. Anyway I hope this helps other women who are thinking of going. Maybe it just depends on the Tunisian guy you meet, but I really feel in my heart that these online relationships are not going to turn out the way you think they will. You really need to be careful because there are good Muslim guys and bad ones and in this culture, I experienced that I was not respected and they did not listen to my concerns and when I told Wajih I did not want to do something, it was not my choice and he made decisions for me. I got sick from the food because it was not cooked properly and he still made me eat even when I told him I felt sick. If you are thinking of going to meet your online boyfriend for the first time, it's a really good idea to take a man with you, such as your father or uncle or brother or a good male friend, because you don't know what could happen to you over there but you will be in much better security if you travel with a man who truly cares about your safety and well being.