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Topic : 06/16 A Daughter in Danger?

Number of Replies: 454
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Created on : Thursday, November 08, 2007, 07:38:18 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 11/14/07) When Shawn’s daughter, Katherine, was only 16 years old, she made international headlines when she ran away to the Middle East to be with 20-year-old Abdullah, whom she met on MySpace -- a man she never met in person but was convinced she was in love with. The FBI intercepted her in Jordan and escorted her back to the United States. Unbeknownst to her family, Katherine secretly continued a relationship with Abdullah via the phone and the computer for two years. After turning 18, Katherine said goodbye to her family and left to be with Abdullah in the war-torn Gaza Strip. Katherine’s family is terrified that she’s never going to return. They think Abdullah is lying to Katherine and possibly even brainwashing her. They say when she calls, something doesn’t sound right. Is she afraid for her life, but unable to tell them? Is she being held against her will? Dr. Phil talks with Katherine via satellite from Palestine, and has some hard questions for Abdullah about his real intentions with Katherine. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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November 11, 2007, 12:49 pm CST

No Palestine as a country yet

Quote From: helenytt

 First of all: There is no official country named Palestine. It is either Israel or Gaza strip and Westbank.

Second of all, unfortunately lots of girls from abroad got hooked up with Arabs/Moslims. Here in Israel there are lots of Dutch, Danish, Russian girls who got married with moslims and live here in villages or in the Gaza strip or the Westbank.

It is like my dad used to tell me:
You have to respect every culture, you cannot get married to every culture!

Unfortunately most of these girls can't get out once they are in....... or they'll loose their kids!
Some girls are really happy with the situation.

But there is the Palestinian Authority, which, if it solves its own sad problems will eventually be a country.

 

Face it.

 

I could go on, but this isn't a political board.

 

Marian Paroo

Tel Aviv, Israel

 
November 11, 2007, 4:45 pm CST

This sounds familiar...

Poor Katherine and her family.  My two older cousins did the same thing.  They married two Muslim men who took them completely away from their families.  Years later and after eight children (each!) they are extremely miserable.  One of my cousins, who was not moved to another country, finally, was able to separate from her husband, but all her children went through a lot of drama.  My other cousin, in Saudi Arabia, HAS to stay, or else she loses her children, and can NEVER have contact with them again. 

 

I hope Katherine really takes a hard look at herself in the mirror.  Being a mom, I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to give birth and not have my own mother there to share in the joy of bringing a child into this world.  The worst part; they HAD to marry off their beautiful teenage daughters to older men.  Eeew...Katherine think about what you are going to get yourself into...this is a life changing event, not a power play for freedom against your parents.

 

From my perspective, it seems like the men overseas have a very cold way of treating women and consider them to be "possessions" and NOT partners.  This hit me when my cousin was "allowed" to come back about four years ago, (without her children), and was describing her "mansion" that has two complete and separate kitchens.  That tells me that there are two separate households in this "mansion".  Obvisously, she's old and can't produce children, so the guy went and got someone younger and is producing more children!

 
November 11, 2007, 8:47 pm CST

Mixed cultures

 I married my Iranian husband when I was 39. Even at that mature age I had no idea how difficult it would be to fully understand his culture, and he mine. I said so many things innocently in the beginning that really offended him. Things that an American wouldn't think twice about.

I love my husband and we have both worked hard to understand each other. He's had to give in more at times because he lives here in this country and knows he has to accept what's normal here. I respect his views of things and I don't make excuses for how things are viewed here. I admire and respect the Middle Eastern culture and they have many ways that seem more hospitable and accepting than ours. You can't fully understand it all by chatting on the phone and online.

This young girl has no ideas of the sacrifices she will have to make to fit in. It's very unlikely that his parents will fully accept her, and she will always feel like she's not good enough. She's not old enough to know what she's getting into and what will be required of her. Love in this case may not be enough.

Once she marries her exotic prince charming, he most likely will not treat her the same as he has in courtship. He may think he will not marry her, but keep her on the side while he fulfills his Muslim duty of marrying a traditional Islamic virgin.

I wish her the best but she's got a one in a million chance of happiness.


 
November 11, 2007, 11:43 pm CST

Bad choices can be made regardless of religious / ethnic factors

Don't we see gals on Dr. Phil all the time who are married to controling bullies? And they are the lucky ones.

 

The unlucky ones don't make it to Dr. Phil, they make it to the headlines.

 
November 12, 2007, 11:07 am CST

i totally agree......

Quote From: dsabet

 I married my Iranian husband when I was 39. Even at that mature age I had no idea how difficult it would be to fully understand his culture, and he mine. I said so many things innocently in the beginning that really offended him. Things that an American wouldn't think twice about.

I love my husband and we have both worked hard to understand each other. He's had to give in more at times because he lives here in this country and knows he has to accept what's normal here. I respect his views of things and I don't make excuses for how things are viewed here. I admire and respect the Middle Eastern culture and they have many ways that seem more hospitable and accepting than ours. You can't fully understand it all by chatting on the phone and online.

This young girl has no ideas of the sacrifices she will have to make to fit in. It's very unlikely that his parents will fully accept her, and she will always feel like she's not good enough. She's not old enough to know what she's getting into and what will be required of her. Love in this case may not be enough.

Once she marries her exotic prince charming, he most likely will not treat her the same as he has in courtship. He may think he will not marry her, but keep her on the side while he fulfills his Muslim duty of marrying a traditional Islamic virgin.

I wish her the best but she's got a one in a million chance of happiness.


with you. our culture is very different from others. being with some muslim men requires alot more sacrifice from a girl from another culture. it seems like men are harder on their wives when they are not muslim b/c they feel the need to please their parents and prove to them that this american girl can be a good wife. many of my uncles are married outside of my culture and it  had its strains but my grandparents never interfered because my grandfather always said a newley married couple has it hard enough getting used to eachothers' values and morals and baggering them doesn't make it better. i am muslim but i was born and raised here. i met my husband in jordan and we got along very well but it took me 6 months to even consider marrying a man from overseas because of all the things i had heard about men being so controlling. when we got married and came back we had our kinks that we had to go through but he understands me and understands our culture here. and i  understand him. but in my eyes if this man is obsessed with pleasing his parents he will remarry a muslim girl.........all in all if a man takes "the love of his life" from her parents then he doesn't really love her regardless of his culture or religion. because all muslims know that you must respect god first and then your parents throughout your life. and she should not even be there with him without consent from her parents and it is a sin for her to live in his home and for him to touch her before marriage. so obvisously this gentlemen is not a true man or muslim.
 
November 13, 2007, 3:32 am CST

Some are missing the point here...

Quote From: susielries

you never give up...this girl is delusional and somehow he has said the ''magic words''. some people just have power and know how to use it. she will regret this forever. if she hasn't married him yet, he has no respect for her, as no muslim man would. if she has married him , she is basically trapped and when she has children and decides this life is wrong, she will never get them out of there and if she DOES, she will have to hide for the rest of her life. i lived in france years ago and many french women married muslims and when the man decided to go back to his country, he took their kids and it took years of legal work to get even visitation rights. HA. it is a nightmare.

 SHE IS 18(if not older now)!

 

I understand a mother will NEVER give up(as I am a mother myself), but lets face the facts she an ADULT  and 18 now!

 

She will make mistakes (we ALL do) !  But this is something she must learn on her own! We can on give advice that is all!

 

Rather if she married the wrong man or not the future isnt written yet! Her mom needs to "cut the cord" if she is 18 and over. She needs to learn and live on her own. Good or bad will happen to her, life isnt a fairy tale like some seem to think, and some learn faster and harder then others.

 

When I was her age at 18, I wanted  to travel and see the world. Plans changed, and had to grow up in my own way. If she needs her mom Im sure she will ask for help.

 

Im NOT saying that it is right for the men to treat their women like that( as I am against it), she will learn either easy or the hard way.

 
November 14, 2007, 6:36 am CST

Thanks

Quote From: immalik05

with you. our culture is very different from others. being with some muslim men requires alot more sacrifice from a girl from another culture. it seems like men are harder on their wives when they are not muslim b/c they feel the need to please their parents and prove to them that this american girl can be a good wife. many of my uncles are married outside of my culture and it  had its strains but my grandparents never interfered because my grandfather always said a newley married couple has it hard enough getting used to eachothers' values and morals and baggering them doesn't make it better. i am muslim but i was born and raised here. i met my husband in jordan and we got along very well but it took me 6 months to even consider marrying a man from overseas because of all the things i had heard about men being so controlling. when we got married and came back we had our kinks that we had to go through but he understands me and understands our culture here. and i  understand him. but in my eyes if this man is obsessed with pleasing his parents he will remarry a muslim girl.........all in all if a man takes "the love of his life" from her parents then he doesn't really love her regardless of his culture or religion. because all muslims know that you must respect god first and then your parents throughout your life. and she should not even be there with him without consent from her parents and it is a sin for her to live in his home and for him to touch her before marriage. so obvisously this gentlemen is not a true man or muslim.
Thank you for a lesson on your culture.
 
November 14, 2007, 8:03 am CST

What do I do?

A friend of mine brought this topic to my attention.  I, myself, have been going through a similar situation with my 17 year old.  I have contacted religious leaders, the police, even reached out in desperation to online support groups.  Nobody cares! 

 

She has been "conversing" with a Moroccan man, who is 21, via IM for several months now.  My husband knew about it, but didn't disclose it to me because he felt it HER responsibility to inform me.  When I found out, the damage had already been done.  She had "fallen" for him.  I have been feeding her information gradually over time in hopes of not shutting down the line of communication - but now have reached an end.  My patience reached an end when she went to two college interviews wearing a hijab - head covering.  The real tough thing here is that her friends know about her "reversion" and they support her - what do a bunch of 17 year olds know about what she is doing to herself?  The other disturbing issue is that two of her friend's parents also know about her transformation and support it as well.  Perhaps she has painted a different picture, I don't know.  I couldn't call myself a friend if I knew that a child was doing something, veering off course, and didn't say anything to the parents.  I couldn't live with myself.  What is wrong with people these days?  This only complicates matters because she is reaching out to these other parents who support her, which makes our views even more unnacceptable.

 

She will be 18 in a month and we unfortunately cannot keep her or prevent her from doing anything on her own.  My own sister became involved with a man from another culture and lived a nightmare - her life will never be the same.  She has had a series of nervous breakdowns when I was younger - my parents kept all this from me but I put the pieces together at a later age; I really still don't know the whole story. She cannot function without her medication.  She isn't the same person she was, and it breaks my heart.  I have told my daughter about this, and it hit a nerve.  But teens think they are invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to them.

 

Likewise, the police told me that the age of consent is 16, so unless there is proof of anything sexual going on, there is nothing we can do. 

 

The real clincher here is that she "reverted" to the Muslim faith - that is what they term it because they believe that everyone was born a Muslim and veers off course.  I have done much research - including research about Morocco and the way women are treated there - it does nothing.  She is applying to colleges, and could have a very bright future ahead of her - but I don't foresee that anymore.

 

We have cut off her access to the internet, but not totally because she needs it to communicate with the colleges she is applying to.  She still communicates with him, but not nearly as much as she did in the past.  I also found her searching sites for Muslim wedding attire.  Fantasizing?  I don't know.  It all points to one thing.

 

We have also brought up the cultural differences and the difficulty with suddenly changing your culture.  It doesn't work, and if it does, it takes a long time and a lot of hard work. 

 

At this point, I am truly concerned because the reversion to Muslim would be more acceptable to me without the constant marriage bedazzling from this man, whom she has never met, but believes she is in love with.  To an adult, that seems totally preposterous, but to a teen who is desperate to fill the void in her life, it isn't.

 

I don't know how this will all turn out, but I do believe that she was coerced and/or brainwashed by this man.  We should have stopped her when we had the opportunity - but that is water under the bridge now.  We have to deal with the present and are living day-to-day.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't do research to possibly find something that I have missed.  She also has given him our address, which I told her NEVER to do.  Because of what my sister experienced, I am afraid that he will suddenly show up at my front door or that some of his relatives who live here will track her down and things will get ugly. 

 

At this point, she has the full deck of cards, including both jokers, and could trump us at any time.  I am now in contact with a mental health institution to find out if there is a deprogramming person she could speak to.  I don't know where else to go........

 

 
November 14, 2007, 8:31 am CST

I do understand but..

  well first of all I do understand how the parents will feel about making such a decision. Letting their daughter live in a country that is that far and with an arabian man in general will just freak them out, thats because most non-Arabs if not all, had a wrong idea about arabs.

  Arabs are not monsters, and they are not terrorists or bad people as what other countries say & think, we are just people like you, we know how to love, how to respect, how to choose the right from the wrong, & we do respect marriage. In one post someone said that arabs consider their wives as possessions, well thats not right at all, I am an arabian woman, & I know that in our countries the women have the same rights as men for sure, and the man do respect what her wife wants & believes & they both share control and decisions about their life. We are open-minded, and educated and we know how a civilized person should think and treat others.

   You can't take a bad idea about all marriages between arabs and foreigns just because some relationships didn't succeed, well ofcurse not all marriages between couples of the same country succeded but still you can't generalize that all marriages will not succeed 2.

  As there are good and bad people in arabs, there are also bad and good people in other countries, you can't judge on all the people because of 10 or more that were bad while others are millions, As what we say: your hand fingers are not the same.

  Still I agree with some who respond and said that she is still young for marriage, and she need to be more mature to decide for a marriage in general,  because I think that this age is not suitable yet for a person to carry this big responsibility, and I don't usually agree that a girl marries a man that is much older, but she decided this, and I don't think that she did so, unless she was totally convinced that he is the one that she wants, I know that she is still young but she does know what is happiness and if she doesn't feel that she'll get the happiness that she wants, then why would she chose him?

  I agree that she'll have difficulties in adjusting to the new culture, but if she wasn't convinced then she'll not do so.

 
November 14, 2007, 8:46 am CST

Dumb, dumb young woman. Poor family.

Very, very sad.

 

Apparently Catherine is too young and too immature to have read up on ALL the many stories of in-love women who have gone to such places and learned THE HARD WAY (sometimes w/ the loss their children) that NO AMERICAN WOMAN should ever move to hostile, Arabic lands.

.

This woman is not only in a foreign, tough, war-torn country, but she is there at a time with ANTI-AMERCICAN hatred is being preached in the schools, mosques and neighborhoods.

 

To think that Catherine left "the land of the free" in the name of love and lust just shows her immaturity. She has most likely ALREADY learned the stark differences when it comes to voting, worshipping, speaking out, reading newspapers, etc. What a dumb, dumb child, but that should be expected when we are talking about young people. They think they know everything and they think they are invincable!

.

My prayers are with her and her family; they must be sickened with fear (and rightfully so).

 
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