“Going anywhere outside of the compound would risk being deported.

We initially got married so we could actually date properly.” Kuwait, like Saudi Arabia, is an Islamic society, and when Desert Girl first arrived in 1996, she says that no one would ever date out in public—though that rule didn’t apply to foreigners and married couples.

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Though young people no longer sneak around inordinately, she says, the concept of dating is still new.

Older generations (which includes those in their 30s and 40s, she says) still prefer that couples date under supervision or over the phone.

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Being caught alone with a man who isn’t kin can put a woman in some serious hot water.

Her reputation and marriage prospects could be out the window.

Another, a 29 year-old British expat who is Christian, married and has lived in Saudi Arabia for two years, says that she and her husband had to sneak around.

“Before I was married, I only saw my husband on the one-kilometer-square compound I lived on,” she wrote.

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Men and women would enter and exit separately and travel in separate cars.“Now, things have changed dramatically,” writes Desert Girl.