RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The course of true love never did run smooth.While applicable the world over, Shakespeare’s words are particularly true in swiftly changing Saudi Arabia.Girls and boys are educated separately, and workplaces that employ women are nominally segregated.
“Our culture here, they make love a sin,” Waleed said.
Because sex and romantic love remain highly controversial subjects in the kingdom, interviewees spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity, and pseudonyms have been used.
Secrecy is the norm, particularly when it comes to sex.
“The elephant in the room is that everybody engages in it, but nobody talks about it,” says Lulwa, an aspiring filmmaker who wears bright red lipstick and lets her headscarf slip off when she thinks she can get away with it.
Long forbidden, dating has arrived in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom with some Saudis meeting and marrying without the help of relatives.