The Jordanian Spinster

I am really enjoying the ideation workshop training of the RFC. Yesterday I had to stay awake till 2 in the morning in order to re-write my first act and coming up with materials for my second act.

One of the advices the lecturer gave us is making our main character writing a letter for us before writing the script. Yesterday I was so busy and ignored the advice. Today I will try to do it here on my blog.

Dear Observer,
I am so sick of my life. No matter how much I do, I am never good enough to society. So what if I am a single woman in my mid 30’s? I do have my own career, and I work as hard as anybody else. I have even been a good support for my parents for the past couple of years while my siblings all got married and moved on with their new families and their new responsibilities.

Is it my fault that Mr. right didn’t come and propose to me? Is it my fault that I abide to the social restrictions of not being a proactive woman and run after men to secure a future husband? Is it my fault that i refused getting married to the few men – I felt nothing to – and which came with their mothers to evaluate how good of a woman I am?

And now, mother says that she is worried on me, worried to a degree of pushing me towards marrying a 60 years old man who has only buried his wife 40 days ago! Men can’t live without a woman! Is that an explanation a sane mother give to her daughter?! and am I that old where my chances of finding a man to love has shrunk to the degree of being asked to appreciate getting a shadow of a man?! A shadow that is better than the shadow of my room’s wall as in the arabic proverb!

And then there is this motherly need inside of me which makes me cry whenever I see a little kid. I became obsessed with my little nephews and nieces! How fair it is to live the rest of my life without hearing someone calling me mother! I can’t get custody of a child because I am single. Do I have to prostitute myself to a face husband in order to become a mother?!

and would I end up spending my old days lonely as a bitter woman knowing that my only sin has been being true to myself and to my family!

When will Amman start respecting her daughters? When will women become completly valuable for themselves without having to have a man by their side! When can I take control of my own life without the interferance of everysingle person I know?!

I protected their honor. I played with their rules. I worked hard in silence to make everyone happy, and yet never been good enough. Enough is enough, and the virgin 35 years old bride refused to be lead to her doom. The blood I have saved for my wedding night will cover my wedding gown, it will cover the mountains of Amman, and the scream of a spinster would ring in your ears my lovely city for I sacrifice myself for you to wake up and be gentle on my sisters




  1. Wow…this is a really strong message and covers an issue that is really very real to many women all over the Middle East.I’d love to see the script once you are finished 🙂


  2. (skipping grammer and spelling) hey thats some nice writing, only one thing that i was missing is that i thought full heartedly that she would go throw the 5 stages of grief. it started with denial, and ended with anger… but in the middle i was looking for some self blame there… would have loved to see some 😀kudos


  3. This is a sad reality of the societyBut why can’t a single woman have the custody of a child? If he’s hers of course. Other wise, she’s not fit to be a single mother of an adopted child. Nor is any single manI do sympathise with women who go through life like this. But there is something to be said here. If the Men, weren’t very forgiving, then it’s probably a good idea to find one, and make him proper. I’m sorry to say this, and I’m still very sympathetic. If you can’t find someone to propose to you, propose to someone!How again is the whole city to blame for this tragedy? I think this is something that we need to think about. Through life many have chances and many waste chances and I’m sure, there is someone out there .. for everyoneBut what can I say..I wish you luck, salma ..


  4. “I protected their honor. I played with their rules.”The blood I have saved for my wedding night will cover my wedding gown, it will cover the mountains of Amman, and the scream of a spinster would ring in your ears my lovely city for I sacrifice myself for you to wake up and be gentle on my sisters”amaaaazing, and the script is one of the best..the never ending struggle btwn culture, tradition, and modern taboos..girls dont know where to look anymore..can’t wait to hear the ending..


  5. Ok, here is what I think. I don’t know anything about literature or script making, and maybe I am missing the point, but I have a few remarks about the image that Miss Salma reflects.At the beginning, she starts to complain… She tries to justify herself by saying: <>“I do have my own career, and I work as hard as anybody else.”<> – Which seems to me as a cheap attempt to gain respect of others.While she attempts to criticize society [I agree they are valid points], she also attempting to justify her failure.For example she says: <>“I protected their honor. I played with their rules.”<> – Here it is seems that she does not believe in those “rules”. What she seem to be trying to do, is to play the guilt game. She is saying that she played by the rules, and thus deserves something in return… Trying to make others feel guilty, because her cheap attempt to gain their approval failed!Every person has had their own share of disappointments in life… I know I have had mine… But it is important that we don’t start shifting the blame! Everyone makes some choices, and lives the consequences of those choices. She is no exception!If her hymen isn’t so valuable to her, why did she hold on to it?! She decides to keep her hymen intact, and then blames others that her hymen is intact, when it was she who has chosen to keep it intact!I know I’ve been slightly negative in my review. I applaud you for coming to this sensitive social issue. But as I always look at any social\personal issue in our human life, running away from responsibility and shifting the blame isn’t the solution!


  6. Fadi, I like it, very well reflected from the female side.DM….spoken like a guy, the gender in the position of power. As if the choices were balanced? As if the other was an option?? Someitmes families force the girls to marry at this age because then everyone will talk that she has ‘done something’.I have a friend , abuse/incest victim, who is being forced to leave this country by her own mother ‘for the family’s sake’. Forced out of her family because of what her brother did to her virginity. While he stays here, enjoying prosperity and success. I hope he can’t sleep at night.


  7. anonymous, thank youarima, I will try posting the script when i finish, it is a bit long for a a blog (11 page) but I will try to cut into page 🙂no_angel, Salma is not good ins english :P.What would she blame herself for? Missing a lost opportunity? 🙂Qwaider, would you consider to marry a woman who proposed for you herself?and if yes, how many other arab men you think would consider it?She blames the city for being hard on women. The city is a symbol of our society at largeSuzan, hey, your script is wonderful as well. If you like send me the letter of your character to you and let us discuss it here 🙂DM, yes she is looking for someone to blame, but it is hard to blame her either. I understand what you are talking about, and maybe that works for you, refusing to blame others and take actions to protect your rights, but people are not always as strong as you and some do have stronger pressure than they can handle. Kinzi, exactly, some people really dont have real choice. I am sorry for the girl you know 😦


  8. This discussion has inspired me to write a < HREF="" REL="nofollow">post<> to answer Kinzi’s response. The posts says my opinion [in a strongly worded way] – Actually my post is more of a political statement than an answer to this discussion.One this that want to say here. I think that the excuse of gender inequality is itself a way of shifting the blame… Its seems like some women like to think of themselves as inferior, to release themselves of the responsibility of taking action.No one is here to claim that life is fair… Unfairness is a fact of life… And if a person chooses to sit down and cry about the misfortune of his position, nothing will ever change!!I agree that what has happened to this abuse victim you mentioned is gross and unfair…. But as some people say: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!”… She can make this incident ruin her life, by crying about the unfairness of the situation forever… Or she can standup on her feet, stronger than ever before and make a difference! It the latter choice that I stand by…Kinzi says: <>“I hope he can’t sleep at night.”<>And Observer says: <>“I am sorry for the girl you know”<>I say: “I hope she stands up on her feet and face the world!”Seeking revenge, or sympathizing isn’t a solution… What matters the most is her recovery, and she is the one who can save herself.The greatest skill of all skills is being able to see the light in the darkness… The way you speak of the girl, is as if she is a lost case… That her life ended by that incident… But maybe this is the time she realizes the hypocrisy of the world around her and start to truly see! She needs to see the light in the darkness, and when she does, she can walk straight at any time of the day, morning and night.


  9. “I do sympathise with women who go through life like this. But there is something to be said here. If the Men, weren’t very forgiving, then it’s probably a good idea to find one, and make him proper. I’m sorry to say this, and I’m still very sympathetic. If you can’t find someone to propose to you, propose to someone!”what we get is sympathyyyyyy!!!


  10. DM, Qwaider, that is cool, Salma inspired too posts 🙂DM, you provide good solution, but some people can’t see it, or are not strong enought o take it. Shall we blame them?Qwaider, ofcourse there is social pressure on men as well to get married, but it isnt as disgraceful as for women. Unmarried men have still their freedom to do what they want to in a male dominanted society. Women do always have more restrictions.Arablady, it would be a good idea to propose, but how man arab women you think are ready to do so?


  11. As the Chinese proverb says [again 🙂 ] : Get a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach him to fish, and you feed him everyday.Blaming them isn’t going to do any good. First a person should understand the problem, next they should understand the solution, and finally be responsible to do the solution.We can save someone, but if they don’t become responsible for their own welfare, they will fall again and again, and one of those times, no-one would be there to help them!


  12. I wanted to hug this woman. I did not realise that being single was such a stigma in jordna + I was sickened at a- a man looking for a wife 40 days after his first dies! b- at the mother pushing his proposal on her DAUGHTER who is 25 years younger than him! no WAY shocking.I do agree with DM, her statement that she played by <>their<> rules means she does not believe these rules are valid… ruled you beleive are valid leave no bitter aftertaste when u follow them. But we dont know what rules she refers to, they may be rules no longer applicable to today’s world. who knows. Good Luck to her.


  13. DM, i agree with what you say as a solution, i never said otherwise, but then again how many people you try to help and then you fail because they cant help themselves?loolt, yes, unfortunatly there is a big social pressure on both men and women to get married. It is sad. The rules she was talking about are the restrictions of society on women’s freedom in Jordan like for instance having certain wearing and behaviour code. Not having a boyfriend, not staying late at night, not not not. A lot of stuff that helped in her reaching to this point. She may have believed in some of those rules before and maybe she still now but it doesnt matter, the taught her what to believe and not to believe in.


  14. Sounds like my so called life! i often ask myself what is this feeling in me i’m almost 30 not married all my friends are married with the kids house cars so on and so on. I ask myself is something wrong with me is that what i really want???ummmmmm sighhhhmarie


  15. Whats the deal? I need and explanation of why women will change everything about them self to get a husband they save there life for the one basically by not doing what they enjoy so as once the groom asks about her she has a clean slate. I think our society really needs to get over this point cause its crushing a lot of women sitting in there rooms hoping and wishing for the right man her friends husbands friends at the next wedding or the next client at work? this is the how it is i am afraid…..being single is not a happy option what happened to women building a strong single personality? many have achieved there career goal and work hard as you mentioned but there longing for a man in there life’s makes them weak i see it as a weakness not all men have a magical wand that will turn a women’s life into heavenly cacon having the man is social acceptance so she can go through life being accepted by others in society even if her day to day life is a nightmare she gave in and did what is expected my question is why? am i selfish that i do not think of only myself being with a partner takes up ure time and is extremely restricting what is the hurry i am for one not ready to give into this but as happy as i am for my friends it saddens me that so many have settled for what came there way? as they say i will love him with time….some not as bad as others i have crossed out 4 friends from my social scene as they will no longer party one i had to actually remove all her pics today at her request from my facebook though some had group pictures of lovely occasions and my happy memories but i did it as i don’t want to stop in her way? i don’t see how if she wants to give in why should i? anyway it tore my heart as i deleted each pic as if she is going to be erased from life …….this is the second friend to place this request in the past few months if they are ashamed of there past in front of there future husbands why be there in the first place?? well i can only but support them but i know i will never give in? how can girls drop everything in a few months and go leave the country for the sack of being with a man they most likely barley know this has been the case with most for the sack of being married!@#% i am so frustrated as my dad put it ohm dear you must be jealous inside that how my opinions reflected?when all i want is for women to stand up for who they are and not be afraid to be single and do what is right for them and not what others want of them 🙂 Dolphine /Jomana


  16. Dolphine, :), yes Jomana, I dont understand it either. You women should stand up to yourself and own up to your actions. It is really sad what is happening in our society. There is a lot of pressure on single women to get married as if they cant stand up by themselves! Well I really wish the voice of Salma reach out and her blood to cover amman so that everybody LISTENS! Have you read the script? 🙂


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