Forget infidelity or abuse for one Saudi woman being stored on her husband's mobile phone as "Guantanamo," after the notorious American prison, is enough of a reason to end a 17-year marriage.
The unnamed woman, 30, reportedly called her husband on his mobile phone, which he had forgotten at home, and saw the word "Guantanamo" appear on the screen, Saudi's al-Watan newspaper reported.
The furious wife, who lives in Jeddah, immediately filed for divorce and argued that the nickname shows her husband is a tyrannical person that she could no longer live with despite 17 years of marriage.
The husband, however, defended himself by claiming that the nickname was not about how he sees her, but rather to maintain his own privacy.
“I don’t want people sitting around me to know that this is my wife calling,” he told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat.
The controversial Guantanamo Bay detention center, managed by the U.S. military in Cuba, became the symbol of torture and oppression in George W. Bush's "war on terrorism" launched after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
I don’t want people sitting around me to know that this is my wife calling
Husband defends himself
For other Saudi husbands it is common practice to create alias' for their wives on their phones in a bid to secure their privacy.
Saudi-resident Khaled al-Maliki chose the nickname “criminal” for his wife because he says she stresses him out and calls him all the time to ask where he is.
Maliki also cites privacy as the reason for giving his wife the nickname.
“Sometimes my friends use my mobile phone or might be next to me when she calls,” he told Asharq al-Awsat. “I don’t want anyone to know my wife’s phone number.”
Khaled Omar said he stored his wife “salary” because "she has no mercy when it comes to spending.”
Abu Sultan decided to store his wife under a common Arabic man's name “Saeed al-Hindi” so that people will not know his wife is calling.
But for Dr. Mohamed al-Motawaa, professor of psychology at the al-Imam Mohamed bin Saud Islamic University, these names are provocative and insulting.
“These names indicate the type of relationship between husband and wife,” he told Asharq al-Awsat.
“These names are like a bullet aiming at the woman’s heart, especially if the kids hear them,” he said. “This is has a negative impact not only on the wife, but also on the kids when they grow up.”
Sometimes my friends use my mobile phone or might be next to me when she calls. I don’t want anyone to know my wife’s phone number