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La la 05-11-2004 07:34 AM

Bahrain: Sheikha Meriam bint Abdullah Al-Khalifa ("The Princess and the Marine")
Anyone who knows what happened to Sheikha Mariam al-Khalifa from Bahrain who went back to her country after her marriage to an American soldier had soured? She was making a big deal about that she could be killed if she went back. I have not been able to find any articles about her after that.

Layla 05-11-2004 08:08 AM

I just heard that she been pardoned by the king.

La la 05-11-2004 10:35 AM

Good for her! So she wont go back to her husband or ex husband now.

Layla 05-11-2004 08:13 PM

No idea. Did they separate because they had to, or because she wanted to?

madonna23 05-11-2004 08:17 PM

They separated because she wanted her husband (the American) to find a job and work while he wanted to go to school. (He couldn't join the Army because he had been dismissed due to marriage). I read this a while ago in a article...

Did you guys see the movie?

Layla 05-11-2004 08:24 PM

Thanks madonna. No I didn't see the movie but have heard about it. Anyway, I think it was a mismatch from the beginning and it was bound to fail. Sad....

bluetortuga 05-12-2004 12:35 AM

Has Sheikha Mariam been seen publicly in Bahrain since her return? Maybe she has been privately liquidated and the Royal Family is covering it all up. I don't see how she could marry into any other arisotcratic Bahraini family after causing such a "scandal". No Bahraini prince would marry her because most of them want virgin brides; and even if there was prince who was interested her bride price would a bargain because she's tarnished from this conservative society's point of view. If she's still alive, her best bets are looking for another foreigner.

sommone 05-12-2004 04:41 AM

I remember seeing princess mariam on Oprah. That is where I first saw her story. I didn't know about the movie, nor did I know of her divorce. Personally, I think those honor killings are horrible. If a family has been shamed, don't murder someone...kick them out. Not that I approve of kicking someone out because of a mistake, we all make them, but don't kill someone. I reading in the Jordan Times where several women have been murdered because they supposedly "shamed the family". It is just a little too extreme for me.

Layla 05-12-2004 05:05 PM

La la, I assume they just attended swedish language courses in Sweden (if at all).

This is such an unfortunate story, it breaks my heart.

Back to Sheikha Mariam.... I doubt very much anything "bad" will happen to her in Bahrain. The Bahrainis are generally very different than the rest of the Gulf people. They are not as conservative and definitely not as tribal. They come from an older civilisation and have become more cosmopolitan due to their interaction with other nations through trade etc. They are very educated and hard working (they were attending universities in cairo, Beirut and Baghdad as early as the 1930's). You even meet guys with Masters degrees at gas stations working as attendants... Likewise, their Sheikhs are most (if not all) university (and respectable universities) educated. Their princesses come out in public, work with the mass, rarely refer to themselves as Sheikhas (they use their first names without the title) and are not forcibly covered (it's their choice). After this long lecture, what I am trying to say is that I doubt the Sheikha will be mis-treated if she has been granted a royal pardon.

Gita 05-12-2004 05:57 PM

What is Sheikha Mariam doing with her life at the moment? Has she gone back to her University studies that she left behind when she went to the USA?

Lalla Meriem 05-13-2004 09:04 AM

Meriem Johnson (she wasn't called Sheika anymore after her marriage) divorced her husband and returned to her family. The main reason was that he could not keep her in the style to which she was accustomed. He actually wasn't discharged from the Army he was merely demoted to Pfc, though, his career was finished. They were living at a base at the time of their divorce.

sommone 05-14-2004 12:53 AM

Well I'm sure she had to have known that when she married him that on a military salary, he wouldn't be able to keep her in the style to which she was accustomed. If I remember correctly when she appeared on Oprah, she claimed to have loved the man, and her parents forbid her from seeing him. I think that was down right silly to divorce him for that, but then it was down right silly to marry him knowing that he wouldn't be able to provide what she deemed properly for her. I imagine Oprah would have a field day if she was to do an update show on her.

kcc 06-26-2004 12:24 PM

does anyone have any info on this bahraini princess. she ran away with an american soldier a few years ago. i think she is divorced now. a movie was made about her life. thanks

La la 06-26-2004 12:40 PM

Here you have a link to the thread we dedicated to her:

Mariam al-Khalifa

kcc 06-26-2004 01:20 PM

thanks. women from the gulf states are exceptionaly pretty,no wonder the men are so gorgeous.

cd_1 06-26-2004 01:32 PM

can we see a picture, please?

La la 06-26-2004 01:40 PM

Mariam al Khalifa with her Johnson (& Johnson)

QueenB 06-26-2004 06:14 PM

They divorced and she went back to Bahrain.. who are her parents?

Humera 11-30-2004 06:46 PM

The Bahraini Princess and the Marine
Princess and former Marine file for divorce

Tuesday, November 30, 2004 Posted: 3:38 PM EST (2038 GMT)

Meriam Al-Khalifa Johnson and Jason Johnson talk to a reporter in this January 2001 file photo.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AP) -- The five-year marriage is over between a former Marine and a young Bahraini royal whose story provided the basis for a made-for-television movie, "The Princess and the Marine."

"It was what she wanted," Jason Johnson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal of the divorce he and Meriam Al-Khalifa filed for November 17, the day after their fifth wedding anniversary. It calls them "incompatible in marriage."

Johnson, who had sneaked his beloved into the United States and was court-martialed over the relationship, cast the tale as a "Romeo and Juliet" love affair that disintegrated amid Las Vegas nightlife, opposition by his wife's family, and at least one death threat.

The story started in January 1999 when Johnson was stationed in Bahrain, an island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Al-Khalifa is one of five daughters of Sheik Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, a distant relative of Bahrain's king, Sheik Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.

They met at a mall and fell in love, though he was a Mormon and she was a Muslim, forbidden to marry a non-Muslim.

Her family ordered an end to the romance. They continued to secretly exchange letters through a store employee at the mall.

Johnson spirited Al-Khalifa to the United States when his tour of duty ended in November 1999, using forged documents and a disguise including a New York Yankees baseball cap.

Johnson was court-martialed for his role, demoted and discharged from the Marines. Al-Khalifa sought political asylum in the United States.

The couple married in Las Vegas on November 16, 1999. He was 23. She was 19.

The story made headlines. Besides the TV movie, the couple made the rounds of television talk shows. They rented an apartment in Las Vegas and lived off money from the movie. Johnson got a job as a parking valet on the Las Vegas Strip.

He described constant tension with Al-Khalifa's family, and said the FBI once told him they'd intercepted a man who said he'd been paid $500,000 to assassinate her.

Johnson said Al-Khalifa plunged into Las Vegas nightlife, partying with her friends and ignoring him.

About a year ago, Johnson said, Al-Khalifa left him. He lives now in Las Vegas with his stepmother.

"Deep down inside, she knows that I loved her more than anything in the world," Johnson said. "I can say I enjoyed every minute I spent with her."

La la 11-30-2004 07:12 PM

Thanks for the article! I'm still a little unclear about what happened between the two of them. I was under the impression that they were separated since years back. I also recall reading she went back to Bahrain in the wake of 9/11 and someone told me she was 'pardoned' by the King. What a pity it didn't work out.

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