During the most recent episode of 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way, viewers did not see Nicole at all.
But Season 4, Episode 13 did show Mahmoud as he continued to contemplate the future of his marriage.
Nicole wants to move to the United States to escape her misery. But she’d like the source of her misery — Mahmoud — to come with her. Her hope is that things will be different.
Mahmoud’s big fear is that things will be too different. And that’s why he goes to his big brother for advice.
On 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way Season 4, Episode 13, Mahmoud Elsherbiny went to his big brother, Ahmed, for advice.
It’s not just that Mahmoud is the “baby” of the family (despite being a grown 30-year-old man). Ahmed has actually lived abroad, having spent a couple of years in China. Oh, and Ahmed also has a foreign-born wife.
So he seems like the best candidate for Mahmoud to approach for advice. Why? Because Nicole wants to return to America … and, this time, she wants to bring him with her.
Ahmed’s first question is about whether this is even possible. After all, it’s not like one can spontaneously move internationally — at least, not to America.
Mahmoud tells him that he and Nicole expect to receive a spousal visa within months. Nicole applied before she moved to Egypt, as a “back up” to save their marriage in case she could not adapt to Egypt.
Clearly, Ahmed knew about this, but did not know the timeline. Truthfully, neither do Mahmoud or Nicole. They’re just guessing.
Openly, Ahmed advises his brother that it will be a difficult adjustment.
He makes it very clear that he’s not trying to discourage Mahmoud or to get him to tell Nicole “no.” Among other things, that might end his marriage on the spot.
But he wants him to be ready for things to be different. He knows that America is different from Egypt, but he might not imagine or predict a lot of specifics.
To the camera, however, Ahmed gets a little more blunt.
He says very directly that he does not “think Mahmoud should move to America.”
The thing is that Ahmed knows his brother very well. Mahmoud is extremely set in his ways, even finding Ahmed’s behavior scandalous at times. (Remember the tequila revelation?)
So if Mahmoud is rigid enough to dislike that his own brother drank tequila with his wife, Fatima, in China, how will he cope with America?
Well, Ahmed predicts that “he will be in shock” at the differences in culture and ways of doing things.
Mahmoud’s big concerns have been about acceptance as a foreigner, a brown man, a Muslim man. Given America’s entrenched history of systemic racism, those are reasonable. But just adapting to a country where other people make choices differently than he would could also be a hurdle.
Ahmed also touched upon an issue that might actually be more important. Namely, that Nicole’s problem isn’t really with Egypt.
Sure, she’s had trouble adapting to a lot of things. She finds the crowds and noise overwhelming and overstimulating. (Nicole has sensory issues — some that many viewers have found relatable)
But Ahmed asks if Mahmoud will continue to pick fights with Nicole over what clothing she wears … because that has been the primary source of turmoil in their marriage.
Mahmoud declares that there will be no difference in America, as he will still be a Muslim man in any country.
Though millions of Muslim women make different, distinct choices about how to dress, Mahmoud sees his specific idea of how Nicole should cover up to be universal.
Just a reminder: Ahmed and Fatima shared that she did not wear a hijab when she was in China, but began wearing it in Egypt. (She also confided to Nicole that she does not really like it)
Ahmed asks if Mahmoud and Nicole have reached an agreement on that.
Obviously, they have not.
Which really highlights Ahmed’s unspoken point: moving to America will just change the location of where they have arguments, not stop the arguments.
That does not mean that it’s a terrible idea.
(Well … them remaining married certainly seems to be, for all of the reasons that came up in this conversation and more)
It just means that it’s not a magical solution to all of their problems. But it might be a good thing for Mahmoud to see Nicole’s world after she has spent years trying to adapt to his. It could help them compromise.