Renee's Reviews > Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

Princess by Jean Sasson
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Nov 25, 07

bookshelves: bookclub, biography, islam
Recommended for: anyone interested in role of women in Islam
Read in October, 2007

Princess, by Jean Sasson is the life story of a Saudi princess as told to an American journalist. It details the dysfunction, hypocrisy and imposed inertia of the royal family in general, and depravity of some members in particular. Most of all, it describes the gilded but treacherous cage in which royal women are forced to live, and the vulnerability of all Saudi & foreign worker women in the Kingdom.

On a personal note, if I thought the Saudis were a bunch of troglodyte degenerates before, this book only reinforced that impression. There are some passages in the book that I’ll never forget although I’d just as soon purge those scenes from my brain. Princess “Sultana” (through Sasson) tells a compelling story and there’s plenty of sympathy to be had there. Some criticize Sultana’s narrative, though, saying that Saudi Arabia isn’t like that anymore and her story doesn’t apply to all Saudi women, blah, blah, blah. I say she was just telling her own story as a royal woman living under those specific rules. She also states that if change is going to happen, it would be provoked by middle class women, thus declaring that there are differences in society dynamics. Definitely worth a read – to get an idea of this particular Saudi’s life – and to better appreciate one’s own.
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Renee Wow, "Sultana," you are so articulate./


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