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Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia
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message 1: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
This book is the true story about Sultana, a Saudi Arabian Princess who was a princess and extremely wealthy yet a prisoner to her husband, father and sons. The synopsis is amazingly intriguing and it's an award winning book. If you would like to join me on this journey to the Middle East please confirm below. We will start December first. And those of you who are Kindle lovers, its under $3 on Amazon!


message 2: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Great! I read the beginning pages. I can't wait to start it.


Beverly | 1078 comments I also can buddy read with you.


message 4: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Dec 01, 2013 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Tashi and Beverly, have the two of you received your copy yet? I have started already and if you haven't began let me tell you, it's gonna be a good read! I'm only on chapter two but already its great! Below this one I'm gonna start a reading scheduled for us. And after we get finish each session of the schedule, we will discuss what we've read so far. Does that sound good to you ladies?


message 5: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
12/01-12/08 Chapters 1-5

12/09-12/17 chapters 6-10

12/18-12/25 chapters 11-15

12/26-12/31 chapters 16-20

of course we can always adjust it to the speed of the discussion.


message 6: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Well that's great to hear. Yes I read the introduction on Amazon before I purchased it and it has me very intrigued about life in general for the Middle Eastern women. I think this well be a great discussion as well.


Beverly | 1078 comments The schedule is fine with me. I too am through the second chapter. My first reading exposure which centered around the lives of women in Saudi Arabia was reading the trilogy of books by Zoe Ferraris - Finding Nouf, City of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers.
I am interested in seeing what is different, what is the same from what I have read.


message 8: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "The schedule is fine with me. I too am through the second chapter. My first reading exposure which centered around the lives of women in Saudi Arabia was reading the trilogy of books by Zoe Ferrari..."


I haven't heard of those. I will definitely have to add it to my tbr. This book is completely peaking my interested in their culture.


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Beverly wrote: "The schedule is fine with me. I too am through the second chapter. My first reading exposure which centered around the lives of women in Saudi Arabia was reading the trilogy of book..."

The books are mysteries and they use that to examine the culture and customs especially as the culture struggles to adjust to the challenges of being "modern".


message 10: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "The books are mysteries and they use that to examine the culture and customs especially as the culture struggles to adjust to the challenges of being "modern"..."

Yes, I am going to add it now! Thanks for the link!


Beverly | 1078 comments Question???

Do we post our comments based on the reading schedule date?


message 12: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Well you can post anytime but if it's before the scheduled date please post any spoilers. But I'm on chapter ten so I'm ready to discuss. I have so many kindle notes for our discussion!


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Well you can post anytime but if it's before the scheduled date please post any spoilers. But I'm on chapter ten so I'm ready to discuss. I have so many kindle notes for our discussion!"

I am about at the same spot. What are your thoughts so far?


message 14: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
It's amazing how different cultures are from ours. I had no idea the suffering women went through in Saudi Arabia.


Beverly | 1078 comments While I am aware of women conditions in Saudi Arabia from fiction, nonfiction, documentaries, and lectures and am aware of the specifics mentioned in the book, this is still a heartbreaking read that invokes different emotions when reading. I feel anger that girls/women suffer mental/physical/spiritual abuse at the whim of men. I feel frustration that one human being can treat another human being as a subhuman (even family members).

But a couple of thoughts that I have while reading (I am at the half way point):
- The contradiction in behavior in some of the characters behaviors - I will be more specific when others have read further. But it does show the complexities in the female/male relationship and there is more gray than the issues being black/white

- transition to modern society is not a smooth road - how does one preserve one's culture that fits into a modern world sensibilities - how do you take a "tribe" mentality and evolve into a more national identity that respects all of its citizen

- I wonder what Saudi Arabia would be like if not for the oil (and the money/wealth). Would other countries be more vocal about the human rights violations

- I wonder how much not wanting to change is crowd behavior, those with the power not wanting to give up or share this power.

- I believe that people know when they are doing evil or being evil and do not buy the rationale they use (religion, cultural, ethnic).


message 16: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
The contradiction in behavior in some of the characters behaviors - I will be more specific when others have read further. But it does show the complexities in the female/male relationship and there is more gray than the issues being black/white

I'm not sure of what parts you were referring to, but instantly I thought of (view spoiler).

how do you take a "tribe" mentality and evolve into a more national identity that respects all of its citizen

I think when you take away freedom of religion, opinion, and individuality it's impossible which would explain why not much has changes over the years in the Middle East. They know that giving people the freedom of self-worth and individuality would wipe out mind control immediately.

I believe that people know when they are doing evil or being evil and do not buy the rationale they use (religion, cultural, ethnic).

I think people have used religion to their advantage for centuries. People use religion as a sense of hope. A way of believing that their is indeed a life after that will guarentee a better ending than as is known today. With that being said, it is easily manipulated by corruption. If there are three ways to control the mind of the weaker, it would be religion, money and education.


message 17: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Dec 08, 2013 06:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Here are some discussion topics for chapters 1-5

1. Saudi Arabian Slavery What are your thoughts on Saudi Arabian slavery? She mentions that Sudanese and Nigerian families would sale there children into slavery so that they could afford to return home. She described it as being different than American Slavery. She seems to accept slavery in her country as a positive. Do you think it was so different or is she in fact a product of her upbringing? What is your opinion of the Sudanese and Nigerian familes selling their children into slavery?

2. Arranged Marriages It's pretty well-known that the Saudis people have arranged marriages. Many times they never meet their spouse to be until the wedding day. Women in he Middle East can marry as young as 8 years old to much older men at that. She also talked about how marriages are arranged for political reasons as well as financial and bussiness deals. What are your thoughts on the subject?

3. Sara's Wedding Day "There was a low hum as the guests whispered their approval of her appropriately tortured deameanor. After all, a young virgin bride should look the part: frightened to the core of her being." Sara was tranquilized during her wedding ceremony by both her own father and soon to be husband. What are your thoughts of her forced marriage that she strongly disagreed with? How does American weddings differ from Middle Eastern and what are you thoughts of the two?


4. Womens Rights "In Saudi Arabia, a man must write a letter granting permission for the females in his family to travel" and "My thoughts drifted to Sara and the shocking realization that birds and beasts were freer than my sister." My goodness it sound so much like American slavery! This gives a very good outlook on how women are viewed and treated in Saudi Arabia. What are your thoughts of womens rights in the Middle East and how they are treated?

5. Honor Killings....honor killings is the act in which a parent or husband can kill a woman for several "moral" reasons, adultery, being raped, embarrassing the family name, accusation of immoral behavior. It is something that is still pretty popular in Middle Eastern countries. What are your thoughts?

6. Sultana's bittersweet revenge, "One sin had so outweighed the other that they ended up canceling each other out." In that quotes Sultana speaks of the revenge she seeked on her brother Ali. She got him a slap on the wrist in some trouble for "contraband" found in his room. She didn't get the sweet revenge she hoped for because it ended up being more serious than she anticipated. What are your thought?

7. Sultana's Independence "I made a vow to myself that I would be the master of my life, no matter what actions I would have to take or pain I would have to endure." What I like about Sultana is she is naturally independent and free spirited. Even from a young age through mischief she showed her independence. She was definitely quite the rebel. What are the benefits and tribulations that Sultana may deal with because of her strong willedness and stubborn side? Do you think she is brave or arrogant? A hero or a troublemaker?


Beverly | 1078 comments Kisha -

While I agree with your contradiction the ones that I was thinking about were:

(view spoiler)

The one was (view spoiler)


Beverly | 1078 comments Saudi Arabian Slavery.

When talking about slavery often times there is the statement about the differences in a society that permits slavery and a slavery society.

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/a...

I did not get the impression that Sultana "approved" of slavery. I also could see that this was not necessarily an issue on her radar screen (until she got older and had a more global view of issues) and at this point it was based on what she saw going on in her household.


message 20: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Saudi Arabian Slavery.

When talking about slavery often times there is the statement about the differences in a society that permits slavery and a slavery society.

http://www.theatlantic.com/pers..."


Thanks for the link it was very informative.


message 21: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
1. Saudi Arabian Slavery What are your thoughts on Saudi Arabian slavery? She mentions that Sudanese and Nigerian families would sale there children into slavery so that they could afford to return home. She described it as being different than American Slavery. She seems to accept slavery in her country as a positive. Do you think it was so different or is she in fact a product of her upbringing? What is your opinion of the Sudanese and Nigerian familes selling their children into slavery?

By defition slavery is The state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household. But the practice of slavery from the Sudanese/Nigerians to the Saudi Arabian is a new kind of cruelty. It is where a parent sales their child. I couldn't imagine for any reason being able to give up my child to be a prisoner to another family. Sultana says in this book ,"Once in my faither's care, the slaves were not bought and sold in the manner of the American slaves; they participated in our home life nad in my father's businesses as if they were thei own. The children were our playmates and felt no compulsion to servitude. In 1962, when our government freed the slaves, our Sudanese family actually cried and begged my father to keep them. They live in my father's home to this day."

While the type of slavery may be different. They are still bound to this family to work free of wages. Even in American slavey it's been reported that younger children play freely with their masters children knowing nothing of slavery until the proper age. Also, the family begging to stay in the care of Sultana's father, I'm not convinced in seeing things the way Sultana sees them. I believe she's leaving out main ingrediences. For instance, what would these Sudanese slaves do once freed? How will they eat? Where will they live? There is a reason they want/need to stay and live as a slave other than loving to be slaved by their master. That is not to insult Sultana's outlook. I just believe she picks and chooses when to believe in in freedom and rights. I believe in some ways she's a product of her upbringing.

Arranged Marriages It's pretty well-known that the Saudis people have arranged marriages. Many times they never meet their spouse to be until the wedding day. Women in he Middle East can marry as young as 8 years old to much older men at that. She also talked about how marriages are arranged for political reasons as well as financial and bussiness deals. What are your thoughts on the subject?

I struggled with knowing that a child young than my oldest can be married off by there parents. Reading this book, it is hard not to be opinionated and judgemental (which I try to avoid in every book that I read). I think it's insane.

Sara's Wedding Day "There was a low hum as the guests whispered their approval of her appropriately tortured deameanor. After all, a young virgin bride should look the part: frightened to the core of her being." Sara was tranquilized during her wedding ceremony by both her own father and soon to be husband. What are your thoughts of her forced marriage that she strongly disagreed with? How does American weddings differ from Middle Eastern and what are you thoughts of the two?

Here it is the day that is supposed to be the best day of her life (according to American traditions) and she is being drugged so that she will cooperate in the WORST day of her life! I think we as Americans really take for granted how good we have it in comparisons to other countries.

Womens Rights "In Saudi Arabia, a man must write a letter granting permission for the females in his family to travel" and "My thoughts drifted to Sara and the shocking realization that birds and beasts were freer than my sister." My goodness it sound so much like American slavery! This gives a very good outlook on how women are viewed and treated in Saudi Arabia. What are your thoughts of womens rights in the Middle East and how they are treated?

Sultana refers to women especially wives, as slaves and prisoners often in this book. It is definitely a form of slavery because the woman has no choice but to marry and cannot divorce unless requested and granted by the husband.

Honor Killings....honor killings is the act in which a parent or husband can kill a woman for several "moral" reasons, adultery, being raped, embarrassing the family name, accusation of immoral behavior. It is something that is still pretty popular in Middle Eastern countries. What are your thoughts?

This topic is very new to me. I sort of became obsessed with it and did heavy research on the subject. I am truly going into a culture shock while reading this book. I think this is a country that I will never want to visit even if were possible. But the honor killings are no worst than what people are killed for here in America. I think what gives you the shock factor is that there is rarely any consequences for it and most times is looked on as honorable.

Sultana's bittersweet revenge, "One sin had so outweighed the other that they ended up canceling each other out." In that quotes Sultana speaks of the revenge she seeked on her brother Ali. She got him a slap on the wrist in some trouble for "contraband" found in his room. She didn't get the sweet revenge she hoped for because it ended up being more serious than she anticipated. What are your thought?

Ali was a different kind of evil. I think she should have relished in her revenge. I know that's terrible. But a woman in Saudi Arabia has little to smile about. That would have been one of my reasons of smiling.

Sultana's Independence "I made a vow to myself that I would be the master of my life, no matter what actions I would have to take or pain I would have to endure." What I like about Sultana is she is naturally independent and free spirited. Even from a young age through mischief she showed her independence. She was definitely quite the rebel. What are the benefits and tribulations that Sultana may deal with because of her strong willedness and stubborn side? Do you think she is brave or arrogant? A hero or a troublemaker?

I love her sense of freedom even in a world when womens freedom is taboo. She's not afraid to speak her mind or rebel. Even when she is afraid it comes by nature for her to speak up or act out of rebellion. I think her self-proclaimed independence was brave.


Beverly | 1078 comments Womens Rights - What rights?? They do not exist as the life a woman lives is dependent upon her father, brother, husband or the man who is "in charge" of their life. (male guardianship)

While there has been progress and women have gained some rights it does not mean that the abuse has stopped or those who want to deny women rights do not find a way around it. And without skills or being able to get a job women are still dependent on the men in their life.


Beverly | 1078 comments Honor Killings - This is just inhumane! And the killing methods are so horrific as illustrated in this book.
But a sad part is all it takes is one relative/someone to sound the alarm and then even if the majority of the family does not one to do it - they feel bounded as their social/cultural framework value the group not the individual.


Beverly | 1078 comments Sultana's Independence - Yes, Sultana was brave to seek control over her life, especially when she knew what the consequences could be. But it is often those who defy help to cause a spark to help others to speak out. She took risks and while she always did not get what she wanted she was able to express how she was feeling and got some control over her life.


message 25: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Dec 08, 2013 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Honor Killings - This is just inhumane! And the killing methods are so horrific as illustrated in this book.
But a sad part is all it takes is one relative/someone to sound the alarm and then even ..."


Wikipedia tells a case of honor killing where a girl was killed by her father because he found a love song dedicated to her so he suspected that she had a boyfriend. Inhumane is right! It's sad how many cases there are of honor killing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_ki...

Even facebook has a "like" page for banning honor killing in the Middle East. https://www.facebook.com/honor.killings It amazes me how so much can be going on around the world and you have no idea. Right now we have the freedom to surf the web and discuss books or whaterver it is that we are doing right now. Someone else is in fear of there life! Sad to say the least.

Womens Rights - What rights?? Touche!


They do not exist as the life a woman lives is dependent upon her father, brother, husband or the man who is "in charge" of their life. (male guardianship)

While there has been progress and women have gained some rights it does not mean that the abuse has stopped or those who want to deny women rights do not find a way around it. And without skills or being able to get a job women are still dependent on the men in their life.



Beverly | 1078 comments Arranged Marriages - There are many degrees/variations in the concept of arranged marriages and this concept is more common than many probably know. BUT the child bride and forced marriage concept I definitely do not approve on.

Here is some info on the concept:

Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by a third party rather than by each other.[2] It was common worldwide until the 18th century. In modern times, arranged marriage has continued in royal, aristocratic families and ethnic minority groups in developed countries; elsewhere, arranged marriage is common in South Asia, Africa,[3][4] the Middle East,[5][6] Latin America,[4][7] Southeast Asia[8] and parts of East Asia.[9][10] Other groups that practice this custom include the Unification Church.

Arranged marriage should not be confused with the practice of forced marriage such as vani. Arranged marriage differs from autonomous marriage - called love marriage in some parts of the world - where the individuals find and select their own spouses; arranged marriages, in contrast, are usually set up by the parents or an older family member. In some cases, arranged marriage involves a matchmaker such as priest or religious leader, matrimonial site, mutual friends or a trusted third party.

Arranged marriages vary in nature and in how much time passes between first introduction and engagement. In an "introduction only" arranged marriage, also known as quasi-arranged[11] marriages or assisted[12] marriages, the parents or guardians introduce a potential spouse. From that point on, it is up to the two individuals to develop the relationship and make a final choice. There is no set time period. This is increasingly common in Japan, parts of Latin America and Africa, South Asia and East Asia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arranged...


message 27: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
I just browsed Wikipedia about child marriage and it's history. I respect all religions. But I find it quite sickening that Mohommad, the Muslim prophet according to Wikipedia, marriage a child 10 years old! That's outrageous that people are ok with that! I'm appalled.


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "I just browsed Wikipedia about child marriage and it's history. I respect all religions. But I find it quite sickening that Mohommad, the Muslim prophet according to Wikipedia, marriage a child 1..."

Unfortunately, this was a far too often practice of past times. In the sensibilities of the times, Mohommad was not doing anything wrong.
But I do wonder how much because Mohommad had a child bride - has kept it acceptable into modern times?

How does one society/culture move on from certain practices and others do not?

I am hoping that as the world becomes more global and less insular that practices like these will become a thing of the past as more people become aware and speak out on these practices.


message 29: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
1. Hadi and Ali (view spoiler) The Nigerian mother sold her very young child to Ali and Hadi for their pleasure. Any comments on that?

2. Sultana's first veiling She spoke of this experience as if it was something very special to her. She had mixed emotions; at times she hated the idea and other times it was exciting? What do you think of veiling and the first experience for Muslim women? What do you think about complete veiling even the eyes as Sultana expressed the difficulty of it?

3. Randa and Sultana's forbidden day in town The two girls went on an adventure with two promiscuous (according to Islamic standards) girls. The other two girls suffered greatly for their acts. What are you thoughts on the standards set for women and not owning their sexuality?

4. Huda and her black magic She really scared Sultana with her spooks and tells. Do you believe in black magic and it's powers? Do you think Huda was right in what she said or was she just an old crazy lady?


Beverly | 1078 comments Sultana's first veiling

One of the reasons I like reading cultural fiction is to learn about other cultures - how similar we are and the different variations on social mores. A number of cultures have a rite of passage from childhood to womanhood/manhood. I think it is exciting and scary at the same time in most cultures. Sultana knew that certain actions that were "tolerated" in her childhood would no longer be tolerated as a "woman" and all carried potentially inhumane penalties. The thought of being a "woman" is also an exciting time and for Sultana she felt the bonding with others and actually gave her what could have been her last act of independence where choosing her first abaya.

I thought the author did a very good job of showing how the difference in walking into the store uncovered and walking out covered - just a matter of minutes and how the culture perceives you and how you perceive yourself.


Beverly | 1078 comments Hadi and Ali - What is there to say about this!!! Do we really know if the Nigerian was the child's mother?? In Nigeria parents/relatives have "given" their children to other Nigerians who are in the sex slave trade. The woman was just a little too cold-hearted for me to think she as the "natural" mother as she came back for the child and then offered another one.
I had read somewhere a little while ago that sex trafficking is one of the biggest global businesses.


message 32: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Sultana's first veiling

One of the reasons I like reading cultural fiction is to learn about other cultures - how similar we are and the different variations on social mores. A number of cultures..."



I agree completely. I loved how she had mixed emotions about the whole concept. One second she hated the idea And the restraints it put on women. But then she liked the attention she received from men and being the forbidden fruit. She was very descriptive about her first veiling.


message 33: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Hadi and Ali - What is there to say about this!!! Do we really know if the Nigerian was the child's mother?? In Nigeria parents/relatives have "given" their children to other Nigerians who are in t..."

I would love to agree but unfortunately I have known women and there stories even here in the States. Many drug addicted mothers here have sold there young children into sex for drugs, not even cash (not that it would make it any less immoral). It is sad what people will sacrifice when in a corner. But with the sex trafficking I wouldnt be surprised if these were missing children.


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Beverly wrote: "Hadi and Ali - What is there to say about this!!! Do we really know if the Nigerian was the child's mother?? In Nigeria parents/relatives have "given" their children to other Nigeri..."

I agree Kisha that "mothers" sell their kids for drugs/money, etc. But the reason I made the statement is that this mother seemed to have an "endless" supply of girls. All of it is horrific!

A have read a couple of fiction books by Nigeria authors that looks this issue - one was about the selling my families of their children (boys and girls) to a group that traffics the kids and how the kids get conditioned to think of these people as their "parents" and are taught how to lie so they can be transported internationally. I will have to remember that title.

The other fiction book I read on this subject but dealt with young woman is On Black Sisters Street: A Novel.


message 35: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
I'll have to check that out. It's all so sad. And you are right about her endless supply of children. I didn't see it that way before. How people find themselves attracted to a child is horrific!


message 36: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Beverly, what chapter are you on? Or have you finished?


Kerry Casey (caseykerry) This is awesome you guys are reading this!!!!


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Beverly, what chapter are you on? Or have you finished?"

LOL - Yes, I am finished.


message 39: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
Kerry- Yes, and it's really good! Sad...but good. It's actually heartbreaking. Makes me proud to be an American...Did I just say that lol.

Beverly- Ok I will be finished today so we can just discuss the book as a whole...Sorry I'm a slow reader lol


message 40: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (last edited Dec 17, 2013 02:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
What are you thoughts of the story as a whole?

There is lots of controversy as to whether this is a true story (or atleast told by the actual princess). Do you believe it to be a true story?

How does this memoir make you feel about Saudi Arabia, The United States and the political side of it all?

What do you think is the most horrific story that Sultana has told about the women and herself in this memoir?

Do you feel we has American's should support in aiding women of Saudi Arabia or should we allow them to continue with their traditions?



message 41: by kisha, The Clean Up Lady (new) - rated it 5 stars

kisha | 3902 comments Mod
What are your thoughts of the story as a whole

I find this story disturbing to say the least. I had no idea what these women were suffering from. It makes me appreciate the freedom that I've taken for granted. I couldn't imagine being sold into a marriage or not being in control of my own sexuality. Because of this story I will make it my personal responsiblity to become aware of as many cultures as possible. It has changed my perception of cultural awareness and it's importance. I personally think this book is very important.

There is lots of controversy as to whether this is a true story (or atleast told by the actual princess). Do you believe it to be a true story?
I don't know how true this story is as a whole. But I imagine it is extremely close to the truth so I accept it as a truth. I do wonder, with Sultana wanting to hide her identity, what would that matter once someone close to her that know these personal stories gets a hold of this book? That is my only challenge to the complete truthfulness of this story.

How does this memoir make you feel about Saudi Arabia, The United States and the political side of it all?

First of all, Saudi Arabia (even if were allowed) is not on my top 1000 places to visit! It makes America's struggle with slavery seem like ancient history! It makes me think terrible thoughts of the Quran. I so appreciate the US of A! Land of the free has a whole new meaning to me! I once would say, "why wont America leave these other countries alone and let them life the way they choose!" I don't know if I still feel the same way about that statement.

What do you think is the most horrific story that Sultana has told about the women and herself in this memoir

There were so many! I think the worse would be a tie between the child whose kidney was stolen and the lady who was sentenced to "The Woman's Room." Those two stories nearly brought tears to my eyes as well as made me want to put this book down! Who stills a lung?!

Do you feel we has American's should support in aiding women of Saudi Arabia or should we allow them to continue with their traditions?

I'm not much on politics so I may not have an educated answer for that. But personally I feel we should defintely aid them in some way. They will not change a whole lot on their own.


Beverly | 1078 comments kisha wrote: "Kerry- Yes, and it's really good! Sad...but good. It's actually heartbreaking. Makes me proud to be an American...Did I just say that lol.

Beverly- Ok I will be finished today so we can just dis..."


Kisha -

No I read ahead of the schedule - just worked out that way this time as I needed to make sure that I finished before the "holiday stuff."


Beverly | 1078 comments Overall thoughts:

As mentioned I have read/heard about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia before reading this story. So there wasn't anything new or surprising to me. The storyline flowed well and it was obvious that Sultana is proud of her culture yet is disturbed by the treatment of women. So this was just an ok read for me.

Is this story true or not?
Not sure why others say this but I have no reason to believe it is not true at this point, especially since the events she presented have been documented in other situations. It is a memoir so it her view of what happened to her.

My thoughts on Saudi Arabia - the US role:
My thoughts did not change because of this book because of past readings and traveling, while I understand that the US is not perfect I do recognize that I would not trade living here for any other place.
The "news" we hear mostly reflect the US politics - and because we consider Saudi Arabia a friend and need their oil we are not necessarily going to rock the boat and make them feel too uncomfortable - most of the pressure at this time will come from organizations that are not governmental.

Which story is the most horrific?
I am not going to rank someone else's pain or the horrific acts committed against them. They were all horrific to me.

What should Americans do?
Well, I am not comfortable with the horrific acts being committed in Saudi Arabia. But we are starting to know about because of media attention of some of these acts occurring in the US. I think we need to be diligent to stop these acts and be aware of the attempts to turn back the clock on women's rights in this country.


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