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Contentions

A Saudi Woman Speaks

A Saudi woman has written a letter to the Jerusalem Post that just might force us obstinate Westerners to rethink our assumptions about the land of Mecca and Medina. Maybe we’ve been a little keen on the propaganda, and Saudi Arabia isn’t so bad after all! From the letter:

We do have a choice on who to marry. You do realize we live in the 21st century?! Both my sisters and brother knew their spouses before they were married, and I come from a relatively religiously committed family.

Hmmm. You don’t say. Well, what about that Saudi prohibition on all other religions thing?

It makes sense not to allow another religion to be practiced in such a sacred place. As far as I know there is no mosque in Vatican City. I respect the fact that it is a sacred place for a religion, and I would expect to receive the same respect from others about my country.

You know, I never thought of it that way. Say, you’re pretty smart. Where did you learn to reason like that?

As for our education, it is well on its way to becoming one of the best in the world. We have a wide range of opportunities. The college I attend has marketing, accounting, media, nursing, special education, electrical engineering, architecture, management, finance, and psychology.

I have to admit, that’s an impressive list. Can you attend these classes on your own?

. . .contrary to what people assume, we are allowed to leave the house. Even without our brothers or fathers. It is a cultural choice whether a mother of father permit their daughters out without male supervision. Perhaps one in 15 families take a stringent position.

Not bad odds. So, women live pretty decent lives there, huh?

Our way is our choice. Nothing is forced upon us.

I guess not. Thanks for clarifying things.

One day my country will rise and shine above all, and I am sure when that happens the world will suddenly want to befriend us.

Why wait? I want to befriend you right now. How can I get in touch with you? Wait . . .what’s this?

Editors note: The writer asked that her full name be kept in confidence.

Yep, life for women in Saudia Arabia seems pretty great. What with all the identity-concealing for fear of reprisals and whatnot.



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