Communication to readers of the Princess Trilogy

From Princess Sultana Al Saud

Translated from French into English on November 15, 2000

 

 Dear supporters of my cause for women:

Islamís great Prophet Muhammad was a shining light in the lives of all women of the world.  But today, our desert kingdom is dark and frightening for too many women.  Not only are our faces and bodies concealed by black coverings, but the light that was once shone on our lives has been blackened by the men who twist the Prophetís words in their quest to keep women quivering at their feet. 

Dear friends, our lives are too dark for you to even imagine.  Scores of young girls are too timid to deny the wishes of their parents and too often marry men who are of an advanced age to be grandfathers.  Once legally bound, these young girls feel as though they have no choice but to do this manís bidding.  They leap to fulfil his every wish.  In the dark of their bedrooms, they have sexual intercourse with men whom they fear!  The thought of such pitiful lives lived in perpetual dread is too much to even imagine.  The physical attacks women in Arabia endure are accompanied by mental abuse. 

From an early age, female children come to realize that their lives pale in comparison with that of male children.  This is a cruel existence, even if there is no physical abuse.  To always feel that your status is undesirable creates a distressing sadness in our young women.  If you ever have occasion to witness the behavior of an Arab women, most likely you will notice that they will respond in a bashful, hesitate manner.  This is a direct result from their childhood lessons that their thoughts, dreams and wishes do not matter.

Even in my own family, a family that rules the land, there are women who are beaten and sexually assaulted by the men who are responsible for their well-being.  This happens frequently, even though in my religion it is forbidden for a man to behave in the manner too many Saudi men believe is their God given right.

For those of you who have read the books about my life, and the lives of my Saudi sisters, you know of what I speak.  If you have not read my life story, then I beseech you to seek knowledge of what is happening to too many women the world over.

Since I first began my journey to fight for women in my own country, I have made the sad discovery that women the world over are ill-treated by men.  I was shocked to be told that the Chinese, proud owners of a rich history, allow their little daughters to be murdered at the hands of their own parents.  And for what reason?   So that these murderers can enjoy jostling a male child upon their knee.

Young girls in other countries can be sold as sex slaves to be used by many men, one after the other.  Does your mind rebel at even the thought of such a loathsome existence?  Even in the United States, the one country where women have a chance to live normally, there is an appalling mistreatment of women.  Living in an atmosphere of sex advertised on every corner, there are fathers who feel they have the right to rape their own daughters!

What has gone wrong?  There are more females than males living on this earth.  Why then, are men ruling women?

This questions haunts my waking moments:  As women, what can we do to guarantee that women the world over are regarded with respect and dignity? 

I pose this question to you so that a dialogue can begin between us all.  Perhaps there is a woman in the world who can lead us to the right answer so that true change can come. 

You can write to me in care of my friend, the woman to whom I trusted my fate and the fate of my loved ones, the author Jean Sasson.  There is a publishing web site address which will be given to you following my letter.  I have asked that a better method be found so that dialogue can be ongoing between us all. 

As you all learned from the stories about my life, I am not in a position to respond directly to you.  I am the mother of innocent children and my concern for their well being overcomes my desire to stand tall among you with my veiled face uncovered and my hidden identity revealed. 

There will be great joy in the world when women in countries such as my own can freely express their opinions of all matters without genuine fear of being silenced forever.

I pray for Allahís blessings upon your good hearts.

 

Princess Sultana Al Saud