The poem below was written by the young woman in this photograph. The anguish of her words will haunt you.

I have lived and known what it is to smile

I have lived the life of a young girl with hopeful promise

I have lived the life of a young girl who felt the warmth of womanhood

I have lived the life of one whose dreams were dashed

I have lived knowing tremendous fear for every man

I have lived through the fears raised by the specter of an evil coupling

I have lived t0 see the devil in the guise of a man, ruling my every action

I have lived as a beggar to this man, pleading with him to leave me alone

I have lived to witness my husband have the pleasure of being a man

I have lived to be ravished by the man to whom I was given

I have lived only to endure nightly rapes

I have lived to be buried while still alive

I have lived to wonder why those who claim to love me, helped to bury me

I have lived through all of these things, and I am not yet twenty-five years old.  

                                                                            Munira Al-Saud

 (A few years ago while visiting London, a Princess in the Al-Saud family in Saudi Arabia passed this poem to the author, Jean Sasson. At that same time, she shared the tragic story of her niece who wrote the poem.  This story is included in the final book in the Sultana trilogy.  This Princess has hope that people of the West will come to understand that there are many women living wretched lives in Saudi Arabia, in Afghanistan, and other countries who are forced to live under the peril of total male domination.  These women are in desperate need of Western intervention to help them.)