other women fluttered around Sara and began to touch her face
One of them told Faten that if Sheik Fahd were ever to
see such a one as Sara, that he was sure to abandon her bed in
The other three wives of the Sheik quickly agreed.
visibly spoiled Faten became jealous and began to command the
other women to retrieve this item or that item.
Her voice was far too impolite and loud, and as a token
of resistance, the women pretended not to understand Faten’s
words exchanged became so harsh and the looks so fierce, that
I feared we were about to witness an altercation between these
display made me reflect on what would have been the reality of
my own life had our ancestors not abandoned the desert for the
the Bedouin culture, a woman’s status depends only on her
youth, beauty, and ability to produce sons.
Certainly, a Bedouin woman of my age who had suffered
the loss of a breast and the ability to bear children would be
cast aside by her husband.
Undoubtedly, I would have become the servant of an
insensitive beauty such as Faten!
the first time in a long time, I acknowledged that Saudi
Arabians are taking some small progressive steps toward
improving the lives of Saudi women. I felt a rare moment
of gratitude for my current status.
an embarrassed Sara threatened to veil her face again if she
was not left alone, the women cried out that they would sit
quietly for the pleasure of looking at Allah’s most perfect
could take no more!
Her lip curled in anger as she glared at Sara, and
“A pox on you!
May Allah disfigure your face!”
were all speechless with shock at this uncivilized behavior.
dignified silence, Sara rose to leave.
mistook Sara’s movement as a challenge.
Her wide-set eyes grew wild, her nostrils flared, and
the skin of her face rose and fell in angry rhythm.
This wild Bedouin woman advanced toward my gentle
sister with the clear intent of violence!
Sara froze in place, her hand poised at her throat.