moments of our arrival, Father enters the room. His ten
daughters rise respectfully to their feet, and each of
us expresses her greetings to the man who has given her
life without love.
have not seen my father in some months, and I think to
myself that he looks exhausted and prematurely old. When
I lean to kiss his cheek, he impatiently turns away,
failing to return my greeting. Giving my fears full
range, I know at that moment that I have been naive,
thinking that the Al Sa'uds are too busy accumulating
wealth to care much for books. My trepidation mounts.
a stern voice Father asks us to sit, saying that he has
some disturbing news to relay.
by a stare, I see that Ali, with his morbid interest in
the suffering of others, is gloating, regarding me with
a pitiless stare. There is little doubt in my mind that
Ali is privy to the evening's business.
reaches into his large, black briefcase and retrieves a
book none of us can read. It is written in a foreign
language. My mind in conflict, I think that I have made
a mistake with my earlier fears, wondering what this
particular book has to do with our family.
a voice filled with undisguised rage, Father says that
Ali recently purchased the book from Germany, and that
the book tells about the life of a princess, a stupid
and foolish woman who is not aware of the royal
obligations that accompany the privileges of royalty.
Circling the room, he holds the book in his hands. The
picture on the cover is plainly that of a Muslim woman,
for she is veiled and is standing against a backdrop of
Turkish minarets. I have a wild thought that an aging,
exiled princess from Egypt or Turkey has written a
revealing book, but quickly realize that such a tale
would hold no interest in our land.
Father steps closer, I read the title: Ich, Prinzessin
aus dem Hause Al Saud.
is my story!
I had not been in touch with the book's author since
learning of its sale to William Morrow, a large and
respected American publishing house, I was unaware that
the book, Princess, was a huge success and had sold to
numerous countries. The one before me is quite
obviously the German edition.