Kareem nor I move. Keenly feeling the drama of the moment, I
shout out, "When the beast is cornered, the hunter is in
danger." The thought enters my mind to ram into his
stomach with my head, and I am considering this option just as
my oldest sister, Nura, takes center stage and quiets us all
with her calm voice.
This is not the manner to solve a problem." She pauses,
glancing at Father and Ali. "All this shouting! The
servants will hear every word. Then we are in a true
is the only female child of my father who has gained his love.
Father motions for everyone to be quiet.
leads me by the arm and we return to our chairs.
and Ali continue to stand, both quite speechless.
the book's publication, I have been weakened by my fear. Now,
for the first time in weeks, I feel absolutely fierce,
recognizing that the last thing the men want is to turn me
over to the authorities.
meeting continues much more calmly, with serious talk of how
to keep my identity a secret. We understand that there will be
much talk and speculation within the kingdom as to the
identity of the princess in the book. My family decides that
it will be impossible for the common men of Saudi to uncover
the truth, for they are outside our family circles. And there
is no real danger from male relatives within the extended Al
Sa'ud family, for females and their activities are carefully
guarded from male view. In Father's mind, there is genuine
concern regarding close female relatives, since they sometimes
participate in our intimate gatherings.
is a moment of panic as Tahani remembers that one old auntie
who was closely involved in Sara's calamitous marriage and
divorce is still living. Nura calms their fears by revealing
that our auntie, just a few days before, had been diagnosed
with a disabling brain disorder that affects the elderly. Nura
says that our auntie is rarely, if ever, coherent. If by some
remote chance she hears of the book, nothing she says or does
would be taken seriously by her family.
breathes a sigh of relaxation.