halls were gilded and richly adorned. Sara and I counted 180
paintings hanging in the entry hall alone. Sara recoiled in
dismay and said that the selections of art were picked by one
with little or no knowledge of the great masters. Garish
carpets with embroidered birds and beasts of every type laid
across endless floors. The ornate bedrooms made my soul feel
heavy; I wondered how children of the same blood could so
different in judgment of style.
Nura had failed miserably in decorating her home, her gardens
were a masterpiece. Nearly a mile of lakes and lawns decorated
with beautifully arranged flowers, shrubs, and trees encircled
her palace. There were many surprises to delight the eye:
sculptures, colorful bird houses, fountains spouting water,
and even a children's merry-go-round.
going to be married to Kareem in the garden at nine o'clock in
the evening. Nura knew that I loved yellow roses, and
thousands of them, flown in from Europe, were now floating on
the lake beside the rose-covered pavilion where Kareem would
come to claim me. Nura proudly announced that people were
already whispering that this was the wedding of the decade.
are no announcements of engagements and weddings in Saudi
Arabia; these matters are considered extremely private. But
gossip of monies spent and grand occasions staged travels
throughout the land, with each section of the Royal Family
striving to outspend the other.