looked at me in amazement. Not used to a woman interested in
the greater scheme of things, he questioned me into the
night to learn my thoughts on various matters. It was
obvious that my husband was not accustomed to a woman with
opinions of her own. He seemed in utter shock that I thought
of political issues and the state of the world. Finally, he
kissed me on the neck and said that I would continue my
education once we returned to Riyadh.
at his tone of permission, I told him I was not aware that
my education was up for discussion.
planned eight-week honeymoon turned into ten weeks. Only
after a call from Kareem's father did we reluctantly drag
ourselves back to our families. We planned to live in the
palace of Kareem's father and mother until our own palace
knew that Kareem's mother looked upon me with distaste; now
it was in her power to make my life miserable. I thought of
my foolish disregard for tradition, which had brought about
her scorn, and cursed myself for thinking so little of my
future by alienating my mother-in-law at our first meeting.
I knew that Kareem, like all Arab men, would never side with
his wife against his mother. It would be up to me to
arrive with an olive branch extended in peace.
had an unpleasant shock as the plane prepared to land in
Riyadh. Kareem reminded me of my veil. I scrambled to cover
myself in black and felt a fierce longing for the sweet
scent of freedom that had begun to fade the moment we
entered Saudi airspace.
the tightness of dread in my throat, we entered his mother's
palace to begin our married life. At that moment, I was
unaware that Kareem's mother so disliked me that she had
already begun plotting ways to bring our happy union to an