Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

It wonderful that the world so loves Princess Sultana and is inspired by her bravery.  If you will click on the link above, you will see that PRINCESS is the #1 book on Saudi Arabia.  I find that encouraging and AMAZING!.  After 19 years of first hearing about this brave woman, she has true friends and fans all over the world, from Europe to the Middle East to Africa to Asia to the USA.  I always knew that she was unique, someone brave and forceful and willing to take chances to reveal the truth about the lives of women in Saudi Arabia.  Her story is timeless for there are still challenges for women in the world and indeed, in Saudi Arabia, the country of Sultana’s birth and where she lives as a princess.  I will say that there is improvement in many ways, but still much to accomplish.  But with so large numbers of Saudi women becoming educated and starting to work, it won’t be long before Saudi women can celebrate many victories.

Very few people have ever even visited Saudi Arabia, so in reality, few know the truth of life in Saudi Arabia.  However, I was lucky enough to live there for 12 years and enjoyed “nearly” every minute of my time in that country.  Yes, there were issues that distressed me, mainly issues about women and abused animals, but all countries have their dark side and all we can do is to work to bring change.  Even as I have remained involved in Saudi Arabia, there are others involved in other countries, including the USA where there are many problems that need solutions.

I still get hundreds of letters weekly about Princess Sultana from people who want to know about her life and how she is doing.  I’d like to report that she is doing great.  She has two grandchildren from her son, and one grandchild on the way from one of her daughters.  I’d also like to tell readers that next year will bring a lot more information about Princess Sultana, her life, her children, her grandchildren, and important issues about women’s lives all over the world, for the princess does not limit her concerns to Saudi Arabia, although she mainly works in the Arab world.

I just wanted to spread the word about this, that so many people follow Princess Sultana and love her for the strong spirit that she is…  For now, have a wonderful day!  Jean

About jeansasson

I'm a woman with a keen interest in a wide range of topics including women's issues; animal rights issues; humanitarian issues and political movements, such as the events currently sweeping the Middle East. I am an avid reader and collector of books, mainly about travelers of the 18th and 19th centuries. I have enormous curiosity about other people and relish hearing about lives and opinions of people from all over the world. I’m the author of the PRINCESS series, GROWING UP BIN LADEN, MAYADA DAUGHTER OF IRAQ, FOR THE LOVE OF A SON, and more. Over the past few years the princess and I have met and worked together to bring out a 4th, 5th and 6th book. The 4th is titled: PRINCESS, MORE TEARS TO CRY while the 5th is titled: PRINCESS, SECRETS TO SHARE. The 6th, titled PRINCESS, STEPPING OUT OF THE SHADOWS is to be released in October 2018. I am currently working on my memoirs. Details to be released soon. You can visit my website ( or check out my books on Amazon for more info.
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50 Responses to Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

  1. Jude says:

    Congrats on reaching #1 on Amazon! -Jude

  2. Paula says:

    Ms. Jean:
    I was told that Princess Sultana had been killed, as her identity had been discovered. Would you share the truth of this? Thank you.

  3. jeansasson says:

    Hi Paula, The princess was alive and well as of June when she visited her daughter and called me from her daughter’s home. So, that is strictly a rumor… Although her brother discovered her identity years ago, the family did not turn her in to anyone — that’s not the way it is done in Saudi, thank goodness. The family honor was at stake and none of the males in the family could bear for anyone else in the royal family to know that they could not control their women! Therefore, she only had to contend with her family’s displeasure, which amounted to some token punishments that did not harm her physically. (She was not allowed to travel for a short time, but her husband stepped in when he wanted her to go to Los Angeles with him!) Also, bear in mind that under King Abdullah’s rule, there is a vast improvement in the lives of women. Although the woman who wrote GIRLS OF RIYADH was to be punished for writing the book, the king stepped in and stopped the punishment. Such rulings give us all hope for Saudi Arabia. Thank you so much for caring about the princess. For now, have a nice day…

  4. tanriani says:

    Miss Jean. I’ve read 2 books of “Princess”. Your first and your second book.
    It’s really horror me about the fact that happen to women in Saudi Arabia.
    But, i’m being anxious to know what happen to Sultana on the third book. I’ve tried to found it, but unfortunately the shopkeeper said that the third book still not published in my city.
    I want to ask you, still Sultana being jailed in Arab?
    I read in the end of your first book, that said Sultana being jailed.
    How about her husband and her children???

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Tanriani! Thanks for your note and so glad that you have read the first two books. First of all, where are you located? If you will tell me your country, then I can find out if all three books are published there.
      Most importantly, did you read the book in your native language, or in English language. IF in native lanugage, tell me what language. I am concerned because Sultana was NOT jailed, EVER, and I am afraid that you are reading an unauthorized version of the book where a translator might be making up stuff that is not true about the princess. That would not be right for you, or for the princess.

      Please do write me back and let me know. Thank you so much! Jean Sasson

      • tanriani says:

        I’m really thank for your kindness Jean…
        I’m located in Pontianak (name of the city), West Borneo (province), Indonesia.
        I’ve read it in my native language. Indonesian language.
        Ya, I try to find how to communicate with you because I’m really anxious with the truth of that.
        Ya, I just known that she is still alive at the second book (I mean Princess). And that’s
        make me more confused. And I thought the truth will be cover at the third book.
        In my city, we just had one big book store that we could easily find the nouvelle. So, I must waiting for a long time to know about what happen to Sultana’s family. Especially, Sultana herself.
        I read your previous message, that Sultana still alive and that makes me happy. If you don’t mind. Please tell Sultana that We really proud of her braveness to get the right for women in Saudi Arabia.
        She need more support to get her dreams, Jean..

        You are welcome Miss/ Mrs Sasson? (How could I call you?)
        Nice regards for you…

  5. Jean Sasson says:

    Hi! Thanks for telling me this… I hope you get to read the 3rd book and we are discussing doing a 4th as soon as we can… Please do call me Jean.. (smile)… Yes, I will cut and paste and pass on your message to Princess Sultana’s daughter, who lives in Europe… You take care and have a lovely day and I hope we talk again soon.

  6. tanriani says:

    Hehehhe…. Ya, I just read the synopsis..
    And ya, i can’t remember it for a long time….
    Wow…. really???
    Thank you very much, Jean… Umm, Jane. If you don’t mind could you tell me who picture is in you book’s cover?
    Is that really Sultana’s faces?
    I’m very delight if you have a time to Indonesia and we can meet each other….

  7. Andrea NY says:

    Hi Jean, I’m reading the third book….I purchase the first one just by accident..I needed something to read to practice my English…than I was so anxious to get the two other…I got my kindle so when I find it as a kindle edition I was so happy…since this moment I can get the Saudi women out of my head…specially Sultana..I’m so glad,that she is doing well…thank you so much..I’m very big fan of you and your books 🙂

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks, Andrea! So glad you are reading the books — Princess Sultana’s life can become very addicted — I think it is because Saudi Arabia is such an exotic place — there’s no Middle Eastern country like it — and the women there are so strong and working hard to bring change to their lives. Thanks, again! Jean

      • nathan1216 says:

        I just finished the first Princess book- in one night because I couldn’t put it down. I’m shocked and horrified. What can I do? I can’t just sit here! Do I stop purchasing oil products and write my congress representatives to tell them to help these women?? What do I do??

      • jeansasson says:

        Thanks, Nathan… What you do is spread the word about women of the world who need us. ANd, you write to your representatives and advise that nothing is more important than stopping the horrific abuse of women worldwide. This is a problem all over the world and needs a lot of attention. GOOD LUCK!

  8. Jean Sasson says:

    Yes, I’m still writing… always writing (smile)… That’s the writer’s life, always something new in the horizon… I’ll post on this site when books are coming out. Take care! Jean

  9. tanriani says:

    Thanks… ^^
    So do you, Jane!!

  10. CK says:

    Jean your books are amazing and I am glad Princess Sultana is doing well – such a wonderful Princess! I am really looking forward to the next book on Princess Sultana and her family.

  11. Karen N says:

    Ms Sasson I just finished reading Princess Circle, it was an Amazing book. I couldn’t stop reading it and I read the book in one day! I am anxiously waiting for the delivery of the third book Princess Daughters that I just ordered. I am so Amazed by Princess Sultana’s Bravery. Please keep us updated on the Princess and her family. May you and Princess Sultana be Blessed!
    Thanks Ms Sasson

  12. Asma says:

    Hi Jean

    I have just finished reading all three books on princess sultana. I wanted an email address or something for me to message her or to write to her. I went on to her website and i had a link that said ‘write to princess’ but the page has been expired and i cant get on to it. I thionk the story of this woman is as interesting as frightening i just couldnt put down the books and i finished all three in less than a week. In the third book it contains a letter from the princess herself in which she says something about the readers writing to her, and her reading their letters. I would love to write to her if only i could get hold of an email or an address and which of her daughters is living in Europe?

    • jeansasson says:

      Yes, one of her daughters lives in Europe, Asma. I am trying to convince the princess that she needs an email address but she has real concerns about someone tracing an address to her or to her daughter… Although she nor I believe that her life would be in danger if she is discovered by the rulers of her land, she knows and I agree that her children would suffer a lot of ridicule because it is not considered something to be proud of to speak out against social issues affecting women in Saudi Arabia. It’s a very complicated issue, as you might guess.

  13. Akshaya says:

    Hi Jean,
    I just completed reading two books. It is amusing and equally frightening to read about a woman’s life in Saudi Arabia. I was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia but after 8 years returned back to my homeland. I couldn’t stop myself from searching for pictures of the princess though I know its impossible. It really would be great if you keep us all posted on how she is doing and her daughters and sons. I am really proud of the Princess. We all are. Take care.
    Waiting for your reply.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi! Lovely to hear from you. Well, hopefully with the situation slowly improving for women in SA, one day the princess can come out herself and talk with so many of the people who have championed her cause of education and freedom for women. She is sending 700 young Muslim girls to school, girls from poor families all over the Middle East who would not have a chance without her help. I really admire her. I know that many Saudi women do, too, or at least women from Saudi. Not sure if you are Saudi or not, but I’m so proud to hear from you either way.

      The princess works very hard on her goal of education for girls. She is also involved very closely with the lives of her children and her two grandchildren. She and Kareem are still very happy, happier every year, in fact. I am going to copy this and show to her when I next see her in London.

      Thank you for writing. It means a lot to me, and the princess. Now, tell us something about you — we are both interested. Have a lovely day, Jean

      • Akshaya says:

        Firstly sorry for the late reply. I had my exams.
        Secondly, Thank you so very much for replying. Very sweet of you.
        I am from India actually. I am doing my Engineering, pre-final year. I love drawing and sketching basically. My reading is only selective. But if its a book about women, yeah am the first one to read it!!
        It’s heartening to know that the Princess is sending Muslim girls to school. A great step forward. Once I complete studies, my objective is to help in the betterment of women’s status all over the world.
        Do tell me what the Princess says after reading my note.
        Take care.

      • jeansasson says:

        It’s really lovely to hear your news Akshaya — you are a most impressive young person. Yes, I will tell you what the princess says. For now have a great weekend, your friend, Jean

      • jeansasson says:

        The princess said that with young women like you, she has a lot of hope that the world of women will change.


        She was very pleased and happy. Thank you!

    • jeansasson says:

      Will do, Akshaya…

  14. Sarah says:

    Hi Jean, THANK YOU for your wonderful books! I have read the princess trilogy in 3 days – that’s how great they are! There is an entry on Wikipedia that states that the princess who wrote the books with you passed away in 2008 after a long illness. Could you please let me know if this is her, or if she has passed away? Also, if this is not her, do you think we will EVER find out who she really is?
    THANK YOU!!!
    (Here is the web address: )

    • jeansasson says:

      Dear Sarah, I’m so happy you wrote as that information about her death is incorrect — I would have never known. In fact I spoke with the princess featured in the three Princess Sultana books only a month ago, so I know that she is alive and well. Also, the Princess Sultana featured in that piece who passed away, was 80 years old, approximately 30 years older than the Princess Sultana of my books. THank you, again.

      And, I’m so happy that you loved the books, Sarah. I hope you get to read more — also, there are updates about Princess Sultana and her family coming out later this year and next. Also, I will write a 4th book on her sometimes within the next year or so.

      For now, thanks again and have a wonderful day, Jean Sasson

  15. Pingback: “Princess” by Jean Sasson (Book Review) « Missunderstood Genius

  16. Nicole says:

    Dear Jean, Thank you for writing such beautiful books on Princess Sultana, I have started my reading few days back and I have already finished the “Princess” and now moving to another one.
    Can you please tell me how to follow as I believe there is a continuity .. I started reading the Desert Royal now am I moving forward in the right way? thank you for your response.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you, Nicole… Your comment is music for me (smile)…

      Yes, there are three books on Princess Sultana’s life:
      Book 1: PRINCESS, which is basically about her childhood and up to her early years of marriage.

      Book 2: PRINCESS SULTANA’S DAUGHTERS: Which is about her children, two daughters and one son. (This book is titled DAUGHTERS OF ARABIA in the UK)

      Book 3: PRINCESS SULTANA’S CIRCLE: This book picks up from Book 2 but mainly focuses on horror stories of abused women she knows, or her sisters’ know — and how the women of the family react to the discrimination. (This book is titled DESERT ROYAL in the UK.

      There will be two more books about Princess Sultana and/or her family members. They will not come out for another year or two.

      If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on this forum or, at Thanks so much NIcole, and happy reading!

  17. jeanette reum says:

    Hello Jean. I am early waiting on the Princess’s new books. When will they be published? thanks for writing! They are such a pleasure to read.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Jeanette. Thanks so much. I’m really pleased that you love the books about Princess Sultana. Honestly, she and I have talked about book #4 but I have been so busy I have not been able to conduct a proper interview(s) and start writing. So, book #4 will be delayed… I will see her in a few months and then I will get the material necessary for the next book. I’ll let you know. Thanks, again… Jean

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi again, Jeanette. The 4th book should make an appearance in 2014… I really appreciate your care for her and other women.

      • Emily says:

        A fourth book! in 2014!! Am I dreaming? : ) Jean I hope you will do a book signing tour or appearance somewhere with the new Princess book. I will even travel if I can afford it. I would love to have my book signed by you. Funnily enough I just decided to re read the first princess book.

        Princess Sultana’s relationship with her brother was similar to my own relationship with my brother in manty ways. We were true rivals and battled it out as kids, although I had to find creative ways to defeat and outwit him when he grew bigger than me. In any case growing into adulthood and maturing did little to change our lifelong fued, until I realized that it was time to let it go (well at least 95 percent of it). My brother is loosing his hair now and I must admit it does give me a small amount of glee.

        Even though our lives are worlds apart in so many ways, I felt I could relate to so much about Sultana’s life. Sometimes I was angry that more wasn’t done to help some of the suffering women in the book (like the girl locked in the womens room) but it is easy for me to feel this way living as a woman in the U.S. I know the Princess has done more than her share to advance womens rights in her land, and I wish her every success.

        Take care


      • jeansasson says:

        Emily, I love your note and you put a smile on my face! I have met the princess since you wrote this note and I have all the information needed to get started on PRINCESS SULTANA: More Tears to Cry (the 4th book). It would be lovely to meet you next year when the book comes out. We never know where I’ll end up!

        For now, have a lovely day and I look forward to hearing from you later,

        Warm regards, Jean

  18. Hari Prasad says:

    Hi Jean,

    My love towards reading books has just started and happened to read your book which impressed on its short brief @ dobazzar… I just finished reading your book ‘ The Princess’. Fabulous writing.

    I live in Dubai and your book completely changed my views about the wealthy arab women…. All these days, we all thought that they are wealthy, have everything in their life with a click, numerous servants, happy going life etc…

    But when i read your book, i was totally shaken by the truth… I’m pulled to buy the next sequel by this weekend.. The princess book keeps on disturbing about the fact of life at Saudi women faced..

    Hope saudi has changed now than what has stated in the book… Convey my warm regards to Princess Sultana and her courage to move forward to tell the truth…

    One more question – Is her identity known to their family now? bcoz she was explaining in full details about various incidents and it was easy for their family members to corner her…. (Parden me if you have answered the same question many times..)

    With tons of thanks & love

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Hari, Thanks for telling me this… I’m so glad that the true story of a Saudi princess is informative and has put you to thinking about the lives of women behind the veil.

      Saudi Arabia IS changing but certainly not fast enough. The truth is this: A Saudi woman can have a good life IF the men in her family are kindhearted and caring about females. I know Saudi women who live absolutely good lives — they are educated and pursuing many good things. On the other hand, I hear true stories of young girls and women who are suffering terribly because the men of the family are still very backward in their thoughts. It’s a world filled with contradictions with some women being educated and working and fulfilling their dreams and other women are being abused and even murdered by the men in their family.

      Yes, her immediate family knows who she is — you can read the full story in the sequel to PRINCESS (there are three books about Princess Sultana and her family & friends. ALl should be available a the bookstores in Dubai).

      I hope this answers your questions and feel free to write to me anytime. Thank you, again…. Jean

      • Hari Prasad says:

        Hi Jean,

        I’m thrilled to see your immediate reply in the morning today. It means a lot to me… Thank you soooo much. 🙂 🙂

        As said, I’ll buy the next sequels by this weekend from BORDER book shop and come up with my comments… Since I’m a beginner, my questions may sound silly at times, but still your replies are beyond encouraging…!! Thanks again

        One more question related to your life followed by publishing this book. I trust you must have had a very tough time after releasing this book even though you fled away from Saudi. (I read in your Author’s note of ‘The Princess’ book that you counted on all of your close friends had left the country before writing this book)

        I read about Monika Adsani case from your blog last night. I’d like to know, did you ever had any other pressures from Sultana’s family or from the govt or indirectly in any other way.

        And now thrilled to know that you are living in Saudi again. I’m totally surprised by knowing this…. Eager to hear from you soon.

        With Tons of Thanks for such a lovely book

  19. jeansasson says:

    Hi again, Hari… I hope you have the sequels from BORDERS. To answer your questions: No, I didn’t get any pressures from Princess Sultana’s family although several of the men in her family called me directly and asked me to please not write anymore books even if I was asked to do so. They were very kindly with me, in fact, but hoping that if they were nice, that I would not agree to write another book. As far as the government: Under Fah’d there was some pressure and a few indirect “attacks” but after Abdullah became king, none at all. Thank you again for writing and for caring about the princess and other women.

  20. Tarannum shaikh says:

    Hi jean

    I have read the trilogy. I have been to saudi arabia, have lived there for 8 yrs, the plight of the women there have always moved me. I have always felt helpless against some situations and the misery of women in my religion depresses me to an even greater extent.

    I chose to come back to india and settle here, although my husband is still working in saudi arabia. He calls me there, but i dont want to go to such a land, that too, without the powers to do anythingfor the women or to help them.

    From what i read abt the princess, i felt as if ur writing abt me, but im a woman of no power, no wealth, but a great determination to help the women in whatever way i can.

    Iv been trying to find the direct email or contact info of princess sultana. I would like to be in her circle, nd help in whatever way i can.

    I understand that if we need to upgrade the plight of muslim women, then we, muslim daughters have to fight for ourselves. Any interference from the west will be looked upon as intrusion.

    Awareness and encouragement, together with reasoning and justice is needed.

    I will be highly thankful if i get her contact details or at least ur email. You can be my voice to her.

    My email is mentioned above. I am expecting your reply with a lot of anticipation.

    Like minds should work together for a noble and great cause.

    Tarannum shaikh

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you so much, Tarannum for your thoughtful reply. I will be happy to pass along any note you have for Princess Sultana. In fact, I’m seeing her this year as we are planning PRINCESS 4 book (PRINCESS SULTANA: MORE TEARS TO CRY)… So, I might be able to hand-carry such a note for you.

      Please send to me at

      Thank you again — I’m going to re-read your note, now.

      With very best wishes, Jean Sasson

  21. Andrea says:

    Jean,4th book…I can’t wait…and as Emily, I wish you will have book signing somewhere close 🙂

    Good luck and say hi to Sultana ❤

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks, Andrea! I appreciate the support. Let’s see what happens with this one — the author never knows! (smile)

      I will do so. Thanks, for writing. I appreciate it. Jean

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