Visiting with Princess Sultana Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia

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

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

Although I have been fortunate to tell the stories of a number of courageous women, (Mayada of Iraq, Najwa Binladin of Syria and Saudi Arabia, Joanna Al-Askari of Kurdistan, Maryam of Afghanistan, Yasmeena of Lebanon) and one man (Omar Binladin of Saudi Arabia) I’m best known for my book:  Princess:  A True Story of Life behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia.  Princess Sultana, the heroine of the three books about her life, is greatly loved throughout the world.  Millions of people have read her story and faithfully follow her life experiences.  In fact, due to this enormous interest, along with some positive change occurring in Saudi Arabia, a decision was made in mid-2013 to write the 4th book about Princess Sultana, her family, and ongoing events in Saudi Arabia.  (This book will be titled:  PRINCESS:  MORE TEARS TO CRY and will be released by Doubleday UK in September 2014.) 

Once the princess, the publisher, my agent, and this author reached the decision that the time had come for book 4, it was necessary for me to meet in person with the princess to discuss and decide upon the stories we would tell in the book.  I met the princess at one of her many homes where we settled in like the old friends we are.  Truthfully, the visit reminded me of the old days in Saudi Arabia when I would lounge around with the princess in Riyadh, Jeddah, or in Monte Carlo, when we would endlessly discuss the painful lives many Saudi women lived, and the options available to her to bring positive change to her world.  Those visits started in the mid-1980’s.  That was the period of time she decided that her story must be told, and that the world must hear for the first time how most women in Saudi Arabia lived under the total rule of their men.  She knew then that few would know that even a princess was bound by heavy restrictions in Saudi Arabia.  There was endless gaiety and some sadness during our sessions, but both of us are positive-minded women, so there was more laughter than tears.  Those meetings continued until I finally wrote the first book of her life story during the summer of 1991. 

When finished, the book was not an easy sale.  Even though I had just come off a heady success with my first published book, THE RAPE OF KUWAIT, ten editors representing various publishing houses turned down the manuscript.  I had call-in conference calls with those editors and sales staff, and while all claimed to love the book I had written, those same editors spoke with the greatest certainty that American readers would not care about the life of a Saudi princess.  Thankfully, there were two editors who fell in love with Princess Sultana and her story, and so there was a bidding war between Liza Dawson, editor for William Morrow, and an editor at St. Martin’s Press.  William Morrow won the bid, and set out to publish the story of a previously unknown Saudi princess, Princess Sultana. 

William Morrow’s highly competent foreign rights department sold the book all over the world.  Within a year of William Morrow acquiring the book rights, many people in the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East soon learned about a feisty princess living behind the black veil of Saudi Arabia.  Readers fell in love with a princess who pushed back against the men of her family and fought the restrictive society of Saudi Arabia.  Little did anyone in the publishing world imagine that millions of readers would embrace the story of one lone princess who was brave enough to tell the world how she, and other women in the kingdom were living.  But the world discovered that there was much to love and admire in Princess Sultana.  Time and again, from an early age, Princess Sultana refused to take no for an answer, holding her own with the best of the men in her family, and most particularly against her cruel brother, Ali.  Later, as an adult, Princess Sultana was determined to make life better for her two daughters, and so her struggles continued. 

While the princess and I had hoped for such a successful outcome with her story, we were admittedly surprised and delighted that the risks she took brought so much personal reward.  Over the years the book has thrived, and even today there is a whole new generation of young women (and some men) who are discovering the heart-lifting story of a young woman who fought against the establishment of an unchanging culture, and an entrenched religious system that consistently rules in the favor of men.  We have received thousands of letters from young women from every culture in the world, telling us that Princess Sultana’s story changed their lives, leading them to also fight for the dignity of females worldwide.

Since the publication of the three books about Princess Sultana, I have had fewer occasions to visit with her.  I no longer live in Saudi Arabia, and I no longer spend the month of September in Monte Carlo each year, where she and I used to meet.  In fact, my international travels are fewer now than even a year ago.  But once or twice a year we enjoy lengthy telephone calls, and we make a point of seeing each other every couple of years. 

And so it came to pass that I was able to meet with the princess and several of her family members earlier this year.  We had not seen each other for nearly two years and so one week turned into two weeks and two weeks turned into three weeks.  I had forgotten what it’s like to visit with the royals.  They bring their habits with them when they leave the kingdom.  None go to bed until the wee hours of the morning, and then few get up before early afternoon.  All the women lounge around in robes until someone suggests a shopping trip.  Store managers are approached and asked to open stores around midnight, and many comply because the royals spend more money in one evening that most of us see in a lifetime.  Food is far too abundant.  Large tables are set up all around the villa, with one holding fruit, and another holding salads, and yet another holding main courses, and yet another holding desserts.  Of course there is the table holding fruit beverages, milk, and water. 

There’s so much socialization and gaiety that after a week I had to insist upon a quiet time for the two of us to discuss the upcoming book.  Thankfully, the princess was understanding and complied, telling her family to leave us alone for four hours a day.

And so we discussed the highlights of family happenings and various members, including her brother Ali, her sister Sara, all their children, as well as Princess Sultana’s three beloved grandchildren.  I was amazed to hear the tales of her son’s two children, and pleased when Princess Sultana provided me with three or four highly compelling stories regarding two of her grandchildren that I will be sharing with readers.  (Readers, you will love it!)

Finally we got down to serious business and decided upon the ten Saudi women whose stories will be shared in Princess:  More Tears to Cry.  Due to King Abdullah’s full attention regarding women’s issues in the kingdom, there are some positive stories to relate.  Yet the status of women in Saudi Arabia remains uneven.  While some families push for their daughters to be an important part of Saudi society, the majority of Saudi Arabians do not want their daughters to be involved in public life in the kingdom.  Yes, females are being educated, but there are few jobs for these educated women.  Yes, females know what they want, but still they are under the power of the men of their families.  Yes, many women wish to drive for convenience, but no, they are still forbidden from taking the wheel.

There’s so much to share with readers.  I’ve already begun the writing process and look forward to revealing all that Princess Sultana told me. 

There were other books she and I discussed.  While visiting, I told Princess Sultana about my latest book, YASMEENA’S CHOICE:  A True Story of war, rape, courage and survival, and provided her with a manuscript copy (the book had not yet been published).  The book is more graphic than any I have thus written, and I warned the princess beforehand that there was a chance she might not want to read the book.  (For all of those accustomed to my books, you know that I handle sexual matters and violence quite delicately in my books, for various reasons.  One, I don’t care much for graphic writing, and two, all my heroines are Arabs and Muslims, and such topics are considered totally private in the Muslim world.

While the princess read my manuscript, I read other books I had taken with me.  But we generally read in the same sitting room.  I kept my eye on the princess and watched her wince in shock at certain descriptions in YASMEENA’S CHOICE.  She remains an emotional person and once she even threw all the manuscript pages up into the air.  It took us quite some time to put the pages back in order.  Several times she squealed, other times she sighed. 

When she finished the book she looked at me full in the face and said, “This book aged my heart, Jean Sasson.”  She paused, then continued, “But to tell you the full truth, it is the most important book.”

Little more was said about the book, other than the day before we bade farewell, when she stared at me for a full minute, and said, “That Yasmeena is the bravest girl I have ever known.  I could have never held up to be an actress in those moments.”

I knew what she was talking about, although we never discussed the sexual assaults.  We would have both been too embarrassed.  But I’ve often asked myself that same question.  “Could I be as brave as Yasmeena?”  I do not know the answer and hope that I never find myself in a similar situation where I must test my courage.

And so I said goodbye to my friend once again.  I feel in my heart that I shall see her again, but none of us know what tomorrow might bring.  And so our visit was even more cherished.

I look forward to revealing more details to readers in the upcoming book, Princess:  More Tears to Cry.  I hope you are as intrigued to read the book, as I was to visit Princess Sultana. 

 

 

 

A True Story of War, Rape, Courage and Survival

A True Story of War, Rape, Courage and Survival

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 two years the princess and I have met and worked together to bring out a 4th and a 5th book in the PRINCESS SERIES. The 4th is titled: PRINCESS, MORE TEARS TO CRY while the 5th, which was recently released, is titled: PRINCESS, SECRETS TO SHARE. I am currently working on my 14th book. Details to be released soon. You can visit my website (http://www.jeansasson.com/) or check out my books on Amazon for more info.
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115 Responses to Visiting with Princess Sultana Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia

  1. I can’t express how much your books and Princess Sultana’s story mean to me. Although I have never experienced her life or pain, I find it so interesting and want to know more. I feel for her and others like her, and my heart breaks. I can’t wait to re-read her books (on my Christmas list) and your new book along with the 4th in her series. Bless you Jean!

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks, Melissa, for telling me this. The princess is easy to love, that is for sure! I found out a lot of very compelling stuff about the family and I’m currently making my list and checking it twice (smile).

      Thank you so much for your support and care — I believe the books I write about women are so very important and I do so hope they do a lot of good in this world of ours! For now, have a marvelous holiday season, Jean

  2. Leigh says:

    I remember seeing you on the Joan Rivers show not long after the first Princess Sultana book came out. You looked like a princess to me and at first I thought this book might be about you! I was so intrigued with your interview I bought the book right away and loved it. It opened my eyes to life in Saudi Arabia quite a bit. I love the books and have read them all several times and recently gave them to my daughter to read. I’m looking forward to the fourth.

    • jeansasson says:

      Oh Leigh, that’s fun to hear — of course, I’m nothing like a princess! That was a long time ago but it was the start of a wonderful journey with Princess Sultana’s story, and later, the stories of other very unique women. I feel myself very fortunate to be the voice for these women. How old is your daughter? The princess has a little granddaughter named after her but everyone calls her: “Little Sultana” and it is very cute. Thanks for writing, Leigh… Talk laer, Jean

  3. Tara says:

    “(For all of those accustomed to my books, you know that I handle sexual matters and violence quite delicately in my books, for various reasons. One, I don’t care much for graphic writing, and two, all my heroines are Arabs and Muslims, and such topics are considered totally private in the Muslim world.”

    That’s right, Jean! You approach it tactfully with class.

  4. jeansasson says:

    Thank you, dear Tara…. It means a lot coming from you as I know you are the same.

  5. Thank you so much for writing and telling us about these brave women. I will pray for Princess Sultana, and hope that things will change for the better.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks, Holly. I feel myself very fortunate to be the voice for a number of extra special women (and one man)… Thank you for your prayers — a lot of women need our help, and our prayers…

  6. Ilon says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. I really enjoyed reading this. I have your new book on my tablet and I can’t wait to get the time to read it because I know once I start I wont be able to put it down. Now being based in Amman I am getting a better sense of the Arab world…I want to re-read the Princess series before your new book comes out! Thanks again!

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks to you, Ilon… Yes, before Princess: More Tears To Cry is published, you might want to re-read the others to get yourself in the right frame of mind. I wish everything would change for women in Saudi Arabia even if it meant that there would never be another book to write about my friend, Princess Sultana.

      I’ve been to Amman a number of times — it is a special little city –wish I were there today! Enjoy yourself! Jean

  7. mrst72443 says:

    I love reading your books. You truly have a gift for writing. I have several of your books and read them over. I would treasure the day to meet you, Jean Sasson and have one of your books autographed for my special shelf!
    I will certainly be anxious to read your next book!
    My best, Judi Williams

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you very much, Judi! The books I write aggravate a lot of people who would like to see women kept in chains, so it is always lovely to hear from someone who appreciates these courageous women! It will be my pleasure to one day personally sign a book to you. For now, have a lovely day, Jean

  8. Thaís says:

    Jean Hello my name is Thais, I am Brazilian . I am 22 years this year 2013 I discovered and read his three books about Princess Sultana . While reading I cried , I laughed , I twisted the freedom of Arab women , I was outraged by what happens to oriental women , I already knew some things, plus this book gave me more knowledge on the subject . I wanted to say thank you Jean , for writing this wonderful and exciting trilogy , which delighted me so much every page I read . I would say Princess Sultana how much I admire her struggle and how we women are all from the east or west take pride in knowing that each place in the world , there are women who protect other women with all my heart . Thank you for telling Sultana and share their history and their land in the world, plant a seed in the minds of women from reading your story , and make the women’s revolution against the male-dominated world , forming a cycle of love and protection and care woman to woman . Thank you Jean for writing these books , the way you write is amazing , fun , unique , and quirky. I’m anxious to read the fourth book to be released , I’m curious to know the advances that are happening in the East even more still rather small , are important advances for women’s freedom.
    I wonder how is Sultana , and his daughters were married , their marriage continued his story . I look happy to know that the fourth book will be released . Please Jean , send translate his fourth book Princess Sultana to Brazil . Enjoyed reading and we look forward to continuing this story.
    Written by google translator can not write in English. Sorry if I missed a few words or phrases. I admire you so much Jean Sasson, you’re my favorida writer, I love reading your books.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you so much, Thais. Can I please send your note to my publisher in Brazil? I think they would love to read it.

      Your letter is very readable so GOOGLE did a good job translating! (smile)

      As far as Princess Sultana and her family: Two of her children are married. Two of her children have children. (Her son has two children and her youngest daughter has one child.) Maha remains unmarried and no longer lives in the kingdom. The princess remains very busy with her charity, which is focused on educating girls. I do so hope you et to read book 4,although it will not be published until September 2014.

      Thanks again for your lovely note! We’ll write again soon, I hope!

  9. Thaís says:

    Hello Jean. Yes you can, send my letter to his publisher in Brazil. Glad you liked what I wrote. I’m happy for that. I hope someday to read the fourth book in the Princess Sultana. Good luck Jean, Happy New Year, Happy 2014

  10. Jean, kudos on the bidding war for Princess Sultana’s story. You are brave, as is she and all women who speak up and support each other. I look forward to reading your work.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks, Mary. What’s amazing to me is that the vile mistreatment of females seems to be worse now than when I first started. While there have been some gains made in Saudi Arabia, the progress is pitifully slow. But then again, I find the situation for women much more difficult in various other countries, such as Afghanistan, Southern Iraq, Yemen and small villages in Pakistan.

      I wonder what it will do to convince those men who are determined to keep women as servants that a country is made much stronger by strong, educated women.

  11. Erica says:

    Hi Jean…..Sorry if this is an obvious question, but will we be able to purchase the new Princess book in the States when it is published in September. I seem to remember that an updated version of the third Princeas book was released but I wasn’t able to buy it in the States.

    Again, you’ll have to forgive me, I know little about the way it all works. Whatever the case, I will definitely buy the new book. I have loved the Princess for years and I’m so happy that you’ve decided to write another.

    God bless and Happy New Year Jean.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Erica, Well, I’m confused by your question. The three PRINCESS books have never gone out of print and have always been available for purchase in the United States. IF they are not on the bookstore (B&N & others) shelves, you can have someone order them for you. Also, all three books are available in book format and in e-book format online from every place that sells online books (AMAZON, B&N & others). Can you please advise me where on earth you tried to purchase the books and you were told they were not available and that they could not be ordered by the bookstore?

      I’m surely sorry to hear this.

      In fact, I just paused in this message and went and looked and all of my books are available for purchase in the USA other than THE RAPE OF KUWAIT, which is out of print, and ESTER’S CHILD, which is out of print, but it will be re-released later this year.

      Please do let me know and good luck.

      AND YES, PRINCESS 4 will be available to sale all over the world…

      With very warm regards, and thanks for writing, Jean

      • Erica says:

        Hi Jean,
        Sorry if my question was a bit confusing, but I was actually referring to what I think was an updated version of the third Princess book that had a new chapter and letter from the Princess. I was sorry to find I couldn’t buy it in the states and could only find it at UK Amazon.

        I noticed you wrote above that the book will be published by Doubleday UK so I automatically wondered if I might encounter the same problem. Like I said, I’m clueless about how it all works. Hope that explains my thinking and why I wrote the Question. Thank you so much for the answer, and so looking forward to the new book.

        Erica

      • jeansasson says:

        Yes, I see what you mean, Erica… I actually submitted the updates to the publisher but for some reason, the updates didn’t make the new edition. I have no idea why. Now that I am writing book 4, I guess it does not matter! Thank you, so much, Jean

  12. catrina zanata says:

    I’m so glad you were able to tell the story of Princess Sultana. It’s important for the world to know how very different things can be in another country. Thank you for all you’ve done to help women. I’ve read some of your books and can hardly wait to read more!

  13. Dear Jean,
    I happened to come across your first book when trying to find an interesting read on my new “Nook” and I was so immersed in Princess Sultana’s story that I immediately ordered and read the next two books. It is both fascinating and appalling to me that there is such horrible treatment of women that is systematic and culturally accepted in this day and age! I am so glad you have written these books, as they might spur people into action. Are there any organizations that you know of that can help get women in that part of the world? I can’t wait for your next book to come out!
    Lydia

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Lydia, Thanks a bunch for taking the time to drop me a note to tell me this.

      Yes, I agree. It’s always a shocker to me, even after traveling all over the world, to find women living in countries where they are so undervalued.

      Some of the governments have centers for women, but generally the culture and the society frowns upon women leaving home, even to save her life from an abusive man, so it is very difficult. I had a Saudi friend who fled an abusive relationship and went to a building where the sign claimed there was an organization to help women, and the building was a “front” and was totally empty and no such agency even existed.

      I’m working away on the 4th book about Princess Sultana and the women of Saudi Arabia. It will be published in September 2014. Have you read any of my other books? Please check out my website and you will see them all: http://www.jeansasson.com — Thank you, again, Jean

  14. chengboiser says:

    I’ve read this book and its really good. I have lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 3 years and women are really looked upon as a second rate citizen.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Chenboiser! Thanks for dropping me a note! I’m so pleased… And, yes, those who have personal experience living/working in Saudi Arabia know that the stories in my book(s) reflect the reality of life for women in Saudi Arabia. There are some positives these days, which is good, but the good changes are heartbreakingly slow.

      Thanks, again, for writing!

      WHERE DID YOU LIVE IN SAUDI? I lived in Riyadh for 12 years.

      • chengboiser says:

        jeddah. I believe the situation of women in jeddah is much better am i correct? I stayed in Riyadh for about a week but I could really feel the big change.

      • jeansasson says:

        Hi, yes, in fact, Jeddah was ALWAYS better for women — being a port city, vs a middle of the country desert city with more radicals, women were much better off in Jeddah. And, the trend continues. Some women in Jeddah do not even cover their faces…

      • chengboiser says:

        some but not all, you could actually see the difference from saudi’s who were half half and from those who came from a large tribe ex. zahrani etc.. the one who came from tribes still has a stringent custom for their women unlike those whose family has been mixed by another national/ educated overseas.

      • jeansasson says:

        I know a few women from some of the most conservative tribes who still live under the most horrific rules for women. Those women have it really bad in comparison to the more liberal tribes. So, you are absolutely correct that certain tribes are much more difficult when it comes to women’s issues. It sometimes helps when they marry outside the tribe, but really, it is rarely allowed. And, being educated is a huge deal for women all over the world, not just in Saudi. Thankfully, most Saudi women are receiving full educations…

  15. theshowear says:

    I’ll read it … I’ve intrigued

  16. Jean Sasson,

    I came across this post, because someone else re blogged it and your name came up in my feed. But I’m so happy that it did… because now I’m following you and now I can learn more about the other stories that you have courageously written and shared.

    When I was about 15 years old, I read the 3 Princess books (I’m 30 now, so that’s about 15 years ago). Your books had a profound influence on me and changed the way that I look at the world, and my opinion about woman’s rights.

    I enjoyed reading your books and I can’t wait to read book number 4.

    Thank you.

    • jeansasson says:

      Oh, I’m so glad you did, too! Gosh, you were reading serious fare at an early age!

      I’m currently working on PRINCESS Sultana: More Tears to Cry and it is wonderful to be working with her on this book, which has some positive stories, as well as sad stories. But, at least things are moving in the right direction in Saudi Arabia –too slow, but it is moving!

      Thanks, Sia!

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  19. aqilaqamar says:

    Well I did read and like your first book Princess but thinking of it I find it later on somewhat orientalist. I know that some of the things that you have written is very much true but then to blame it all on “religious system ” seems somewhat a simplification. I am not saying superstition does not rule many parts of the citizens’ thinking but Muslim women are different if one looks at Muslim women in India and those in Iran you can obviously see some differences from Saudi Arabian Women. I think women in all over the world whether from a secular or non secular country do face opression by men or rather by va severely patriarchal, capitalist system or even a patriarchal, communist system can do damage to most females thus it is quite important to focus 8 all the factors to liberate women.

    However, I am curious what made you want to write about the Middle East a lot? Aside the princess telling you her story where you also captivated by the strong feminist presence of the princess and other heroines in the tale?

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi aqilaqamar, To answer your question as to why I write about the Middle East. I lived in the Middle East for 12 years (in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). Then, I travelled extensively in the Middle East, to Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai (and other Emirates) Yemen, and other countries. I fell in love with the people, the history, etc. Once I wrote THE RAPE OF KUWAIT and then PRINCESS, many other Muslim women crossed my path and I told some of their stories.

      I don’t disagree with you that women all over the world have to fight to be taken seriously. Some countries are worse than others. Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Yemen, and small village in Pakistan and India rank in this category.

      We must all do what we can to further the cause of dignity for women.

      Interestingly enough, so many people write to me and thank me for NOT blaming the religion, but blaming the culture, and the social set-up against women, which I believe is the main culprit, rather than religion. So, I guess it is according to how the reader takes it. If you recall, Princess Sultana repeated over and over that it was the culture, rather than the religion. She would not have stood for me attacking the Islamic faith, although we did quote where the cleric misinterpret the Islamic verses to attack women. Thanks, so much, for writing to me. I appreciate it. Jea

  20. Hi Jean, I read all the Princess series when they were first published and lent them to friends and relatives. They made a profound impact on me! I recall cheering feisty Princess Sultana (such a character), tearing up on Sara’s enforced marriage, urging the Princess on when she escaped overseas and admiring her shrewdness with regard to the passports and her husband’s pilot and so on. I still remember details even though I haven’t opened the books since. Thank you for opening our eyes to the hidden lives of these ladies/women. You have and are doing a priceless service towards their lives and hopefully, one day, they will be equally as free as they desire. Bless you.
    I’m looking forward to reading both More Tears to Cry and also Yasmeena’s story. Like you, I do pause in my reading to wonder how I would handle such severe and traumatic situations myself. Bouquets and blessings to these heroines (both living and dead), to the lovely Princess and to you.
    Your fan.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Wendy, I’m really glad that the books impacted your life. The princess is a treasure of a woman, always inspiring and doing her best to help the situation for women.

      It’s always amazing to me how brave people can be when faced with the most gruesome circumstances.

      Thanks, again, and hope to speak with you later, Jean

      • Dear Jean,
        Here I am again 18 months later, to tell you I read ‘Princess – More tears to cry,’ and found it satisfying in more ways than expected. I hope I’ve picked the correct word as I felt Princess Sultana is tackling the issues in a more hands-on manner and there is no doubt, she continues to bravely do so. Both her daughters are so vastly different in character and their outlook on life and it is actually comforting to learn that even the royals have realistic ups and downs.
        I couldn’t get ‘Yasmeena’s Choice’ in any of the large well-known book stores in Sydney, but persevered and tried the libraries and smaller book stores as well, but to no avail. In the end, my wonderful husband purchased it for me on-line from the States.
        Granted, it is harrowing reading and there were a number of times when I gasped and had to put the book down, but I felt that my discomfort was a drop in the ocean compared to what Yasmeena and Lana had to put up with – especially poor Lana. In the end, I think it became a battle of wills – Lana, to never give in or succumb to her abuser and his, to quash her indomitable spirit like he did with her body. May God have taken her soon after and comforted her brave soul and spirit.
        It is a book that has haunted me and will continue to do so. There are some books that are precious to me and ones I will NEVER part with and Yasmeena’s Choice is one of them. Thank you for writing her story – although a book that is hard to digest, it is almost imperative that it be read by both women and men, to help them understand that women are not commodities to be abused but to be respected and cherished. Bouquets to you Jean as I saw that you couldn’t write the story for a number of years and I can understand why, but you overcame your reticence and bravely put Yasmeena’s account into words.
        Thank you again.

      • jeansasson says:

        Hi Wendy! Please do see my responses next to your comments inside your own note. And, thank you for writing!

        windowcolquhoun810 commented on Visiting with Princess Sultana Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.

        in response to jeansasson:

        Hi Wendy, I’m really glad that the books impacted your life. The princess is a treasure of a woman, always inspiring and doing her best to help the situation for women. It’s always amazing to me how brave people can be when faced with the most gruesome circumstances. Thanks, again, and hope to speak with […]

        Dear Jean,
        Here I am again 18 months later, to tell you I read ‘Princess – More tears to cry,’ and found it satisfying in more ways than expected. I hope I’ve picked the correct word as I felt Princess Sultana is tackling the issues in a more hands-on manner and there is no doubt, she continues to bravely do so. Both her daughters are so vastly different in character and their outlook on life and it is actually comforting to learn that even the royals have realistic ups and downs. FROM JEAN SASSON FOR WENDY: Yes, you are so right. She is an amazing woman and manages to help so many people. And, thankfully her daughters have turned out to have her same passion for helping others, although it was a long road from their dramatic teenage years to now. But, their actions then showed that they had a lot of fire and passion, and now that they are applying their passions to good causes that help others.

        I couldn’t get ‘Yasmeena’s Choice’ in any of the large well-known book stores in Sydney, but persevered and tried the libraries and smaller book stores as well, but to no avail. In the end, my wonderful husband purchased it for me on-line from the States. FROM JEAN: I am so glad that you got this book. Of all the 13 books I have written, this one was the most difficult for me (and I admit that certain scenes I wrote about in MAYADA, DAUGHTER OF IRAQ, when the Iraqi guards were brutalizing the young women imprisoned were horrifying to describe and nearly gave me a breakdown!) But this story haunted me for years. I remember leaving the home where all the raped/pregnant women were being taken care of (by the Kuwaiti government) and I felt numb, unable to comprehend the horror just described to me by the young woman who told me the full story. She was the only survivor ready and willing to talk in great detail — I think it was because she was so ENRAGED at what had happened to her, and mostly, to her young Kuwaiti friend…

        Granted, it is harrowing reading and there were a number of times when I gasped and had to put the book down, but I felt that my discomfort was a drop in the ocean compared to what Yasmeena and Lana had to put up with – especially poor Lana. In the end, I think it became a battle of wills – Lana, to never give in or succumb to her abuser and his, to quash her indomitable spirit like he did with her body. May God have taken her soon after and comforted her brave soul and spirit.
        It is a book that has haunted me and will continue to do so. There are some books that are precious to me and ones I will NEVER part with and Yasmeena’s Choice is one of them. Thank you for writing her story – although a book that is hard to digest, it is almost imperative that it be read by both women and men, to help them understand that women are not commodities to be abused but to be respected and cherished. Bouquets to you Jean as I saw that you couldn’t write the story for a number of years and I can understand why, but you overcame your reticence and bravely put Yasmeena’s account into words. FROM JEAN: Can you believe that many female editors refused to even consider YASMEENA’S CHOICE? I find such reactions to be puzzling, for, as women, we must take difficult stands and support women who have endured such brutality — the only way to bring any kind of change is to make it known. To run away from it doesn’t help anyone. I say this, though, even as I must admit I had to fight for a long time to be able to write the story, so I guess I should be more understanding.

        THANK YOU again for writing. I truly enjoyed hearing from you and your take on the princess and on Yasmeena’s Choice. Please do write me again when you can. (The 5th book in the princess series is out TODAY (PRINCESS, SECRETS TO SHARE) and I hope you can get it in your corner of the world! Let me know. Until later, then, Jean
        Thank you again.

        Reply Comments

      • Dear Jean,

        Thank you so much for responding in detail to my comments.

        I must admit at being taken aback by the rejections you received from some women editors. I share your belief that women should support each other and in particular, women like Yasmeena and Lana, who had suffered outrageous, nightmarish and unspeakable abuse. I’m still shaking my head with bewilderment and disbelief. How on earth can solidarity be maintained if (some) women ignore, pretend or deny the hand of compassion to sisters who have suffered! We can hardly blame men if they lack the same compassion or empathy or understanding towards women victims.

        I concur that Yasmeena’s account is hard to stomach but our discomfort in reading the report of the brutalities is minuscule and a drop in the ocean to what she and Lana suffered at the hands of their tormentors/abusers. It behooves us to get past it in order to educate ourselves on what takes place in certain situations or regimes or under conflict and to be grateful that we have not been exposed to, exploited or experienced the horrors that all the captive women held as prisoners, suffered. As the adage goes: There but for the grace of God go I.

        I would like to take this opportunity to say that I’ve nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Award and I hope my link to you works. If not, you will find it on my latest post: https://wendyswrittenwords.wordpress.com/

        I feel honoured that an author of your calibre, takes the time to respond to fans such as myself. Bless you and my humble thanks to you Jean.

        Wendy

  21. Dear Jean.Let me first apology for me not finding the right words to say about you and your books.It was three months ago when my mother gifted me the book of princess Sultana and i really travelled through a so different world.I felt as every single word you had wrote down it engraved to my heart a variety of emotions.It seemed to me as if i were there living all the things.I finished reading the book within a day but i was thirsted for more so i bought all the books i could find in the library shop.I’m a teen girl who comes from Albania.I hope you have heard somewhere about my state.We,albanians, are always compleining about things such as politics or wealth but have never thought of huge problems such as in Saudit arabia’s ones.It hurts me to say that i felt happy and lucky i was not born there..Although my citizens are not reach,they are reach with feelings,support,appriciation..In one word we do live at least not being afraid of tomorrow,we live in a sea of hopes and dreams,of happines and love..what else do we want? To me,this seems to be the most important thing.But your book lightened me the fire of helping,or better fighting and struggling about arabian womens rights.It was recently that i told my mother i am going to gxet e degree in law or something else which will make it easier for me to help somehow.We are given just one life,aren’t we? So why not to do something valuable for the ones who relly need it? Thank you for existing Jean.I look up to you! You are not just a women with broaden horizons and knowledge,but you have a heart that everyone can stay in there,you are as a shelter being there for the ones who are weak,giving them a hand,being their voice.I really appriciate you marvelous,fabolous and any other good adjective you can own..I hope my english is as good as you can understand what i am trying to say although the words are endless when it comes to you! God may bless you!

  22. khushmita says:

    ma’am i am really mesmerized by your beautiful writings,, i have recently read the whole trilogy of princess sultana and eagerly waiting for the fourth edition in the series.. i am thoroughly shaken by knowing about the brutalities suffered by saudi women and their atrocities.. can u tell me abt present status of saudi women and princess sultana now in 2014.. i really admire u and princess sultana for courage to risk ur lives and tell the world about situation of women in saudi arabia.. waiting for ur reply..god bless princess sultana as well as the women of arabia, facing atrocities in name of religion

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you, Khushmita… I just cut and paste this entire thread and sent it to Princess Sultana’s eldest daughter, who lives in Europe — so no one is censoring her e-mails communications. As far as the status of women in SA in 2014, I will say that there are some good improvements regarding education and open dialogue about the status of women. So I believe that things are SLOWLY improving. Sadly, there are still very tragic tales since there are no laws to force men not to abuse women. So, if one is a Saudi woman and has a cruel father, husband, or son, then there is no one to help.

      You might want to know that I’m currently writing the 4th princess books and am in touch with the princess in order to get the information — so, there will be a big update about the princess in this 4th book due to be released by DOUBLEDAY in September 2014. Thanks, again, for writing, Jean

  23. Amy says:

    Hi Jean, I read all 3 books about the princess and i love it! i read it for the main reason that i am marrying a Yemeni man. I am in Dubai and we both work here. i wanna learn a lot about his culture and as an arab i know it is sooo difficult for us to understand each other as i am asian. but this man is very good to me… and he loves me so much.

    I cannot wait for the 4th book!!! please let us know if an ebook is available soon!!!
    Thanks for this!!!

  24. Ariel Tyler says:

    My daughters have changed little with the passing of years. Each has remained locked inside the same determined personality. Maha is an educated young woman who is devoting her life to the cause of helping women. Amani is still convinced that the old ways are best, although she is less vocal about her beliefs, which is a joy to my ears. My son Abdullah has married since the last book of my life was printed. His wife is a beautiful young cousin who is now in university studying.

  25. jeansasson says:

    Hello, Amy, I’m so glad that you have a happy relationship with a man from Yemen. I’m sure he must be very special from the things you are saying. We certainly cannot judge any individual other than from his or her own behaviors. Nice that you are living and working in Dubai, which is a great place for both men and women… For now, have a lovely day — AND, the 4th book will not come out until this coming September, but should be in Dubai almost immediately as soon as it is in the west. Thanks, again! Have a happy day, Jean

  26. farhan says:

    hi jean i want know that when is sultana’s fourth novel coming ?

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Farhan, I’m writing the book now. I met with Princess Sultana for a month this past summer and I have all the information — so it is just a matter of writing the book. It is to be published by DOUBLEDAY in September 2014…

      Thanks for caring! Jean Sasson

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Farhan! I’m currently writing the 4th book and my publisher will have it in hand in April and they will publish it in September 2014. I’ll be notifying everyone of course!

      Thanks, for asking! Jean

  27. Priya Nagarajan says:

    Hi Jean! I am Priya from India. I bought your first book based on whim and a flimsy review and boy did I love it. I fell in love with the feisty princess Sultana. But my take on the book is a little bit different than most westerners because here in the smaller towns and the rural areas the situation is quite similar with women being treated as second class citizens. They are married off young. Some are married off to men so much older. The only difference is that these people lack the Princess’ riches. Female infanticide exists in pockets……Why don’t you do a book on women in India?
    I look forward to your fourth Princess book this September.
    All the best!

    • Jean Sasson says:

      Hi Priya, This is Jean. I’m so glad that you got the book and read it. Princess Sultana is indeed a very unique woman — truly caring of others, although she is no push-over! I understand that is the case in India. I’ve had a number of people write to me and ask that I do a book on India. It’s a beautiful country nation with so much amazing history and people who intrigue me. The problem is that I have not yet been to India and I hesitate to write a book about the people of a country unless I am very familiar with it. I’ve written about Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, etc., and I felt comfortable because I had lived in the Middle East for many years and had visited (quite extensively in some cases) the other countries, so I had no problem describing the countries and the people. IF I can get to India and spend ample time there and meet various women who have lived through some of the situations you describe, then yes, I would be very interested in doing a book on women of one of the most important countries of our century. ANYHOW, thanks for bringing it up and let’s see what the future brings! With very kind regards, Jean

      • Priya Nagarajan says:

        Hi Jean, thanks for the prompt reply. I would like to extend you an invitation to our wonderful country, whose women too need a voice to speak for them. Please do come and spend time here. Maybe one of your publishers can sponsor you?
        Best wishes,
        Priya Nagarajan

  28. jeansasson says:

    Thanks, Priya… I would love to come to India. This year is booked solid with work, but perhaps in 2015. Oh, I always sponsor myself. No publisher has ever sponsored me. That gives me the freedom to do as I want with my schedule, my timing, my writing, and also, these days to decide to keep my own rights if I so choose with my books… It’s the best for me. But thank you, so much! Perhaps we can meet up when I do get there in the future…

    • Priya Nagarajan says:

      Oh Jean, meeting up would be lovely. Looking forward to your trip in the future. Keep writing for I am collecting all your books!
      All the best,
      Priya NAGARAJAN

  29. Sarah says:

    Hi
    I was wondering if you are able to visit saudi?
    Also have you heard of the kings daughters being held captive? Is it true. If so I really want to help them and maybe princess sultana is willing to help to?
    I can’t sleep comfortably every night in the kingdom knowing some women in the country are being starved and tortured. I have written a few positive blogs on Saudi and was wondering if you would like to read them?
    Sarah

    • jeansasson says:

      Only if I sneak in with the princess! (smile)… I have heard that story — some of my friends say the story is not true. Others say that it is. I’m trying to find out now the exact truth… IF the story is true, then it is difficult to help any woman in Saudi whose father has decided they are going to stay at home. It would take an army to get them out and then it would be iffy. Yes, where did you write your blogs. Let me know and I’ll read them. Thanks, Sarah… Jean

  30. Holly Young says:

    Hi Jean! I was SO excited to read about the 4th book about Sultana, and I can’t WAIT to read it! I’ll be waiting!!!

    • jeansasson says:

      Holly, I’ll be as happy as you will be when you are reading it! That means I’ll be finishing with the 12 hour a day writing sessions! (smile)

      ANYHOW, please know that I appreciate you writing to me and your excitement over the continuing story of Princess Sultana! Jean

  31. Marion Muscare says:

    I am rereading (for the umpteenth time) the first of the three Princess books I have. Every so often (very often, actually), I like to take a mental trip to her world via your books. I was shocked to read they initially told you that no one would be interested in hearing about these things. Unbelievable… And because of your first Princess book, I want to learn all I can about the Middle East.

    I suddenly had an idea to look you up online and found this website. I was delighted to hear another Princess book is coming out this year. I often wonder about her and her family and have been dying for updates.

    Thanks! I hope to get all your books someday.

  32. Sara says:

    The problem with your princess is that she is a spoilt brat and part of the Saudi royal family. Its great that she cares about women’s rights but is she (and you) willing to actually criticize the governing structure that is responsible for such discrimination? What you and your princess don’t seem to understand, is that its not Arab culture and traditions that are the problem here, its the Saudi royal family. The AlSauds came into power by forming an alliance with the Wahabbis. Therefore to stay in power they need to continue to cater to Wahabbi beliefs. Allowing women to drive will only weaken AlSaud’s power base. For women and men to be fully equal in Saudi Arabia, the AlSauds must go. Since your latest book will talk about current events, will your princess discuss the plight of human rights activists that have been jailed and tortured by the Saudi government such as Muhammad AlQahtani?? What about the arrest and torture of the lone protestor in Riyadh Khalid? Or the arrest of the author Turki AlHamad and writer Hamza Kashgari for supposedly insulting the prophet? Will she discuss the discrimination against the shia of qatif and the torture and killings that many of them have experienced because they decided to demand their rights? Will she discuss how the Saudi army quashed the pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain? What about the Saudi instillation of a military dictatorship in Egypt? What about how Saudi princes support terrorism in Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan? The Syrian people are now caught between a brutal dictator, Bashar AlAsad, and terrorist groups such as AlNusra and ISIS that continue to be funded by some Saudi princes. What about the “war on terror” in Yemen? Or the continued militarization of Saudi Arabia? What the crucifixions that occurred in Saudi Arabia in 2013? Will she or you talk about that? Or how about the house arrest of the four daughters of King Abdullah? Its easy to say that the lack of women rights in Saudi Arabia is a result of Saudi culture and their interpretation of Islam. Its much more difficult to discuss the medieval dictatorship that Saudis find themselves living under.

    • jeansasson says:

      Sara, my dear, I wish you a most lovely day. As you see, I approve comments to be put on this page even if I disagree with the words spoken. I would like to reassure you that Princess Sultana is NOT a spoiled brat — she does so much for so many — good deeds that she never speaks about, and only those who know her well. For sure, there are many horrible things going on in Saudi Arabia, just as there is progress being made. While the princess is upset about these things you talk about, she has no more power to stop them than you, or I. And, the books that are written about Princess Sultana’s life only deal with the issues of women. For sure, there are many more bad things in the world, and the political goings on in the Middle East, and other countries. But that is not what these books are about. I suggest that you write a book about all these other political matters. Sincerely — not joking. You have a passion for it and that is what it takes. We all must come together to try and better our world, but as said, Princess Sultana concentrates on issues dealing with the abuse of women. And, believe me, I KNOW that she helps more women than anyone I know. She puts her money where her mouth is. ANYHOW, I’m sorry you are angry with the princess, and probably with me, but we are working hard to do a lot of good things. Please do not attack us — attack the ones responsible. For now, I hope you take your passion and do something really wonderful with it — alert the world — and I will support you in all your endeavors. With very special regards, Jean Sasson

  33. esha says:

    HELLO JEAN MAM!
    I AM SOO….. EXCITED THAT THE FOURTH BOOK OF ‘PRINCESS’ IS COMING UP!!! I READ THE BOOK PRINCESS AND THE DAUGHTERS OF ARABIA AND MAYADA WHEN I WAS 13 YEARS OLD IN NINTH STANDARD.THE NEXT YEAR I READ DESERT ROYAL. ALL YOUR BOOKS REALLY MOTIVATED ME TO FIGHT FOR WHATS RIGHT AND NOT CARE IF YOU ARE A FEMALE. I HAVE BEEN EAGERLY WAITING FOR YOUR NEXT ADDITION TO THE PRINCESS. SOO… HAPPY IT HAS FINALLY COME🙂

  34. jeansasson says:

    Oh, this is lovely to read, Esha! Thank you for telling me. I look forward to chatting with you later. For now, I’m off to run a few errands! Thank you, again, Jean

  35. Aiman says:

    I am an undergrad student from Delhi and didn’t knew about your books until I stumbled upon a copy of For The Love Of A Son in my college library and since then I have been an ardent reader of your books.
    I just can’t express it merely in words that how much your books have influenced me, and especially the princess. She is an epitome of courage and women power. Here in India, for a man to be a feminist is often confused with many different notions but your books gave me the courage to fearlessly speak against the atrocities on the women around the world. I didn’t have to go across the globe to point them out. Here itself there are so many men and “women” who have ill thoughts against women. And its not just the uneducated class, I have seen many educated people speaking out in sheer ignorance against women and their roles.
    The last time I visited the US, I deeply desired to meet you in person but couldn’t. But your work already has created a movement here. I’ve suggested it to many European friends as well, who were overwhelmed to read them.
    I am soon going to start reading Yasmeena’s choice and eagerly waiting for the 4th installment of the princess.

    • jeansasson says:

      Dear Aiman, What a beautiful letter. You don’t know what it means to me to hear from you that my books have changed your life, and that they have begun a “movement” in India. I’d love to strike up a continuing communication with you, Aiman. I’ve always said that women need to bring men into our circle or change will be so slow. You are one of the first men to let me know that you are willing to work on behalf of the cause of ensuring dignity for all human beings, women included!

      I’d like permission to show your letter to other people I am trying to convince the importance of my life’s work.

      For now, have a lovely day and thank you so much for taking the time to come online and write to me.

      With very warm regards, Jean Sasson

      • Aiman says:

        Thank you Ms Sasson for your inspiring words. You can surely use the letter to do even more positive work in the field.
        I’d be writing an email to you through the Contact the Author page.
        Regards
        Aiman

  36. Jean Sasson says:

    Thank you, Aiman… I really appreciate it. I’ll look forward to hearing from you again. Jean

  37. Pooja says:

    Hi Jean, how are you?
    Well to begin with you’re an amazingly fabulous thing for a writer! The princess series has been a favorite of mine since the day I read it till date (yeah, Jane Austen moves to second best). I really love the way you handle your stories & trust me I’ve read all the three books cover to cover! I’m from India & you might not know but you have quite a number of followers here too (And yeah I’ve surely contributed to that by harrowing my friends to read you). You’re awesome when you handle your subject especially since its a really sensitive one! You’ve inspired me to do my bit in the my society too! I really hope you visit India sometime & I get to take a picture with you!
    And could you please convey to the princess the next time you talk that she’s a hero to a zillion women including me!!! I’m sure she’s put her life to stake when she decided to voice out & I can see that it did not go a waste! Women owe their freedom to heroes like her!!!
    Love, Pooja🙂

    • jeansasson says:

      Pooja, the princess will be thrilled when I forward her your note because she is always amazed at how so many people in the world truly care about her, and other women in her country. Yes, I know that I have many readers in India and that makes me very happy — There are problems all over the world for women, but if we all pull together, we can make a huge difference. Thank you again for writing and so sorry for the long delay in responding but I’ve had a few health issues but getting better… With a big smile and a bigger thanks, Jean Sasson

  38. Sofia says:

    I have just finished reading the third Princess book and I immediately tried to find out more information on Princess Sultana’s life. The reason being for this is that you have instilled in me (and many other readers) a desire to know more about her journey aswell as that of her family. I was genuinely so happy when I read that you were releasing a fourth instalment and that I would only have to wait a few months to read it. I don’t know how else to really explain the emotion I feel when reading about the life of Princess Sultana and the women included in the book. The sadness at hearing about the cruel life of women to the happiness of hearing how the life of females are improving in the midst of male power. Even reading how Princess Sultana’s children have grown up to be like and the fact that she now has grandchildren evokes a strange (but very good) emotion in me as I have read of her journey from childhood to womanhood. Also, the bond Princess Sultana has with her sisters, especially Sara, seems so special which makes them coming together to fight for the rights of women at the end of the third book even more powerful. I guees what I really want to say is thank you. Thank you for writing the story of Princess Sultana’s life and sharing it with the world. Thank you for not attacking Islam but instead making a clear distinction between culture and religion. I truly cannot wait to read the next part of this journey and you are an amazing writer!

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank YOU Sofia, for writing to me and telling me of your care for the princess and her family and other women in Saudi Arabia. If you liked the first three books, you will loved the fourth, only because there are some wonderful family stories as well as stories about other Saudi women who are doing really great things with their lives. Although Saudi is not a perfect place for women, it is improving and that is a great relief and joy to me, personally. Thanks again for writing and for your kind words… Jean

  39. Arwa says:

    Hi,
    Well, I hope my poor English help me to express what I want to say.
    I am a Saudi girl, but currently living in Europe for doing my masters study. Anyway,today’s morning I was in an old bookshop store looking for any interesting books for my English. I was so surprised to see books on a wide variety of topics with different opinion and point of view! I am not used to that! I remembered myself two years ago when I was in the library in KSA looking for couple of books for my graduation project, but I was stuck with books that all are delivering the same opinion! However, in the middle eastern section I noticed a small book titled “princess”, I checked couple of pages so quickly, then I decided to have it!
    After I got home, I Googled you because I do not actually know you, well I’m not surprised that I have not heard anything about you or this book.
    Finally, the cover of the book made me tear up a bit! I don’t know why.
    Anyway, I will start reading then I will be able to tell my opinion about it.

    Just wanted to share this with you.
    Thank you.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hello Arwa, So sorry for the late reply to your note, but I’ve been unwell… Hopefully after some minor surgery I’ll be as good as new (smile)…

      I do hope you read the book and that you feel good about it — it’s the story of one Saudi woman and her personal experiences… There are actually three books published about Princess Sultana and a new one to come out updating readers about the good changes going on in Saudi Arabia right now. The fact you are living and working in Europe while studying for your master’s study lets the world know that things are greatly improving in Saudi Arabia. Do you know when I lived in Saudi Arabia that females were not allowed to study abroad? Things are changing and I’m so glad. For now, have a lovely day, Jean

  40. Jan says:

    I just found out about the new “Princess” book, published on Aug. 28th, “Princess, More Tears to Cry”. I am very excited and cannot wait to read it!!

    • jeansasson says:

      So glad you are excited about the continuing story of Princess Sultana… I’m thrilled that you will be reading it…

      Meanwhile, have a most happy day, Jean

  41. Eni Cizmja says:

    Hello Jean !
    I come from albania and I hadn’t heard about the Princess Sultana books before , but once I accidentally read a resume in internet , I had to buy all 3 books at once ! All of these days I was lost in those books , and are definitely the best books I’ve ever read .. and also I’m so wonderfully surprised reading you have responded to all of your fans.. is so kind of you .. really ..
    Anyway , I am so happy having these wonderful books and also I am so sad I just finished reading today the 3 part of it..
    And I can’t wait to have the 4 one .. and I hope so much it comes very soon in Albania ..😦
    I MUST say smth : I TOTALLY ADMIRE YOU AND YOUR WORK, AND I TOTALLY ADMIRE PRINCESS SULTANA ! her story changed my life .. I WISH ALL THE BESTS FOR YOU Ms Jean and all the bests for the Princess…

    P.s : as wishing deadly to hear from you , I’ve started to meet the Princess in my dreams. .
    Lots of love

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi! This is Jean. Interesting that you should write to me today as I just received my author’s copies of the three editions in Albania. I love the work of your publisher there — they have produced really beautiful editions of the PRINCESS books. Yes, I heard that they are going to purchase the rights for the 4th book but I do not know when it will come out. I’ll try to let you know if you will write me again in about a month. Thank you kindly for your very lovely words. I will pass your comments to Princess Sultana. I am sure she will smile when I tell her that you are meeting her in your dreams! That is really special. I will chat with you later, I’m sure. With very warm regards, Jean Sasson

      • Eni Cizmja says:

        THANK YOU A LOT … I really appreciate your answer🙂 and I’m waiting forward to chat you again..
        have a nice day
        Eni

  42. Anxhelina says:

    Jean hello my name is Anxhelina, I am from Albania . I am 18 years this year I discovered and read his three books about Princess Sultana . I want to tell that while reading this book I feel different sensation I cry , I laughed , I admire the power of Arab women , I was outraged by what happens to oriental women . I want to thank you Jean for writing this wonderful books im just in love with those . I would say Princess Sultana how much I admire her struggle her character her power her desire to help people and make changes in her countries . When I read your books I understood the power that have every women especially Arab women . After I read yours books I understood that the best things that we should do is to protect each other is time that women should protect other women . I want also to thank Sultana for telling and share with as their history and you that decide to publish . Im sure that every women find herself in your books . Before some day I see in your page in facebook that you publish your new book Princess More Tears to Cry I can,t wait to read it omg im so excited to know what happen . I live in Albania and here your new book has not arrived yet Im sure that I will order soon I cant wait to have in my hand . Thank you , thank you again for your amazing book . Sorry if I missed a few words or phrases. I admire you so much Jean Sasson, you’re my favorite writer, I love reading your books. Hope so one day my dream come true and I meet you .
    Sincerely
    Anxhelina

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Anxhelina! I’m so glad you have discovered the books I wrote about Princess Sultana. She is a very inspiring woman and has never stopped fighting for other women. You are so right that women should help women in any way they can. Sadly, there are some women out there who are our worse enemies! that always makes me very sad, and puzzled by the women’s behavior. Be on the look out for the 4th in the series as I hear it will be out later this year in Albania. I love my publisher there… I’m very fortunate. For now, have a lovely day and thanks again for writing, Jean

  43. Candace says:

    I am 22years old and when living in the Middle East as a child, my mother loved these books- even though she went to great trouble getting them through customs haha! I have finished the 4th book and i just wanted to thank u for sharing an incredible story. You sparked a fire inside a young 13year old girls heart and it was the start of my love affair with the Middle East and it’s culture!
    Sultana and the women of Saudi are so an inspiration and I’m so grateful there was you to share their beauty and courage with the world!

    I hope you continue, where possible, to update the world with the changes and developments in this wonderfully interesting lady’s life!

  44. Kathy says:

    Hi I’m not a huge reader but all your books have captivated me. Currently reading your latest. You have shared the stories of some amazing women.

  45. Kasha Dubinska says:

    Thank you for the book “More Tears to Cry”. What steps can we take? How can we help?
    Can you give me specific steps to take! Please. Kasha

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you for caring, Kasha! The steps we all need to take is to contact our highest ranking politicians and tell them that they must press the Saudi government for true change to come to women in that country. (There are some small (good) changes, but not nearly enough.) Then, never again look away if someone you know is in need – is being abused, whether emotionally or physically. Help them in any way you can and if you feel their life is in danger, step in and get the authorities involved. For women with children, raise your sons to respect and to know that females are his equal and that we must be partners in life to have a good life. And, in your own life, never take a second place to any man. Although it is easy enough to be good and kind, never take abuse without a strong reaction that will make the man back away. If only every woman who lives in a society where she will not be punished for these behaviors, I believe the world would slowly change and for the better for all of society. Please write me if you have any questions (wbbooks@hotmail.com)

  46. nelly djikounou says:

    I have read all four books about the Princess Sultana in Dutch as well as the book of Mayada and am still looking for your other books. I hope to find them soon. I love the books about Princess Sultana and I hope one day you will write more about her.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Nelly. There will be a 5th and final book, at least for the near future, about Princess Sultana. The title will be: PRINCESS, SECRETS TO SHARE = I’ll post more about the book later, but it will not be out for four or five months.

  47. Tara says:

    While I did love the books, I’m confused at how Sultana’s story could have been published while she was still living. I find it hard to believe that she would not have been murdered over telling her stories. Can you comment more on how she remains safe from reprisals?

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi Tara, SO glad you loved the books. I understand your confusion. If one has not lived in Saudi Arabia, and has no working knowledge of how secretive the lives of women, then that would be the reaction. The only people who could track this princess would be members of her immediate family — and, as it happened, her immediate family did discover the books and know that the princess was in their family. The family had to protect her to protect themselves. Should her true identity ever be made known, the men in her family would be punished, too. Not by imprisonment, but by a kind of scorn that would keep them from being active in the family dynamics. Also, although all the stories are true, the princess and I (along with one of her sister) spent enormous time changing dates, times, names, etc., of every story. Therefore, you read true stories but you did not get the true timing or any of the names that could place her. I hope this helps you to understand. Thanks, again, Tara.

  48. Aanya says:

    I just loved your books specially the Princess Trilogy and i wanna know more about the princess Sultana and her family is there a new book coming?! Cause i just cant imagine that the book is finally over and i wanna read more about her life and her sacrifice. And thanks to you who made this possible for people to know and understand more about the Saudi Arabian life.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thanks, Aanya! Thanks for your note, and so happy you enjoy the PRINCESS stories. In fact, there will be one more book — book 5 which will come out later in the year, and aftere that it will be a few years before there is another book. I’ll notify everyone online at this site when the new book is being released — TITLED: Princess, Secrets to Share

  49. Patience says:

    I read your books when I was 13 and completely fell in love with them! I laughed, I cried, I agonized and once threw the book across the room in anger (sorry!). Her story, and those of the women in her life, impacted me more deeply than I can express. I don’t things will really change until more people know of the human rights violations that are happening, specifically in regards to women. The more people hear her story, the better, and so every time I see a copy in the bookstore, I snap it up and find a friend to give it to. I have probably bought and distributed 30 or so copies because I love it so much and think it’s such an important book! I also have all the sequels and am beyond thrilled to track down a copy of the new one and find out more about this inspiring woman and her family. I really feel transported to another world when I turn those pages and my interest in middle eastern women’s affairs has been piqued to the extent that I now have a substantial collection of books on the subject and am always searching for more knowledge. Thank you so much for caring about this and spreading awareness to so many women (and men!). Cannot wait to read the new book and find out more about what has been happening with Sultana, her family and the women of Saudi Arabia.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you a zillion times for your care, your support, and your love for Princess Sultana’s life story…

      I would write more but I am in the middle of the book deadline for the 5th book on Princess Sultana’s life, so I know you will forgive me for being brief.

      I hope we speak again soon. write me again in three weeks if you have time and we’ll “chat” — Warm regards, Jean

  50. Mine says:

    hello, Jean. I am from The Philippines, I am a Nurse who would soon work for a Saudi Princess as a Private Nurse in Jeddah. My boyfriend for 10 years is already working there. So after I found out that I would soon be going I felt happy and a bit scared. That’s why I googled some information about jeddah and the life in it. then, I happen to see your first book about princess sultana. I downloaded an E-book and Read it around 1am. I quickly fell in love with her. Reading your book feels like reading a fiction book. I really can’t Believe it’s real.. You are a very brave person. Thankyou for bringing this topic across the globe. I admire your hardwork from all the books that you have. I will soon read all of your books. I feel really hooked with the stories. By the way, from 1am to 8am I have read the book without noticing about the time! I hope to find your book in a local bookstore here.

    • jeansasson says:

      Hi, this is Jean. You are about to go on a wonderful adventure, I am sure. (I lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years and had a marvelous experience.) And, it’s much nicer to live in Jeddah than in Riyadh (where I lived.)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the true story of Princess Sultana. Life is very dramatic in Saudi Arabia, is all I can say — never a dull moment!

      Thanks for your kind words and hope you get to read more of my books! http://www.jeansasson.com

  51. Seema Suri says:

    I adore you as a author Jean living in New Zealand your life is so free that you take it for granted. I loved your first Princess book and while I was in Dubai I got hold of your new book it’s amazing.

    • jeansasson says:

      Thank you, Seema for telling me this. I really appreciate it. Are you talking about Princess, More Tears to Cry, OR, the latest and 5th in the series, PRINCESS, Secrets to Share? I’d love to know!

      Talk later, then, Jean

  52. Amy in Las Vegas says:

    Hi Ms. Jean! I just finished the trilogy and was googling to see if it was ever revealed who the Princess is and am happy I stumbled on this page. Looks like I have two more books to purchase and devour! Thank you for your books!

  53. Lori Philips says:

    I read all the Princess books and loved them. I got my mom to read them and she absolutely loved them but I have to say Growing up Bin Laden has been one of my favorite books to read ever, and I read all the time. It was a very interesting book and although he and many of his sons and other family members are pure evil in my opinion this just proves that not all were and I wish others would read it and realize the same. After 9/11 many people were critical of the US government for allowing some members of the family to leave the US stating we were allowing criminals and murederers to leave and what this books shows is that not all of them are evil and the ones that aren’t deserved a chance to get out and on with there lives.

  54. Charlotte says:

    Dear Jean

    I first read your books while I was in hospital giving birth to my last daughter. I was shocked to see that even in this day and age women are still treated so badly around the world, I applaud the princess for her courage and bravery. Every time I read the books it reminds me how I’m lucky to live in a country where my son and daughters have the choice in who they marry and if they marry at all.

    The princess and you have opened my eyes to the suffering of women which is now a topic that me and my 8 year old son discuss frequently, he believes that women are amazing, he has been raised by myself as a single mother with two little sisters and extremely strong women surrounding him his whole life.

    If a child can see injustices in this world at his young age then we should know that there is something wrong.

    Thanks to yours and the princesses influences I am proud to say I am raising a son that will never be cruel to women, that believes in our causes all over the world and what’s to right the wrongs off this world in any way he can, and who is proud of his two sisters and praises them at any opportunity he gets.

    Thank you for opening my eyes to the princesses world.

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