Who Is Me

Who Is Me.

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Women driving cars…how do we start its implementation

Seems I have been reading about and discussing this issue since 1978 when I first moved to Saudi Arabia. There is NO valid reason to keep Saudi women from driving. Women will not cause any problems, although some MEN will. I enjoyed reading this very thoughtful article on the subject of women driving in the kingdom.

Saudiwoman's Weblog

Due to popular demand, I’ve translated the article I mentioned in The turning pointpost:

The difficult question of women driving was sparked by Afaf who felt oppressed and humiliated, after her driver left her alone and distraught in her car amid a busy street in the city of Riyadh. “Insulted in my country? .. Why should I have to stand helpless in a car I own, and paid for from my salary, while I have an international and well-deserved driving license from a neighboring country? Why can’t I start my car, on my own?”

Afaf’s Asian driver left her in the middle of the road on her way to work in the morning; simply because she criticized him. He turned off the car and threw her keys at her, and then stopped a taxi and got in, without heeding her appeals, or her pleas!

Riyadh newspaper carried Afaf’s question and…

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Punishment in Saudi Arabia

When I first went to Saudi Arabia, the mutawa’s were very active, but as the years passed, became more and more aggressive. It seems that nothing has changed in this regard! They inspire fear in the hearts of so many people and try to smash every joy of life. I remember how angry they looked if someone SMILED as though a smile was an affront to them and God. Tis a pity these men are allowed on the street to harass anyone they please and so often, the people they arrest are totally innocent of any crime but their lives are ruined, nevertheless.

Saudiwoman's Weblog

We’ve all heard or read about the strict laws and forms of punishment in Saudi Arabia. The most notorious of which is cutting off the hands of thieves. But many people don’t dig deep enough to know that a thief has to steal a substantial amount to get that punishment. No one gets their hand cut for petty theft, but when you have a gang who goes around robbing houses, then that punishment comes onto the table. In all my years here, I’ve only heard about it happening once. A friend of mine had their apartment robbed. Jewelry, TVs, computers and everything of value was taken. Eventually the robber was caught and my friend’s father was asked if he would forgive the robber or not. His refusal to forgive him contributed to the judge’s decision to have the thief’s hand cut off. I don’t know the details such as whether…

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The immodesty of nail polish

Saudi Arabia is a very unusual country and there are rules and regulations for women that startle many from other lands. I lived in Saudi Arabia for 12 years and dressed modestly, covering my hair, and wearing the abaaya but not covering my face (unless I was doing research for myself to find out what it felt like to full veil.) I rarely had any problems although anytime I was in the souk I was glared at by the religious police but they only glared, thank goodness. They are angry faced men that rule by fear of what they “might do.” But one day after I had been in the kingdom for about 6 years, I was stopped at entrance of the mall and told that I could not wear nail polish. I very quietly asked to see the religious ruling on nail polish, which of course they could not produce. Those men (they were young, and obviously in training to become mutawa’s and we always noticed that the younger mutawa’s were always more aggressive — out to show their power, I guess.) I didn’t move, but kept inching inside the mall and kept telling them if they showed me the restriction about nail polish, I would take it off. I finally got in the mall but I remember how frustrated and angry I felt that SOME men of Saudi Arabia simply wanted to show their power over women and if they didn’t see anything about a woman that broke the moral/cultural laws, that they would simply make up something. When I was there, Saudi women were very shy about facing down authority and no Saudi woman would have become aggressive like the woman you are about to read about — I remember telling Saudi female friends that only THEY could bring change — that THEY must push back in order to gain any freedoms — and finally now it is happening. So things are changing in Saudi Arabia and the men need to change, too. There is no need in harassing women about nail polish, lipstick, uncovered faces… The tide is turning. Here is the story I am talking about — and, I would take with a grain of salt the way the men are describing this woman — most likely they want to discredit her and make themselves look good.

Saudiwoman's Weblog

Last Tuesday a Saudi woman in Riyadh was followed at a major mall by the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). They demanded that she leave the mall because she had nail polish on. She in turn refused and started videotaping the incident on her cell phone and informed the CPVPV member that she’s also uploading it to social media. Then she called the police and in the second video you can see three police officers trying to calm the situation and hear her tell them that she’s afraid to leave the mall because the CPVPV might follow her in the car and purposely cause a car accident.

Before I go any further, I’m going to give the CPVPV statement to news organizations and a CPVPV sympathizer’s witness statement:

 Informed sources confirmed to Sabq that the incident occurred last Tuesday evening, indicating that the Commission’s headquarters are in the process…

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An Iraqi Saint of a doctor with dying Iraqi children July/August 1998

With so much going on in Iraq, I thought readers might like to read about some of my experiences, and see some photos I took of Iraqis, when I visited the country in 1998…

Jean Sasson

Different degrees of dying…
Sad and sick baby.
Darling little girl
Dr. Hameed with his young patient
Business cards, Baghdad summer of 1998
The Al-Rasheed in Baghdad, Summer of 1998

I tried to post these photos at the proper place in my blog, but for some reason the site didn’t cooperate. 

In July & August of 1998 I made a memorable journey to Baghdad.  After writing THE RAPE OF KUWAIT, and hearing my “banker” volunteer driver Soud A. Al-Mutawa talk about how fond he was of ordinary Iraqi citizens, I was always curious to find out for myself how it was that so many ordinary, but nice, Iraqis had fallen under a regime who not only tortured and murdered Kuwaitis, but also tortured and murdered Iraqis.  After leaving Kuwait, I knew that I must visit Iraq.  But years passed before the timing was right.  In 1998 I felt the time had come.  Lots…

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IRAQ: The current situation



The situation in Iraq is horrifying. There are so many questions as to how this has happened. While I will write more about that later, for the time being, I believe that most thinking people will want to know some of the history of Iraq’s formation through the eyes of an Iraqi woman who was born and raised in Iraq. If you have an interest, I encourage you to read Mayada’s story.

Soon I’ll post my thoughts on the current situation in a country I had so wanted to finally find and enjoy peace.

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Advice On Marrying A Saudi And Living in Saudi Arabia

This is all very interesting and good information from a woman who knows what she is talking about. She is an American married to a Saudi, and living in Saudi Arabia. You can totally trust her advice on life in Saudi Arabia.


By Tara Umm Omar
9 April 2006

This is not an attempt to discourage anyone from marrying a Saudi national. It is written for both non-Saudi men and women from an Islamic viewpoint. No one should go into any marriage with rose-colored glasses and marriage to a Saudi is no exception. You should prepare yourself and know the advantage and disadvantages of being married to a Saudi before you make the commitment. If you are a Muslim reading this, please do not forget to pray istikharah insha’Allah.

1. The Saudi marriage permission is required for any Saudi male or female who desires to marry a non-Saudi. These days it is hard to obtain unless your husband knows an influential person (called “wasta” in Arabic) or pays through the nose with a hefty bribe in order to get the permit approved quickly. Ideally the spouse must apply for the marriage permit…

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