I was lonely, desperate, and angry. At that moment, I truly understood what it meant to be a Saudi woman. It meant being confronted with every possible kind ofobstacle and discrimination. It meant being told that if you want to race with men, you’d have to do it with your hands and legs cut off. I started to wish I had been born somewhere—anywhere—else.
So you’re the infamous Manal al-Sharif,” he said, eyeing me from behind his desk. “Aren’t you ashamed of what you did?”“Is driving a car something shameful?” I answered back.
Any religion-based state has a mission to limit the minds of its people, to fight the developments of history and logic, and to dumb down its citizens. It’s important to stand in the way of such a mentality, to deny it from continuing its mission to murder the souls of its people, killing them deep within while they are still alive and breathing.
States that are built on a religious foundation limit their own people in a circle of faith and fear.
In fighting its war, the Ministry of the Interior has resorted to a novel tactic–marriage. No Saudi official will admit on the record that the Kingdom’s terrorist problem might boil down to sexual frustration, but if a social system bans hot-blooded young men from contact with the opposite sex in their most hot-blooded years, perhaps it is hardly surprising that some of them channel this frustration into violence. One cornerstone of the extremist rehab program is to get the “beneficiaries,” as they are called, settled down with a wife as soon as possible. The Ministry of the Interior pays each unmarried beneficiary 60,000 riyals (some $18,000), the going rate for a dowry, or bride price. The family arranges a marriage, and whenever he can, Prince Mohammed turns up for the wedding.When Khaled Al-Hubayshi was released from Al-Haier prison early in 2007, he wasted no time finding himself a bride at government expense.
I got a text from my husband. “Manal, you are divorced,” it read. “Your papers are in the court of Khobar.” I was divorced in my absence, just as I had been married.
My biggest fear is that the enlightened Arab thinkers are gong to leave the Arab world in search of fresh air: somewhere far away from the sword of the religious authorities.
As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.
The problem is that, when places like Saudi Arabia just implement the penal code, and don’t provide the social and economic justice of the Sharia—the whole package—they simply engender hatred toward the Sharia.
The rejection of Western democracy derives from the same rejection of secularism but was further sharpened by the Saudi Arabian establishment’s aversion to democracy’s subversive streak and the threat it posed to the Saudi monarchy if unleashed. Saudi scholars such as Sheikh Bakr Ibn Abu Zaid consistently attacked democracy and the freedoms it flaunted as anti-Islamic. Mohammed Yusuf was heavily influenced by the writings of Saudi-based scholars such as Bakr Ibn Abu Zaid, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abd-Allah Ibn Baaz (1910-99), and Sheikh Muhammad al-Amin ash Shanqiti (1907-73). As mentioned before, all of Yusuf’s opponents side-stepped the issue of democracy being un-Islamic, thereby making the issue appear incontestable or settled.
Eyes closed, she let her pain float away with the prayers, higher and higher, around the mosque's minarets, and up to the sky. She thought about the old Arabic saying that a woman has only two exits. One exit leads from my father's house to my husband's. The other leads from my husband's house to my grave. I'm not ready for the second exit yet.
The professor stared straight ahead. He felt Husam's eyes upon him. He clenched his hands together tightly, lest their shaking reveal everything.
It is an amazing contradiction: a society that frowns on a woman going out without a man; that forces you to use separate entrances for universities, banks, restaurants, and mosques; that divides restaurants with partitions so that unrelated males and females cannot sit together; that same society expects you to get into a car with a man who is not your relative, with a man who is a complete stranger, by yourself and have him take you somewhere inside a locked car, alone.
She took my papers, the papers that had followed me from the Khobar police station to jail, and pointed at a place where I was supposed to sign. On the paper there was a line for charges. In the blank space, someone had written “driving while female.
We were like captive animals that had lost the will to fight. We even went so far as to defend the very constraints that they hadimposed upon us.
The lifetime prevalence of dissociative disorders among women in a general urban Turkish community was 18.3%, with 1.1% having DID (ar, Akyüz, & Doan, 2007). In a study of an Ethiopian rural community, the prevalence of dissociative rural community, the prevalence of dissociative disorders was 6.3%, and these disorders were as prevalent as mood disorders (6.2%), somatoform disorders (5.9%), and anxiety disorders (5.7%) (Awas, Kebede, & Alem, 1999). A similar prevalence of ICD-10 dissociative disorders (7.3%) was reported for a sample of psychiatric patients from Saudi Arabia (AbuMadini & Rahim, 2002).
The route to his hotel had been committed to memory a long time ago. From the overflowing trashcan on the corner to the feral cats that frequented the dumpsters behind the nearby shawarma shop, Jamison knew every detail.
How long will we stand in silence while half of our nation is chained by ancient, outdated laws? How long will we close our eyes to a tribal mentality that subjugates women in the most base and dehumanizing ways? How long will we hide in the shadows while the ruling elites bask in the rays of wealth and privilege?
As he stretched out his legs, Siraj let out a deep sigh and smiled. I wonder what Prince Bahir’s blonde surprise will be wearing. I'm guessing it won't be a habiya.