Wednesday, June 18, 2003

IF YOU HAPPEN TO SEE THIS MEDIA CAMPAIGN touting Saudi Arabia as a "modern nation with normal people living normal lives.” you might also want to attempt to reconcile that with this story.
If only Sarah Saga were trying to crash a men's-only golf club. Then she and those like her might be guaranteed some sustained media coverage. As it is, this intrepid 23-year-old American mother is now holed up with her two children in the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah in a desperate bid for freedom.

Back in September Prince Bandar, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S., claimed in this newspaper it is "absolutely not true" that any American women were in his country against their will. Ms. Saga's flight to the consulate suggests otherwise. For under Saudi law no woman--even an American--is free to leave that country if her father or husband forbids it.

...What makes Saudi Arabia so unpleasantly distinctive is that if you are unlucky enough to be an American female, your husband or father effectively remains your jailor if he so chooses, backed up by the full powers of the Saudi state.

Normal people living normal lives indeed.

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