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Who is Princess Sultana?

"Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia" purports to detail how females are denied education and many rights in Saudi Arabia.
"Princess Sultana" is the name used by a supposed Saudi royal who wrote about how women are treated in her kingdom.
A map of the Middle East.
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Princess Sultana is said to be a woman from one of the highest royal families in Saudi Arabia. She reportedly kept diaries detailing the gut-wrenching treatment of Saudi women and passed her story on to an author named Jean P. Sasson, who allegedly then used the journals to write a book, Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia. Whether she truly exists remains a major debate in the literary and political worlds.

Overview of Princess Sultana's Story

Through Sasson's text, Princess Sultana reveals a place in which men take up unrelenting dominance over women. She shows how the denial of human rights for women begins with children, offering details of a time when she was severely punished as a child for eating an apple her brother wanted. Her story also describes how females often are undereducated or refused education altogether.

Much of Princess Sultana’s story is not for the faint of heart. In addition to giving personal information, she tells tales of women who are starved or locked in rooms for what most people would consider minor infractions, giving details how they are tormented and, in some cases, stoned to death, all within the confines of the laws of the land. She even gives accounts of women who, after being sexually assaulted, are executed as punishment for supposedly seducing their rapists.

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Name Change

Some of the debate about whether Princess Sultana is real comes from the fact that Sasson and her agent, Peter Miller, admittedly changed her name. They claim this was necessary to protect Sultana from the harm that likely would come to her if people knew who she really was. They also say that protecting her identity keeps her children from danger. Supporters assert that there is enough evidence to suggest that the fear of retaliation against a woman who speaks out in Saudi Arabia is well-founded.

Friederike Monika Adsani's Lawsuit

Friederike Monika Adsani is an Austrian woman who, for a time, was married to a man from a Kuwaiti family. She wrote a manuscript called Cinderella in Arabia about the problems she had in her marriage and fitting in to the Kuwaiti society. Eventually, she submitted the text to Peter Miller, but he reportedly rejected the work on the grounds that it wasn't sensational enough. Following the Gulf War, in 1992, Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia was published under Sasson's byline.

Adsani became aware Sasson's text and noticed extreme similarities between her original manuscript and Sasson's version. Some of the language appeared to be directly taken from Adsani's work. Making things even more suspicious was the fact that Peter Miller, the same agent who had rejected Cinderella in Arabia, was the agent representing Sasson. Convinced her work had been plagiarized, Adsani filed a copyright lawsuit claiming that Miller and Sasson had stolen her manuscript, publishing it under Sasson's name in order to sell more copies.

Following the lawsuit, a woman claiming to be Sasson responded to the plagiarism claim on the popular blog, Dogear Diary. The post describes Adsani not only as desperate to be published, but as generally unstable. It further asserts that the "lazy" media simply repeats accusations without trying to find the truth, and that, if Princess Sultana is fake, it wouldn't have been possible to write the additional books about her that followed Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia. Sasson posted additional information trying to discredit Adsani on her own website, saying Adsani was stalking her.

Conclusion

In 1996, as the debate about Princess Sultana raged, the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs outlined significant problems with the case. The article that appeared claimed that Sasson's published text is riddled with factual inaccuracies. Among them are assertions of female circumcision (generally not practiced in the Middle East) and misstatements about veiling, dowries and the permission of women to enter mosques. Critics, including the former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, pointed out that, even if these problems weren't in the work, many of the events described are so horrific that they would have been widely known and condemned in Saudi Arabia. They explain that, in general, Saudis think the book is a fake and are disappointed and surprised that people from America believe the tales of cruelty are true.

Perhaps even more damaging are statements released from multiple individuals involved with the case. Experts such as Dr. R. Victoria Arana, professor of English at Howard University, for example, testified to the similarities between Adsani's manuscript and Sasson's book. Comments made by Miller himself following the lawsuit also appeared incriminating.

Despite these supports, Adsani lost her lawsuit against Miller and Sasson. The court not only dismissed the case, but also ordered her to pay all court costs for the defendants. Both Sasson and Adsani continue to maintain that they are telling the truth about Princess Sultana.

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Discuss this Article

anon359432
Post 62

There are absolutely zero similarities between Jean Sasson's "Princess" and Friederike Monika Adsani's manuscript. "Princess" is a true story set in the Middle East.

Friederike Monika Adsani's book is about her own middle class life set in Kuwait. The stories are vastly, vastly different.

For anyone reading this, please know that the author Jean Sasson has been the victim of a ruthless and vicious slanderer and stalker for the last 20 years.

She was completely vindicated of Friederike Monika Adsani's outrageous lies in a court of law.

anon331204
Post 61

I have read Princess and For The Love of a Son, both by Jean Sasson and I am truly confused. I am not sure if it is the author's writing style, but I just find it hard to connect with her books. I find that the princesses are portrayed as bitter and every other line is about how badly women are treated.

I think it is naive to say that such atrocities do not occur. Saudi Arabia is known for its strict laws against women and this would not be the first woman to speak out against such things. However I do find it hard to believe the story is based on one actual person. I think it's a mix of things that are known to have happened in Saudi Arabia. I also find the county's political and royal history thrown in to be inconsistent with the story telling. It sounds a lot like what's written on wikipedia.

Also, some of the islamic and quranic explanations are actually incorrect. The quran states men and women have the same rights, men and women were made equal, but have different roles in life, different paths.

I just find the entire Princess book confusing. I do feel bad that I don't entirely believe it as this abuse does exist. Also, although the princess's name was protected I am pretty sure it would be easy to figure out who she is by her relatives. The stories involve a lot of people who could easily figure out who she is. So why has no one done so?

anon326975
Post 60

Whether the books are true or not, the information is now out into the world for all to judge in their own ways. Even before these books came out, tales of similar stories had surfaced. It does not even matter who wrote the stories as long as the stories have been told.

anon308121
Post 58

No good calling unidentified people media whores when Jean Sasson is is a well known sociopath in the publishing industry. By the way: another expose surprise is in the offing!

anon303589
Post 57

All three books in the Princess series are important books. I have read each of them multiple times. Every time I read them, I take something away with me. The author really went out of her way to explain how life was for the Princess and her friends and family in Saudi Arabia.

I have read all of Jean Sasson's true-to-life stories, as well as her novel, "Ester's Child," which is one of my favorite books as well.

anon303001
Post 56

Jean Sasson was accused of plagiarism by a deranged and talentless media whore who pines for fame. She was cleared of all accusations because it was proved the accuser was a liar.

anon286709
Post 55

If you think Jean Sasson's "Princess" books are an expose on Saudi Arabia's women's downtrodden life, you have to read the latest "Princess" book. It is called "The Phony Princess," and exposes the very author of the Princess books as a hoax author. It looks like her 21 years of writing hoaxes are finally up.

anon277447
Post 54

To all people here: Remember that this story happened in the 70's so I believe all of it is true. You can't compare Saudi Arabia in 2012 with the one from 1972. Although it didn't change much, it changed a bit.

anon260050
Post 53

The irrefutable facts are women are mistreated in all countries by individuals. In Arab countries, laws are created from Islam that are outdated and are misogynistic in nature. Muslims in America have a different life, but if Sharia law existed there, we'd see men dominate, possess and control women, and often several of them. Sharia law is based on something someone made up a long time ago, because nobody spoke to an angel.

anon253028
Post 52

Honestly, I have never read any of Sasson's books, but I have a few comments in general.

For one, anyone who knows anything about Islam would know that God created Islam to give equality and respect to women and not degenerate them, for example, "If any do deeds of righteousness- be they male or female-and have faith, they will enter heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them."(4:124), "And of everything We have created pairs: that ye may reflect," and "Allah created for you mates from among yourselves, that Ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and Allah has put love and mercy between your hearts..." (30:21).

If Islam were a religion that oppressed women, why would the Qur'an, the Holy book of Islam say these things? Before religions start to say that Islam oppresses women, maybe they should look at their own religion: "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" (Genesis 3:16), "For Adam was formed first, then Eve" (3:13).

The men who harm and abuse women in the name of Islam are abusing their religion, since Islam tells men to respect women.

Also, western countries are not that respectful to women and abuse women in many ways. For instance, prostitution, female battery (when women get beaten, mostly by their husbands and boyfriends)- not much is done to the man, and the way women are expected to dress- showing their bodies, do you really believe exposing your body is a freedom? Well it is not. All that it is doing is giving man something to look at and not letting them respect women for who they really are.

So, if people really want to question Islam, go ahead open up your minds, grab a Qur'an, and read it. You will be surprised at how much freedom is given to women from education and politics, to the way she is to be treated by men and marriage. --T.A.D

anon250566
Post 50

I am a 25 year old Muslim woman from Scotland living in Saudi Arabia. I wasn't born a Muslim; I converted to it. Islam is not about abusing females. What people have to do is separate the people from the religion Islam itself is perfect and woman are held in very high regard. It's the people who choose not to follow it correctly who mess things up.

Furthermore, I am married to a Saudi man who treats me like a queen and loves our daughter as much as much as our sons. O.K., I can't do what I want outside my home because of the laws. I guess there are men out there -- not just Muslims --but from all walks of life and they treat women like crap and I guess there are Saudi guys out there who have no respect for women. But, if any of this book is true, then people in general need to stop judging a whole collection of people from what they read in books, magazines and newspapers or from one person's experience, because in my experience, I have had a better life here then back in Scotland, but I pray the women in these conditions anywhere in the world will be saved, inshallah.

anon249900
Post 49

Jean Sasson will soon be unveiled as the 21st century's most daring literary liar and hoax author.

You will get proof of how her books

"The Rape of Kuwait," "Princess," "Daughters of Arabia" and "Sultana's Circle" were all made up of endless lies and gutter trash writing.

Jean Sasson is a fraudulent thief. To write her "Princess" trilogy, this Sasson creature simply stole another writer, an Austrian woman's autobiography of life in Kuwait, and with that stolen manuscript, Sasson fabricated the Saudi Arabian "Princess" trilogy.There never was a Saudi Arabian princess. Sorry, but most of Sasson's readers on this site are simple sheep, following without a thought! Look up the Princess Sultana hoax!

anon232889
Post 48

I've read the first two books and liked all of them very much. The stories are horrifying and not believing them true is simply being naive! Of course these things happen! Even worse things happen to women every single minute of every single day.

It's not the stories that are untrue; it's the heroine who's fictional, not the stories in their substance. There is not and never has been a princess who spoke to the author!

Ask yourself just one simple question: the books are international bestsellers. In a country where women are not allowed to drive, do you really think that no one would take action to find out who the female source revealing scandalous intern information from the life of a royal family was? Especially when the circle narrows down to about 100 people, with those family stories? She would have been exposed instantly! (and I'm not talking about that ridiculous explanation about her wanting to talk to the king and scaring the family, as if her closest family were the only ones to find out.)

(Pardon my english. It's my forth language.)

anon231425
Post 47

Jean Sasson is an exposed hoax author. Cunning and cheating to her hearts desire. Don't buy her trashhoax books.

anon208279
Post 46

We all know, as educated humans, that abuse of both sexes happens in all cultures, and at all levels of education and age. What I hope to be inspired in all who read books such as the Princess Sultana books is that we will all step forward to ones incapable of helping themselves and throw out a life preserver, called a helping hand or some small human kindness.

I am an American Muslim and believe me when I say that the men of our family treat the women of this family kindly and with great respect. Learn to know and recognize the difference between the order of things, and what it is really disregard for a woman's importance. Aisha

Jinx
Post 44

I believe that Jean and Princess Sultana are telling the truth. Why would they need to lie for money? I don't think so. I have finished the first book and have a few more chapters on the second book. I cannot put my kindle down. It's like I have to know what children and woman have to go through even from their families.

To me, it's disgusting how the females are treated because they are of no use except for cooking and being a sex slave at a very early age. How these men still practice this ritual is beyond me. I know that Saudi Arabia is not the only country that still does this kind of thing. But I hope in time things will change. At least the royals have now heard of these books.

anon185470
Post 43

This is all bull. I'm a female muslim with a lot of freedom but then again i live in america, but my mom lived in Palestine and none of this is true. women are free to get an education, but it really depends on your family, but these books are very offensive, especially if you don't know our religion. People like this tick me off because they make the religion look bad and it's not.

anon175049
Post 42

If I were an arab male living in an arab country with a religion that told you that you were superior to women all the time, I'd be on here trying to denigrate and discredit these books too.

Unfortunately, everything in the books is entirely credible based on what comes out of those countries in the international press. I don't think islam is any better or worse than christianity or judaism, but that is no compliment. Any religion thrives on fanaticism, but at least judaism isn't interested in converting the rest of the world. The worst aberrations in the world come out of religion. this book just showcases it.

MaryFJane
Post 40

I am baffled by the assertion made in comment number 24, and I hope someone can provide me with a little clarity. I was raised in a home that celebrated diversity and was taught to respect others beliefs. I also have a natural burning curiosity for all things spiritual.

I am not a spoiled and arrogant American who expects all the world to see life as I do.(there are fewer of them around than many seem to realize) I am, however, utterly convinced that the female gender is by nature strong, brilliant and spiritual. How is it possible for any educated woman to subjugate herself? Doesn't your soul recoil at the very idea that you are somehow unable to 'protect' yourself and that the men of your family must do so for you?

Perhaps I am too entrenched in western culture to wrap my head around that paradigm, but for the sake of world peace, we should all make an attempt to understand one another. Under no circumstance will I or the rest of humanity condone abuse of children or human rights violations, but so long as no one is hurting anyone else, there is no reason why we can't all live peacefully together on this beautiful planet!

From the little I have studied of Islam, it appears to be a very peaceful and respectful way of life. The few American Muslim woman I have met seem to show their husbands a great deal of respect without sacrificing their or their children's safety and well being. Is it possible for your people to hold tight the beauty of Islam without succumbing to the choke hold of extremism?

When I pray to the Goddess, I ask her to bless me with the strength and wisdom to be the best me that I can be. My Christian family asks Jesus for the same. I know women all over the world over must look to Allah for the same thing. Peace.

anon160326
Post 39

NUMBER: 1, 8 and 9 comments happen to be very correct here. But I ask you not to blame the Saudi Arabian princess, for she does not even exist. You readers have all been duped.

Princess Sultana and all her relatives were simply made up by money greedy author Jean Sasson herself, and her publishers. The Princess trilogy is one big hoax. And Jean Sasson must surely be the 21st Century's biggest American literary hoaxer. A three times divorced fraudster who, without permission, dared to used the unpublished 'copy written' autobiography an Austrian woman had written. This woman was married for 23 years to a diplomat from Kuwait and with the information from this woman's manuscript Sassoon styled and wrote the Princess books.

You may ask: How did Sassoon get her greedy paws on the Austrians script? I can clarify this question as well: literary agent Peter Miller, who represented the Austrian lady, Monika Adsani, from 1998-99, is the culprit who gave the script to Jean Sassoon when she became his client years later in 1991.

Sasson's days of lying repeatedly to readers and getting paid for it, are surely numbered. Nobody denies atrocities happening in the Arab world of which many are truthfully reported in the West, but Sassoon then goes many steps further and blows all that guy stuff out of all proportions so it becomes blood-curdling.

It's easy if you know how and with whom she runs this scam, and her publishers cannot get enough of it. Her latest hoax book is: "Growing Up Bin Laden." Why not do some research? I would not be surprised to find out that most of the damning comments on this blog are written by the woman herself, for she is in the habit of writing her own reviews and comments too.

anon159042
Post 38

So let's excuse the bad behavior of Sameera's family?

Sounds like both Larry and her religion are things she could do without.

anon156176
Post 37

these books broke my heart but happy the princess has a caring loving husband. i am not from saudi but all this happens in a lot of countries, not just muslim countries. western men and western women also have controlling habits.

after all, at the end of the day, we are all made of blood and bone and also when the world ends, we all end, mother nature will see to this. so i believe these books but also know it's everywhere else, too.

anon150109
Post 36

I believe the books are all true stories.

anon142392
Post 35

39794: You forgot to address the issue of circumcision. I suppose you have an answer on that too! wake up.

lhannisch
Post 34

anon130122 and 14584 are likely the same person or collaborators in attacks on author Jean Sasson. Comments appear to be from a long-time stalker of Ms Sasson's books Monika Adsani, who has several aliases of Monika Pavlik, Monika al-Amahani, Al-Adsani, Friederike Monika Adsani and Zahira.

Readers should know Adsani lost her lawsuit against Ms. Sasson involving allegations of plagiarism. The court found her case was unfounded, without merit, deceiving/malicious/frivolous and ordered her to pay all court costs.

anon130122
Post 33

Sorry to tell you that all three princess books by jean sasson are one big hoax. Readers, you have been duped. Sasson is lying to you readers. she never knew a saudi arabian princess. she made the princess up and used the unpublished autobiography- manuscript of an australian woman who was married to a diplomat from kuwait. If you want to find out some more truth about hoax author jean sasson, before she is finally exposed, look up information about the princess sultana hoax.

anon129298
Post 32

I had read the first two books of the 'Princess' sequel and it is really heart wrenching to read on how women are being treated in Saudi. A good book worth ready as it is really an 'eye opener' to what is going on in that country.

anon118844
Post 31

@anon78569: Protection? Don't you mean controlled? You are the kind of woman the world would be better off without, because the disgusting men in charge who are supposed to be protecting women, but see it fit to drown, stone and shut away these women are horrific enough, but one could argue that women like you are worse, for you support them.

You stick up for them, because you put yourself above other less fortunate women. Had it ever occurred to you that the veil is unislamic? That Muhammad doesn't at all wish women to stumble about half blind, and in the event that he did, then in my opinion, such a religion that requires women to stumble about half-blind shouldn't be allowed to exist. Besides: I'm an adult. I'm a woman. I have had eighteen years being both protected and controlled by my father, and I accept that, because I was a child. however, now that I am an adult, I would not accept him still controlling me, because believe it or not, the large majority of women have brains, and with the apparent exception of women like you, they use them. Such women, whether they come from Saudi or the USA, have no desire to be controlled as adults by men.

anon116785
Post 29

Its a week since I read Princess. Continues to haunt me. Now I know for sure all that I suspected, all the occasional odd bits of news coming out of that country are just a tip of the iceberg we know nothing about. This book is a must for every teenage girl so she doesn't go out into the world and fall for one of those mid eastern brutes.

anon93353
Post 27

I have read all of the books in the Princess series by Jean Sasson and I feel enormous sympathy for these women. It just goes to show hat you can be living a life of fabulous luxury and privilege but it counts for nothing if you are treated as if you were not even human. I for one count myself very lucky that I live in a country where women are treated like a princess ought to be.

anon82450
Post 26

this book broke my heart. what these people do in the name of religion. It is so unfair that these women can't dress up and behave normally like women around the world. Instead they have to be in a veil all the time. Poor oppressed women.

anon78569
Post 24

The book is captivating, but please note that when the women stray from their protective nest is when they get punished, e.g when a friend Sameera falls in love and stays with Larry, she loses everything to him, even her religion and then he leaves her. It just goes about to show the need for women to be protected.

The religion Islam prescribes harsh treatment for apostasy, adultery, thievery and the likes to avoid moral decay in a society that is supposed to be pure. I am a female and I strongly believe the veil is my most precious asset and not in the least a hindrance.

No doubt men misuse the authority given to them by God to protect the women, but God is always just and they will be held to account for their actions. This does not mean the noble women sheds off her veil and joins the rest of the world in doing wrong just because she was wronged.

anon68603
Post 23

As a former expatriate, having lived in Saudi for more than five years, I can say this:

1) The book is plausible, and some accounts are known fact (i.e. honour killings, female circumcision, women rooms, capital punishment/stonings, religious zealotry);

2) It's a case of reality being stranger than fiction. Jean Sasson could not have synthesized all these accounts without inside knowledge and a diary that was maintained over a lifetime.

3) The book is balanced and fair when in comes to religion.

4) Except for the horrendous way in which women are treated (and some other aspects), Saudi Arabia is indeed a wonderful and unique country.

5) Deniers of this book have no credibility.

anon66399
Post 22

How can anyone say that this is 110 percent false? I mean honestly, all we ever hear are things like this out of that country. Movies, news articles and numerous other books have shown it.

Now I'm not saying that their religion is bad, just as Princess Sultana said, their religion does not teach to treat women like that, it is the men who treat their women like by a sick perverted way of twisting the words of their religion to fit their own needs. Those men feel the need to dominate and control every aspect of their women's lives, they wouldn't be happy otherwise.

As far as the veils go, I understand many like it and believe it a show of respect, so let them wear them. As for those who do not wish it, then why force them? Because that is what happens.

Whether the woman agrees or not, they are forced. They have no choice, which is the problem with the entire country. No choices! -Brandy

anon65502
Post 21

well i have been around arabs for a long time and whatever is in the book I'm sure it's a true story because it touched my heart and almost everyone who read it gets sad and touched.

so what i would say is that yes arabs specially of saudi are very rude and selfish to do that but they will be punished for what they are doing by the almighty on the day of judgement.

anon61442
Post 20

I recently had the opportunity to venture into Princess Sultana's world by means of the trilogy. I must admit that the stories, although horrific in many cases, have become a subject that I spend most of the hours in the day pondering on.

The stories are compelling and I find myself not being able to resist picking up the book to continue reading. I must say it is quite tempting at work during the day and not very appropriate, as I work in the banking business and am currently acting as branch manager.

I am 33 years old, have no children, am not married and haven’t had time to find anyone special to share my days with. I am blessed because unlike Princess Sultana, I have the luxury of focusing all of my energy on my career. For my part, I believe Princess Sultana's stories. Her stories are a mixture of good and evil and are, I would think, a pretty good representation of our species.

I commend Princess Sultana for the voice she has given so many woman in those countries, and I admire her prince for his patience and for being so unwavering in his love for her.

I thank Jean for reminding women how precious their freedom are and how we to easily take, driving a car for instance, for granted and finally I pray not only to my God, but Gods of all religions that one day the veils of the daughters of Saudi Arabia will be lifted and their beauty and spirits will soar far beyond the boundaries of the Arabian desert sands.

anon56845
Post 19

I believed all what the princess have written in her book are true. in all fairness, she's not saying the whole of saudi population are bad. She's a very brave and daring woman. She is a hero in her generation and many will benefit from the coming generation for her excellent job. Well done, Princess Sultana.

anon55466
Post 17

i am replying to anon40914. you know what i believe? i believe that you are trying to protect the horrors that happen there. maybe they didn't hurt you because you're a man, but if you're a woman go walk down the street in a one piece bathing suit and you'll get beaten. is that what you call beautiful?

anon54598
Post 16

Sad story, but true. No need to deny it; the law and facts in the media speak for themselves.

anon51978
Post 15

anon/whatever number: whether or not these books are fiction, women are oppressed in saudi arabia and other countries. the sheer amount of denial on your part makes the point. you wish to hide this fact. wearing the veil, going blind from looking through material, is not a choice. it is a requirement by men who are allowed to wear what they wish. women who are forcefully circumcised is not a choice. pain and agony is not a choice, whatever you think. anon - you are a fanatic but we know the truth. there is too much evidence to support what we know and to argue against what you say. I am a student of the Holocaust - your type helped that chain of events happen. no way will I ever consider you a reliable source.

anon51384
Post 14

well i guess anon14584 is like those people who are described in the book Princess -- poor animals. I know the book is non-fiction because i live in Saudi Arabia-Riyadh, and its not a place to spend your holiday.

Still there are times Filipino nurses end up raped and killed in the beaches of KSA and no investigation is done. Why do you think the Saudi women don't accept the fact that they hate their way of life? It's because they don't want to end up being drowned in a swimming pool by their own father!

anon48919
Post 13

This book and the other two books that go along with the trilogy are the best books that I have ever read. Whether or not they are completely true is besides the point. I found this book so intriguing that I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to read it.

anon46496
Post 12

I haven't read the whole book yet. I've only read a couple of chapters so far. But I want to say that many of the things that are mentioned in the book such as oppression and torture are probably true, but as a Muslim I know that this has nothing to do with Islam. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia in particular is making up laws in the name of Islam but that are in reality very far away from our religion, and because of its strict non-realistic laws, a lot of obscene incidents are occurring everywhere within the kingdom such as rape, adultery, alcoholism and drugs that are not announced to the public. People do worse when they are not given the freedom to choose between right and wrong. There are a lot of evil pockets in Saudi Arabia, and many other nations all in the name of religion (whether Islam, Christianity, or Judaism) but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are teaching of that religion. Bottom line, what Sultana is saying is probably true. We do not have any evidence to prove or deny it, but what we as Muslims are certain of, is that it has nothing to do with Islam, but is only done in its name.

anon42722
Post 10

replying to #40914. The purpose of the book is not to disregard or disrespect Islam or to negatively compare it to other religions.

Simply, it is to expose the reality of violent, horrific actions committed against women in Arab nations.

These actions are not caused by something inherently wrong with the Koran or Islam or Allah or Muhammad, but rather by the unawakened heart of individual men, and women, and groups who choose to use, misinterpret, falsify and bastardize scripture and religious teachings for the purpose of justifying their own malevolent actions and intent.

This can and does happen in any religion.

The book exposes for everyone to witness the ways in which men and women of this region are motivated by fear and control rather than by love.

Torture, brutality, suppression, will end amongst all nations, between men and women, between people of all regions of our world when we continue to awaken to our interconnectedness with each other and come to know that when we disregard another we damage ourselves. We are all one.

anon40914
Post 9

If you people actually believe this, know that I have been to Saudi Arabia and did not see any oppression at all. If anything, it was the best country I have ever been to. Before you people start bashing Islam, do your homework. Look at what Islam is really about, and don't just go to the tv and turn it on. Go to real, un-biased sites where you can get true information. If you aren't a coward, you would. Another thing, what Islam teaches isn't to kill and oppress and to hate. It teaches to love and respect and share out of the bounty which God has given you. The best man to ever live was Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and he was a Muslim. And get this, it is not Islam the religion that visits the sick, that gives to the needy, that prays five times a day, that helps the orphan, that gives to the needy and destitute. It definitely wasn't Islam the religion that helped make 95 baskets of neccessities for refugees last Sunday. That was me. And as such, it is the Muslim, the individual person, who does these acts. The religion doesn't change. People can claim to be anything and anyone and work for any cause and company. They can say to do things in the name of that cause. But the truth of the matter is, just because they use a front for their actions does not mean in any way that what they portray is really what their cause believes in. People have seen over they years the many crimes committed by people. Hitler killed millions of people, the American slave holders treated their slaves like animals. And yes, these people were Christian, yet Christianity is not considered an extremist religion. Then you look at Islam. When crimes are committed by people of this religion, the religion is labled as extremist and people think the worst of it. This article was created. But, if you actually do your homework you will find that Islam teaches nothing like this and what goes on in this book is not at all Islamic.

Saudi Arabia is a wonderful country where people actually live by a set of morals and values. They feel for others. And to you who wrote the "enlightened man/oppressed woman" comment, you should really know what you are talking about before you open your mouth. do some research, and then come back and see if you can still stand by your comment. Now to the clothing issue. When people see a women wearing a veil or covering their body, they immedietly label them oppressed. They do not even stop to think that it is actually a religious/fashion choice. They think some male relative forces what is in most cases a self-made choice guided by a faith that restores values. In my opinion, covering one's hair and wearing loose clothing is not at all a choice that shows oppression. It shows commitment. Much more than the millions of people who publicly wear revealing clothes, who walk basically naked, and in some cases are naked. Bikinis, miniskirts, see-through clothing, etc. are seen as freedom in some people's eyes. But, if a religion that encourages people to cover themselves and be modest is oppressive, then where does that put French President Nicolas Sarkozy? He tells the French to take off their veils, and isn't that as bad as telling people to put them on? Come on folks, in all fairness it is the concept of forcing people to do something with their clothing. If putting them on is bad, then taking them off is bad too. And then if you add morals, its modesty versus shame. I know which one I would choose. Final thoughts: there are bad people in every religion, but it is the people who make their choices. Just because people do horrifying things in the name of religion doesn't make the religion itself bad. People can say they are doing anything for the best religion in the world, but that does not change the religion. Choices define us, but they cannot change what is already set down.

anon39794
Post 8

first of all, i am a foreigner living in saudi. this is not true. i am living in saudi, and i can tell this is not true. if someone cannot distinguish between his/her own bad experience and the whole country including style of life and people, then it is a big problem, saudi is a conservative country that is true but what is not true is that fake story such as men there kill women! i was shocked when a european woman came and asked me if it is true that men kill women there! i do not know really who stands behind such a lame book. i think the person who wrote this book didn't mean to describe something as much as meant to harm the people in saudi and to harm the reputation of the whole country. saudi is a big country. there are some laws which may be not acceptable to some people but i think such laws or instructions are not a crime! laws or instructions such as: women are not allowed to drive cars, or wearing gown (which is from traditions), this black gown is not Hijab or veil, it a piece of clothes. women wear it above their main clothes. that means woman can wear anything she wants but at the end she wear this light piece of clothes to show some respect to the society and to the traditions. i met many european women who like such clothes and they call it here in saudi an abaya. i see many europeans wear it and they are happy with it. even in the summer they can wear it because it is very light. even european women who live in saudi they do not cover their faces. from other laws spread here such as: prohibiting bars and wines, also there is separation between girls and boys in the schools and universities and i think this is normal and exists in many countries around the world. some families treat women bad *but* this is not fair to describe the whole country and the whole people there with this rude and wild image. this is very wrong. saudi is a conservative country but still very civilized and strong with huge economy and comfortable life. east region and west region are well-known that they are the most open regions in this country, and religious and conservative people are concentrated in the middle of the country. people here respect the traditions a lot. if the life in saudi is not bearable then why do millions of foreigners from europe, asia and america live there? i see european women in the markets shopping and they look happy. saudi is a safe country. many saudi men are married to european and american women and they live a happy life. if princess Sultana faced a hard time in her life, well i feel sorry for her but she has no right to make a horrible reputation with a lot of false and unbelievable tales by magnifying stories. still some laws in saudi are not fair to foreigners and to the people who were born in saudi (citizenship) and a visa to saudi is not easy thing to get there. also threre are the foreigners' rights and other issues, but still saudi is a safe place and people there are nice with exceptions. these exceptions can be found in other countries around the world. i cannot find european woman to accept to marry me because they do not want to live with me in saudi. they are horrified because of such fake books and stories.

anon37674
Post 7

this book broke my heart...it really did. I am not a saudi citizen but an arab who lived in saudi for quite a long time. this is no fiction and even if it is, what happens in saudi is much worse than what is written in this book. What actually is happening everywhere every everywhere is much worse than this book. am not sooo proud of being an arab anymore!

anon33992
Post 6

anon14584:

hmm, are you one of the "enlightened" Saudi men or are you one of those women who are just un-informed and terrified? Did your male relative make you write this post?

anon33506
Post 5

I believe what princess sultana says is true. These books are true because these things happened to women all over the world and I have lived similarly to princess sultana. I haven't seen what she has seen happen to others but the way in which she saw her brother favoured over her, I have lived that horrible oppressed life.

anon26848
Post 4

The men in charge of the country would want everyone to think that the books are just fiction.

I trust Sultana. It is not human to make up such things, and another thing, there's simply no reason.

yocheved
Post 3

anon14584. Jean Sasson's books are non-fiction. If you are such a well informed insider, drop the cowardly stance that most of the men of Saudi Arabia exhibit, face the religious zealots head on, and give the WOMEN the freedom they deserve. Otherwise, zip it.

anon18506
Post 2

The story of Princess 'Sultana' reveals hidden and unknown truth that was told from the prospect of a Saudi princess. This book is written almost confidentially for the sake of safety her life and the ones she mentioned. Especially as names have enormous influential aspects of the family's reputation and dignity throughout the society which can lead to chaotic, threatening position for the princess herself and 'identified' ones too.

anon14584
Post 1

All of Jean Sasson's books are fiction. Sooner or later all of Jean Sasson's written "untruth" in all of her books will see the light of day when the truth will be told and prevail for evermore. This true message comes from a well informed insider.

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