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Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia [Kindle Edition]

Jean Sasson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this consistently gripping work, a Literary Guild alternate selection in cloth, the American-born Sasson recounts the life story of a Saudi princess she met while living in Saudi Arabia, offering a glimpse of the appalling conditions endured by even privileged women in the Middle East. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

One must keep in mind the context of time and place when reading this emotional and exciting book to alleviate some of the horror of the injustices endured by the women described here. Equality of men and women has not worked out in any society, but the status of women in Islam is more problematic in that canon law is applied according to the social climate. Consequently, countries influenced by the West, such as Egypt, are more relaxed than countries like Saudi Arabia that are ruled by strict Hanbali law, which subjects women to unwelcome marriages, execution at whim, and the boredom of purdah . In this book, Sasson ( The Rape of Kuwait , Knightsbridge Pub. Co., 1991) tells the fascinating story of "Sultana," an unidentified Saudi princess who yearns for recognition in her own right, not as an adjunct of men. For those who wish to know more, Soraya Altorki's Women in Saudi Arabia ( LJ 1/86) and Paryeen Shaukat Ali's Status of Women in the Muslim World (Aziz Pub., 1975. o.p.) are good. Recommended for popular collections. (Illustrations not seen.) Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/92.
- Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1208 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J17GY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and unforgettable! July 12 2004
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Anytime I had a moment to read, I reached for this book and was absorbed by the story. I'm ready to read more books by Princess Sultana.
This is a fascinating first-hand look at what women have to go through and live under in countries where life is ruled by men. There isn't any way out of that life except by following or being forced to follow the cruel or oppressive conditions.
This book follows the princess from her girlhood to an arranged marriage and its consequences.
Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in women's rights, their lives and dark secrets in different countries.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tragic, but Necessary Read April 4 2004
By A Customer
I'm a sixteen year old girl living in Vancouver, who happened to live in the UAE for two years. This book was banned there, so naturally I was curious about it, and when I came home to Canada, I had to read it.
Reading some of the reviews here, it is disheartening to me, how many people dismiss the story as lies, or in the very least, dismiss the existence of such a character alltogether. A friend of our families works for the ruler of Saudi, and as such, knew Princess Sultana (obviously not her real name.) Her brother was indeed the one who discovered it was she who had written the books, and she was in exile at the time. He invited her back, under the idea of a truce, and she was stoned to death. This is no fictional account.
As for the book itself, it is a shocking eye opener. I was lucky enough to experience the much more equality-embracing United Arab Emirates, and as such, the story of Sultana was every bit as foreign to me as it would have been to my Canadian raised friends.
One drawback of the book I'm sure, is that many people will assume this is the way it is everywhere in the Middle East, and indeed that it is part of the Muslim religion, which is certainly not true. The Muslim religion is peaceful and anyone who tells you otherwise, is not learned in the religion itself. The Middle East may be backward to many Westerns way of thinking, but anyone who reads, please know that Saudi is a grave exception. It is in no way a representative for the rest of the Middle East, but I fear that many western readers will assume this.
I strongly recommend this book, as the plight of women in Saudi has gone silent for too long, but I also STRONGLY recommend background reading, and a study of the middle east in general, to go along with it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing June 5 2004
By A Customer
This is one of those rare books which I pick up, and read it continuously till the end. Even when I get up to take a break, I feel drawn to this book. Maybe it is becuase I lived in Emirates most of my life and have been sheilding from royalty, but now I see that royality does not mean piousness and religious conformity. The wonderful stories of the princess does change you. I am a Pakistani male, but after reading this book, I think men should get somehow involved in correcting the misinterpreted Islamic History.... Qur'an does say to avoid extremism, chavunism, .... which is exactly what is happening.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my gosh! May 6 2004
What a hard story to read! Princess Sultana's life is nothing like a the life of the Princesses of Britain. I knew that women in Saudi Arabia were completely veiled and that they were considered possesions of men there but I did not know to what extreme life is like there! The scariest part is that this book was published in 2001! This is not a story of life in Saudi Arabia a long time ago, it is what is happening there NOW.
Not enough people realize what life is like in some countries and it's our ignorance that is helping to keep these countries the way they are.
This story is Book I of the Princess Triologies, the other two being Princess Sultana's Daughters and Princess Sultana's Circle. I can't get a hold of these sequals fast enough, that's how much I 'enjoyed' this book. Enjoyed really isn't the right word as how can you enjoy reading about such horrible treatement of women!
It is important to understand that while Saudi Arabia is 100% Islamic, most of what is happening is not actually a part of the Islmaic Religion but is a twisted version of the Koran and convenient ignoring of some parts of it. Jean Sasson includes some passage from the Koran on women in the back of this book and while some of it seems barbaric to Westeners, a lot of what goes on in Saudi Arabia and other countries is NOT supported by the Koran. This book is not an attack on Islam.
I could talk about this book for hours and you would still be suprised and horrified when reading it. I could not prepare you for this book without actually typing the whole thing out.
I highly recommend this book although only to adults. There may be some younger people who could handle this but I'm 20 and I believe well educated and this was hard for me to digest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It is the best book I have ever read by a woman, bringing out the actual hidden reality faced by women in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Suitable for teenagers and adults,this book will appeal to any one intrested in women's rights and where they stand in Muslim society.
One thing which disturbed me after reading this book is that of course what she wrote about how women are treated is right but she choose to write the most horrible incidents of abuse and discrimination against women. If some non-Muslim reads the book she will generate that all Muslim women are treated the same way.
Jean Sasson has written a very effective account on how women are treated. The way she illustrates the text from the princess would certainly leave anyone of its readers in sorrow. Whoever comes across this book, must read it, for it will certainly improve thier knpwledge on discrimination against women in Arab countries
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars very enlightening
I always heard about how women in third world countries are treated but to read about an actual persons life makes me so grateful for my freedom & also long for them to come & know... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Brian E. Haines
4.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating book but the ending is understandable. It ...
A frustrating book but the ending is understandable. It really does open your eyes to why some things are the way they are.
Published 15 months ago by Nancy
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shocking Truth
The book is a truly shocking eye-opener. The world needs to know about the terrible treatment women in the Middle East endure-- all in the name of religion. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Edward Spadafora
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good books
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 16 months ago by jurate
5.0 out of 5 stars What imperils women, imperils the world!
A respectfully written account of the tragic lives of women in Saudi Arabia..even those of royalty. I found the book interesting, informative, shocking & profoundly sad. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Steinar Johnsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great !
The book looks very interesting, even though I did not read it yet. I was just a bit disappointed that it was not very well packaged and it has small damages, but I will keep it as... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cristina Burcus
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting
Never knew what the women's life (particularly in Saudi Arabia) is like until I read the book. I learned so much. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Paul Kosokowsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Really insightful
It was an excellent book and really gave me insight into how women live and cope in another world unlike my own. My heart goes out to the women that have endured such a hard life!
Published on Nov. 20 2013 by Jackie Wangler
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I just love reading this book, will buy more from this author. Women from around the world suffer from men domination and control. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2013 by cee pearson
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