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Victoria1999 08-03-2005 10:28 PM

"Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia" - Jean P Sasson 1992
Have you read the books: "A true story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia" and " Princess Sultana's daughters"?
I have these books for quite while and I take them everywhere I go:)
Sultana (of course this is not her real name) is a Saudi princess who describes the life of the women behind the veils. Honestly, I still have hard time to believe some ot these stories. Anyway, the books are really wonderful.
If you have read the book and if you are especially from Saudi Arabia or the region there, please coment on the books.

madonna23 08-03-2005 10:48 PM

hi victoria1999... i haven't read the books but maybe you can tell us what was shocking about it??

also --- do you thing the author may have exaggerated in order to sell more books in the West?

Victoria1999 08-03-2005 11:22 PM

In the first book, she talks about her life from childhood until 1992. In the second book, she talks about her daughters and her son.

She starts by talking around how the country has developed over the years (some history), how poor her ancestors were and how rich the royal family is now. She is very proud of her country and religion, but she cannot stand how men treat women. In the beginning she says about her parents and the way that her brother was raised compare to his sisters. Different stories from childhood. There are few stories about either members of the royal family or ordinary people that are really shocking. I don't remember them in order, of them is about Princess Michael. Also the best friend of one of her sisters fall in love with an American and when her uncle (the parents were dead) found out, he went mad. They brought her to Saudi Arabia, tried to arrange a marriage with a very old man, but at the end the uncle decided to locked her in a dark empty room without windows, doors and any furniture. She was locked there for 25 years before she died.

Another friend of Sultana was killed in the family pool because the religious police saw her to meet with a young man.

The last shocking story that I am going to mention here is from the time when Sultana was in the hospital to give birth to her first child. She heard the story about a 14 years old girl who had her baby in the same hospital and few hours after the delivery the police took her to the desert and she was killed with stones because she was raped and got pregnant before marriage. Sultana saw her leaving the hospital with security. Her family did not want to have anything to do with the baby.

Lady Jennifer 08-04-2005 12:13 AM

The books are by Jean Sasson. The first one is called Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia. The second one is called Princess Sultana's Daughters. And the third one is called Princess Sultana's Circle. Its been a while since I read them but they are very powerful books. The first one espec. I think that is my favorite of all three.

Here is a link to Barnes & Nobles website w/ info for the 1st vol.:
And here is the link for's site:

Victoria1999 08-04-2005 12:52 AM

I didn't know that there is a third book. What does she talk about in it?

The first one is my favorite as well.

Lady Jennifer 08-04-2005 12:59 AM


Originally Posted by Victoria1999
I didn't know that there is a third book. What does she talk about in it?

The first one is my favorite as well.

I'll quote from the book jacket of the third book:
"Now, with Princess Sultana's Circle, the extraordinary story of Sultana continues. The forced marriage of Sultana's niece to a cruel and depraved older man, and Sultana's discovery of the harem of s** slaves kept by a royal cousin, makes her more determined than ever to fight the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia."
Here is a link to order it (if you want) from Barnes & also shows what the book looks like
And also has some info on the book when you scroll down it.

MoonlightRhapsody 08-04-2005 02:27 AM

I'm not condemning any specific religion or country, but unfortunately, these things do happen. I remember a recent case in Pakistan where a woman was kidnapped and gang raped by some of the top men in the village because her brother was caught talking to a woman of a more prominent family. Unfortunately, that's a true story. And if someone hadn't thrown that story under the world's scrutiny, the men who did that to her would have gotten away with it.

I don't specifically know if those books are true stories. Though the concepts are horrifying and agonizing, they aren't suprising. Some cultures still wish to retain the concept of "an eye for an eye" or sometimes even worse. History is littered with tales of how women are persecuted and punished for something they themselves did not personally do or ask for.

houri 08-04-2005 04:48 AM

Hi victoria , personally I didn't read those books and I don't know if those books are true stories or not , I did visit saudi arabia a lot because I have relative there and some of them did meet or know members of the royal family and I mean the female members and what I understand that they seems have a normal life but you know who knows what is going inside the family , the members of the royal family their are very large maybe 3 thousand member so I don't believe that they all live in the same style it is not make sense for me , I noticed from reading books and articles was wrote by western writers about arab world that they go fare with their fantasy , I even did read translating book and the writer did mentioned my tribe and it seemed to me he talking about another people looooool , and I talked with people from west who don't have any idea how we live or think but they find it easy to make adjudgment about us !
I don't want to go off topic so I will stop here and thanx again for this thread .

susan alicia 08-04-2005 06:34 AM

this story is true:

(from the observer)

Little_star 08-04-2005 06:39 AM

I read these books several years ago and have copies of all 3, they are shocking and a real eye-opener. i've always been aware of he opulence and extravagance of the Saudi Royal Family, but what disgusted me was the complete depravity of so many of the Saudi Princes.

hania 08-04-2005 07:21 AM

I have read and re-read these books numerous times and have even been some what of a PRO for the books and recommend to whoever i can the is startling for even royalty to live like that!!!

Lady Jennifer 08-04-2005 02:27 PM

I'm not saying that this woman's experiences are what goes on in every Saudi or Saudi royal family (I hope no one took it that way.). I was just commenting on the book. Of couse like someone said, we don't know what goes on behind closed doors. This story might be true to this one woman & it might be the only case in the family. The books are very good tho.

Victoria1999 08-04-2005 03:22 PM

Thank you for the responds.

I am gona get the third book in the next few days. I still cannot believe that I never heard of it:)

Little_star 08-04-2005 04:39 PM

Jean Sassoon has also been involved with a book called "Mayada: Daughter of Iraq", if anyone hasn't read it already I strongly recommend it!

madonna23 08-04-2005 09:01 PM

i think the stories are very rare examples. even in saudi arabia... i think saudi arabia gets stereotyped a lot and you know, it's a completely different place when you visit it. yes, the women wear veils but you see them out and about and just because they wear veils doesn't mean they are oppressed. and seriously, you shoudl see all the fashionable clothing these women are wearing underneath their veils. it's absolutely amazing.

i'm sure there is some truth to these stories and its very unfortunate but frankly i don't know what to believe. i think there may be some exaggeration but then again, what do i know for sure?

Lady Jennifer 08-04-2005 09:10 PM

I also think the stories are from a while ao...not current times (re: 2000s, 1990s, 1980s). I can't remember exactly when they took place.

polop 08-04-2005 09:13 PM

Hi.I watched this special on ABC like 6 months ago on Saudi Royals.First of the show commented upon how there are about 4000 royal members in Saudi Royal family.The family is worth close to 25 billion dollars.One royal member (don't remember his name) was worth close 250 million dollars.They showed his life style and how his family was living, and let me say this, Donald Trump watch your back!:) The family was vacationing in Miami and the princes wife looked like any other female walking down the street.The program also talked about other royal members, and how many of them drink!:eek:

They did a segment on this one Saudi princess who went clubbing and so on. Many pictures were also brodcasted, all the princess' resembled Lindsay Lohan!(attire wise.) Almost all of the Saudi Royals visit U.S regularly, for vacations, parties and etc.One of the royal members also came on Opera and talked about her freedom.Another Kawaiti Royal member (also on Opera) said that many of her friends go to France to buy their wedding gowns.

Anyways, the point of all this info was to say that from all that I have heard and seen, Saudi female Royal members have a lot of freedom.I have not read any of the books you guys are talking about, and quite honestly don't plan to. The respected princess who wrote this book and claims that she was abused or neglected as a child sure seems to be very confident now.How come she wasn't scared when she was writting this book, after all she saw what happend to her friends? I assume the Lady is still alive, so how come she wasn't killed, we all know how cruel the Saudi Royal family is.:rolleyes: I don't believe these stories are true. Sure maybe one or two, but they probably have been exagerated to sell the book.(someone mentioned this possibility.) I am just voicing my concern and don't mean to offend anyone with what I've said.:)

Lady Jennifer 08-04-2005 09:23 PM

She wrote under a different name Sultana isn't her real name.

houri 08-04-2005 10:17 PM

even if she did wrote under a different name , when saudi authorities want to get her they will do , maybe she is not even from saudi arabia loooool , it is amazing what people can do to make money .

Lady Jennifer 08-05-2005 03:41 PM

Question? Have any Saudi Princess married into other Middle Eastern Royal Families? I've always been curious abt. that

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