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This first book in the trilogy describes the life of Princess Sultana, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia where she lives in a "gilded cage" with no freedom and no control over her own life. As Sultana battles for a life of dignity, she saves other women from servitude. You have never read a story like the story of Sultana, and you will never forget her or her Muslim sisters.
This bestselling book has been called "riveting" and "heart-wrenching. Hidden behind her black veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband and her country. As second-generation members of the royal family who have benefited from Saudi oil wealth, Maha and Amani are surrounded by untold opulence and luxury from the day they were born and which they take for granted. Stifled by the unbearably restrictive lifestyle imposed on them, they have reacted in equally desperate ways.
Their dramatic and shocking stories are set against a rich backcloth of Saudi Arabian culture and social mores which are depicted with equal color and authenticity. Throughout, Sultana never tires of her quest to expose the injustices which her society levels against women.
Princess Sultana once more strikes a chord amongst all women who are lucky enough to have the freedom to speak out for themselves. Jean Sasson paints a horrifying reality for women of the desert kingdom. It is a haunting look at the danger of Saudi male dominance and the desperate lives of the women they rule. These books described the lives of women who live in a society where they have few rights, little control over their own lives or bodies, and no choice but to endure the atrocities perpetrated against them.
Now, in response to readers' tremendous outpouring of concern for Sultana, Jean Sasson and the Princess continue to expose the outrageous human rights abuses suffered by women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
When Sultana's niece is forced into an arranged marriage with a cruel, depraved older man and a royal cousin's secret harem of sex slaves is revealed, Sultana's attempts at intervention in their various plights are thwarted. Risking her personal status and wealth, she takes a stand against the complacency of her male relatives over the child's fate. Ultimately, Sultana and her sisters vow to form a circle of support that will surround and shelter abused women and girls.
The reaction to the presence of the female Allied soldiers in the Persian Gulf war brought worldwide attention to the lowly status of women in Arabia. Public debate on the irony of liberated, democratic men and women defending a government that espoused such restrictions for women caused widespread consternation and commentary. Sadly, this anticipated change did not happen. In the aftermath of the war, because of tightened restrictions on women imposed by the now more powerful religious men, the plight of these women actually worsened.
One Saudi woman who watched this turn of events with great disappointment was a fiery Saudi Princess, a member of the House of Al Saud, the current rulers of Saudi Arabia. This Princess resolved, upon seeing the restrictions on women tighten, rather than loosen, that she would take an unprecedented and dangerous action: she would once again prevail upon a longtime American friend and writer to describe to the West, as she had experienced it, the everyday life of oppression for Muslim women, whether royal princesses or village tribes women.
The author's sources were the true incidents in the Princess own life, beginning with her childhood, through her marriage, motherhood and her adult coming of age right up and through the Gulf war to the present day. In the process of recording Sultana's life, the Princess Trilogy also recounts the lives of other women around her: her mother, sisters, aunts, girlfriends, women servants, as well as the lives of other significant women who she seeks out or meets by chance.
Since there was personal danger in revealing the secrets of the women of Saudi Arabia to the West, for the personal safety of the Princess, the author called her "Sultana. While recording the lives of Saudi women, the books, by necessity, recorded the lives of Saudi men. The author, in the telling of these true stories, describes how the beliefs and attitudes of both sexes are shaped and continue to be shaped by a social culture dating back many centuries.
From the author's lively description of this diverse cast of characters, both male and female, the reader gets a picture of what it is like to live today, in the ultra-modern Saudi country whose culture is still steeped in ancient customs.
The most startling revelation of all, however, is that the lives of the women in the fabulously wealthy House of Al Saud, even royal princesses, are repressed and constricted. Under the strict Saudi interpretation of the laws of the Koran, Muslim women, whatever their station in life, are punished and penalized for any supposed violation of a man's family honor.
Similar behavior by Muslim men, however is ignored. We readers, however, are inspired by the glow of her interior life and her fierce challenge to injustice wherever she sees it. Sultana will never accept her male-dominated world. The example of her spirit motivates all who read the books in this dramatic trilogy to join Sultana in the continuing struggle to ensure that every women in the world is treated with dignity and respect.
Description of content and themes of the Princess Trilogy. These are the stories of triumph and heartbreak among the highest-and lowest-born. First Name. Last Name. Available Now!
The Princess Trilogy by Jean Sasson
Now, more than twenty-five years later, this compelling journey continues as we follow the fortunes and the dazzling life of the Princess, her friends and her family. But, of course, there is a less glamorous, much darker side to this engaging series, and in Stepping Out of the Shadows Jean and the Princess focus their attention on how, despite positive news on civil rights reforms, Saudi women still suffer physical and psychological abuse and have little legal protection due to the archaic guardianship laws of the land. So, although this is a kingdom on the threshold of revolutionary change — change spearheaded by the young Saudi Crown Prince who is keen to modernize his country — any thoughts of equal rights and the chance to lead an independent life remain little more than dreams for most Saudi women. Whilst the Princess acknowledges and welcomes the reforms that are on the horizon, through stories of joy and sorrow, we see how she is determined to continue to fight for equal rights for women in this, her beloved kingdom. Jean Sasson grew up in a small town in America's deep south before moving to the Middle East in to work at a prestigious royal hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In , she met Princess Sultana, who inspired the widely acclaimed Princess Trilogy. Jean later worked as freelance writer in Lebanon and Kuwait, conducting interviews with Kuwaitis who survived the first Gulf war, as well as high ranking Kuwaiti officials before, during and after the War.
This first book in the trilogy describes the life of Princess Sultana, a princess in the royal house of Saudi Arabia where she lives in a "gilded cage" with no freedom and no control over her own life. As Sultana battles for a life of dignity, she saves other women from servitude. You have never read a story like the story of Sultana, and you will never forget her or her Muslim sisters. This bestselling book has been called "riveting" and "heart-wrenching. Hidden behind her black veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband and her country.
The Complete Princess Trilogy