Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Four adult age daughters of King Abdullah have sent an e-mail to the United Nations asking for assistance. They claim they have been held captive for the past 13 years in select areas of the King’s palace and are unable to leave. The sad commentary on this is that despite the opulence they one enjoyed, their plight isn’t very different from that of other Saudi women. The average woman in Saudi Arabia cannot travel without a male chaperon and neither can they vote or own property because according to law they are property.
In the case of princesses Shara, Jawher, Maha, and Hala, ages 42, 38, 41, and 39 respectively, they seek freedom from their father’s oppressive control. While each woman is naturally feeling the detriment of long term confinement, the sisters are most concerned about Princess Hala. The 39-year-old woman is said to be withering away with anorexia and is denied medical treatment. She also suffers from psychological trouble from the lack of access to the outside world and from contact with family. Their claims of involuntary imprisonment are bolstered by their mother herself is now divorced from the king. She claims that in a recent phone conversation with Hala, she expressed a lack of wanting to live any further.
The princesses once enjoyed all that their father’s wealth had to afford them short of freedom and equality with men. That said, they could have contented themselves with enjoying excesses and material joys. However, their tours of the country allowed them to witness the price their opulence exacts on the rest of the people: poverty. The daughters called out their father on the plight of the people. After all, it is fully within a daughter’s right to call out her father if the situation calls for it. Sadly, he stripped them of their privileges and has subjected them to a measure of what he makes the rest of the nation endure.