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(2019) The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the most mysterious and secretive societies in modern times and the lives of the women living there is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of all. What do the women of Saudi Arabia really think about their lives? What are their hopes and dreams? To separate fact from fiction, Nicola Sutcliff spent four years living in the Kingdom, meeting and interviewing women of all ages and from all walks of life. Their stories are presented here and paint a portrait of a country that appears to be on the cusp of change.
In this collection of essays, the women talk candidly about their lives and their hopes for the future. Meet Hafsa, a Bedouin who gave birth to eleven children in the open desert; Jamila, the first wife in a polygamous household; Jamila, a medical student who married a stranger in order to pursue her education. Meet these and many other women and learn what they think about subjects as diverse as education, driving, the religious police, male guardianship, social media, women’s rights, love and marriage, underground parties, under-the-abaya fashion and sexuality. Authentic, eye-opening, inspiring and courageous, they capture the essence of what it is like to be a woman living in Saudi Arabia today.