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      Antoine Online

      Daughters Of Arabia

      by Jean Sasson
      Our price: LBP 16,215 / $ 10.81Unavailable
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      Product Details

      • Publisher: Bantam Books Ltd
      • Publishing date: 01/10/2004
      • Language: English
      • ISBN-13: 9780553816938
      • ISBN: 0553816934

      Synopsis

      Readers of Princess Sultana's extraordinary story, PRINCESS, were gripped by her powerful indictment of women's lives behind the veil within the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Now, Jean Sasson turns the spotlight on Sultana's two teenage daughters, Maha and Amani.

      As second-generation members of the royal family who have benefited from Saudi oil wealth, Maha and Amani have never known the poverty which their grandparents experienced as children. Surrounded by untold opulence and luxury from the day they were born and which they take for granted, but stifled by the unbearably restrictive lifestyle imposed on them, they have reacted in equally desperate ways.

      Their dramatic and shocking stories, together with many more which concern other members of Princess Sultana's huge family, are set against a rich backcloth of Saudi Arabian culture and social mores which are depicted with equal color and authenticity. We learn, for example, of the fascinating ritual of the world-famous annual pirlgrimage to Makkah as we accompany the princess and her family to this holiest of cities.

      Throughout, however, Sultana never tires of her quest to expose the injustices which her society levels against women. In her couragewious campaign to improve the lot of her own daughters of Arabia, Princess Sultana once more strikes a chord amongst all women who are lucky enough to have the freedom to speak out for themselves.


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      • Not as good as the first book..
        From Amazon

        I enjoyed the first book from Jean Sasson titled 'Princess' that detailed the childhood and adulthood of Princess Sultana in Saudi Arabia. As for 'Princess Sultana's Daughters' while still an interesting and quick read, I was not as impressed and several topics in the book just didn't sit well with me.
        If the reader is wanting to know more about the shameful treatment of women in Islamic culture and/or enjoys reading about life in the Kingdom's royal family, then this book is for you.
        The endless and inordinate wealth from oil production has led to the spoiling and pampering of Saudi Arabias elite. To hear Sultana describe so casually the outrageous lifestyle of her family was almost sickening (and not from a jealousy standpoint!) From the multiple private jets for each family to huge palaces all over the world with solid silver doorknobs and silver coated stairways to the multiple servants that are routinely mistreated to the million dollars cash kept in the house for "just-in-case money" is just too much to take in one sitting.
        You will be amazed at the arrogant and condescending attitudes and the sense of entitlement felt by members of the royal family who have contributed absolutely nothing positive to society but were merely born into their wealth.

        Still, with all that money, one must not forget that Saudi Arabia is home to Islam and adheres to the strict interpretation of the Koran and Shari'a Law. Human rights for women are non-existent-including the royal women. This book details some of the ways women are not treated equally for example: women must cover entirely, never be without a male family member, can not travel without written permission, can not drive, can not choose their marrage partner, can not divorce but can easily be divorced, and is always at the mercy of the morals police who are constantly on the lookout with their red spray paint and whips to punish women for not being modest enough. Even as Sultana describes her own daughters rigid and literal application of Islam and how it scared her or a childhood friend that was locked away without any human contact for 15 yrs before dying because she was considered "shameful" by her Islamic family, she asserts Islam is NOT the reason for the cruel oppressive treatment. The author defends her religion and puts the fault on Islamic men who interpret it incorrectly. It doesn't take much to see the irony of that statement.
        In no other culture/religion in the world do women suffer as much as Muslim women. I can not agree with the political correct versions of Islam as peaceful and giving of equal rights, in fact it's laughable if it weren't so sad.
        Overall this was good book and should satisfy the readers curiousity of the wealthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia.

      • Life in a gilded cage
        From Amazon

        I re-read this book after recently finishing a book titled 'Girls of Riyadh' that focussed on four young privileged women in Saudi society, their lives, loves and disappointments. In my opinion, Daughters of Arabia is still a better read as it gives one a more in-depth look at Saudi society, in particular the oppressed lives of its women.

        For readers new to the series, I would recommend reading "Princess' first as its a more gripping account of the life on one Princess Sultana in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose life of untold wealth and privilege doesn't make up for the extreme strictures placed upon her and her female counterparts in the kingdom. In Daughters of Arabia, Sultana's story continues, and do do her problems - her husband Kareem decides he wnats to remarry, and in Saudi society it is hard for a woman to say no, esp with the Islamic ruling that men may have up to four wives [though Sultana does stand her ground and refuse him]. It is mostly the story about Sultana and Kareem's two daughters, Maha and Amani, who react to their strict life and oppressive customs in opposing ways - one becomes a full-blown fanatic and the other suffers a mental breakdown.

        This is an insightful read for those curious to know more about the lives of women in Saudi Arabia, especially the women in the upper crust of society [though there is some coverage of the abuses suffered by the poor].

      • Interesting, but not as good as the other two in the series
        From Amazon

        I read Princess years ago and purchased Daughters in the airport in Oman. I found it a quick read and finished it by the time I had returned to the U.S. While I enjoyed hearing more about Princess Sultana and her family, I found this book seemed to lack the continuity and narrative flow of Princess. I have since read Princess Sultana's Circle (aka Desert Royal) and found it also possesses a stronger sense of narrative than Daughters does. Daughters felt disjointed and incomplete to me. Subsequent chapters did not necessarily have much relation to previous chapters, whereas in Princess and Circle the book felt more continuous. I found the description on the back cover innacurate as each of Sultana's daughters only receives a single chapter (and Sultana's son receives one as well, so you can hardly say the book is only about daughters.) Other chapters focus on the lives of other women in Sultana's family of of her aquaintance. I also found it frustrating that there was little follow-up as far as how Maha and Amani (Sultana's daughters) were progressing with their struggles, even in Desert Royal. But if you enjoy learning about Sultana, her family, and her life this book will give you some more information. It just isn't of the same quality as the other two in the series. For those interested in the lives of women in the Middle East, I would also recommend reading about the lives of women in some less conservative countries, such as Oman, Kuwait, and the UAE. Sasson states that she isn't interested in Arab bashing and that she met many lovely Saudis in KSA, but in the U.S. people often have a very misguided sense of what Arabs are like and it is important to remember that the Princess series depicts the extremes.

      • Princess Series
        From Amazon

        I have read all the books in this series and I would recommmend that they all should be read. I think that these books should be required reading for all high school students. They are an eye opener to the way that part of world thinks and their beliefs. The books are very well written and a fast read.

      • Good Read
        From Amazon

        Still a good continuation and interesting to learn about the princess's daughters. This book was very short and the stories were an extenion of what went on in the first book. The story was generally based on the prnicess's daughters and thier characters and personalities. How they develop and become different people. One is quite similar to her mother and the other takes after her aunty. It nice to see how the daughters develop into adults after reading about thier mother developing from a child into an adult.

        The mother herself changes and swings from one mood to the next and the effect is shown on her as the books pogress and she realises what her weaknesses and tries to deal with them as best she can.

        The daughters themselves have an easier life then their mother and one daughter Maha takes this for granted. It was nice to see the love Amani has for animals and the effect shown on her and how she learns to deals with things when she finds her uncles birds are in danger and kept in poor conditions. Also the feelings Maha develops when she witnesses her uncles Herem and the women he is holding there brings an intense and agressive side to Maha who tries her best to help these women out of the place. She is hurt to realise that things like that can happen in Saudia Arabia and in the Royal family. She with her mother try their best to get them out, but are not sucessful and give up.

        However, if you take this as a update then you dont be diappointed. If read this thinking you a reading another side to the story or a different theme altogethrethen you may be diappointed.

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