A spirited woman

5 Oct, '05

I’m sure most of you remember Rania Al-Baz, the television presenter with a tad jealous husband who beat her to a pulp? If not, look at the picture to remind yourself, or read the Religious Policeman’s take on her story and how the Saudi authorities refused her leaving the country to promote her book in Paris.

Well, she’s spirited herself away from Saudi.. proving yet again that you can’t hold a woman down no matter how you try! She got herself into a truck bound for Bahrain, from here she went to Dubai and then over to Paris to promote her book and to speak about her life as an abused wife.

Good for you Rania!

Saudi activist escapes

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 5 (UPI) — Saudi newsreader and women’s rights activist Rania al-Baz defied a government travel ban and escaped to France.

London’s Arabic al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported that she left Saudi Arabia hidden in a goods lorry bound for Bahrain. Al-Baz then entered Dubai and from there flew to France.

In 2004 al-Baz made headlines when she permitted photographs of her face to be published after her husband almost beat her to death. Al-Baz was due to promote her new book, “The Disfigured,” in Paris and give a lecture on the situation of women in the Gulf. Al-Baz was scheduled to participate in the “Neither Subservient Nor Submissive” seminar organized by the French Women’s Organization at the Autumn University, where al-Baz is the Middle East spokeswoman.

Al-Baz was earlier stopped at Jeddah airport, where authorities said her papers were not in order and told her that she was banned from leaving the kingdom for an indefinite period.

In “The Disfigured” al-Baz writes about the abuse her husband inflicted on her and how he used to violently beat her, particularly on the face. In 2004 one such assault left her unconscious in the hospital with 13 facial fractures. She had to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery.

Al-Baz agreed to release photographs of her bruised and swollen face, highlighting the taboo subject of domestic violence against women. Her husband eventually surrendered to the police and received six months in prison and 300 lashes after charges were downgraded from attempted murder to severe assault.
United Press International

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Comments (9)

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  1. yalajaji says:

    A spirited woman

    That is one brave soul… I wish I was half of what she is

    The Joker

  2. anonymous says:

    A spirited woman

    Mahmood – I don’t live in Saudi – but has your website been blacklisted over there?

  3. anonymous says:

    A spirited woman

    It’s nuts that Saudi imposes so many restrictions on women. We imposed sanctions on South Africa when it denied equal rights and freedoms to black South Africans; we should do the same to Saudi for its treatment of women.

    Whoops, silly me, Saudi has a whole lot of oil which obliges us to “respect their culture and traditions”.

  4. anonymous says:

    A spirited woman

    Hi

    Ok since I personally followed up this story.. and I KNOW exactly what happened.. lemme basically list all the events – and dont use Oprah’s interview with Rania OR Mahmood Saad’s as refrence.. PLEASE! I’m talking about Rania actually being rescued and aided by a local human rights org

    Heres the thing, Rania’s husbad is a maniac… no questions about it.. he had been beating her up since God knows when. Then there came a time when he almost killed her.
    Then Human rights got involved..and I PERSONALLY know the woman who dealt with her and TOLD her specifically NOT to go back to her husband and NOT to forgive him (because he got jailed) and that IF SHE DID, he would kill her..

    But did Rania listen? No she didnt.. she forgave her husband and hes out of jail.

    Ok, I do agree that there is NO justification for domestic violence.. but common, be fair, she got her chance and SHE BLEW IT

    I pitty her.. because I think her husband must have screwed her mind so well that she lost any sense of judgment,, I mean,, why would ANY SANE person forgive someone who almost killed them?

    Anyway, just thought I’d share what REALLY happened.. and I know Mahmood had been to my old blog several times so you know that I have no intention of airbrushing anything about this country.. but it’s the truth and I thought I should say it.

    Thanks!

  5. anonymous says:

    A spirited woman

    Oh yes before I forget

    Just thought you’d want to update your information, she is currently in Lebanon working for LBC.

  6. mahmood says:

    Re: A spirited woman

    Thank you very much for the update, and wherever she is, we all wish her well in her new life. I hope she makes the best of it.

  7. anonymous says:

    Trackback :: GREAT ESCAPES: Rania Al-Baz

    TrackBack from The Eclectic Chapbook

    + Amazing!

  8. anonymous says:

    Trackback :: Saudi Women: Don’t Let ‘Em Out, Don’t Let ‘Em In

    TrackBack from …Or Does It Explode?

  9. Bravo, Rania Al-Baz!

    Women will always change the world for the better because of their higher natures, their courage, their strength of character, and their resilience in the face of bestiality and tyranny.

    I would love to hear from you, Rania. We would be great friends! I will buy your book the instant it is available in North America.

    May God bless you and keep you safe from harm.

    Cassandra

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