Ni Pute, Ni Soumise

I first heard of the case of Saudi TV anchor and author Rania Al-Baz via Mark Sarvas’s blog. Al-Baz was beaten nearly to death by her husband, but managed to survive. In a daring move, she published photos of her bruised face, wrote a book about the abuse, got a divorce, and kept custody of her children–all of which are unheard of in a culture of silence. The article Mark linked to described her difficulty in getting a visa to go to France to attend a conference of Ni Putes, Ni Soumises. Now it appears Al-Baz did manage to get to Paris, where she talked to the Guardian‘s Ed Vulliamy about her life:

After 12 operations, Baz has recovered her beauty – if anything, the few scars that remain are cogent, rather than disfiguring. She sips a glass of St Emilion and emphasises that she is a devout Muslim – “but I do not think about who is Muslim or who is Christian – we all come from God.” But, she adds, “none of this is about a religion, it is about society. What happened to me happens to women all over the world. But you can take what happens to women all over the world, and in Saudi Arabia, multiply it by ten.

“It is a society in which we have the worst of all worlds. We have a private, closed society according to the Bedouin tribal system, mixed with Givenchy and the invasion of technology from the west. We have the traditions of the Bedouin equipped with every technological gadget you can imagine. And then we have the people who hate anything American or western. And all the world sees is an Arab country, full of oil and full of money.”

Read the rest here.

Thanks to David F. for the Guardian link.

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