Saudi Writer on Repression

From a speech by Saudi writer Waheja al-Huwaider, given on the occasion of her acceptance of the 2004 NOVIB/PEN Award.

I come from a segregated society. This is my first experience on stage to talk to a mixed audience. So, as we gather here to celebrate freedom of speech, that concept has never existed in my country. All the Saudi publications are owned by the government and are run under the authorities supervision. There are three forbidden subjects no one is allowed to touch: politics, religion and sex. A few months ago the Saudi government passed a new law stating that people who criticized any of the government’s policies, in private or public, will be subject to the loss of their jobs.

No politics, no religion, and no sex? What is there left to talk about?

Thanks to Michael for the link.

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