Saudi Arabia: Ameerah Al Taweel – A Champion of Women

 

Ameerah Al-Taweel holds a unique position of privilege for a woman in Saudi Arabia.  As the wife of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal she has the opportunity to speak more freely and candidly than most female Saudi royals both in and out of the Kingdom.

 

Prince Alwaleed is the most publicly liberal and forward member in the Royal family when not only speaking but actively promoting rights and opportunities for women.

 

Due to her position as wife of Prince Alwaleed, Princess Ameerah is able to speak openly and more candidly without the fear of repercussions.  Religious clerics and conservatives in the Kingdom are not in favor of her words but that does not scare or stop her from speaking out.

 

Princess Ameerah is a bridge builder and she shares her views and goals with Christiane Amanpour.  She addresses global outrage and the challenges of young Arabs (including Saudis) to express themselves in positive manners.  CNN’s article and interview  is well worth viewing.   Amanpour does not hold back asking direct and provocative questions.

 

Now here is my question.  What do YOU think?  Do you believe Princess Ameerah will be a successful bridge builder?  What else should or could she do towards success?  Does she put herself at risk with her candid words?

 

Who are the other notable female Saudi bridge builders and what difference are they making?

38 Responses

  1. I think the world of Princess Ameerah. She is a strong woman with a challenge and I would work closely with her if I could. I hope she is an example for all women whether Muslim or other throughout the world. Perhaps if more young women were like her, men would have less trouble giving them the freedom to be themselves.

  2. @Katherine: Why should a woman have to act a certain way in order to be given freedom to make her own choices? Are men required to act a certain way in order to retain the ability to make their own choices?

    Talk about blame the victim mentality.

  3. She is a role model. More women should aspire to be like her.

  4. I think she is working hard for women and is very slowly (like molasses) building a bridge. More power to her and the Prince.

  5. The biggest killers of women in Saudi Arabia are diabetes and cancer and both are related to obesity, one more than the other.

    The wealthy princess is in a position, financially, politically and socially, to establish women’s exercise clubs all over the country.

    There might be a price to pay, but nothing comparable to what voiceless children go through when they loose their Moms to preventable diseases.

    They could live longer, healthier, more productive and happier lives if they are allowed to jog along the beach or form neighborhood sport clubs.

    Good deeds are never from risk taking and in this case it’s a risk worth taking.

  6. Katharine:

    Did you ever think that many women are like her but don’t have the wasta to get their accomplishments publicly recognized?

    Again, you throw women under the bus. What do you hate your gender and feel women cannot be an adult even when they are adults? You seem to like throwing barbs at the women folk every chance you get in small but demeaning ways.

  7. Bigstick, I think something gets lost in your translation. I admire women like Princess Ameerah, I admire all strong women. I very much admire Lady Margaret Thatcher. I wish more women would stand up for themselves. I have no problem with strong men either, I rather like them. I myself am excessively independant and want no one to take of me, I can do it myself. I prefer for everyone to care for them selves and relie on no one, men and women. I told you I throw no one under the bus. Are you afraid a woman can’t take care of herself???

  8. Katharine:

    I think it is you who fail to realize how it is written. I am not the only one who questioned the way you write things.

  9. Perhaps interpretation of what the other is saying. I understand what I mean. I write from my understandings of the world and wanting to learn and understand the Muslim world. Understanding simularities and differences goes along way in working together. We could all get along better with some understanding.

  10. Well that all depends on the actions of the other. Now if you are a woman who went to saudi and was treated as they treat women then you might not get along as it would be insulting as you are a vagina by their own teachings and a dimwitted child that possible your own two year old son must speak for you. At least that is if you are lucky otherwise you are just thrown out of the country for the offense of being a woman. Sweet.

  11. Katherine – in your comment I read it to say, “If some women would just act RIGHT, maybe men would GIVE THEM their rights.” Perhaps you don’t realize it or mean it, but that is a comment that puts women down.

    As though women’s rights are for MEN to give. They are for women TO TAKE.

    Ameerah Al Taweel is an amazing women, I really enjoyed the video.

  12. That is my understanding of that country. I hope that is what Ameerah is trying to change. It is sad that men have that idea about women. Change does not come fast enough. America was not as bad 100 years ago but close. Twenty five years ago I was trying to crack the bariers between men and women here in the work place. I am a police officer. Hard job for women but needed. I have seen both sexes take advantage so understand sometimes why men have difficult time letting women be freer in thinking. And so you know, as there is a stereotype to female police officers, I am married to a man and love all thing male

  13. Jenn, Because I have women abuse the rights here in America and think the Saudi men will think the Saudi women may do the same thing. Both sexes abuse the rights not one over the other. We all need to strive for equality.

  14. It’s great that she is speaking out and hopefully she continues to. However hopefully her work includes working the trenches for an NGO regularily where she is directly with other Saudi women who are less visible to shape programs, services and policy to make those changes permanent.

  15. It’s always good to see people use their power and money and fame for good causes.

  16. @Katharine, Women shouldn’t have to “earn” men “letting” them do more. And I think you sound like you make excuses for it. It sounds like you think “some” women deserve equal rights to men, but others don’t. You seem to labor under the delusion that if women are correct enough in their behavior then men will grant them their equal rights. I’ve never seen it happen that way. Ever. It is the way abusers justify abuse.

    As for both sexes abusing rights- I don’t know exactly what you mean by that- but again. Both sexes should have equal opportunity to do so. Men don’t have the right to regulate if women are worthy enough or ready for their human rights.

  17. Sandy, You have obviously never seen abusive women have you? women can be abusive and run rough shod over men as well as women. When I talk about women earning the respect from men, that’s what I mean. I earned the respect of the men I worked with because I could fight, disarm, or shoot any person if I needed to. If I broke a nail because I fought, I didn’t cry about it. I could take a punch just like they did, I earned their respect. And there are men out there that have no business in the military or police department as they are just wimpy. We all earn out respect. I would like the women in all countries to have the ability to do things equally to that of the men.

  18. Katharine:

    What does any of this have to do with being an adult? Next, so based upon you analogy if an individual had some type of physical handicap or if they were not as strong as the other person female or male then they don’t deserve respect because they might say hey that hurts or your height gives you an advantage over short people thus allow more leverage, or that being a jar had and inflicting pain upon one another is the only way to achieve respect?

    Next issue men can be abusive and run rough shod over women as well as men. So what the hell kind of point is that?

    Last issue does might make right theology determine who is to be respected or determine there adult status?

    Just would like you to clarify as you have made the claim that I misunderstood you stance.

  19. Katherine…you should have had the respect of those men the moment you put on your uniform. In other words you are saying you behaved like a man and didnt bitch and whine like a girl (so to speak) so they saw you as worthy of their respect? Somehow you make that sound like some sort of triumph on your part…or a granting of authenticity on theirs when you already had it.

  20. Katharine:

    How do you know any of the men actually respected you anyway?

  21. Katharine: You should have been respected regardless of being a woman. Respect should be the default status, that’s the point I feel you are missing. You shouldn’t be automatically judged on what someone else considers the lowest denominator.

  22. My comments have more to do with what I have seen and experienced in America, I can’t answer to what is going on in Saudi only as to what I have heard and read. I think the Princess is a role model to everyone regardless of where they live. End of story there. I have been on receiveing end of abuse by a man, it made me stronger and it led me to become a police officer so I could help other’s, men, women, children,. I beleive in equality. I earned the respect of those around me, I earned their trust. Freedom can be given but the respect and trust must be earned. That is what everyone needs to know on this issue.

  23. Katharine:

    You are not following a linear line of thought. Next respect and trust is also given. Here is an example:

    Due to the fact that you are a female and highly emotional and prone to mental instability due to your hormones I cannot afford you the same respect as I would a man nor could I ever trust you as your gender will betray you on any momentary stability that you currently exhibit.

    Thus the best place for you is in your home behind four wall popping out those kids and I will take making sure everything is take care of. Now don’t worry you pretty little, softer emotional self with any significant issues. Now if I have to work with you I will barely tolerate your presences and I will never trust you as you have female instabilites. I just won’t tell you that.

    In other words, you will never receive respect or trust no matter how hard you attempt it but you will exhaust yourself in the futile effort.

  24. If you really think that, then you are as misguided as the holy men in Saudi. There is no difference in hormones or other emotional traits of between men and women.. You need a lesson in biology. it is the brain that controls us. There is a proverb that says, “train up a child in the way they should go and he/she will not depart from it”. Teach everyone, male and female, the right way and they should follow that teaching. How does that translate to the situation in Saudi? If you teach young girls to be good they will be good women, if you teach boys to be good they will be good. The only problem is it is human nature to go wrong, good and evil, a choice all humans can make regardless of their sex. Men do the same things, all the rest of that is garbage.

  25. Katharine:

    I provided you with an example not my belief, however, that said you cannot earn respect or trust from anyone either as it is something that must be given.

  26. One must earn it before one can give it, two way street

  27. That is where you are wrong for there are many people who will never give you respect no matter how hard you try to earn it.

  28. Oh, I might add that there are people are given respect just based on being a human and that is how they earned their respect.

  29. Yes, I have seen abusive women. And that had nothing whatsoever to do with the point I was making.

    The point here is not about earning anyones respect. It’s about denial of basic human rights for half the population.

  30. That is true, there are some who will cling to their believes no matter what. A part of human nature that is hard to deal with. All one can do is keep trying and hope good works will triumph. It worked for me to change the idea that women did not belong in police work. I changed a few hard headed minds. It just takes time.

  31. Rights are usually seen as something the “elite” or “superior” group has that are given through compassion or some sort of final understanding that, yes…you are like us, the same as us (sort of..you can never be just like us as we are the superior elite ones) after a long hard fought battle on the part of the one in which rights have been withheld. So technically…rights are never just given..they are taken. But rights should never ever be something viewed as being given. That’s where the world’s problems arise from. Some seem to think they have rights by default..and others have to earn those rights. Hence wars, discrimination, abuse etc.

    btw…rights should never be voted on. Again, it’s one group deciding if another group has earned or deserves rights they themselves enjoy. (like same sex marriage etc)

  32. Here’s an interesting story about the Ikea catalogue Saudi version and women and girls being airbrushed out of the pictures. Read it and weep!

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/10/2012101151825462437.html

  33. Wendy, that is the epitome of stupidity and gender prejudice! I really don’t get it, were the women naked or engaged in a sexual intimacy? Just stupid! Oh boy, I can’t wait to hear what Bigstick and Coolred have to say about this one :)

  34. Mrs. B:

    I had no idea you were such a fan. :D Thanks ;)

    Okay, now let’s get down to it on the airbrush issue. I believe I have found a way to ensure women can have their image and person presented in public. I think you will enjoy this.

    At least this is comedy the other is just sad and stupid.

  35. Jokes aside for now: here’s an economics perspective. When Saudis realize they do not have anything except oil that will run out eventually (of course some have already realized), they will start INCLUDING their women in the economy. They will BEG and FORCE them to work. Because women represent a HUGE potential of ANY country in this world.
    Here is a GREAT article for you guys to read:

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/01/if-saudi-men-want-to-live-in-a-world-wit

    I also wanted to mention that the new “trend” in KSA is when a middle-class/low-class guy hunts for a rich bride (with professional status, not only money alone). Yes, it’s the other way around these days. I think most of you readers of AB already know that.

  36. Love the title of the article. LOL!!! Women over the years in various areas have got what they wanted by withholding sex. Of course all the women got together and made a pact that their bodies would be off limits until change happened.

  37. Oh Bigstick, the word fan is kind of wobbly :) Let’s just call me a keen observer of repetitive rantings :)

  38. Mrs. B:

    Oh but you like my repetitve rantings (ie, a fan) as you where waiting with baited anticipation for my response. :D It makes me feel so warm and fuzzy. :)

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