Saudi Arabia: Call Her Selma, “J”, Saudi Stepford Wife…She’s Still an Abused Woman

domestic violence

Abuse takes place in all places of the world.  However, most places do have a fair and just legal system in place if that abuse is reported.  While inroads are being made in Saudi Arabia, they are not being made fast enough.

This past week, Selma Ahmed (not her real name) was apprehended and arrested because she left with her two daughters to get out of an abusive relationship from her Saudi husband.  Selma, although not of Saudi origin, does have Saudi citizenship.  Monday, April 29, police officers came to her place of work and arrested her.  The charges are she and her two adult daughters had left the home of her husband without his permission.

Activist and photographer, Samia El-Moslimany, spoke with the police officer and he told her that Selma will be detained until she is willing to return to her husband’s house.  In spite of the fact that Selma fears for her life is she returns, the police officer put on deaf ears and stated that Selma will continue to be detained until she goes back to her husband.

According to the policeman, the “established procedure” is that Selma must first return home and then she can file a formal complaint.  Selma’s husband came to the police station and insisted she return home with him.  He attempted to force her and assaulted her in front of police officers.

Selma was transferred to Briman Women’s Prison in Jeddah.  The fate of her daughters is unknown and there is fear that the father may have forcibly made them return home.

Selma’s case is here and now and requires immediate action.  She should not be contained in a prison because she fears for her life from her abusive husband.  Now is the time for Saudi Arabia’s reforms in domestic violence to be put into immediate action.

Sadly, Selma is not my first exposure of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia.  Another case was “Saudi Stepford Wife.”  Saudi Stepford Wife was an engaging American woman married to a Saudi and had also obtained Saudi nationality.  She lived in the Eastern Province.  She maintained a blog which I enjoyed reading very much.  We got to know one another through our blogs which eventually led to email exchanges and finally a personal meeting in 2008.  I hosted her in my home while her Saudi husband attended business meetings.

By that time we had become pretty close and she shared her dark secret with me.  She was married to an abusive man and feared for her safety.  Her parents were elderly and she did not want them to know.  She also swore me to silence.

I rue that day.  If I could go back and do things differently, I would.  I would not have honored my promise to her.  Although I never met or saw her husband, my spouse met him when he came to pick up Saudi Stepford Wife from my home.  I’ll never forget my husband coming back in to the house with such a look of distaste on his face.  He looked at me and said “That man is a pig and gives his wife no respect.”

After that visit I only heard from Saudi Stepford Wife two more times.  Since she had shared her secret with me, she was telling me how she had plans to leave her husband and take a job in Jeddah.  Sadly, her plans never came to fruition.  She simply disappeared off the radar.  Enquiries revealed that she had suffered a bad fall and as a result, was afflicted with terrible brain damage.  She did not know who she was or even where she was.  No one was able to make contact with her.  Her husband made sure of that.  This is a heavy burden of guilt that I still continue to bear for in retrospect, I should never have kept her secret.

Last but not least, there is dear “J” , a Saudi woman, who candidly shared her experience with American Bedu readers.  Thankfully she was able to get herself extracted from her hideous experience and find true love.  Sadly though, she was taken too soon due to the insidious disease of cancer.  However, she left her imprint on many of us around the world.

Yes; I am aware of other cases of domestic violence in the Kingdom.  However, I am much more outspoken and forward with any woman who shares that secret with me.  At a minimum, any woman in Saudi Arabia should have the web site and phone numbers for the Kingdom’s new domestic violence program sponsored by the King Khalid Foundation.


nb Update:  American Bedu is so happy to report that thanks to the efforts of Samia El-Moslimany and her team of heros, Selma is now safe!  She has been released from jail and safe with Samia.  They are now searching for her daughters.  Please take time out and say a prayer that Selma and her daughters will be reunited soon.

USA/KSA/WORLD: Final Appeal to the American Bedu Extended Family and Friends


Dear Family, Friends, and Followers of American Bedu blog,

Like most of us, I know too many people whose lives have been touched by cancer. In addition, I continue to be a recipient of several of American Cancer Society’s programs for those who are battling cancer.  As a result, I feel very strongly about supporting the American Cancer Society through its annual Relay for Life fundraiser.
At Relay for Life events, we celebrate loved ones who have won their war against cancer, remember those who are no longer with us, and fight back against this insidious disease that takes so much from so many.I will be participating on May 31st at 7pm at Baileys Park, Cornelius and would appreciate your support with an online donation toward my fundraising goal.  This link will take you directly to my Relay fundraising page.  The event is one month away and any support you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Together, we are saving lives from cancer and every one of us is making a difference in the War Against Cancer.


Carol Fleming Al-Ajroush                                                                    Abdullah Othman Al-Ajroush

Stage IV Breast Cancer Warrior                                                         Warrior of a Rare and Aggressive Leukemia

June 2008, Saudi Arabia – present day, USA                                October 2008, Saudi Arabia.  Laid to Rest February 2010.

Saudi Arabia/USA/WORLD – The War Against Cancer

I’m usually not a person who will have multiple posts on the exact same topic, however, I have made an exception.  I have personally experienced so many benefits from American Cancer Society that I am one of their strongest advocates in their annual Relay for Life fund drive.  Since my own battle with cancer began in 2008, there have been new drugs and treatments made available from which I have personally benefited and which are extending my projected life span.  My late Saudi husband, Abdullah, also benefited from American Cancer Society services when he was receiving treatment in the United States.

Any contribution you are able to make will support the horrid War Against Cancer…and it is a war.  A cancer patient must prepare themselves as if they were going into to battle when fighting this hateful disease.

This post is purely personal and from the heart.  I’m a strong advocate of theAmerican Cancer Society and its annual Relay for Life program.

Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser which allows individuals like me, for example, to receive various useful services during my War Against Cancer.

This month, Relay for Life, is having a contest to see who can raise the most funds through online donations.  I’m not only one of Relay for Life biggest advocates, but competitive too.  Therefore, I am reaching out to YOU and asking if you can make a contribution.

my desert boy

Abdullah before cancer entered his life


There are multiple options.  You can make a direct online donation in any amount or you can also purchase a luminary for US$10 which also counts as an online donation.


Luminary in memory of Abdullah 2010 from a friend (please disregard that she misspelled his name.  The love and thought was there)


Let me explain about the luminary.  A luminary is a white bag with the logo of the American Cancer Society and a square which contains a personal message.  First one will select whether the luminary is either “in memory of” (one who has passed on from a battle with cancer) or “in honor of” (one who continues a War Against Cancer.  Next you type in the name of the individual as you want it to appear on the luminary (such as American Bedu, Carol Fleming, Abdullah Al-Ajroush or some other name).  Last but not least you then can add an optional personalized message in the square.


Luminary in honor of me from a friend, 2010



Luminary’s are arranged on either side of the Relay for Life track which all local participants walk around.  The luminary is filled partway with sand and a candle is placed within the bag and lit.  It is very moving and emotional to walk around the Relay track after dusk has fallen while guided by the large circle of luminary, each representing someone loved whose life was impacted by cancer.

circle of luminaries

circle of luminaries


I know many of you have already provided a donation.  I’m asking from the heart that if it is possible to place another donation during this time or to purchase a luminary.  I can’t stress enough how worthy is the cause and the many benefits and services cancer patients may receive thanks to events like the annual Relay for Life.

You can also read more about why Relay for Life is so important to me here.

Saudi Arabia: AlNahdi Medical Company Launches ‘Kolna Amal’

al nahda 1

اطلقت شركة النهدي حملة  بداية الشهر بعنوان “كلنا أمل” لدعم أطفال السرطان

وضعت الشركة منصات في عدة مراكز تجارية في جدة حيث ان كل شخص يتصور عند المنصة، سيتم التبرع بمبلغ قدره خمسة ريالات لمؤسسة سند لأطفال السرطان.

والجدير بالذكر أن النهدي تعاقدوا مع عمر حسين، مقدم البرنامج الشهير على اليوتيوب “على الطاير” حتى يكون سفيرا لهذه الحملة.. وقرر عمر حسين أن يحلق شعر رأسه كليا حتى يظهر تضامنه مع أطفال السرطان.  أيضا بدأت الحملة هاشتاق على تويتر وهو #كلناـأمل حتى تصل الى أكبر قدر ممكن من الناس.

اليوم، ٣ ابريل ٢٠١٣، ستكمل الحملة طريقها في مجمعات جدة المركزية.. . نتمنى من الجميع مشاركتنا في نشر الأمل.

al nahda 2

AlNahdi Medical Company has launched a great campaign called “Kolna Amal” to support children with cancer around Saudi Arabia in line with launching their new brand identity.

 al nahda 3

Starting this month, the campaign rolled out in different big malls in Jeddah. Where they have set up stands in each mall, inviting big influencers in the society to encourage people to join and take pictures next to the stand, and for each picture taken, AlNahdi will donate 5 riyals to Sanad, the children cancer association.


Last week, AlNahdi collaborated with the Saudi influencer Omar Alhussein, in order to be the ambassador of this campaign. Where he went to the stand to encourage people to take pictures. To add more buzz to the campaign, Omar AlHussein shaved his head to support the cause.

al nahda 4

The hashtag    #كلناـأمل  was also created spread and support the campaign even more


Today, April 3rd, ALNahdi stand are set up around Jeddah malls, you can go and join such a fun, and great cause.


Saudi Arabia: Mark Your Calendar’s for Janadriyah

janadriyah 2013


It’s almost Janadriyah time!  The Janadriyah festival is the annual highlight for both Saudis and expatriates in the Kingdom.  It is the annual cultural festival which showcases the traditions and customs of each Province within the Kingdom.  It is the best event that is produced and held in the Kingdom and provides the best image of Saudi Arabia.

The Janadriyah festival begins on 04 April and will last for 17 days.  There will be separate hours and/or days for men, women and families so be sure to check out the schedule.

Each year the Janadriyah festival will have special events oftentimes featuring different countries with which Saudi Arabia has special relationships.  This year the Janadriyah festival will feature a 2,000 square meter China Pavilion.  In addition to Saudi Arabia, visitors will also receive a taste of China.  The China Pavilion will feature traditional Chinese handicrafts, artifacts, clothes and textiles, along with modern products using state-of-art methods and devices of display.

camel race


Another hallmark of the Janadriyah Festival will be the annual camel race.  This race will have participants from throughout the GCC, Sudan and of course, Saudi Arabia and showcase the different camels.

The first four days starting Tuesday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7 will be for single men and the remaining 12 days will be for families, from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight. Students have been allotted three hours starting 9 a.m. during April 6 to 10.

The Janadriyah festival is one event anyone in the Kingdom or who is able to travel to the Kingdom will not want to miss.  It’s too bad Saudi Arabia does not allow tourism visas for the Janadriyah festival showcases the best of the Kingdom and could bring in thousands of visitors to the Kingdom just for this specific event.

Saudi Arabia: The Stigma of Rape

survivor of rape



When we think about rape, regardless of country, usually the first thought is for the woman and what she has been through.  She has been violated in the most intimate way against her will.  Yet, strong women do move on and survive.

But what about the child who is a result of a rape?  How is that innocent child viewed?  Sadly, in Saudi Arabia, it seems there is more stigma placed on the child of a rape victim than perhaps the insidious deed of rape itself.

As this Saudi gazette editorial illustrates, the mother who gave birth to the child moved on with her life abandoning her child.  The father (or should I say rapist) faced no consequences and continues to live a free and normal life.

Yet the innocent victim in this case who is now a young woman, is the one who has been abandoned and shunned because of the circumstances which surround her birth.  I think the term the author uses to describe her as the “walking dead” is quite apt.  She is shunned by her husband and alienated in the country of her birth which also happens to be viewed by many as the heart of Islam which is ever tolerant and kind.

This unnamed and faceless woman is a real hero.  She may not be aware of it or agree.  However, given the obstacles she has already overcome, starting with her entry into this world, tells me she is a fighter and a survivor.

Rather than continue to pay for the mistakes of others, I pray that this woman will be recognized and shown the love and kindness she deserves as a woman who was brought into the Kingdom under the harshest of circumstances.

Saudi Arabia/USA/World – YOU Can Help Support American Bedu in the War Against Cancer

carol getting chemo


Dear Friend,


I am participating in the Relay for Life in my local area sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  As one who continues a battle against Stage 4 cancer and also lost my late husband to this insidious disease, it means a lot to me to help raise funds which help myself and others.


This link provides my personal testimony in addition to allowing one to make a donation.  I’d be very grateful if you would be able to assist me towards making a difference in the War Against Cancer.


Best Regards,

Carol  (American Bedu)


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