13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2003
I read Princess and was amazed at the way the Royal family of Saudi Arabia treats its women. Daughters of Arabia is continuation of Princess and enlightens readers about the 2nd generation of the Royal family who have benefited from the oil wealth of there ancestors
It is amazing how the constraints of the Muslim word effect the young and venerable Muslim girls. It is an amazing account of two sisters who are so unlike but from the same mother.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2000
It seems hard to believe that such things as are described in this book actually go on. I haven't read either "Princess" or "Desert Royal" but I shall. I can't decide what I think of the two main men in her life - her husband and father. Certainly with most of the other men mentioned the reader does not have this problem. I liked the way the book was written. I think its good that it was written in a lively way. I would certainly recommend this book, and I feel very glad to live in England.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2006
Still a good continuation and interesting to learn about the princess's daughters. This book was very short and the stories were an extenion of what went on in the first book. The story was generally based on the prnicess's daughters and thier characters and personalities. How they develop and become different people. One is quite similar to her mother and the other takes after her aunty. It nice to see how the daughters develop into adults after reading about thier mother developing from a child into an adult.
The mother herself changes and swings from one mood to the next and the effect is shown on her as the books pogress and she realises what her weaknesses and tries to deal with them as best she can.
The daughters themselves have an easier life then their mother and one daughter Maha takes this for granted. It was nice to see the love Amani has for animals and the effect shown on her and how she learns to deals with things when she finds her uncles birds are in danger and kept in poor conditions. Also the feelings Maha develops when she witnesses her uncles Herem and the women he is holding there brings an intense and agressive side to Maha who tries her best to help these women out of the place. She is hurt to realise that things like that can happen in Saudia Arabia and in the Royal family. She with her mother try their best to get them out, but are not sucessful and give up.
However, if you take this as a update then you dont be diappointed. If read this thinking you a reading another side to the story or a different theme altogethrethen you may be diappointed.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 1999
"Princess Sultana's Daughters," the sequel to "Princess," uses the princess's daughters to mirror the great gaps that exist in Saudi society between those who wish to keep the country in the 6th century and those who want to bring it into the 21st. Unfortunately, the religious fanatics, symbolized by the ever-present "mutawain" (religious police)are determined to keep the people backward, uneducated, and living in fear.By their public beatings, canings, beheadings, and other tortures, the powerful "mutawain" serve to subjugate the public. Their violations of human rights inspire fear and keep the educated moderates from speaking out. Those who do speak out, even children, end up as prisoners in Saudi jails, are executed, subject to torture, banned, fired from their jobs--all for trying to exercise a freedom that we take for granted--the freedom of speech. Even Americans working in the Kingdom are not exempt from the mutawain's abuses; a few years back they broke up a children's Christmas party at an American school, smashing furniture, destroying the stage, and terrorizing the children. Ms. Sasson speaks from first-hand observation, having lived in Saudi Arabia for over ten years. While there, she befriended many Saudi women, among them Princess Sultana; for obvious reasons of personal safety, the Princess and the other women Jean writes about had to retain their anonymity. I know from personal experience the abuses that Saudi men are able to heap upon their wives and daughters--all in the name of religion--which most of these men misinterpret. As with Christian or any other fanatics, many of these so-called Islamists (of the Wahhabi sect--a 19th and early 20th century version of Islam--not the Prophet Mohammed's version), interpret the religion to their own liking. I have had my child kidnapped to Saudi Arabia by her non-custodial father, Abdulbaset Ahmed Mohammed Al-Omary. Saudi Arabia does not recognize any of the mother's custodial rights, even though the Prophet Mohammed severely condemned anyone who came between a mother and her children. Ms. Sasson writes about my daughter, Heidi, in one chapter of her newest book, soon to come out in the United States. From being married to a Saudi here in the USA, I quickly learned that the Princess's description of women's lives in the Kingdom are totally accurate. All of Ms. Sasson's books about the Princess are very important catalysts for social change, especially for those of us (American and Saudi mothers) who have girl children living in Saudi Arabia.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2014
Princess 2 is a great read, as gripping as the first Princess book. It is not necessary to have read the first book to follow and understand this one but it does provide useful background and makes it easier to understand the behaviour and thoughts of the princess.
This book follows the life of princess Sultana's children. She is an actual Saudi princess (only name changed to protect her identity) that longs for more freedom for women in Saudi Arabia. Through tales of her children's lives the bitter reality of women in Saudi Arabia is portrayed.
- educational - the degree of oppression of women is unspeakable and very sad; quite a lot is explained about the way families and society function
- funny - there are quite a few funny moments that are a welcome read
- odd language - I found the language and expressions a bit dated with some big words thrown in for good measure
- graphic - there are quite a few detailed explanations of circumcision types which are not for the faint hearted; they weren't easy to read and I'm not convinced they are necessary in this type of book
I would recommend the book. It is the kind of book one never forgets. Makes me keep an eye on Saudi Arabia and follow their progress on women rights.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2014
According to this princess the men of this country have a ghastly attitude towards their women. Somehow, over time, the men have subjugated their women to the extent that they have absolutely no freedom at all. Kept behind doors, totally covered up in the presence of other men and allowing them no say at all, even making divorce easy for themselves though not for their wives. Religion is quoted as the reason that women should not be given freedom as they would all become wanton prostitutes. Such hypocrisy! Many of these men flout their religion and laws, especially those rich enough to buy their way out of trouble. Even the male moral police go around dispensing justice (!) to any woman found not covered up and even talking to a male non-relative.
What are these men so scared of? The over-riding disgusting memory of this book is their attitude to sex, they seem to be driven by lust even involving very young girls. I think an up-tight so-called religious society would produce this. This princess appears to be reasonably lucky with her husband - be nice if she could also highlight the misery of their many servants.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2013
Having read 'Princess', I doubted whether this book would be its equal. After reading it, 'couldn't put it down' I have immediately ordered the 3rd book. Highly recommend. What I can't understand in the book is the fact that Sultana mentioned the consumption of alcohol by her and other members of the Royal Family. I was under the impression as she is a Muslim, that alcohol is forbidden??
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 1999
I had just finished reading Princess by the same author and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book to see the effects on her daughters. This book is much shorter than princess. (Finished it in a couple of hours) Although is was still very interesting, I found that Sultana's life did settle down a lot from her teens and twenties. I would like to see where the road takes her in her 40's and 50's.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 1998
I've worked for the royal family in Saudi Arabia for the past twenty-five years, and I can say with all honesty that this book depicts the lives of Saudi Princes and Princesses very accurately. This is a natural outcome for a family that has low morale values and encourages its members to indulge in life's materialistic leisure in every possible way at the expenses of the Saudi people. While at the same time leaching the religious police to tighten the iron grip on the their poor citizens in the name of Islam. However, let not confuse Islam with the practices of the royal family, the religious police, or the religious fanatics in the country. The majority of Saudi men and women live according to the principles of their religion in what they consider it to be a near perfect way of living, despite the obvious lack of freedom, human rights violations, and social and economic injustices that they suffer.