It was a work of propaganda funded by the Kuwaiti government which was allegedly based on interviews Sasson had conducted with pseudonymous Kuwaitis who had fled to Cairo, Saudi Arabia, London and Washington, D. The identity of Sultana a pseudonym is concealed to assure her safety. In , a lawsuit was brought against the author of the book alleging plagiarism. They have reacted in equally desperate ways. Their stories are set against traditional Saudi Arabian culture and social mores.

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Jean Sasson paints a horrifying reality for women of the desert kingdom. It is a haunting look at the danger of Saudi male dominance and the desperate lives of the women they rule. These books described the lives of women who live in a society where they have few rights, little control over their own lives or bodies, and no choice but to endure the atrocities perpetrated against them. Ultimately, Sultana and her sisters vow to form a circle of support that will surround and shelter abused women and girls.

Public debate on the irony of liberated, democratic men and women defending a government that espoused such restrictions for women caused widespread consternation and commentary. Sadly, this anticipated change did not happen. In the aftermath of the war, because of tightened restrictions on women imposed by the now more powerful religious men, the plight of these women actually worsened. One Saudi woman who watched this turn of events with great disappointment was a fiery Saudi Princess, a member of the House of Al Saud, the current rulers of Saudi Arabia.

This Princess resolved, upon seeing the restrictions on women tighten, rather than loosen, that she would take an unprecedented and dangerous action: she would once again prevail upon a longtime American friend and writer to describe to the West, as she had experienced it, the everyday life of oppression for Muslim women, whether royal princesses or village tribes women.

Since there was personal danger in revealing the secrets of the women of Saudi Arabia to the West, for the personal safety of the Princess, the author called her "Sultana. The author, in the telling of these true stories, describes how the beliefs and attitudes of both sexes are shaped and continue to be shaped by a social culture dating back many centuries. The most startling revelation of all, however, is that the lives of the women in the fabulously wealthy House of Al Saud, even royal princesses, are repressed and constricted.

Similar behavior by Muslim men, however is ignored. We readers, however, are inspired by the glow of her interior life and her fierce challenge to injustice wherever she sees it. Sultana will never accept her male-dominated world. The example of her spirit motivates all who read the books in this dramatic trilogy to join Sultana in the continuing struggle to ensure that every women in the world is treated with dignity and respect.


Jean Sasson



The Princess Trilogy by Jean Sasson


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