Girls of Riyadh
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Girls of Riyadh Novel

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Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea talks about the story of four college going girls living in Riyadh. The author writes emails to the people of Arab and each email focuses on one of the four girls. All four girls come from different backgrounds and become best friends. The story focuses on the love life of these girls and how they can't do certain things because of Sharia law in Riyadh, Saudia Arab. Gamrah, one of the best friends gets married right away in the beginning of the book. Her marriage does not go well after she moves to America with her husband Rashid. Being from Riyadh, Gamrah, is not considered fit for the American life. Her husband does not give her the attention she needs as a husband and he is embarassed to take her out anywhere. She later finds out about his affair which has been going on before her marriage to Rashid. Rashid sends her back home to Riyadh even after knowing she is pregnant with his baby. Gamrah story then focuses on how being a divorcee with a son her life has changed and certain rules and restrictions now apply to her. Next is Sadeem. Sadeem meets a sweet and caring guy called Waleed. After she's engaged and officially signs the contract, which states that she is now married to Waleed she sleeps with him only for him to leave her the next day. He divorces her and cancels the marriage signing contract. At first she is very angry with Waleed and is mentally not able to digest the fact that he left her. She blames him for ruining her life and goes to London for vacation. In London she meets a Firas who starts to like her. Sadeem tries to keep herself away from him but is not able to do that. After having a relationship with him for three years he tells her he is getting engaged and they both break up. At this point Sadeem is shattered and is upset with her fate. A few months later, Sadeem meets Firas again and has an affair with him even though he is legally married, but not living with his wife. When Sadeem sees what a big coward Firas is, she leaves him again, giving a final end to their four year relationship. After Waleed Sadeem was considered a divorcee as well and she could not go out as much in society either, just like Gamrah. Sadeem's cousin Tariq always had feelings for and he proposes to her which she accepts because of one phone call. The third girl in their group is Michelle. Michelle mom is American and her dad is from Riyadh. Michelle has always hated the laws in Riyadh and has been a rebel. She came from America to Riyadh then moved to Dubai. Michelle meets Faisal in Riyadh and he is the best boyfriend any girl could ever have. Their relationship is going perfectly fine but when Faisal's mom does not allow Faisal to marry Michelle and he agrees, Michelle leaves him because she cannot stand the society in Saudi. She goes to America and starts to have feelings for Matti her cousin. Her parents reject her idea of getting with Matti and they shift to Dubai. Lamees is the only one of the four girls who gets her first and true love. Lamees was always a bold girl and she met Niraz at her college. He is the perfect guy for her and he asks her dad for her hand in marriage. Her dad accepts and both get married. Lamees did not go through any problems in her love life and her marriage was successful. All four of these girls fell in love with guys from Arab and the novel followed their love stories. The laws in Saudi put some restrictions on their love life, but they found ways to get around it. This story is about these four girls and how they came to live in a society of of strict laws

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How Men in Saudi Arabia Flirt Without Getting Thrown in Jail

How Men in Saudi Arabia Flirt Without Getting Thrown in Jail | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it
Men have developed all kinds of creative strategies for discreetly trying to get a woman's phone number
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In the article, the methods that males in Saudi use to get a females number is mentioned. In Saudi, males and females cannot mingle together. With this law in place, males cannot flirt with females. Many males have found ways to still place with women and not get caught. This article talks about those ways. Some men drop slips of paper in with their number in front of women. Others yell their number out the window in the car when driving by a woman. Some men are willing to become drivers just so they can drive females around and flirt with their female customers. Technology has become very big now a days so some men post their number up or even replace their profile name with their number. All these men do not have sexual desires. They just want to get a females number so they can flirt around when bored. Some of the males surveyed have said that less than half the girls have actually given their phone number out. These methods are still being used and men are still out there flirting in Saudi and not getting caught. They will do anything even if they have to go against the law.

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KSA court upholds female driver ruling

KSA court upholds female driver ruling | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it
A Saudi appeals court upholds a sentence against a woman for driving a car.
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The article talks about what some women went through when they drove against the law. When Saudi women protested and drove, many were arrested and punished severely. It is not legally stated that women cannot drive, but since Saudi follows the Islamic religion, the officials say it is not religiously correct for women to drive. The article also talked about the protest that the women created. They started a campaign called Women2Drive. In this campaign, many women took pictures and videos of themselves when they were driving and they posted these pictures and videos on the internet. By doing this they challenged the ban on women driving. Some of the consequences of women driving are harsh. They can be arrested, jailed, sent to court, and some even get lashes. The punishments are severe but the women are still willing to go against the government and drive, no matter what it takes.

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Saudi Solutions

Saudi Solutions | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it

 

Documentary

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The documentary, Saudi Solutions, was about the lives of Saudi women. In the documentary, the narrator mentioned how she was in Saudi to film the lives of Saudi women and how they live according to the Qur'an in today's day. Throughout the film, women were shown in different situations. The narrator, being a women, also experienced the life of a Saudi women. She had to wear the abaya and she also had to follow the rules for the different sexes in Saudi. Also women had to stay covered in front of certain relatives and others she didn't have to cover from. If women were not allowed in a place, there couldn't go there either. The documentary followed lives of women who did some kind of work. The guide, Suasan, works for a newspaper, and sometimes she is the only women among more than a hundred men. Susan also gave a tour of her house and explained what everything was and she also told the audience how her house and her in-laws is connected by a hallway. One door leads to the others house and this is common in Saudi for families to stay together. even when guests are over, men and women have separate seating areas in houses. The narrator also met a men who works for His Royal Highness and she got to get a view inside the court and see the modern female employees. Later the narrator met a female doctor and followed her life. The doctor said how there is no segregation in the hospital but she is still covered. The narrator met other women like these who work and are females but the society has gotten used to it now. One thing is still the same, women still cannot drive. Susan has mentioned that she would love to drive but it is not allowed in Saudi, just like other rights of females. The documentary overall showed how there are women working in Saudi but they still wish for some of their rights that they don't have.

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Relationships in Saudi Arabia

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     In the article, Growing up Saudi: in a strict Islamic society like Saudi Arabia, segregation of the sexes is almost total. Part 2: the girls, the author talks about the relationship between males and females and the differences between the two. It is very common not just in Saudi but in Islamic culture for girls to marry at an early age. The article starts with an 18-year old girl, Alia, announcing to her friends that she is getting married to Badr, a 25-year old man. In the article, it is mentioned how the showfa, a viewing ceremony, is the only time when a girl can come in front of a guy without wearing her abaya. Usually a girl is supposed to be covered all the time and she can not be with any guy that is not her relative. This law is set to the point that even in public places, it is not hard to follow this rule. There are girl only schools, women only shopping malls, travels agencies,boutiques, and many more places like these are also divided by sex. In way women are treated like minors in Saudi. It is understandable that since the law is you should be covered and not seen by male eyes, that there will separate public places made for females, but thus law is applied to Facebook. When it comes to Facebook, many women, who are followers of the law, consider if it is OK to have male friends on Facebook. Facebook is not a problem for most of these, but talking to their future husband is. It is considered that the man is still not related to you, so it is bad to talk to him. In Saudi culture, dating is not acceptable so love marriages sound foreign to them. Many girls like Alia get worried and nervous about what they will talk about with their future husband for the first time on the phone. So they make lists of questions, like Alia did. Even though law and culture is that males and females don't interact and talk, times have changed. Now the system of "numbering" is being used. Numbering is when young males chase after girls and give them their phone number through Bluetooth or they hold up signs. This may be happening but there are still girls who do not believe in doing all this. Many girls still believe that girls and guys should not talk. Some it is OK to talk online since you're just writing to each other, but talking on the phone is not OK since they can hear your voice, and it is not allowed in Islam for a stranger to hear you. Talking in person is even worse. The religious police in Saudi is created just so males and females that are not related don't interact with each other. Overall, girls should not talk to stranger boys. They should think about their families and think if their actions would be acceptable or not.

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Saudi Arabia Constitution

Saudi Arabia Constitutions; The Saudi Network. Trade and business information and links to saudi arabia, arabian gulf and middle east area. member of Nova Stars Information Services.
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In the article called Saudi Arabia-Constitution, the laws of Saudi are written out. This website has the whole Constitution of Saudi and its laws related to Islam and the country itself. A few of the laws that everyone knows about are that the government is a monarchy and that the country is based off Islamic laws. The article says that the laws are derived from the Holy Koran and the traditions of the prophet. Islam is mentioned a couple of times in the Constitution. It is mentioned how Islam is the basis of laws in Saudi but it is also mentioned specifically that like Islam orders people to do good and stay away from bad, so does Saudi. Human rights are also given based on Islamic Shari'ah. The Constitution also has some similar laws to other countries like what the flag is and the when the right to search someone's house is possible. The Saudi constitution also states the two public holidays, Id (Eid) al-Fitr and Id (Eid) al-Adha. It is stated towards the beginning that the government is monarchy based so there is obviously a King. Later in the constitution it is mentioned what the behaviors should be in front of the King and what the King can do at times. Just like in ancient times, if anyone has an issue or a complaint of injustice then they would go to the King's court and express themselves. And like every other monarchy governments, the son becomes the heir to the throne and he becomes the next King. Other things mentioned in the constitution are laws related to education, health care, military, citizenship, and work. The Constitution recognizes all the topics that need to be defined but in the end, everything is based off of Islamic Shari'ah.

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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it
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Saudi Arabia is a very conservative Islamic country. It has the religion Islam as its law system but it is a very beautiful place. Located in Asia, Saudi is the largest Arab state. Many women in Saudi fight for their rights while others do nothing about it. Women are expected to be covered when they go outside and in front of men not related to them. Overall, all these laws and restrictions in Saudi derive from the Qur'an and Islamic laws. Its laws may be strict at times, but Saudi is filled with adventures.

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Man and Woman

Man and Woman | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it
Sumaiya Shariff's insight:

This picture possibly cannot get any more controversial in Saudi. In this picture a man and woman are both standing together and talking. This behavior is not acceptable in Saudi. Saudi uses Islam and its rules as the basis of the government. In Islam, a male and female are not supposed to interact unless they are related. There is no concept of dating or friendship with the opposite gender. If any man and woman were caught in the position that is shown in the picture then they would be taken away by the religious police and punished. If I knew nothing about Saudi, then I would find this picture normal. In America, relationship with the opposite gender is completely fine and acceptable. If I saw the couple in the picture, I would not be surprised or shocked to see them like this, talking and laughing. Saudi's culture differs from American culture. So for me to see this on the streets of America is okay,  but to see it in Saudi, it is not fine.

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Women Driving in Saudi

Women Driving in Saudi | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it
Sumaiya Shariff's insight:

In this picture a Saudi women is driving a car. This is very controversial because women are not allowed to drive in Saudi. In the novel the topic of women driving was discussed. It is very simple, women cannot drive. In the book, the girls were out driving but they did it secretively. They knew it was not allowed but they went against the law and drove. I have grown up in America my whole life so driving for me is normal. Starting to drive at 16 years was expected but in Saudi, women in their adulthood are not even allowed to drive. In America driving is a privilege, not a right. If you do something wrong your license can get taken away and you cannot drive. In Saudi, the idea of driving is not the same. Some women consider driving as one of their rights and believe they should be able to. Living in America, I can probably never clearly understand what these women are going through but they have their reasons to protest. They want their rights and they will do anything to get it.

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Women covered in Saudi

Women covered in Saudi | Girls of Riyadh | Scoop.it
Sumaiya Shariff's insight:

In this picture it can be seen that the women in Saudi are covered. This is because that the law of Saudi says that the women must be covered at all times when they are outside and in front of unrelated males. In my novel Girls of Riyadh, it was mentioned in various places that the girls are supposed to stay covered head to toe at all times. In Saudi it is not acceptable for women to stay out in the open for anyone to see them. I have a seen this a lot in my life. Saudi rules by the Islamic laws and the Qur'an. Since I am a Muslim, I also follow the Qur'an and what it tells me to do. The Qur'an says that women should be covered and no outside males can see them so I see this take place in my life a lot. My mom covers head to toe when she leaves the house. Also when I go to parties, they are separated so males and females sit in different rooms or banquet halls. At times like this all women who cover, take off their covering because no unrelated males are around. I also cover myself when I go out. I wear the abaya, the official garb for Muslim women, and I wear a scarf. I'm not at the point in my life to wear a niqab yet but I plan to do so one day. So I can relate with this picture and I can imagine what these women are going through at the moment.

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Women of Saudi

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In the article Driving Miss Saudi, the author talks about an art gallery exhibition in Riyadh where men and women were all standing and talking together. At the exhibition several guests were surprised that the religious police did not show up and stop the mingling. People started to question the fact if they were even in Saudi or not. The religious police not showing up and breaking the event was a shock. A women named Sarah and others like her at the art exhibition talked about the night. They saw some women covered and there were some uncovered, which is not seen often. Men and women were talking and having fun together in public which was also not seen. The article started off with talking about this event to lead into the lives of Saudi women. Many women in Saudi are treated like crap by their husbands and the unmarried single ladies are not supposed to be out with men. When the women do go out they are supposed to covered head to toe and Americans are surprised to see this. Recently a lot of these have been found rebelling in a way. For example Sarah refuses to cover her hair and when she is told to by a man she argues back using religion and it makes them shut up. Also Saudi women are asking for abayas that are chic and ones which they can go out and have fun in with their male and female friends. So considering the rules set upon them by the religious police, many women were shocked about how the art gallery exhibition was and how anybody was talking to anyone and anybody.

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