Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia
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Primary Source | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it

Girls of Riyadh (Primary source)

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Four best friends Michelle, Gamrah, Sadeem and Lamees
are young girls trying to explore their lives in the city of Riyadh with
sharia law hovering over them all. Each individual has their own approach and encounters 'against the ideals of the islamic lawand tries to handle these situations with the best if their interests. We have Michelle who lives in Saudi but originally comes from America and falls in love with a boy named Firid. We have Gamrah who is a divorced and broken soul by a man named Rashid. We have Sadeem who has been heart broken but goes through yet another cycle of love with a 'perfect' soul mate named Firas after Waleed. And we have Lamees, who is courage's and very adventures with many boys from online, and in school. The four have almost an intertwining life style, because all four of them encounter similar thoughts and experience of love and boys, typical of what the so called sheltered lifestyle what most people ONLY imagine girls of Riyadh to be like. At the start of the book Gamrah is married right away to a man named Rashid. The wedding is everything Gamrah wants it to be and is really excited to live her life with Rashid and have a love story that she never had before. At the wedding Rashid seemed to be in perfect shape and seemed to be the perfect husband for Gamrah. However we saw a big twist to the so called happily ever marriage. Rashid declared that he never liked Gamrah and he was forced to marry her. Gamrah was heartbroken and still continues that heart broken feel even after Rashid and Gamrah got divorced because Gamrah was pregnant with Rashids baby. We find out that Rashid had another girl on his mind, Kari an Asian girl who works with Rashid. That was the main focus and reasoning behind their divorce. On the other hand, Gamrahs best friend Sadeem had her own love story with a boy named Waleed who seemed to be the perfect match for Sadeem only later to find out that he had divorced Sadeem for being to 'interacted' one night a few weeks before their marriage. Sadeem decided to head out to London after her devastation of Waleed but quickly and coincidentally found a 30 year old Firas. We see over a course of 3 and a half years that she is with him and they are in deep love with one another. However as Waleed had left her, Firas too suddenly was engaged to another girl. Sadeem had just been like shattered glass. She was in a state of depression because on top of Firas leaving her, her dad had passed away as well. She had no one at all but her friends and aunts/uncles, none of them who were as close as she was with her love of Firas. The books ends of with her about to get married to Tariq, her cousin. We go back to Michelle, she thought Firid was the perfect man, but he did not have to guts to encourage his mom to allow how him to marry her. Michelle also goes out to America after her sad end of her love story, she stays with in her dorm but mostly spends her time with her cousin Matti who at the end almost shows affection towards her, more than a cousin friendly relationship.  Last but not least our courage Lamese falls in love with a boy named Ahmed at first, who is a shiite. Their love story was trashed when the sharia police found them talking. It was already wrong for a man and women to interact the way they were, but on top of that it was a sunni vs shiite issue. Lamese is the most successful with boys however, she ended up falling in love with Nazir who asked for her hand in marriage, and
 she lived happily ever after. The novel continued to follow each of their lives and their ups and downs through an unknown author who wrote emails to the arabic populations, the story of the girls of Riyadh.

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True Life | Resist the Power! Saudi Arabia

True Life | Resist the Power! Saudi Arabia | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Through love, fashion, and music, our friends will try to change the culture of their country.
Ummehani's insight:

This film follows two ordinary individuals who  are just trying to follow their dreams and goals such as a fashion stylist and a man who just wants to fight for woman's rights in Saudi Arabia. Saudi society is very strict. Everything that occurs, from going to malls, eating out and just taking a stroll, Shari’a law is enforced. The two Saudis that have given their time to show how their daily lives are and show what they (try) to do to evoke the society to be a little more lenient. Fathima, the fashion designer, tries to open up the Saudi society to women rights. While Fathima, 20 year old business 
 women, makes abayas that are colored (Only worn black) she is rejected countless times. She goes out in public wearing different colored abayas and it looked down upon from people around her. Her goal is to persuade people of her country that it’s okay to be modest but not have to wear black coverings; it could be fun and colorful. In Islamic views, black covers a girl’s beauty, which is the reason women are to cover up to show modestly. The video shows the constant struggle that Fathima encounters with the Arabic community. Ahmed, also a women’s rights advocate, tries really hard to persuade the press about women rights, and the rights for them to open up to the community. However, both Fathima and Ahmed aren’t in 
 luck. The way that Saudi has been raised up, women don’t have much say. From not being able to drive, to not having any say in a divorce, women are considered much lower than men are. However, as generations have more access to a more liberal view of lives such as in America, they are expecting a more lenient society to come in the later decades. As for Shari’a law, that will always stay. The dominant religion is Islam, and that will stay. Things such as dating, total women freedom will remain the same, because it is stricter in the sharia law then wearing different color abayas.

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Women driving in Saudi Arabia

Women driving in Saudi Arabia | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Ummehani's insight:

Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian society is really conservative and like to "shelter" the women. This picture relates to Girls of Saudi Arabia because it shows how the girls from the book had to live there lives with many obstacles  They had to get to point A to point B with difficulties because they were not allowed to drive themselves, and meet the people with who they wanted to meet. My reaction to this picture is very settle. Im used to the concept of women not being able to drive because I have relatives in Saudi that cannot do what would be considered normal in America. 

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Women from Saudi Arabia (Provocative Photo)

Women from Saudi Arabia (Provocative Photo) | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Ummehani's insight:

This picture shows the happiness that a women in Saudi Arabia can have. Although there is a lot of covering and "hiding" from the society, a women has her own ways of being a happy and opened individual. Her and her friends can all share some fun in their own ways to avoid stepping-on-the-line acts in a conservative society. When I saw this, it totally reminded me of the characters from The Girls of Riyadh. The four girls enjoyed their lives, laughed and had fun with each other, even when their environment was so conservative. 

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Saudi women speak publicly about divorce.

Ummehani's insight:

In the article “Saudi women speak 
 publicly about divorce” by Caryle Murphy follows a 40 year old woman named Maha, on her trail of being divorced from her husband of 10 years. This was a legal problem because it was only a one sided divorce, as Maha didn’tunderstand why she was being divorced. In Saudi Arabia it is common for women to be ‘divorced’ without the company of reasoning from their to-be ex-husband. The local Chamber of Commerce in the city of Dammam, was where the hearing was held to make a historic marking of bringing out women  rights. The right to talk for women for what they believe in which was hushed for so long, is thickening into the Islamic world in Saudi Arabia. The article claims that this is not a religious matter, but religion has pressed such a marking that women’s rights seem to be dwindling down because of it. In a country where Islamic law is informed, its almost taught to men that they have the ‘remote control’ on a women and for that reason even a divorce can just be one sided and said by a man and that is the end of it, no room for what the women has to say about it. The recommendation is to allow both partners to take over the control for each others lives, and not just hand the authority to the males. Toward the end of the article, a suggestion for the national awareness campaign was to remove the stigma of being a divorced woman. Maha had become a human 
 development officer, and now believes that this topic is self-inflicted. 
     

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Saudi Arabia-Map

Saudi Arabia-Map | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Ummehani's insight:

Saudi Arabia is a very conservative part of the world, however it is a pool of knowledge of religion because its a country that follows the Shari'a law. A tourist would see women fully covered in burquas (Head to toe covering) and hidden in a face cover called a niqab at all times when they are out. Because of the conservative society, one must go with their family to public places such as the malls, for no mingling is allowed in this part of the world. The experience would be very different than what is expected in western culture, however, it is  unique environment.

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Saudi women out and about.

Saudi women out and about. | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Ummehani's insight:

Here we see four Saudi Women walking on the streets completely covered in niqabs (face covering) and abayas. This picture shows the liveliness that a women has. Even with so many restrictions in a sharia law based society  women are still independent while breaking no laws in religion. This picture connects with the girls of Riyadh because it shows the independence that women have developed within a reserved community.My personal reaction is just "Wow, how do they do it". Since I am muslim myself, some of my members in my family are committed to the covering. I personally dont think I can go with the full covering (just the Hijab would be good for me) but I praise them for being out and about even with all the coverings. 

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My Saudi Valentine

My Saudi Valentine | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Ummehani's insight:

In the article, "My Saudi Valentine", the author Rajaa Alsanea illustrates the impact of dating in a islamic community that Saudi Arabia obtains. She writes about how it is forbidden within the society as well, as it is in shari'a law which Saudi Arabia follows strictly. Regardless of what the islamic law requires, men and women go about their business for feedback from the opposite sex. Alsanea goes on about how the new generation has ways of appearing in front of the opposite gender by means of text messages, phone calls, and the most common way these days, the internet. As the perspective of western cultures of dating is more intense, per say, regular messages would be considered nothing less than a strong 
dating relationship in Saudi Arabia then it is in western countries 
 and culture. Such days like Valentines day, Saudis make sure to make a bigger effort then just giving out number to the opposite sex. They fill universities with reds and hearts to express their inner feelings for one another and also express a way of loving as they can't always show this side because of the press of society and religion.  

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Iraq's conflict fuels a bitter Mideast split; Shiites vs. Sunnis

Iraq's conflict fuels a bitter Mideast split; Shiites vs. Sunnis | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
Ummehani's insight:

This article talks about the conflict between religions from the division between the main sects of Islam, Sunnis VS Shiites. As Shiites and Sunnis are the two major types of Muslims, Sunnis over ride the Muslim population by a little over the majority of Muslims around the world. The Middle East only has three counties devoted to Shiite believers which include Iraq, 
Bahrain and Iran. Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Middle East who is strictly forced with Sunni believers and the Shari’a law has the deepest concern of Shiite Muslims so close to their boarders. As the trend of the separations and religious conflicts of both groups continue, the Iraq conflict could cause wider sectarian hostilities for all Muslims around the globe. The article continues about political issues amongst the two groups for Iraq wants to over power Saudi Arabia, but the main conflict is religious believes. The differences in these two Muslims make it hard for the Islamic extremist to follow because Saudi Arabia is stick with Sunni ideals. Iraq has had an Arab national identity even when the majority of the population was Shiite they were won by powerful minority Sunni-dominated elites. The concerns go as far as ‘war’ against Iraqis and Irani’s from the Arab society of the rest of the Middle East. 
     

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SAMIRAD (Saudi Arabia Market Information Resource)

SAMIRAD (Saudi Arabia Market Information Resource) | Girls of Riyadh-Saudi Arabia | Scoop.it
SAMIRAD - the Saudi Arabia Market Information Resource is the gateway to comprehensive, up-to-date information for those conducting business in or with the Kingdom Saudi Arabia.
Ummehani's insight:

Saudi Arabia, because it is considered the country that follows strict 
   Shari’a law, there are multiple areas for rules that must be followed. The basic laws and duties of Saudi Arabia include Articles 23-43. Majority of each basic law intertwines with the Islamic law. For example, Article 26 says “The state shall protect human rights in accordance with Islamic Shari’a. Saudi’s government is heavy on religion and ways to govern, they are not separated. This website shows multiple links such as human rights, women’s rights, Islamic law, art, culture and speaks general concerns that the country has because there is no separations from religion and government. Another key element that was included in this website, was one of the biggest concerns in Saudi Arabia today. The fight for woman’s rights is a heated topic, and Saudi Arabia connected woman’s rights with Islam. Expectations, modesty and a woman’s value in Islamic society is hidden throughout the articles and the link to “Roles of Women in Saudi Arabian Society”.

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