Here's a powerful story of immense bravery in the face of unimaginable oppression. Yet this Saudi TV news presenter's story is ultimately hopeful, as it gives a face and a name, a time and a place to a very real force of brave opposition to a cruel and hideous system that will eventually begin to break down, as long as women like Ms. Rania al-Baz are able to fight so hard -- just to stay alive.
From The Guardian, Wednesday Oct. 5:
By the time she was in her early 20s, Rania al-Baz had become one of the best known and best loved faces in her home country of Saudi Arabia. As presenter of a programme called The Kingdom this Morning on state-owned television, her hair was always covered by a hijab, as is required, but her face remained uncovered, and she would choose headscarves of defiantly flamboyant colours to cover her immaculately styled hair.
She became, for hundreds of thousands of Saudi women, admirable, enviable and challenging - and, thus, an implicit threat to a society in which women are forced to cover themselves, are not allowed to drive, cannot vote or participate in political life, cannot leave home unless accompanied by a chaperone or travel without authorisation from a father or husband, and cannot establish a business without a male sponsor.
See and read what happened to Ms. al-Baz here. WARNING, it's ugly. Very ugly. She may or may not have fled to France.
And wouldn't ya know... as soon as I go blogging about women in Saudi, the Ministry of Thought Control there goes and shuts down Blogger.com. Damn them damn them damn them. Hang in there, Ladies. We Yank gals will keep writing anyway. We won't believe the hype until you can read it yourself!