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Writer To Reader
Guest Post 
November 2014

Jean Sasson
Author of Princess, More Tears to Cry

Did you ever read a book you can't forget?

Jean Sasson’s Princess, More Tears to Cry is such a book, one every woman should read—and the author is as unforgettable as her books.

The small-town Alabama author who worked in Saudi Arabia for 12 years made a big name for herself in the book world in 1992 with her international bestseller, Princess Sultana: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia. Now, in Princess, More Tears to Cry, Jean revisits life in Saudi Arabia, where we discover life for women in this country is still fraught with fear and unspeakable horrors—although a few advances have been made.

Jean’s story is told through the eyes of a real royal princess, a friend Jean met when working in the royal hospital in Riyadh. For years the princess has been secretly rescuing women of all ages from their plight in the male-dominated society.

Open the book . . . and discover a world you never knew existed . . .

All Women Have Dreams

Princess, More Tears To CryAll women have dreams, but not equally.  This is because women’s lives are not equal.

The inequalities in women’s lives do not occur due to their financial status, or their lack of beauty, but instead, inequalities are strongly coupled with geography. Where a woman is born too often sets the course of her life and governs her dreams.

Many privileged women living in the west enjoy the basic necessities of life, and their dreams seem to be vanity dreams to many women of the world. Perhaps a well-educated mother living in the suburbs of Atlanta dreams of a better job, a nicer automobile, a larger home, or children who excel in school.

Some women living in third world countries confess to dreaming of something as basic as having access to birth control, so that they might stop bearing children in order to better care for the four or five children they already have. Some have told me that they dream of having enough food to put their children to bed content with full stomachs.

And then there are women who dream of living without fear. From the time these women are born, they feel they are unworthy, because they are told in many ways, verbal and non-verbal, that they are worthless, that they are a burden to the family and that their hunger takes food from the sons of the house, the ones favored above all. As they reach puberty, they are beaten if their gaze accidentally falls upon a man not of their family. They might be hustled off to be married to a stranger, justified by their culture to supposedly save the family from any dishonor they might commit. Once married to a man they do not know, often a man two or three times their age, they might be raped continuously, or beaten at will, and if they do not give birth to sons, they can be easily divorced, and thrown to the street, not allowed to see any daughters they have birthed.

Women’s dreams for safety are the dreams that haunt me, even as I live in my safe world, confident that no man will ever abuse me, satisfied that there is enough food in my cupboard to last until I can find time to grocery shop, and free to pursue any career that provides personal gratification, whether working in an office, or writing books.

And so we must ask, what can be done to elevate women to a safe place, so that all dreams are linked with betterment of life, rather than dreams of escaping abuse? Certainly, intelligence, strength and power combined are requisite to secure change in any nation, yet the difficulties are daunting, because men still possess all the official power in many countries. As such, the governments are led nearly solely by men, who too often display a noticeable deviation from impartiality when it comes to women, whom they look upon as mere playthings to be discarded at will.

Since the fate of a civilized world depends upon ending this heinous war against girls and women of every age and station in life, strong women must combine their strengths to bring change in the world of women, once and for all. I believe that education for all is imperative, men and women. Education will branch into other freedoms, such as equal political representation.

I have written about a woman who has made education and freedom for women her life’s work. The world has come to know this woman as Princess Sultana Al-Saud, a princess in the royal house of Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia. Since the first moment I met Princess Sultana, I have known her to display the persistent passion of a woman who will not be silent until change comes. Princess Sultana is a woman who has risked her life since she was a teenager, pushing for gender reform in every manner conceivable, all the while secreting herself behind the veil.

Her battle for gender equality in Saudi Arabia continues, as is told in my latest book about her life and the lives of other brave, inspiring Saudi women: Princess, More Tears To Cry.

Every village, every town, every city, needs their own Princess Sultana to lead the charge for education and empowerment of females, so that women may stand beside men to bring the best that life can offer to women, as well as to men.

Never forget that there are millions of women dreaming of release from beatings, rapes, and physical abuses hard to imagine. Let’s do our part by fighting for our sisters across the globe, demanding that, “All women must be free to realize their dreams!”

Princess, More Tears To Cry
Order Princess, More Tears To Cry

When Jean Sasson's book Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia was published, it became an immediate international bestseller. It sold to 43 countries and spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, in this long-awaited, compelling new book, Sasson and Princess Sultana return to tell the world what it means to be a Saudi woman today.

Through advances in education and with access to work, Saudi women are breaking through barriers; they are becoming doctors, social workers, business owners. Major steps forward have been made. But this is not the whole story. Sadly, despite changes in the law, women are still subjected to terrible suppression, abuse and crimes of psychological and physical violence. For many, the struggle for basic human rights continues.

Princess, More Tears To Cry reveals the intimate struggles of Saudi women inside one of the richest, most conservative kingdoms in the world. These are stories of triumph and heartbreak amongst the highest- and lowest-born. Princess Sultana speaks frankly about her strong-willed daughters, her beloved husband and the contentious Al-Saud family whose daily battles about what it means to be a woman in Saudi Arabia mirror those of the society at large. Princess,  More Tears To Cry is an unforgettable journey into the hearts and minds of Saudi women, and will be forever etched into the memory of readers.

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