CD Media interviewed Saudi dissident Ali Al Ahmed this week to discuss the recent escape of Saudi female national Rahaf al-Qunun, the teenaged girl who was trapped in a Bangkok airport hotel room for some time attempting to flee the situation in her homeland, and what she calls an 'abusive family'.
With the very public killing of Saudi operative Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, the Kingdom's leadership, and Saudi society, have been very much in the news.
"We Saudi women are treated like slaves," the young woman told the media upon her release. Al-Qunun arrived in Canada recently where she was granted asylum and welcomed as a 'brave new Canadian'.
Ahmed, the director of the Gulf Institute in Washington, D.C., agrees. "The issue of women's status in Saudi Arabia has not received the attention it should by the human rights elite. The status of women in the kingdom has not changed. People make issue of the recent allowance of females to drive; even the slaves in the U.S. used to drive their masters," he told CD Media.
"Under Saudi law, a woman is part of a man, and not a separate individual. She must always be part of a man's flock and under his control. Until recently, the U.S. State Department website travel section stated that women in Saudi Arabia are the property of their male family members -- just like slaves were the property of their masters. If this is not slavery, what is?" writes Ahmed in a recent oped at UPI.
"Females in Saudi Arabia are not independent human beings and this must change," declared Ahmed, disappointed in Western so-called 'feminists' who ignore the condition of women in the Kingdom.
Ahmed also does not have much good to say about Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman, who he sees propagating a medieval society, rather than 'bringing change'.
"Until women in Saudi Arabia acquire legal personhood, the world must make Saudi government's life hard by placing the emancipation of women in every policy exchange they have with the Saudis, and by offering fleeing women a safe haven, just as Canada did recently," Ahmed wrote at UPI.
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