That was my greeting in the first post of this blog. I am using it again because writing after so many months is probably as good as starting anew. I was on a sabbatical (still not sure what that means)!
I am sorry for not have written in a long time. My mind has been wandering a lot of different places to have ordered it to sit at one place and pen thoughts down.I am also sorry to my one and only patron who probably has gotten tired of even complaining that I don’t write anymore. Apologies in abundance!
To sum up the last few months, of which I have spent a lot on reading…
1. To start with I was busy with my Semester 5 final exams which did require me to be glued to my desk and chair for at-most 6 hours a day. But which I miserably, miserably failed to adhere to.
2. As soon as that finished, I forego going home for the one festival that I have never managed to miss in my 19 years of existence (OK, I must be lying about my age, but that’s because I am growing OLD!!!). DIWALI! But then again I was scheduled to start my internship with Ista Hotels. Trust me, working with 5 star hotels is LUXURY!
3. That done I rushed home. Made a quick dash to Diu, enjoyed home and was back in Pune. Since then I have practically spent most of time reading or outside with ‘my Realistic guy’ (controversially I don’t yet know if I can call him ‘my guy’).
So moving forward, you must have realized that my blog post’s title reads ‘Daughters of Arabia’. That has more to do with the fact that I have spent a good amount of time reading about the Middle East these last couple of months. It started with reading ‘The Convert’, a book by Deborah Baker, which is a biography about a Jewish woman, living in NYC who converts to Islam and moves to Pakistan because ‘she never felt more at home even in her own house’. It is a tale of a ‘Jewish girl from Larchmont who became an Islamic polemicist.’ Just the fact that someone living in NYC could shun away that life and move to Pakistan to pursue Islam was intriguing enough for me to pick up the book.
Then it was onto Jean Sasson’s ‘Desert Royal’ having previously read her book ‘Daughters of Arabia’. It is the story about Princess Sultana who is distressed at the state of women in her country, Saudi Arabia. The women in Arabia who are have consistently suffered injustices at the hands of a patriarchal society.
Somewhere in between these two books, I also happened to read Carmen Bin Laden’s ‘The Veiled Kingdom’. Carmen Bin Laden also happens to be Osama bin Laden’s sister- in- law, married to his younger brother, with whom she later fought a bitter divorce battle over the custody of her girls.
Having read much about the oppression of women in the Middle East I am determined to keep reading more about these countries and their histories in the view of finding answers to a very simple question.
Why is Islam one of the most misunderstood religions in the world?
Something in the middle of the night prompted me to pen down a few lines about these oppressed women and the efforts of a few people to get them the justice they so truly deserve. One amongst them being Princess Sultana, the protagonist from Jean Sasson’s Princess Trilogy books.
I wouldn’t expect everyone to understand much from the following lines, but I would hope it would prompt a few of you at the least to read about it. So I am leaving you with these lines…
Daughters of Arabia
She was born in the veiled kingdom,
Her black burqa her identity,
She saw the world through a mist of darkness,
Alas! She was never too happy.
She dreamt of foreign lands,
Of open spaces and colorful dresses,
She longed an escape.
But that was not to be so.
She was distressed,
Even though life around her was a tale of opulence and luxury,
But her heart longed freedom,
For herself and for all the women of her land.
It broke her heart to see the state of women,
Broken, raped, abused,
Forced to lead lives no better than sex slaves,
Oppressed into submission by their own fathers and brothers.
She knew she was put on earth for a greater purpose than acceptance.
She rebelled because she wanted change.
She knew she could help women, set them free.
For she too was born in the veiled kingdom, but lived in a gilded cage.
For she was but a princess.