The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rania recants 

Remember this story about Rania Al Baz's escape to the West, via the causeway to Bahrain? Not true, she's apparently saying now.

I Wasn't Prevented From Traveling, Says Rania Al-Baz

Here is what she is saying.

"First of all, I did not leave the country secretly like a runaway or a criminal. I left legally and officially. In fact, I was not prevented from leaving Saudi Arabia but at the airport in Jeddah on my way to Paris, one of the passport employees took my passport and my ticket and began asking me all kinds of questions. I became worried that one of my enemies was trying to delay me until the plane had taken off. By the time I got my ticket and passport, the plane had indeed taken off. I went back home and wrote a letter to Prince Muhammad ibn Naif at the Interior Ministry explaining what had happened. I then went to Bahrain and from there to Dubai and to Paris."

If that's the story she wants to publish then she's fully entitled to do so. However, I think the rest of us are entitled to some scepticism on her behalf. For example, I am puzzled why, if she had sorted things out with Prince Naif, she did not just fly out of her home town of Jeddah, or even Riyadh. Between those two cities, there are a number of daily connections to Europe. Instead, why travel over 1000 kms to the other side of the country, to leave it via a land border with its additional delay, and then get a plane from Bahrain to Dubai, with even more delay, and then finally to Europe? Apart from the fact that a land border offers more opportunity to cross clandestinely, than does an international airport?

She says

I know that what was published is damaging to Saudi Arabia and that there are many who are glad to exploit anything negative against Saudi Arabia. I will not tell anything but the truth even if I end up sleeping in the street. And I will not talk about what happened except to the authorities. The Saudi Embassy in Paris is trying to help me. Everyone knows that I received care and protection from my government and from His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Majeed and his wife Princess Sara Al-Angary.

When asked whether and when she will return, she says, perhaps tellingly

Definitely, I will return to Saudi Arabia. It is my country, and my family and children are there.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?