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Saudi Women

February 9, 1991 | DOUGLAS FRANTZ, Times Staff Writer
Each war forges its own peculiar language as words and phrases are reshaped to reflect a new reality. In World War II, soldiers were "GIs," for government issue, and a problem became a snafu--situation normal, all fouled up. In Vietnam, soldiers were termed "grunts" and any place outside Southeast Asia was "the world," as in, "I'd like to get back to the world." So, too, has an indigenous jargon emerged here. At least for now, the slang of this war is more humorous than vicious.
November 29, 1990
It is amusing to see how the rights of Saudi women to drive a car in their country have now become of intense interest and controversy here. Of far greater import are the religious rights of hundreds of thousands of Jewish and Christian servicemen and women in Saudi Arabia, who are denied the open celebration of their religious ceremonies and sacrifices this holiday season, because of Saudi prohibitions. What about that? Americans are being asked to do and die for King Fahd, but cannot even display their religious symbols in his kingdom.
January 25, 2002 | From Associated Press
Saudi officials warned Thursday that they would not allow U.S. servicewomen to appear in public without a head-to-toe robe, and they criticized Washington for lifting the requirement that its female military personnel wear the garment when off base. A member of the Committee for the Preservation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, a government agency for enforcing Islamic law, said all women must wear the robe, or abaya, irrespective of religion, nationality or profession. Gen.
October 17, 2003
"Repressing Women, Repressing Democracy," by Steven Fish (Opinion, Oct. 12), spins a tantalizing tale of the repression of women, and of Islam and democracy, in the current climate of Islamophobia. I found his vague, generalizing references to "Muslim countries" and statistics less than persuasive. How does he explain that four predominantly Muslim countries -- Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia -- have elected women as heads of state? Only the United Kingdom, Canada (briefly)
December 2, 1990
I am appalled and perplexed by the cultural chauvinism exhibited by Gloria Allred and Jean Lindamood ("Driving a Wedge in Saudi Sand," Nov. 16). Allred is quick to defend the right of Saudi Arabian women to drive. Lindamood feels that American culture is so superior to Saudi culture that she apparently cannot wait for (the latter's) demise. Does the ruination of Saudi culture and the introduction of American culture include such Western problems as rape, drugs and gangs? Saudi Arabia hopes to modernize.
November 22, 1990
No shot has yet been fired, no body cut down by enemy fire, no gruesome body bags loaded for the return flight home. Still, the 240,000 American soldiers in the Persian Gulf right now are in harm's way.
November 3, 2002
In a couple of days, once again we will have the opportunity to celebrate the historical triumph of liberty over tyranny by casting our votes for this or that candidate or in support or opposition to certain policies. If you are reading this letter, chances are that you are among one of those "most likely voters." However, I would like to respectfully ask you to consider, this election day, to find a friend or a relative who is not planning to vote, and talk them into participating in the election process.
July 4, 1996
After reading "Proxy Battle for a Nation's Soul," by Graham Fuller (Commentary, June 27), I wonder why an expert in political affairs would present the Shiite fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia as just another people in search of democracy and egalitarianism. That is hardly the truth. What the Shiite fundamentalists are after is a duplication of what we see in the repressive government of Iran. Democracy has nothing to do with it. What they want is a repressive, fanatical religious regime, which the Saudi monarchy has not countenanced, and against which they maintain a strong blue line.
March 30, 2003
Re "Ladies' Tea Boils Over as Saudis Rail at U.S.," March 27: I'd say our embassy personnel put up a pretty lame defense against the Saudi women taking our country to task for seeking to oust the despot next door. Instead of saying "we came to the belief that this was something we needed to do," how about saying this: In 1991, Saddam Hussein brutally annexed Kuwait. If the U.S. hadn't spent its own blood to drive him out, your country would have been next. And if any of you had been lucky enough to escape, right now you would probably be living in asylum in America.
April 4, 2005 | Nora Boustany, Washington Post
Her poetry is her fuel. It has carried her across boundaries assumed untraversable: book signings and readings in mixed company at home in Saudi Arabia and abroad; the first publication in the United States of a collection of poems by a Saudi woman; uncontested exposure in the Saudi and American media. Nimah Ismail Nawwab's entry into the public domain is a milestone of sorts, perhaps the gentle tipping of an hourglass that Saudi women have awaited for centuries.
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