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Politics as unusual

 
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12301
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 3:26 pm    Post subject: Politics as unusual Reply with quote

Well, this isn't really about "Women in Saudi" - instead it's about a Saudi woman in the States, one who's running for Congress and whose (unveiled) photo was featurd in the Arab News:

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=40234&d=28&m=2&y=2004

This is happening, of course, in Krazy Kalifornia, that unbalanced state which has elected, among others, Ronald, Arnold and Jerry Brown (remember him?) as governors. So, although I suppose the lady's chances of being elected are somewhere between slim and none ( to make it worse, she's running as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold)
who can say, considering the venue?

"But Democrats have high hopes for her. 'They are optimistic as they see my birth in Makkah as a good omen,' she said."

Hmm, maybe that's where Dean made his mistake - not having been born in Makkah. But the significance, as I see it, isn't in the lady's running but rather it's in the fact that's she's doing so is being reported so positively in the Arab News (with unveiled photo prominent).
Could this be another "straw in the wind", perhaps signifying a government sanctioned push to change the average Saudi's attitude about women's roles in society. Or am I reading far too much into a mere newspaper article in an English language daily?
Regards.
John
P.S. And (coincidentally?) in the same issue, this article about having elections (within two years) to select university rectors, heads of departments and college deans as well as leaders of students union.

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=40246&d=28&m=2&y=2004
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back John!

I saw that article too. Not that said lady has many connections with the Kingdom, not having visited it in 30 years!

Are you reading too much into it? Hard to say - what seems insignificant to outsiders can actually be very significant in a Saudi context. while I do think the government is trying, perhaps half-heartedly, to 'modernize' Saudi attitudes to women, I think we still have to bear in mind that the Arab News is an expat paper which hardly any Saudis are likely to read. Those that do will by neccessity be English speaking and therefore (?) perhaps more 'open-minded' to start with.

If you ask me, it's a bit of window dressing, designed to impress "Western" readers of AN. My feelings aobut said paper are, in any case, well-known on this board! (If they're not, they should be as I've gone on about it often enough!)
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