Raquel Benson is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.
Hope for Women
Social Issues – With the Middle East on the precipice of revolution and revolt, the bold Saudi Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel speaks out on the progression of women’s rights. Armed with the power of social media, the highly-articulate and unapologetically opinionated princess tweets, “We want equal rights, we want what God has given us, the respect and the dignity to live as an equal citizen.”
Since the death of the Crown Prince Sultan on October 22, tension runs high in Saudi. There is a severe faction between activists who seek social and civil progression and conservatives who aim to preserve the foundational “values.”
Opposed to the threat of ultraconservatism, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel (wife of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of Saudi King Abdullah) is the vice-chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, an international non-profit organization that supports women’s empowerment among many other good causes.
The King has even taken action on women’s rights. A couple years ago, he opened a coed university-a move that ruffled the feathers of die-hard Saudi conservatives. What angered them more, however, was his more recent decree that entitled women to the right to vote and run for office.
“I don’t see Saudi women accepting going back”, the princess commented on the issue of civil regression. When it came to the notion of going into politics, she stated, “If I am going to be empowered and express what I feel and express what I think, then definitely I would love to serve, but it really depends.”
The princess serves as a role-model as well as a symbol of hope for many Saudi women who strive tirelessly for their rights. With her power and influence, she continues to reshape the mindset of Saudi Arabia.