Wajiha Al-Huwaider, a woman's rights advocate, has been speaking out against the conservatives of
her country for a long time. In one of her interviews at MEMRI TV, she said that men want to
"obliterate women's identity" by covering them up and that "men are afraid to allow women to
work" because they are afraid of the competition.
Fouad al-Farhan, a married man with two daughters who unlike other bloggers used his real
name, was arrested in December, 2007 and put in solitary confinement without charges for
speaking out against Saudi officials and for his support of freedom, justice and equality. He was
released in April 2008, thanks to the support of other bloggers and freedom advocates. However, if
you search the internet, you can no longer find his popular blog.
Then there are other activists who write under pseudonyms such as Saudi Eve whose blog was
blocked for a long time because of its sexual content and mystique whose blog you can join only
by invitation. When I started doing my research for The Dawn of Saudi, I was able to read
Mystique's blog freely but now, I have to sign up at blogspot.com and be invited in order to read
what she has to say. Perhaps her erotic writings and her criticism of religion when she wrote: "How
imperfect can a perfect creator be," had something to do with the disappearance of her open blog.
By controlling the media, censoring new papers and policing the internet, the Saudi government
has the ability to shut up their citizens from criticism of their corrupt policies, to mold people's
mind and to deface free thinkers. By teaching children from a young age a set of distorted beliefs,
the government hopes to control their population.
The Dawn of Saudi
“Fear is not the natural state of civilized people.” - Aung San
"If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we
are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold
ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or
representation." – Abigail Adams
In Search for Freedom
It took me three years to write The Dawn of Saudi. When I started
this project, everyone had their doubts but I pushed forward with a
passion in order to bring attention to the way women and foreigners
are treated in the Saudi Arabia. There are many Saudi activists in
the kingdom who are afraid to speak up under their real name. They
write blogs as a way to release their frustration with their
government and the religious hardliners. The modernists and the
young generation want change but are often threatened and jailed.