Princesses Sahar and Jawaher have lived in a palace for 13 years, but their father, who has 38 children, has placed Princesses Sahar and Jawaher along with two of their sisters under the control of three of their half-brothers. “’We slowly watch each other fading into nothingness’,” Sahar and Jawaher wrote to The Sunday Times in an email, according to a March 10, 2014, The Times of Israel report.
The princesses’ mother, Alanoud Alfayez, has long been divorced from King Abdullah and lives in London. Because her 39-year-old daughter Hala’s health is worsening, Alfayez has asked the UN to free the princesses from their captivity.
“Hala’s condition deteriorates day by day and she is given no medical treatment, although there is a medical centre in the palace. She suffers from serious anorexia and psychological problems. After two years without any contact with me, she was able to telephone me and told me she wanted to die,” Alfayez wrote in her letter to the UN.
Princesses Sahar and Jawaher are being held in one villa in the palace while their two sisters Hala and Maha are in solitary confinement in separate villas. Sahar is 42, Jawaher is 38, Maha is 41, and Hala is 39. Before being confined, Hala had a degree in psychology, but her work ended when she complained about the fact that Saudi Arabia’s political opponents were being locked up in the psychiatric wards of the hospital where she worked.
In her letter to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the princesses’ mother wrote that her daughters are “imprisoned, held against their will, cut off from the world.”
Last week, the the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights promised the concerned mother that her letter would be passed on to the UN concerning the violence against her daughters and women in Saudi Arabia.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the rights of women, King Abdullah presents a double standard to the world. In June of 2012, Saudi Arabia agreed to allow women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time, but only because Saudi Arabia faced international accusations of gender discrimination. In February of 2013, King Abdullah swore in 30 women into the previously all-male Shura consultative council in an attempt to please the world, especially his allies, the United States and Britain. Abdullah is the sixth king of oil-rich Saudi Arabia and is controlling 18 percent of the world's oil.
When it comes to his own daughters, however, King Abdullah does not have to please the world unless the international community speaks up.
Princesses Sahar and Jawaher live as captives in her father’s palace. According to Sahar, their father confined them 13 years ago after they complained to him about the poverty in Saudi Arabia and after having – what he considered to be -- a “party-going lifestyle.”