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Sultana is a member of the Saudi royal family, closely related to the king.

For the sake of her daughters, she has decided to take the risk of speaking out about the life of women in her country, regardless of their rank.

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Middle eastern dating culture

Sultana is a Saudi Arabian princess, a woman born to fabulous, uncountable wealth.

She has four mansions on three continents, her own private jet, glittering jewels, designer dresses galore. She has no freedom, no control over her own life, no value but as a bearer of sons.

Hidden behind her black floor-length veil, she is a priso Sultana is a Saudi Arabian princess, a woman born to fabulous, uncountable wealth.

Hidden behind her black floor-length veil, she is a prisoner, jailed by her father, her husband, her sons, and her country.

By Dave Bernard When you live abroad and cannot keep up with the demand from friends and family for the interesting food products you ferry home in suitcases each year, it might be time to start your own business.

So it was with Colleen Sundlie, who had discovered date syrup while living in the United Arab Emirates with her professor husband and son.

Now back in Springfield, Missouri and two and a half years into her business, Date Lady, Sundlie no longer has to seek out the obscure Middle Eastern market to locate a bottle of this nutritious and surprisingly versatile syrup.

Sultana tells of her own life, from her turbulent childhood to her arranged marriage--a happy one until her husband decided to displace her by taking a second wife--and of the lives of her sisters, her friends and her servants.

Although they share affection, confidences and an easy camaraderie within the confines of the women's quarters, they also share a history of appalling oppression's, everyday occurrences that in any other culture would be seen as shocking human rights violations; thirteen-year-old girls forced to marry men five times their age, young women killed by drowning, stoning, or isolation in the women's room, a padded, windowless cell where women are confined with neither light nor conversation until death claims them.

By speaking out, Sultana risks bringing the wrath of the Saudi establishment upon her head and the heads of her children.

But by telling her story to Jean Sasson, Sultana has allowed us to see beyond the veils of this secret society, to the heart of a nation where sex, money, and power reign supreme.

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