Saudi runaway has reportedly left Sweden for London

August 10, 2012

The Saudi woman at the centre of a storm over her alleged conversion to Christianity and fleeing her country is reportedly now in London after leaving Sweden.

“Lebanese Christians have moved her out of Sweden after the competent authorities launched a massive search operation,” Saudi Arabic daily Al Yawm reported.

The woman, who has not been identified but has been called the ‘Khobar Woman’, in reference to the Eastern Province city where she worked, reportedly told the daily that she was nearing a nervous breakdown and that she did not know what to do.

She said her “kidnappers” told her that the International Police were looking for her and that they would repatriate her to Saudi Arabia where she would be killed. She added that she needed to flee to London where it would be difficult for the Saudi Arabian authorities to apprehend her.

“I do want to go home, but I do not want to die,” the woman, believed to be 30, told the daily.

Her brother, however, has told the daily that all the family wanted was for her to return home. “We want her to come home and be with her family. We have written a pledge that she would not be harmed,” he was quoted as telling the daily on the phone. “Whoever claims otherwise is wrong. The condition of her mother is deteriorating every day she is away and the only cure is to see her daughter,” he said.

The woman made headlines after her father filed a formal complaint, claiming that his daughter who worked in an insurance company in Khobar was influenced by the Lebanese director of her company to convert to Christianity and flee her country.

A Saudi national who had business connections with the company reportedly helped her by forging a travel document that allowed her to leave Saudi Arabia. She arrived in Lebanon before transiting through Turkey to go to Sweden.

A first attempt by her father to convince her to return home has apparently failed after she was told that she would be killed for her conversion.

However, the woman reportedly told Al Yawm that she had never changed her religion and that the woman who appeared in an interview posted on a social network highlighting her conversion after having a dream was an Iraqi national.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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