Saudi woman calls for help to return home

August 10, 2012
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The Saudi woman reported to have converted to Christianity and fled her country has appealed for help as she seeks to return home, a local daily has said. According to Al Yawm, the woman is now in Sweden, but is going through a deep crisis and wants genuine assistance to be able to go home and be reunited with her family.

The Khobar woman, as she is known in the Saudi media after the Saudi Eastern Coast city where she worked, does not have her passport with her after it was apparently confiscated by the group allegedly helping her, the Arabic daily said .

The woman made headlines after her father filed a formal complaint against two men, a Saudi and a Lebanese, for their alleged role in her departure from the Saudi kingdom. The Lebanese, a director in the insurance company where she worked, could face several charges, including apostasy, while the Saudi could be accused of forging a travel document and helping the woman leave the country without the consent or knowledge of her family.

The woman said that she left Saudi Arabia for Bahrain, then Qatar before settling for a few days in Beirut. She later left the Lebanese capital for Turkey before arriving in Sweden. She denied reports that she gave an interview to a Christian TV station, saying that the video posted on social networks was with an Iraqi girl who impersonated her. On Thursday, Al Yawm reported that the woman was in a confused state after she was told that she would face death if she returned home. “I am not aware of what is happening around me. I was told that my family would kill me as soon as I arrived back in Saudi Arabia,” she told the daily over the phone. “I have never been on a plane and the passport I used to travel was the first I have ever had.” The woman said that her Lebanese boss tried for seven months to convince her to convert from Islam to Christianity.

“He told me that he was ready to help if I wanted to travel. He asked a Saudi national who did business with the company to assist by providing a forged document that would allow me to leave Saudi Arabia without the consent of my family,” she was quoted as saying.

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She added that when her father went to see her in Beirut, she could speak with him only from a distance of 50 metres.

“I was told by that if my father got closer, he would kill me, so we were kept at a distance.”

The daily said that the police conducting a search in the woman’s Khobar office found a copy of the Bible in her drawers and that some of her colleagues have also been quizzed over the case.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-woman-calls-for-help-to-return-home-1.1056667

         

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About the author

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

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