Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Asaad, who has three young daughters, believes in female empowerment through work, but she did not emphasize women's rights in her campaign. She told me, 'You don't use the word 'rights'. Instead, she disarmed her opponents by deploying the notion of shame, which has great resonance in Saudi society. . . . she argued that no decent Saudi woman should have to talk about bras and panties with a man. Within months, Asaad had thousands of supporters, who said, on email and on Facebook, 'We're behind you, this is shameful.'"

. . . .

["In Saudia Arabia] women today tend to be more socially isolated than their grandmothers were. Previous generations lived within strong networks of female relatives and neighbors, and they routinely visited each other and prepared meals together. Now women are more likely to live in single-family homes in sprawling cities and suburbs, often removed from daily contact with their extended families."

. . . .

"Saleswomen spoke enthusiastically about the friendships they'd made with new colleagues . . . . There was a great deal of squealing and hugging . . ."

- Letter from Riyadh, Shopgirls in the Dec. 23&30 New Yorker

"I would not speak about 'absolute' truths, even for believers . . . Truth is a relationship. As such, each of us receives the truth and expresses it from within, that is to say, according to one's own circumstances, culture, and situation in life."

- Pope Francis

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