It translated into “No f---ing way, lady.”“Women are not allowed to go into cemeteries,” he told me.I had visited Saudi Arabia twice before, and knew it was the hardest place on earth for a woman to negotiate.
Long averse to non-Muslim curiosity seekers, the Kingdom is now flirting with tourism, though drinking is forbidden and women can’t drive—or do much of anything—without a man.
Armed with moxie and a Burqini, the author confronts the limits of Saudi Arabian hospitality, as well as various male enforcers, learning that, as always, it matters whom you know.
Saudi Arabia is one of the premier pilgrimage sites in the world, outstripping Jerusalem, the Vatican, Angkor Wat, and every other religious destination, except for India’s Kumbh Mela (which attracts as many as 50 million pilgrims every three years).
Millions of Muslims flock to Mecca and Medina annually. Saudi Arabia has long kept not just its women but its very self behind a veil.
I wanted to know all about Eve.“Our grandmother Eve?
” asked Abdullah Hejazi, my boyish-looking guide in Old Jidda.There is another important matter that you can note, and that is about two women.In fact if there are two women, you should say Assalamo alaikoma in the form of formal and in fact according to the true grammar of Arabic.Under a glowing Arab moon on a hot winter night, Abdullah was showing off the jewels of his city—charming green, blue, and brown houses built on the Red Sea more than a hundred years ago.The houses, empty now, are stretched tall to capture the sea breeze on streets squeezed narrow to capture the shade.But on 9/11 the passageway narrowed again as Saudi Arabia and the United States confronted the reality that Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 terrorist hijackers were Saudi nationals.