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Rebel : My Escape from Saudi Arabia to Freedom - Rahaf Mohammed


My Escape from Saudi Arabia to Freedom

By: Rahaf Mohammed

Paperback | 15 March 2022

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In January 2019, then 18-year-old Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed escaped from her family while holidaying in Kuwait.

She was fleeing systematic abuse of her human rights as a woman growing up in Saudi Arabia and, specifically, her family's threats to kill her because she desired the freedoms Western women take for granted.

She boarded a plane bound for Bangkok, en route to Australia where she intended to seek asylum. But on her arrival the Thai authorities, acting on the instructions of Saudi officials, detained Rahaf with the aim of returning her to her family. Knowing this would mean her death, Rahaf barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and appealed for help through social media, creating a Twitter storm and capturing the attention of government leaders, human rights advocates and media around the world.

Rahaf was eventually taken under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and granted refugee status. When Australian authorities failed to respond with the urgency the situation required, she was granted asylum in Canada. Seven days after her ordeal began, she arrived in Toronto to begin a new life.

Rebel is a passionate story by a woman who refused to allow a system to define who she was and what she could be. It shines a light on the rampant and dangerous inequalities that persist in Saudi society, and inspires women everywhere to dream of a better future for themselves, and their daughters.

About the Authors

Rahaf Mohammed was eighteen years old when she dramatically escaped from Saudi Arabia, capturing worldwide attention through her Twitter account. The daughter of a politician, Rahaf was raised according to an oppressive interpretation of Islam in which women and girls are given virtually no freedom. Thanks to a public plea for her life made on social media, she was eventually granted asylum in Canada, where she still resides, advocating for the freedom and empowerment of women.

Sally Armstrong is an award-winning author, journalist and human rights activist. She is the author of five bestselling books and has covered stories in conflict zones in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Iraq, South Sudan, Jordan and Israel.
Industry Reviews
'Rebel makes it clear that the cultural honour/shame dynamic and the male guardianship system continue to weigh heavily on the daily lives of Saudi women ... Rahaf ultimately fled the Kingdom, under cover of darkness by the skin of her teeth, in order to spread her wings.'
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel

'The astonishing story of how one incredibly courageous teenager took on Saudi Arabia's archaic male guardianship system and won! An inspiring read that will leave you shaking with fury, and then cheering in solidarity.'
- Sophie McNeill, Human Rights Watch

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Rebel : My Escape from Saudi Arabia to Freedom - Rahaf Mohammed

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