King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has kept four of his daughters locked in a royal compound in Jeddah for the last 13 years. Their mother, his second wife who fled to London after the couple’s divorce, broke the silence and told Britain’s Channel Four about their plight. She has not seen her children for 10 years.
Princess Alanoud Al Fayez married then Prince Abdullah in an arranged marriage when she as just 15. She bore him four daughters: Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher.
The four have been kept in a compound in the eastern port city of Jeddah, which they cannot leave without armed guards. Their passports have been taken away, and they are barred from leaving the country. Their villa is dilapidated and falling apart, far from the living quarters of the princesses’ privileged childhood.
Princess Sahar, the oldest of the four, was in email contact with Channel Four’s Fatima Manji. She sent pictures and descriptions of their life in the compound and explained the treatment that they are suffering.
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