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Saudi Women Find an Unlikely Role Model: Oprah

Found this article today in the New York Times.  Its very interesting – young Saudi women are watching Oprah Winfrey’s show in droves because she addresses subjects Saudi women rarely get to discuss, for example racism.

When I was in Jubail, I noticed (through side-ways glances – you never “eyeball” a woman in Saudi Arabia, you could get stoned, and I mean people throwing rocks at you) that the different ethnic groups, most notably Yemenites, dressed uniquely.  Some of the Saudis I talked with (men of course) talked about bigotry and racism; for example, Saudis typically consider themselves to be the best in the world because, in part, they protect the holy places in Islam.

Oprah is respected by Saudi women partly because she pulled herself up from next to nothing, and she dresses conservatively.

The Dubai channel won’t show episodes concerned with homosexuality, for example, but they say they are not censoring much.

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