Photo Credit: MPC Journal/ Illustration by Hakim Khatib

Another Saudi woman tries to run away from her family AGAIN.

Dina Ali, a 24-year-old Saudi woman tried to flee from her family, seeking asylum in Australia. But she wasn’t able to reach her goal. At the international airport of Manila in the Philippines, Dina’s passport and official papers were confiscated by airport officials, while she was changing flights to catch another to Australia.

While she wasn’t allowed to continue her trip, officials at the airport declared that this procedure was based on Saudi authorities’ request to capture the fugitive lady.

Dina was locked for twelve hours at the airport in Manila. There, she had a chance to post a plea video on twitter, using a Canadian woman’s mobile phone. In that video, Dina asked for help saying that if she was forced to return to the kingdom, she would definitely be killed by her family members. The video went viral very quickly and many people, especially Saudi feminists, stood in solidarity with Dina to pressure concerned international organisations to save Dina’s life.

“They will kill me”, Dina said before she was forced to fly back to Saudi Arabia.

Dina posted a photo of the ticket on her twitter
Dina posted a photo of the ticket on her twitter

All campaigns to save Dina have failed.

A woman called Meagan Khan, who was coincidentally at the airport with Dina, said that Dina was picked up by her uncle after she was wrapped in a sheet with duct tape on her mouth, feet and hands. At the same time four vehicles belong to “Saudi security” were outside the airport waiting for Dina.

Saudi people interacted variably with Dina’s story. While many sympathised with Dina, others asked Dina’s family to inflict a severe punishment on her, and even “to slaughter her”.

It remains until now unknown what happened to Dina next. While many people in Saudi Arabia considered Dina’s behaviour to be a crime, Meagan Khan and many others described her as a brave and great lady. Meagan Khan added that Dina wanted to take off her burqa and burn it, but Khan calmed her down and convinced her not to do so.

Meagan Khan’s post on Facebook account - Saudi Women Fleeing Has Become a Nightmare for Saudis
Meagan Khan’s post on Facebook account

It is not the first time a Saudi woman attempts to flee her family. Last year, a group of Saudi women made it to South Korea. At that time, Saudi authorities requested from airport officials in Korea to capture the Saudi fugitive ladies. But contrary to officials in Manila airport, the request was declined by the Koreans because the Saudi women didn’t break the South Korean law.

Reasons pushing Saudi women to flee their country are various ranging from a severe lack of women rights to a desire of self-realisation, especially that women in Saudi Arabia are still not allowed to drive or travel alone without a guardian. Guardianship system prevents Saudi women from travelling abroad without a male family member such as a father, brother or even a son.

© Mashreq Politics & Culture Journal

To read the article in Arabic, Please click HERE

By Jumana Alasaad

is an archaeologist and a PhD candidate specialised in history and cultures of the ancient Near East, especially Iraq and Syria. She has finished a Masters Degree in Old Near East Archaeology from Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany. She has joined many excavations and archaeology projects in Syria and recently in Iraq. In addition to her contribution to the culture section on the MPC Journal and her research on the cultures and history of West Asia and North Africa, she also offers lectures in Standard Arabic at the Volkshochschule in Heidelberg.