Human Rights Violations in Saudi Arabia Disclosed in New Novel
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When Dawn Parnell marries a Saudi, she will witness first hand the oppression of women under the pretext of religion, including the violation of her own rights. She now has no choice but to escape from her husband’s country. This compelling tale of women’s oppression is told in Homa Pourasgari’s “The Dawn of Saudi” (ISBN 9780977978014, Linbrook Press, 2009).
Romance and mystery are intertwined in Homa Pourasgari’s new novel “The Dawn of Saudi.” This powerful story follows Dawn Parnell, an American woman, to Saudi Arabia after she marries a Saudi man. Dawn believes her husband is open-minded and liberal in his views of the treatment of women, but once he is back among his friends and family, their cultural and religious views convince him to treat his wife like any Saudi woman, and Dawn, an American, is not going to tolerate it.
Dawn becomes friends with Sahar Al-Hijazi, a Muslim woman whose family kowtows to a grandfather who sees Sahar as a barter piece in his business dealings. Sahar is soon forced to marry a man she does not love. Sahar’s family has business dealings with Crawford Industries, operated by Jason Crawford, a wealthy playboy concerned with making a profit, who initially could care less about how the Saudi government treats its citizens. But when Jason learns more about Dawn and Sahar’s pasts, he begins to have second thoughts about working with people who lack scruples.
All three characters are forced to make difficult decisions or be faced with the violation of their human rights. One character’s life will be lost in the process, and another will disappear, creating a mystery that leads up to a dangerous chase involving unsavory characters, a private detective, a CIA agent, and the department of homeland security. In the end, decisions must be made whether wealth or human life are more valuable.
Born in Iran, Pourasgari writes of a culture she knows and yet still has difficulty understanding. She hopes her novel will enlighten people and make them understand that religious and female oppression is not limited to a specific religion or culture but used by political leaders worldwide to support their own agendas. In a recent interview, she explained her reason for writing “The Dawn of Saudi”: “I wanted to be the voice of the people who are forced to be quiet and whose rights are being violated every single day. I hope that after reading my book, Westerners will be better informed and get involved in bringing about change…We, on the outside, can stay informed and sign petitions when there is a miscarriage of justice. There needs to be pressure both from the outside and the inside for change to take place.”
About the Author
Homa Pourasgari resides in Los Angeles, California. She received a degree in Business from Loyola Marymount University, after which she left to live in Paris for one year and attended the University of Sorbonne, focusing on literature. Multilingual, she has been traveling since the age of five and has experienced many different cultures. Homa has worked in various industries such as marketing, retail, banking, accounting, and fitness, but she has always returned to her true love—writing. “The Dawn of Saudi” follows the success of her first novel, “Lemon Curd.”
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