It’s hard to imagine that in 2019 you live as a woman who owns a man by any law. The fact that the 21st century is the era of emancipation, freedom of speech, choice and decision-making does not mean that it is everywhere in the world. Maybe we all know it, but it’s still hard to imagine someone living so much today. That’s the information we’ll say: “Woe awful!” And continue with her trivial concerns
At the beginning of the year, the attention of the social network user around the world has captured the fate of eighteen-year-old Saudi Arabia Rahab Mohammed al-Qunun. Rahaf was with her family in Kuwait, on a festive journey, and for a moment, she took advantage of her negligence and ran away in hopes of finding a better life. She boarded a plane to Thailand. Immediately after landing, the Thai police stripped her of the passport, followed by her father and brother, and her entire short adventure had to be completed by returning her family, since Thailand is not a signatory to the UN International Refugee Convention.
Rahaf comes from a country where the woman is a man, that is, all male members of the family who have been allowed by the law to fully control a woman, to grant her consent to travel, to get a passport, or to marry. Even if he finishes in prison, the man is the one who must approve her release, which means he is stronger than the law. It is difficult for the author to understand such a system at all.
Panic on Twitter
Arguing what is awaiting her return to her family, Rahaf barricaded her in a hotel room at a Bangkok airport, opened an account on Twitter, and began sending desperate messages to help her, contacted the orders of international communities and many countries around the world. In less than 48 hours, tens of thousands of Twitter users began to tremble under the hood of #SafeRahaf and put pressure on international institutions not to return to their families and to get asylum in any of the countries they choose.
Rahaf prayed and prayed, shouting that she would surely kill her if she was returned, that she was the victim of the abuse of male family members, that she was in house detention for six months only because she was scrubbed and because she did not want to pray and carry a veil. After a week of drama, many meetings, Rahaf received a refugee status in an accelerated procedure and escorted a plane to Canada, one of the countries offering her refuge, accompanied by the police.
According to the media, the reversal was due to the high noise that raged on social networks, which at the same time drew attention to the unacceptable situation of women in Saudi Arabia. This when “turning your attention” is the same as when your mum defends playing in the mud, but ultimately let it go because it’s powerless.
Catch a passport … or phone?
In connection with all of this, Rahafin’s father said that the Thai police should have taken away her phone, not a passport. For a whole week, all the world’s media watched what was happening. In the end, Rahaf is happy in Canada, where he feels free to decide who he will love and what will be in life.
Afterwards, when they tell you that social networks are nonsense (well … and they are, in some 45 percent of cases), tell them this story. Social networks like Twitter often serve us, how we do it (we), “for mischief” and killing of leisure, but this case, like the case of floods in Serbia, proves that they are in very serious situations, in which lives in fact, social networks may be the only ones that can launch something. Even our world power – the media – is not so powerful at these moments. It serves more to get rid of the whole story.