Saudi teenager Rahaf offers a blueprint for others – but there will be frustration at the back of the asylum queue

Will the powerful use of social media by one savvy woman change our attitude to asylum seekers fleeing abusive families or regimes?

Janet Street-Porter
The Independent Voices

Months on from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, relations with Saudi Arabia seem to have returned to normal. As gruesome details filtered out relating to his torture and grisly end at the hands of hit men linked to the regime, there was universal condemnation from politicians, much hand-wringing from diplomats and the issuing of weighty statements.

But nothing must interfere with the serious business of trade. The Saudi royal family had a bit of a reshuffle, and now expects the outside world to act like nothing has happened.

However, a Saudi teenage girl who barricaded herself in a hotel room at Bangkok airport last week, and asked the world to help her flee her family back home, could cause relations between the UK, Australia and the Saudis to hit another sticky patch. And her actions could prompt more young women to take the same route, trying to jump the queue for asylum.


Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, a Saudi woman who claims to be fleeing her country and family, is seen in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. TWITTER/ @rahaf84427714/via REUTERS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.