A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming Clues.

The adult daughter of Dubai’s ruler tried to escape a life of stultifying restrictions. She was captured at sea, forcibly taken back, and has not been heard from since.

Comments: 211

  1. I have been to Dubai and have to say my hotel staff were excellent but after reading this, I will not go back. It could happen to anybody it seems- brave lady, best of luck

  2. @vcragain We need to keep separate Culture and Islam. This ruthless and cruel treatment comes from certain Arabic cultures where women are owned by their men either as children or as wives but in my experience, gained many years ago, long before the rise of fatwas and Islamist aggression, on a visit to the Middle East, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan we were treated as guests and with the utmost generosity. We need to be careful with thinking that the extremes are the norm

  3. @vcragain My hotel staff where all Indian or from the far east, none Arabian! and yes I know what you mean, after spending three years in Libya.

  4. @john russell - my father spent 3 years working in Kuwait in the 1950's & returned to UK with horrible stories of the attitudes of Islamic males in that system. I was just 15 years old at that time but ever since have had a very deep reaction to any male from the ME ! Nothing could persuade me to visit any country in the region. They are all written off as far as I am concerned & I consider Islam as a direct threat to Western civilization that we need to watch carefully regardless of the many innocents who know nothing else -having simply been born into it ! If you listen to those who have left Islam you will learn a lot - including one son of a Hamas leader who walked away from it !!!

  5. This is so incredibly disturbing. Can anyone suggest an organization or person in a position to reach her? For her to be now treated for psychiatric issues as her sister was is devastating and cruel. I would like to believe there is a somehow a solution to help her. Please offer and brainstorm ideas.

  6. These obscenely wealthy Gulf leaders would obviously have no issue locking and drugging their own daughter. After all, Aren’t they bombing and starving millions in Yemen? Forcing Westerners into complicity is only a matter of money

  7. This should n0t be happening in the modern world. We should not be doing business with countries that condone or allow such savagery. Brave, brave woman. I hope there will be a political response to this article. Maybe some of the new women in Congress could take this on.

  8. @Leslie . Thank you for a sensible suggestion . With the women power in the House of Representatives , would suggest that the action starts from there and then spreading to other countries around the globe , The Medievial dictators around the world should be forced to understand that Women Empowerment and freedom is not an issue to be trifled with .

  9. @Deepak Hopefully. Three of the new ones are unfortunately very anti-semitic and focusing on destroying Israel, where women have equal rights.

  10. she wanted to be free from her golden cage that her ruthless father had confined her too. It was heartbreaking to hear her telling her story to the world about the type of parent her father is.

  11. Now is the time for all the Western world to drive Hydrogen cars, save the planet and hit these Gulf leaders where it hurts, in their pocket

  12. And what’s with Mary Robinson?!!

  13. @Catherine Stock Could she have been coerced or threatened to say this?

  14. The Middle East is a human rights desert with the exception of Israel. I feel for freedom-seeking Arab women.

  15. @Freda Pine With respect, Israel isn't doing that hot of a job with the Palestinians or with its Arab nationals.

  16. @kateg Muslim women in Israel can vote, study in universities (ratio of Palestinians is between 15 - 40% at major universities there), hold jobs, etc. That is a fact.

  17. You’re joking, right? Arab women protesters being killed in Gaza, the women being oppressed and tortured by the IDF and settlers in the West Bank, and refugees barred from returning to their homeland would strongly disagree with your assertions.

  18. Stop using Dubai as a holiday place. Don’t fly their airline. Arab states are not places of freedom. We westerners need to understand we’re gullible and taken in by the glitter and sunshine.

  19. @Jo Ann Roger Federer should make a statement and sell out of the place, and not train or play there anymore.

  20. @Jo Ann ...Agree 100%. Wonder if the brain trust at the PGA is listening?

  21. the west is equally at fault. western powers would love to wield such power over its own.

  22. I am not only shocked beyond word of the cruelty on no less than lady of Emirates royalty; I am equally disgusted by the involvement of Armed Indian nationals in the kidnapping princess in the high seas at the behest of Emir of Dubai. Naturally I expect Indian Ministry of External affairs to launch a thorough inquiry in this brutal atrocity by an Indian. If indeed any Indian national is involved his pass port may be revoked and he be called back to India to face justice.

  23. It is tragic and a sad state of affairs . A human being's desire to live a life the way she wanted to live was nipped in the bud by her father , with Indian assistance . This issue should get more international coverage than it has received in the international media and the United Nations . The reality of Dubai is that outwardly everything glitters , however beneath that , the state controls everything , a hall mark of most countries of the Middle East . Like the Khassogi assignation this affair needs to be investigated and the truth emerge and justice done so that the princess can live the life she wanted to live .

  24. This sort of behaviour is not at all surprising to anyone who knows anything about the region and its culture. Just like in medieval Europe, the main value daughters have is the alliances one can make by strategically marrying them off. What is surprising is that Ms Robinson has allowed herself to be used for propaganda purposes; what a disappointment.

  25. This is absolutely horrifying. I watched the entire video, transfixed. This woman is has to be one of the bravest individuals I have ever encountered. Perhaps most disturbing in this story is the shocking assertion by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that Sheikha Latifa is "safe with her family." Safe with her family??? Her own father ordered her torture and imprisonment for THREE YEARS. Disgusting. Another example of a missed opportunity for moral leadership by the U.S. in this part of the world.

  26. @Richard Hull I agree! Mary Robinson have you been replaced by a robot from the UAE?

  27. @Richard Hull Not sure what you mean by 'Another example of a missed opportunity for moral leadership by the U.S. in this part of the world.' Was this a dig at the US in general, as is the tone of the day from progressives? Or was this a dig at Trump, a constant chatter in the NYTimes, CNN, etc.? Never mind the embrace given by Obama to the middle east in general. Or, are you thinking that the US is the worlds 'moral leader' and that just telling Dubai to be nicer to the rulers 30+ children will fix everything? Just what do readers want; very confused. Maybe readers just think they can say something or wish something and it will be done. Ignorance and a complete lack of critical thinking is too prevalent in the progressive party.

  28. @Ma As you seem so curious, readers want to express themselves, just as you are doing with your comment. Your suggestion that this is progressives making 'a dig at the US in general' is ridiculous, you sound like your man Trump himself.

  29. Absolutely heartbreaking. Whether it is Saudi, Bahrain, UAE or any other feudal arab state; what the heck is the US and other countries doing about pulling these people up.......nothing! No western country with decency and human rights does anything because of the money these state have.....a sad, sad state of affairs. At least the Thai government released the soccer player today........the sports lobby has more power than our own governments.

  30. @Nick Streuli That’s because the sports lobby isn’t on the Tgai bankroll, whereas the US govt is.

  31. @Nick Streuli That’s because the sports lobby isn’t on the Thai bankroll, whereas the US govt is on the Saudi bankroll.

  32. I watched the entire video and was so struck by her composure and “simple” telling about the facts of a life that are so incredibly and unnecessarily tragic. I am sure there is a psychological explanation—it is disassociation?—for the way she was able to report the facts of the many layers of unfathomable mental and physical pain she endured, motivated by a love for her sister!!! And what is wrong with her mother??? We often think of privilege in a very particular sense—wealth and the means to use it for a life of advantage, access, and material comfort. But this video made it more clear than this poor beautiful young woman could have imagined that privilege is so much more. I don’t believe in prayer, and this woman’s story is one of a nearly daily validation for me of that. Why does (did? who knows?) she have to suffer like this?! And what of her sister? And what of other members of families like hers? But she will be in my thoughts. I would open my modest home to her if I could. I wish we were not so helpless in the face of this. Horrifying.

  33. @beth- There is nothing wrong with her mother; she, like her daughter(s?) has no say whatsoever about how to or where to live her life- nevermind her children's lives. In these societies, children, and women belong to the father or the male family members. Put the blame squarely on the guilty ones: the father, the male family members, the patriarchal society, the misogynist culture, and religion. The women in this family, and in other families like theirs are the victims.

  34. @MS Did you watch the video? Her mother offered her no compassion or empathy. There is no excuse for that.

  35. @beth I give her a pass since she's probably terrified as well of being slapped down.

  36. Shame on Mary Robinson.

  37. It appears the thing authoritarians fear the most is the independently-thinking woman. Here, there, everywhere. At least now we can SEE them and HEAR them thanks to the interwebs. This is a tremendously sad and horrifying story that is repeated all over the world, likely every day.

  38. Great article. Thanks NYT for shining the light on abuses of women in Dubai. I can’t imagine a life, outside of incarceration, in which I wouldn’t be able to pick up and leave whenever I want. And, yes, Westerners should think twice about vacationing there.

  39. How sad, a life being destroyed by a culture which does not view women as human beings. This woman represents most Arab women, who live tightly controlled lives. We cannot directly interfere with another culture without risking interference in our own. Much of the anger towards the U.S. stems from our attitudes about women, and the freedoms we allow them. Osama Bin Laden was originally motivated to do harm to the U.S. after seeing American women in the military driving vehicles during the first Persian Gulf war. Until we can learn to get by with less energy, we are going to be forced to deal with cultures which we dislike. Considering that the U.S. is now exporting petroleum products, I find it surprising that we continue to buy oil from the middle East. The best way to encourage change in Arab cultures is to deprive them of the huge amounts of wealth that oil brings them. Not through sanctions, but by changing our ways and habits.

  40. @Scott Holman -- "freedoms we allow them"? What a patriarchal statement.

  41. Please remember this story and your outraged comments the next time an American or British Muslim woman rationaly explains why she "chooses" to cover her body head to toe in clothing better suited to two thousand years ago. Remember this when mothers subject their American born daughters to female genital mutilation because it is a cultural norm. Family and religious pressure is a powerful motivator. This woman would give up everything to be free but many daughters would not choose to lose their family and community. Sheikha Latifa's story is extreme, but any repression of women by Islamic society is unacceptable. I fear we, like the proverbial frog in the pot of slowly heating water, are accepting more and more of this in the name of cultural acceptance.

  42. As a Muslim woman who "chooses" to wear a hijab, I can assure you that I do not wear it because of family pressure. If you truly believe in women's rights and freedoms than you would not be so opposed to a woman choosing to wear whatever she wants, including a hijab. How my hijab has anything to do with the imprisonment of Sheika is beyond me.

  43. @Diana Can you explain why you choose to wear hijab? I was also raised by a Muslim mother in the US and she never made even the slightest suggestion that I should cover myself. Rather, she wanted me to feel pride in my appearance. It is hard for me to understand a woman's free choice to wear hijab absent the very real cultural pressure. It is hard to understand the practice of covering a woman's head as separate from the idea that women are lesser than or that their appearance is somehow shameful. If I entered a mosque I would cover my hair out of respect but therein lies the primary reason I will never attend mosque services or subscribe to this religion.

  44. @Diana Well .. You go, girl! Although I must say I don't understand you (I am not Muslim), I am moved by your commitment. And I agree, it is - must be - YOUR choice.

  45. I would gladly pay $15-$20 per gallon for gasoline if the U.S. and the rest of the free world boycotted these barbarous regimes. If president Trump (or any future president) wanted to be different from his predecessors from both parties he would end all diplomatic and trade ties with these terrorist states instead of cozying up to their illegitimate rulers.

  46. @OK Sure! Because as soon as we're paying $15-$20 per gallon, you can bet all those bright Silicon Valley types now working day and night to figure out new ways for us to share our photos or buy designer clothes might be inspired to instead figure out alternative energy sources. Or at least the money would flow that way. We have a cultural unwillingness to pay the true cost of things that's going to be the end of us.

  47. @OK We're already the world's top oil producer and a net oil exporter. The only reason we still import our 7% or so of Arab oil is because we still need to upgrade our pipelines and refineries to accommodate West Texas Intermediate. You're about 15 years behind the times.

  48. @OK You buy into the false narrative that by boycotting (or even bombing) countries in the Arab world, we can coerce them into changing their repressive cultures. That's not going to happen. If they wanted to change their culture to be more "Western" and embracing of individual rights, they would have done so long before now. We must get used to living in a world where a large part of the population lives under this kind of system. Numerically, we are the outlier, not them.

  49. My parents live hear her father's estate in England. The estate has recently replaced its wooden fencing with security fencing. It's the estate the younger sister escaped from. It feels so offensive to me that this man is allowed to own property in the UK. He's a criminal!

  50. How terrible to have parents who oppress and torture their own flesh. There are a number of organizations that are trying to help advocate for her, including Amnesty International. Im sure that donations, however large or small would keep the public pressure on. At least this might keep her alive. Its so hard to think of her suffering.

  51. This story and the video nearly made me sick. And how dare former Ireland president Mary Robinson call this a “family matter.” This woman (not child) is being held hostage. Bravo to the New York Times for this report. Bravo to Latifa for her courage. The “Handmaid’s Tale” is far from fiction in parts of the world.

  52. What happened to her sister? Where’s Sheikha Shamsa?

  53. There are many people in the world that have no roof over their heads, no proper clothing and not enough to eat. What's happening to Latifa is not good, but she's getting all the publicity, not the starving children around the world. Is that fair? (Opening words in the Lion King movie. "Life's not fair")

  54. So horrible stories of human rights violations should not be reported until all the children around the world are fed? Do we just accept it’s not a fair world and turn our heads the other way?

  55. So we’re supposed to ignore extreme human rights abuses as long as the victims have enough to eat?

  56. Exactly Riley. I agree. Human rights abuses are human rights abuses. This story should definitley be [email protected]

  57. These are our friends, well at least Trump’s friends. They have their own values just as our president has

  58. @Charles Welles Yes, it is an abomination that Trump, sitting in the most powerful chair in the world, refuses to call out these repressive governments. A dereliction of duty. The underlying motivations, however, likely tell a scary story.

  59. @Kevin Saudi Arabia has been chopping of hands, feet and heads since its inception and before. Name one US president that has called them out. So if you want to hammer Trump you might want to choose another topic so it looks less like it's actually only all about hammering Trump.

  60. Curious why the Trump administration isn't outraged over the dictatorship and threatening military action like for certain Latin American countries.

  61. @Paul K Money and oil. It's simple.

  62. @Ashley R You're about 15 years behind the times. We are the largest producer of oil in the world and a net exporter. All we need to do to stop importing our 7% or so of Arab oil is to upgrade our pipelines.

  63. I am so haunted by this brave beautiful young woman's story that I had to remind myself to notice the beauty surrounding me as I went for my early morning run this morning, heading into the rising sun. It's so important in these discouraging times to look for what is good, especially when if feels like some mysterious force has rolled over a huge log spanning the earth, to reveal the dark, creepy beings underneath. A poet wrote "in a dark time, the eye begins to see." I hope that is true and that all the corruption that is now being revealed will somehow result in a more just and kind world. In the meantime, Sheikha Latifa is deep in my heart and in my prayers.

  64. @Grace I'd say your description of "dark, creepy beings" is a perfect description of the evil Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. (I refuse to use his royal title because he doesn't deserve any respect.) The way he treats his daughters shows what a disgusting, contemptible person he truly is. It's time for the civilized world to stop casting our pearls--or our business relationships--before such swine as he.

  65. How sad, this young woman with hopes and dreams of personal freedom and chance to live a normal life is apparently held captive by her family. Thank you, NYT for publishing this story.

  66. @John Casana And thank you, NYT, for providing a copy of this article in Arabic. I hope that the horrifying video is also available with Arabic captioning.

  67. The human rights abuses are astounding. It makes one appreciate the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted and it makes me cry for women who have to endure these abuses. What is wrong with these countries?

  68. @macman2 For one, they live by an oppressive religion that does not consider women equal to men. It's politically incorrect to talk about it, but until we do, and encourage change, women like this will be mistreated.

  69. @macman2 Wealth isn’t needed to deny a woman her rights nor her freedom of movement, choice and education.

  70. @DGL47 We in the U.S. (and the rest of the West) should remember that the Christian religion also has pockets that continue their history of oppressing and abusing women, e.g. both the Roman Catholic clergy and some conservative Protestant sects.

  71. If princesses are treated like this, then what can the lives of ordinary women be like?

  72. @Adam D Her bio father has significantly more means and probably will than more ordinary men.

  73. I hope everyone who considers taking a holiday to Dubai will read this and think twice before they go. To the NYT: the snippet for this article talks about a princess trying to "escape a life of stultifying restrictions". I think that is a bit of an understatement. Three years in prison, solitary confinement, days on end with no light, endless beatings and being told you will be beaten until you die, being forced to continuously take mind-altering drugs ... to me that is more than a life of stultifying restriction. That is a life of torture and human rights abuse.

  74. @BH Agree with you, but there isn't any way to verify her account of those events (I would imagine the record-keeping of corrupt UAE officials is less than transparent and not exactly public record), so as a journalist you have to go by what you can actually confirm.

  75. @BH Actually the Times is correct. They are describing the life she was escaping, not the one she is now living, two very different things.

  76. ...against a child of only 14 no less! This was the most disturbing thing Ive read in the NY Times since the article on starving children of Yemen. Born a piece of property, stolen from her mother by another family member like a piece of furniture and raised for 10 years, “gifted” a brother so she “wouldnt be alone”, and once mature enough to have personal will, she was kept a prisoner in a home shared by some 30 or 40 wives and children of her father (which sounds an awful lot like a harem). This was the “good” portion of her life before her 3 year punishment in solitary confinement. No wonder these girls are willing to risk death to escape.

  77. Utterly depressing. Mary Robinson should be ashamed of herself.

  78. If the Dems are so big on human rights then why arent they creating a big enough uproar to gain the princesses release? Someone needs to start an international movement to get these women released.

  79. @grant wells This isn't a partisan issue. I'm sure there are Republicans who are also concerned about human rights.

  80. @grant wells You are reading the uproar. Both sides of the aisle have long colluded with these patriarchal societies for their oil. The right more so than the left I would say. Would you use bombs?

  81. One day the world will find substitutes for oil, the economies of the Middle East countries will collapse, and their countries will blow away with the sands of time. The sooner, the better.

  82. @DD Totally agree. The sooner the world goes green the sooner these fundamentalist countries like UAE will become irrelevant and the sooner the US can stay out of middle eastern conflicts. Majority of them offer nothing more than oil and capital but take away the oil they will have no capital.

  83. @DD We have enough oil stored in the U.S to last 50 years but greed keeps us from using it. Our Government says it is for emergencies and that it is cheaper to buy it elsewhere than to process what we have stored. Too many people getting their pockets lined with payoffs by the Saudies and others

  84. @DD It would likely be met with violence. They will not let this go. It's astounding to be in Dubai and imagine they built that in such a short time. The rulers will be sure they don't lose. Imagine what's going on right now under the floorboards so they can keep what they have and take even more.

  85. "Ms. Robinson said Sheikha Latifa was safe with her family, but said she was receiving psychiatric care, calling her a “troubled young woman” with a “serious medical condition.” Ireland needs to step up or they will be forever complicit in this horrible 1950s wish drama

  86. @Mediamercenary You DO realise that Ireland had Nothing to do with this, that Mary Robinson was visiting as an individual in a private capacity, rather than on state business? No? Missed the finesse of That particular point, did we?

  87. @Mediamercenary Mary Robinson has not been President of Ireland since 1997. I don't see how Ireland has anything to do with this. She is not employed by the State in any capacity and does not represent it.

  88. Perhaps it is time for US universities (including many NY institutions:NYU,NYIT,NY Film Academy and RIT) to pull out of the United Arab Emirates and other countries where women are treated similarly. The presence of their Universities normalizes and supports regimes that do not recognize women as full adult human beings. These institutions are essentially selling their soul for a price.

  89. @Ellen Sano Not only that but there will never be any academic freedom in Arab countries. Can you imagine a philosophy class in which the existence of God is questioned? The Arab students would protest en masse and the professor would be summarily fired.I know this because I taught at Dubai Women's college for five years and other UAE and American institutions for another four years.)

  90. Agreed but money is more important to the universities .

  91. Treating women as property in the 21st century, kidnapping and imprisoning people based on gender, killing journalists, jailing female dissidents, and many other aspects of the Arab petro states. And yet, the American government, European Union, academia, and many corporations are in bed with Dubai, Saudi Arabia and these other regressive states, while Trump screeches only about the sins of Maduro and Iran.

  92. My prayers are with Sheikha Latifa. I wish there was an actual action I could take that would make a difference. And that world famous tax dodger, Roger Federer has no problem using Dubai to dodge paying taxes in Switzerland. How much money and how little conscience does one have to have support a regime like this? Eh Roger?

  93. @Merle I have emailed the President of the International Rescue Committee as well as 2 employees at the International Committee of the Red Cross with a copy of the article. Please forward the article to anyone who might have influence and who could bring more attention to this abuse.

  94. How much do you think Mary Robinson was paid?

  95. @Suzanna Her life and or family could have been threatened as well.

  96. @Suzanna Best question here.

  97. @Suzanna I believe she was merely a coward, since she was in Dubai at the time she made those pronouncements. Obviously she didn't want to be arrested herself.

  98. Can we stop pretending that all cultures are equal? Can we stop acting like we don't have the moral high ground in this world. Why are liberals so afraid to stand up for the superiority of Western values?

  99. @John Wilson Seriously? It's not liberals that provide cover to despots like the Gulf States monarchs. It is primarily the province of conservative Republicans. Conservatives tend to be most interested in women's rights when it dovetails with Islamophobia.

  100. You being naive or disingenuous to talk about values or liberals. After all it’s a western value to do business with authoritarian states like the UAE and Saudi Arabia while disregarding their oppression of women & minorities or their aggressive foreign policies. No not all societies are equal but the superiority of “western values” is argumentative when we apply them selectively and often not to ourselves or our “ allies”. That behavior is neither liberal or conservative since when wealth and profit are involved the only operative western value is greed.

  101. @John Wilson - You mean our policy of separating children from their family and forcing them into detention camps? Do you mean slavery of Africans and genocide of Native Americans? That "high more ground."

  102. This woman’s story (and that of her sister) was incredibly disturbing. I wish there was something America could do for these tragically brave women. My stepfather traveled through Dubai many times on his way to Pakistan and described a beautiful modern country at the forefront of architectural innovation. I dreamed of visiting there some day. What an awful facade!

  103. @Julie I have emailed the President of the International Rescue Committee as well as 2 employees at the International Committee of the Red Cross with a copy of the article. Please forward the article to anyone who might have influence and who could bring more attention to this abuse.

  104. @Julie It's foreign architects who design the buildings and foreign engineers and contractors (including virtual slave laborers) who build them. Neither the Saudis nor the Emiratis can do anything for themselves.

  105. Somebody please help this brave young woman and get her out of there.

  106. @Anonymous I have emailed the President of the International Rescue Committee as well as 2 employees at the International Committee of the Red Cross with a copy of the article. Please forward the article to anyone who might have influence and who could bring more attention to this abuse.

  107. In other news, Jerad Kushner's failing real estate investments were saved by an enormous "loan" from Qutar.

  108. Shame on Mary Robinson, complicit in the crimes committed against this young woman.

  109. Mary Robinson may have forgotten the use of "psychiatric care" to break the will and often the sanity of Soviet dissidents during the Cold War era.

  110. @David . If you are poor. it happens right here in the US.

  111. This is heartbreaking... I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this young woman and the torture she must be going through at the orders of her own father. What can I do? What can we do? How can we help her and others in her situation? NYT please add information on ways we can assist.

  112. @Elisa Yes. Yes. Yes. I so deeply want to help too... I have been thinking about this nonstop since I read this article and watched this video... !!!! What can we do??!!

  113. @Mae Mae I sent an email with a copy of the article to the President of the International Rescue Committee as well as to 2 employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross and to Amnesty International. I also posted the article on LinkedIn asking for anyone who might know someone with influence and reach out to them.

  114. All westerns should not go to these countries (Dubai, Saudi Arabia etc). We should not support them financially. We should not purchase anything from them. We should not let them purchase anything including military arms from us! We should have absolutely no interaction with them and then see how their nations survive. This Mary Robinson should be ashamed of herself for furthering their narrative. I so wish I was a cia operative or some covert operative who could rescue her and get her out of there. She would have to change her appearance and move to some small village somewhere with no connections any longer to past friends. Even if she had gotten asylum somewhere, she would have mysteriously "fell off a balcony" or something. On those days that I feel bad that I don't have enough money for this or that. Or worry about finances. I try to remember that having all the money in the world like this princess is not enough to make up for the freedoms I'm so very lucky to currently have.

  115. @KGal Agree on principle, but the result would be that the UAE would join the Chinese and Russian orbits.

  116. This is so sad. It reminds me of the two sisters that came up to NYC and committed suicide in the Hudson river. Death was more liberating than the thought of going home to their own countries. so, so sad and yet leaders, business, etc act as though there are no issues.

  117. Remember, these are our dear friends that we not need discuss in public. Mr. Kushner, I believe you’re close to the family. Stand up and say a few words.

  118. On reading the plight of Sheikha Latifa, I was struck by many thoughts. First, her brave attempt to escape the oppression of living in a veneer world of soft comforts but excruciating isolation and lack of freedom; and second, her present fate which much mirror that of her now drugged sister who attempted a similar escape in the past. We support this country with all its tinsel success while fighting a nation like Venezuela whose lack of freedoms can not possibly surpass those in Dubai. This has always been our global policy of supporting repressive governments as long as they play ball with us economically. And it remains so under our present regime. But my most frightening thought is that the city states of the United Arab Emirates could be the template for all our cities and nations as humans globally become enthralled by consumerism and entrapped by technology.

  119. @John Emmanuel So depressing to think that in our age their are still governments that would reduce their women to less then human to be killed, beat, traded as wives and not allowed basic freedoms. A normal country would allow their people to travel as they choose, free to go where they want and aspire to whatever profession they care to follow. But there are still countries in the middle east that want to rule their country and control their women as sheep in the field. They are so afraid that once they leave they will never return. Can't say I blame them I would never come back to an oppressive regime like that.

  120. @John Emmanuel It does not help that foreigners go there avidly to partake of jobs, what wealth they can accrue, to vacation, to participate in what is clearly a fool's paradise. An international boycott of Dubai is in order until they fall into line with more-democratic nations.

  121. This reads almost like a Disney movie, where the princess, having "everything she wants", is disillusioned and depressed because she is missing something. It is more important that the king maintain his appearance as a benevolent ruler (a gentle but firm reproach to her moves toward freedom), all in her best interest of course. Unfortunately, she didn't succeed in breaking away, and happiness eludes her. This is not how the movie is supposed to end. Try again princess.

  122. @Steve That something Steve is freedom. But typing your comment here you exhibited more freedom than she is allowed.

  123. Ms. Robinson somehow reminds me of the Mrs. Robinson of the classic movie "The Graduate". Both have all the superficial trappings of legitimacy and respectability but not much else. I fervently hope the NYT holds on very tightly to Sheikha Latifa, a remarkably determined and brave soul 'yearning to be free', as the saying goes. Freedom is so far from being free that it astounds me. I won the lottery by being born an American and it seems that's all it is: a lottery.

  124. Shame on Mary Robinson. Wonder how much she was paid to perpetuate the facade. Perhaps Robinson received training from Magdalene Nuns.

  125. @Bluff City Brad I'm no fan of Mary's apparent blindness on this visit - or of the thinly-veiled jibes at Irishness that several commentators seem to be trotting out on this story. Tell me, why is Mary Robinson and her Irish background the villain in your post, and of many others here, rather than Latifa's family and de facto captors? Or do I need to ask?

  126. @Joe: The main villians are the bint Mohammed al-Maktoum family. Mary Robinson is a secondary villian, because her behaviors continue to allow the al-Maktoum family to imprison Sheikha, by keeping her most likely "medicated" into submission. Irish culture is not at fault.

  127. Do you believe Mary Robinson is complicit or not?

  128. You can tell from the photo alone that something is not right at all. This is really a sad story but one I'm certain is all too familiar in the Middle East.

  129. I am taken aback by the "shock" in the comments, this is SOP for brutal, patriarchal systems with absolute power. This is not shocking or new. What is shocking is the continued, complicit behavior of "democracy's" and politicians around the globe, turning a blind eye to horrific human rights abuses, driven by pure greed. Years ago I read a great book on the topic; Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, by Jean Sasson published in 2013.

  130. Mary Robinson's career was very interesting until the reporting of her $2m tax avoidance plans. But it's also true that after the report, she changed her donation plans.

  131. What happened to Mary Robinson? I watched the video that the princess made in its entirety and am haunted by her statement at the end, that if we are seeing the video at all she is either dead or something terrible has happened to her. According to Ms. Robinson the princess is "safe with her family." Interesting definition of "safe."

  132. It does not take much to understand the condition of so many minorities and immigrants, many with that dreaded Kafala visa system, working to serve those utterly morally corrupt sheikhs if this is the way they treat their own women, that too the daughter of the ruling sheikh. Now the students, mostly from elite Arab families, are increasingly getting desperate to do crime in US/EU and get away with it. These Arab countries and its elites get almost a free pass in most other democracies in the world, including India, to do just anything. Alluring under-age girls in countries like India for (sham) marriage and keeping them practically as sex slaves or beheading immigrant domestic helps (imported mainly from South and South East Asia) are so routine there. Modern technologies like (women) tracking apps) seems to be making the situation worse- https://goo.gl/KceA8y Recently, 5 Saudi students accused of rape & murder left US with help of Saudi Embassy. Students & others from countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE should be barred from coming to the USA and other western countries unless the Governments there agree to sign a treaty to extradite any such (alleged) criminals. Currently, Saudi Government itself is helping such criminals and Trump admin seems to be OK with it. Western democracies, at least USA, must do more to promote human rights in that part of the world. Failing to do so is far too risky for our own country as well.

  133. Mary Robinson's Wiki page is clean. Nothing about this.

  134. @JMS Looks like someone has added this story to her Wikipedia page.

  135. CNN's Sr Int'l reporter Ben Wedeman interviewed two Canadian women who joined their husbands fighting for ISIS in Syria. Both women's husbands were killed in fighting, now they are fleeing with their kids. One is from Toronto, 28, college educated in English and Middle Eastern studies. She has no regret about leaving Canada and go to Syria. She has two young boys. She said about her Islamic faith: "..."Well, having slaves is part of Sharia. I believe in Sharia, wherever Sharia is. We must follow whoever is implementing the way, the law." The other woman is a 34-year-old from Alberta, a graphic designer. She said her first husband "forced her to join him in Syria. "..."He's like, 'it's obligatory for you to come here. You have no choice, and as your husband I'm telling you to come here.' And as a Muslim wife you have to obey, even though it was really hard for me to do it. I had to." When her first husband was killed she remarried another Canadian ISIS fighter, also killed. Both women claim to have no knowledge of ISIS brutality. So they leave Canada to join ISIS fighters in Syria because they follow Islamic faith and Sharia. That's quite a jarring contrast to Sheikha Latifa's story, who tried to flee the tyranny of her culture. What does it say about Islam and they people living under this religion? And still it is politically incorrect to criticize and denounce the ideology that brainwash followers, with the threatening label "Islamophobia" hanging out there.

  136. According to Wiki on the Sheika's father, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: "A spokeswoman for Robinson's Foundation for Climate Justice confirmed that Richardson was approached by Princess Haya, one of Sheikh al-Maktoum's six wives, an old friend of Robinson's, "and was requested to go to Dubai by Princess Haya and she [Haya] paid the fare, less than two weeks after the BBC ran a documentary detailing the princess' failed escape attempt in March.

  137. The incident should cause no surprise at all, given the fact that in Arab world women are not considered human at all. Recently in an unprecedented ruling, a panel of Saudi scientists has concluded that “women are actually mammals, granting them the same rights as other mammal species such as camels, dromedaries and even goats”. This verdict is considered as an incredible progress the women’s rights movement “Finally, women will no longer be simply considered as objects without souls, but as full-fledged mammals, with the same rights as other animals of their species such as camels and goats. Women are still far from being considered 100% human”. It was said that if women previously had the same rights as a chair or a table and were seen more as individual property, they now have an equivalent status to certain animal species, and thus must receive, at the very least, feeding, watering and be conferred a minimum of attention and respect, which was not the case previously.

  138. @N.G. Krishnan Snopes, the fact finding website, says that no such panel ever existed. The "article" was published in the World News Daily Report, a paper famous for balderdash.

  139. @N.G. Krishnan Your quote comes from a satirical news site.

  140. @N.G. Krishnan So where is the BDS like protest movement against this abuse of women?

  141. Is her trainer also okay?

  142. @Hejunnan Zhang I was wondering the same. She and the crew are probably in prison or worse for kidnapping.

  143. A friend of mine who visited Dubai calls it "a facade with slaves ". Best description ever. I would never step foot in that place. For so many reasons.

  144. This story is soul-crushing. My heart is broken. If there cannot be a perfect and happy world that does nothing to prevent such a precious spirit from living a free and fulfilling and peaceful life the she way wants to and should be allowed--it is so unbelievably sad to me that we must even discuss these things not being allowed--I cannot say enough how much I wish there were more people in positions of authority that demand it be so, and how disappointing it is that there are not. There is no diplomatic or economic relationship worth the torment, imprisonment, or extinguishment of a human soul.

  145. NYT, thank you for this important, horrifying article and video. Please follow up— and on the front page. Please do not let this be a one-time exposure of such massive human-rights abuse. As the princess details on several occasions in the video, her father has killed and tortured many. This story should be just the first in a series to expose the brutality in Dubai. Such a series in this very prominent newspaper might help some of the people there, and pressure people in our own government to find their tongues.

  146. Often psychiatric distress is the excuse. Just wondering what is the definition of someone being normal in such a situation? Is there a male equivalent for this ? Probably not. What is normal anyway?

  147. @Sara What do you mean a "male equivalent"? A man in the situation would be equally distressed. There is no name for it, because it is not a disorder to react to such extreme treatment. At most one can guess she has PTSD triggered by the abuse.

  148. @Alex There are not a whole lot of stories being reported in the media of men/sons in that country sharing a similar experience. Therefore no male equivalent to experience what she feels. The great divide.

  149. Dubai never deserved its reputation, which it garnered only because it was freer for foreigners than the rest of the Gulf Middle East. When I was teaching at Dubai Women's College (1997-2002), one of the girls' parents planned to leave her in the middle of the desert to die, because she had a boyfriend. The college director, an American, apparently talked them out of it. I'm not sure what happened to her after that, but it probably wasn't good.

  150. “Some day we hope to liberate every man on earth from the tendency as old as human history to identify our strength and manhood with the ability to control the lives, limit the chances, and doom the dreams of women and girls.” Bill Clinton

  151. And so this is another reason why #MeToo matters, why more women being elected to the US Congress matters. It stands for a possibility for women all over the world. The US Constitution & our democracy once did that: offer an enduring possibility to those who hoped for equal justice under the law, a free press & representative gov't not controlled by (and for) the rich, the powerful & the corrupt. Men only. Trump has aligned himself with this group, this pseudo-greatness, and we, especially women, must stand up and oppose it at every turn.

  152. This blood-curdling horror story about one of America’s “allies” is a reminder that "Handmaid's Tale" is not entirely fictional. Unlike ISIS, the oil oligarchs of the UAE, like Saudi Arabia, can afford to buy impunity for its murderous and misogynist regime. For women, its palaces are merely gilded concentration camps. The cost of the global carbon economy is paid not only in the ruination of the planet’s ecosystems but also in our soul-rotting accommodation to these sanguinary autocracies, which are sustained by the torture and enslavement of its own citizens. This is the world Republicans will be shoring up by opposing the “Green New Deal.”

  153. Where are American feminist voices in all this? We have known of these abuses of women for decades and there have been no feminist replies from the West. Instead, American feminist groups such as "code pink" for one example, vilify Israel as a suppressor of human rights when it is actually the only place in the Mideast where a woman such as this can live in true freedom. And where is American feminism on the issue of female genital mutilation? Intersectionality? Try this one on for size.

  154. Shame on the Indian government - and Modi specifically - for spurning their legal and moral obligations towards refugees. Where is the due process? This is terrible, but refuges who aren’t royal face far worse all over the world. It’s high time that we all develop some humanity. Someone should sue on behalf of the princess in India so more details can emerge as to how the Indian government colluded with the Emiratis. Unfortunately Latifa and her friends made serious geopolitical miscalculations in planning their escape. They should have considered sailing to a nearby country with which the UAE has frosty relations, such as Qatar or Iran. Or could have sailed further south in the Indian Ocean to one of the French island territories, where they might have had more legal recourse. If neither of the above were possible, another more risky option might have been sailing to a small impoverished country with less control over its borders than India, and seeking asylum at a friendly embassy. Of course, thinking things through dispassionately would have been difficult for a cosseted captive and her Western expat friends, given the stressful circumstances of their escape. Kudos for trying to free yourself, Latifa.

  155. I watched the whole video last night. When I read this article and as I listened to the video, it was hard for me to imagine a father ordering the imprisonment and beating of his own daughter. I noted that Sheikha made several mentions of her father only caring about his reputation. I’m ashamed that I let my mind wander to whether a powerful man would want people in his state and surrounding states to know that if this treatment could happen to his own royal daughter, what would happen to a commoner? I concluded that if I believe that I must take the victim’s word when a woman is violated in the US, I must apply that standard here and also believe Sheikha at face value. I’m ashamed that it still isn’t intuitive to believe the victim by default, unless proven otherwise by hard evidence. I can consider myself responsible for a culture that justifies violating the boundaries and freedoms of women by choosing doubt over empathy. Well before her disappearance, Sheikha talks about being physically beaten during three years in prison, often held in total darkness in solitary confinement. She says that her sister, who had previously failed to escape, is monitored by people overnight who record when she is medicated and when she falls asleep and wakes up. This is an adult woman who is treated like property. While she may be alive in UAE, she has spiritually died. She is not allowed to travel or do anything without supervision. She isn’t free, and she has died in that sense.

  156. It's clear from the video that the princess is an extraordinarily brave and rational human--in spite of terrible abuses. Her ability to speak coherently about her situation and her willingness to take action are nothing short of heroic. I never wanted to go to Dubai because it seems tacky and commercial, a tad creepy but basically harmless. Now I see behind the tacky commerciality is something far worse, a place where brave intelligent women are systematically destroyed by a criminal state. I will never set foot in Dubai. Please please NYTs don't bury this story. Don't allow Dubai to take out full page ads of its resorts and beach hotels.

  157. Shame on Mary Robinson for being part of this!

  158. There’s no way the US would ever offer political asylum to a son or daughter of Sheikh Mohammed. He’s invested billions in my state alone over the last 30 years along with his brother Hamdan and now deceased other brother Maktoum. Gilded cage indeed. I believe as Sheikh Mohammed grows older, his regime will get more repressive and less likely to respect the freedom of individuals in his Emirate.

  159. This is the saddest story. Imprisoned by her own family, and living in a misogynistic culture, she reminds me of the princesses in fairy tales locked up from evil witches and wicked rulers. Now she is tortured and drugged, just like her older sister. The moral of this true tale is that there are truly troubled cultures and regimes in this world. This country is a far cry from evolving to modern status no matter how fantastic their buildings are. Until women are treated equally, they remain a backwards culture. Terrible

  160. @Patsy Many so called fairly tales are not only tales. They seem so unbelievable at first but behind that is lurking stories of extremes of human nature and hidden messages of caution.

  161. Entrapment is entrapment no matter how much money you have. If you cannot be free to go where you wish you are a prisoner. In a part of the world where "honor killing" of women occurs there can be no freedom. But let's not fool ourselves there are forces afoot, that have become much more prominent with Trump's candidacy and presidency, that would like to see similar control enforced on the women of the US. And as in the Middle East these forces find justification in their religion and work to install a theocracy here. Before my time women fought for person-hood, the rights to own property and vote (not even 100 years yet). I grew up in family of strong well-to-do women of their own means. To me it felt normal to do and go as you wished. I felt lucky to live in these times, and being a little surprised it wasn't the same for everyone - but seeing progress. However, now I feel times are changing in the face of freest we've ever been in the US. I see things people write. Misogyny is flourishing. The backlash for women's freedom and participation is being voiced by those who fear it. I've even read comments in the NY Times from those who believe that women are untrustworthy, need control, are not capable. Islam is not the only source of religious resentment and control of women. If we want to remain a free society we must be on guard for those who would want to control our actions by religious edict or our movement to control our freedom.

  162. This is soul-crushing. I urge NYT to continue to dive deeper into this story and expose just how oppressive and brutal these regimes are. I don't believe that Sheikha Latifa is "safe at home with family" considering this video was only going to be released if she was dead or in a terrible situation.

  163. The human rights abuses in these oil-rich Arab countries do not get enough media coverage. Obviously the fact that a wealthy princess fled the UAE is news, but of course this does not even skim the surface of similar abuses towards women that occur towards the average person in those nations every day. I applaud the western media for bringing attention to this issue because it speaks more broadly to deeper issues occurring the Middle East. Most western coverage of the Middle East centers on Israel/Palestine, nations that comprise a relatively small percentage of the population of that area.

  164. It is interesting that a story about an abused princess so affects commenters that they call for boycotts and diplomatic action. Yet the plight of tens of thousands of poor, brown and black, untelegenic, mostly non-English-speaking female foreign workers in Gulf counties, who have faced modern slavery and sexual abuse for decades, has not inspired such passions.

  165. @Basant Tyagi I deeply agree with you however perhaps what is happening to this one woman can bring attention to the tens of thousands who don't have a voice. Is it ideal or right? No, but in the end perhaps people will turn towards that corner of the world a give a damn for once.

  166. @Basant Tyagi This story is so compelling because, if you watched the video, the princess gives a detailed account of how the head of Dubai operates. Few other people would be brave enough to do so.

  167. Women striving for independence are frequently labeled as unstable. That's how they, and concerned outsiders, are kept in check. I'm just wondering why the former President of Ireland was allowing herself to be used in support of the whole charade.

  168. I know that there are many cases like this with less rich or photogenic people. That said, please, do not dismiss this one just because this seems like a less worthy cause than the others. Regardless of who the case is that sparks someone doing something about this issue, the important thing is that *something* sparks the drive for change and real change happens for all those affected.

  169. It is time for what was done with South Africa: A boycott at all levels of countries that enslave women.

  170. A father who has 30 children is obviously not someone who respects or values women. Clearly they are not more to him than his horses from Godolphin stables. I don't get why anyone would want to go to Dubai on vacation.

  171. You've got to click on that link to the website of Hervé Jaubert, who tried to assist the escape. It's mostly about a book he wrote about his own escape from Dubai. The site is surprisingly amateurish with bad English, but the pix of him wearing "false breasts and burka" to hide his frogman gear is priceless. What a world we live in!

  172. This story aired on 60 Minutes in Australia over six months ago.

  173. Why does our government allow Jared Kushner to negotiate with the Dubai/UAE government...         ...when they've imprisoned two of their own princesses?      Can we stop trump derangement syndrome from spreading?

  174. How convenient Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, confirmed that she had met the sheikha at her family’s request. Ms. Robinson perhaps should have tried to do more than to have a good breakfast.

  175. Just wondering why the BDS movement is not riled up and protesting the consistent mistreatment of women in Dubai and many other Muslim countries? Never mind, I figured it out. They are not Jews so they get a free pass on their gender apartheid. And the people being abused are women, after all.

  176. @VCS You read my mind.

  177. How are these despotic, truly evil oil patriarchies any different from the female enslaving Taliban, the misogynistic ISIS thugs? How much dirty Dubaian money has made its way to the Trump/Kushner coffers?

  178. @John Grillo They are not. Literally. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the home to the Salafi movement started by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Both Taliban and ISIS adhere to the principles of Wahhabism and model their Sharia on the Sharia used in KSA and UAE.

  179. I’m sitting in my kitchen reading this and feel so sad. Her father is a heartless chauvinist who is stuck in the Middle Ages. I do fear for this poor girl’s life. I think the only way out is to play like some of the holocaust survivors; dye your hair, pretend your a young man, fake your identity and just start walking. Keep walking, kind of stay underground for a year, then get on a train during a holiday and head anywhere. Eventually they may stop actively searching you out. Good luck. God bless.

  180. Freedom of choice is a right we are all entitled to - female, male, all human beings. Just as Prohibition did not work, holding this young woman down will not work, nor does telling anyone else (but yourself) what to do. Biblical Eve was framed and this is the result - persecution for simply being female, perpetuated for centuries by habit and tradition - neither which are justifiable or correct.

  181. yall just gon skip over the many years she was imprisoned and tortured during her early 20s for trying to escape the first time?

  182. We don't need to keep any organised religion separate from any culture. The organised religions are part of human cultures. It's impossible to separate the organised religions from human cultures. It's absurd to suggest we should even try to. Islam was born in the Arabian Peninsula in Mecca and Medina. From there, Islam spread by fire and the sword into Mesopotamia, the Levant and the Maghreb, crossing the Pillars of Heracles, stopped and eventually turned back in Spain by the opposing forces of Western Christendom. Islam today in the Arabian Peninsular is intimately connected to Arabian culture and to Arabic mores. Arabian culture and Arabic mores are profoundly influenced by Sunni Islam. The religion and the culture are inextricable.

  183. Religion. The idea that women are inferior to men. The idea that women are merely property. Killing one another (even our own children) because it is written in some dusty book. Donald Trump and others ought to be ashamed by the way they defend religious zealots around the world and in the U.S.

  184. @Marion It is not religion. It is Salafi Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a cultural, ideological and political ultra-orthodox Islamic movement started by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab. Any time somebody say that Islam is bad, because [insert something horrible here], they really mean Wahhabism, not Islam. In the 19th century, and the 20th century up to 1970s, Wahhabism was limited to Arabia only. However thanks to immense wealth gained from oil, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia started to fund Wahhabi Madrassas all over the world, spreading this ultra-orthodox ideology far beyond its borders. There are plenty of Islam-majority cultures and countries where such horrible abuse is unthinkable. The problem is that since KSA and UAE are allies of USA, their horrible ways are tolerated by all US administrations, regardless of party affiliation, for a good 60 years now.

  185. @Shadow You and your friends should speak a lot louder and more frequently because Muslims around the world are not hearing you. And neither are non-Muslims.

  186. I am surprised that an American news outlet would post this story at all. After all, criticism of the Middle Eastern culture and the Salafi- Wahhabi ideology of KSA and UAE that makes all this abuse possible is considered "hate speech" and "racism" in the West today. Did something change? Are we allowed to stop pretending now that when a woman in the Middle East is locked in a cage that is because she is exercising her "freedom from being approached by strangers"? Are we allowed to stop pretending now that when a woman in the Middle East goes everywhere fully covered by an abaya and accompanied by a male bodyguard she is exercising her "freedom from male gazes"? Because I am getting confused here. Are we allowed to call things as they are, or are we still pretending?

  187. @Shadow Oh we are still pretending. Saudi Arabia is Trump's great friend. Dubai hosts a golf tourney all the pros go to because of the money. We live in a paradox of norms and falsehoods. You can call it as it is, powerful people will nod with you and then turn away from you toward the power and wealth. Their silence allows this to continue..."In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"...

  188. This terrible story of human torture of his own daughters by this all powerful leader, raises some difficult questions. And the question isn't why does the west keep trading with this country and pandering to its leaders if this is really the way their treat their own people, their own families. The question is what are we going to do to help these events stop? This is the leader of the Bani Yas a loose consortium of families fashioned by the British seeking entrepot trade in the Gulf two hundred years ago and created for the convenience of British traders. The commodity then was pearls and gold. Today it is oil. Enough cheap oil to float the entire western economy for the better part of the last century. We are complicit. Cobble together a group to trade with, make them powerful and then more powerful and then financially almost infinitely powerful -- maybe even more powerful than their own customers-- and you create a moral vacuum where self-discipline and family values mean absolutely nothing and naked power and reputation for controlling the same mean everything. This women, the 32-year-old daughter, one of 30 children of the leader gives evidence of confinement and torture. Even if not a word of her story was true the testimony is enough to put the rest of us on notice this is a leader of a country which is dangerous to us all. We created him. We need to fix the problem he presents before it infects us.

  189. There was a great documentary on BBC2 about Latifa -- "Escape from Dubai: the Mystery of the Missing Princess" It's about an hour-long and goes really deep and is very compelling.

  190. Actually, Mary Robinson is probably sold out hypocrite...

  191. No matter how opulent the prison, it’s still a prison. Let her go to live her life the way she sees fit.

  192. In the UAE, the Handmaid's Tale is a reality.

  193. Sadly the massive transference of wealth from the West to the Middle East that began with the oil crisis of the early 70's has not worked out very well for the rest of the world. Under the license of wealth these horrible men are unfettered in committing crimes around the globe including murder. Where is the leadership in the civilized world that will put an end to their criminality?

  194. Where is the outrage of all the feminists in this country and worldwide who squander all their energy on millions of micro aggressions? Why not focus on these disgusting and barbaric actions by these mideaval countries? Why not exert pressure on their governments to demand explanations, accountabilities and change in behavior for basic human rights!! This might even earn them some respect in other arenas.

  195. The only way we can punish these countries is to quit buying their oil. The only way to do that is to establish US energy independence. Trump has gotten us closer than ever to this goal. His policies have undoubtedly hurt major oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia and helped the American economy tremendously. Keep it up...its the path to justice.

  196. I am saddened to hear that this young woman has been silenced. It must be its own torture to travel, to hire personal instructors, and to taste freedom without being able to live in freedom more permanently. At the same time, I read about the extravagant opportunities that were available to Sheikha Latifa in Dubai because of her wealth and privilege; and I feel less empathy because she possessed enormous freedoms in Dubai. To be able to hire a capoeira instructor and a personal skydiving instructor, etc., is its own luxurious freedom! I can understand that she wanted more. Even those of us who live in the United States have limits on our own freedoms. There are many things I would love to do but financial constraints limit me. Very few of us have unlimited freedom to do as we want! When we make choices, there are consequences. I do not believe that Sheikha Latifa or her sister deserved what has happened to them at all! This appears to be a merciless regime that prizes family honor at the expense of female family members and their sense of personal freedom. Perhaps, this story is an example of the saying, “You can’t always get what you want!”

  197. Because they didn’t know any better, they called it civilization when it was part of their slavery.

  198. @Peaceful Sun It's not clear you read beyond the headline. This is a 33 year old woman who has been beaten, tortured, was in jail for three years, and threated day and night with death by her own father, the most powerful man in the country, who has been drugged into a stupor, whose life ambition is to own her own life which she currently does not. The fact that she gets to go skydiving is a macabre fact in this context, not a luxury.

  199. I’m so sad for this woman, it breaks my heart. I so wish there was something I could do to help her. Her father is not a father he is evil!

  200. Mary Robinson towing the Dubai line? Really? And 'in good Faith's she says? Really? I don't think any of the principals of the UDHR have been revised downward, so I'm guessing that Ms Robinson's have.

  201. Headline is very misleading. She did not “vanish” nor are there “clues”. She is with her family who forcefully abducted her. Whether or not she is being held against her will, drugged or both can be debated, but there is no mystery other than why we do not hold our “allies” like Dubai and Saudi Arabia accountable for their barbaric treatment of females.

  202. As John Prine says:some humans aren't human. This horrific monster of a "father" can only redeem himself by releasing his daughter from her imprisonment.

  203. The princess represents just one of millions of women who are controlled by men,whether it's a father, brother or husband. The rights, freedoms, opportunities and ability to grow into amazing women, is horribly & sometimes viciously suppressed by cultural differences in both the Arab & Asian worlds. This is not the product of Islam as some believe. Violence, coercion against women that is used to control and subjugate is considered suppression and as such is unacceptable in the Islam religion. Unfortunately these cultural prisons are not likely to change unless the government changes. As awful as the current administration has made things in the USA, I am reminded just how grateful I am to have been born in this country. This factor, among others, has enabled me to lead an educated, enriched life, unlike so many others. By enriched, I'm referring to having wonderfully loving, caring supportive parents and friends who helped me grow into a productive, caring, appreciative adult. While the princess has material belongings she has shown up those don't possibly equate to having the much needed love, opportunities and especially freedom.

  204. As an expat art professor at a women’s university in Abu Dhabi I see aspects of this every single day. From students waiting for permission from their brother or father to visit a museum or travel to (incredibly) talented students being prohibited from working in mixed gender offices. Students like this are effectively sentenced to live at home and hope that their future husbands are weak-willed enough to allow them to use their talents and creativity. While I doubt I can effect much change in the near term, I have no doubt that women like the princess or my students will not allow their daughters to be treated like this.

  205. I wonder if they lobotomized her. Instead of drugged. A la Rosemary Kennedy. Problem solved, she wouldn’t try to run away again. Ms Robinson should give a much more thorough account of how she found Latifa. What does she mean ‘troubled young woman’????

  206. Stay far far far away from Dubai ... no support what so ever!

  207. This is so sad. I really hope she has not been harmed in any manner and that she can find a way to leave her homeland where her life is so restrictive.

  208. With all the misogynists in Washington, we need to be careful that we don't head in the same direction.

  209. And this is her family treating her like this. I might have mental health problems also if I lived like a person under house arrest. Thank god I was born in the west. And god help this woman.

  210. This is horrifying. Women in the Middle East are being enslaved en masse. Don’t visit Dubai. End oil dependence now. Free Sheikha and her sisters! This is the Handmaid’s Tale in REAL LIFE. I will never visit these countries, and I support these women to gain refugee status in my country.

  211. I so hope this next election cycle results in a woman in our White House, and a Democratic Congress. Maybe then our policy will be more humane, will be able to listen to the voices and screams of women in the religiously insane Middle East. And maybe, when a journalist gets murdered there, we will stop stuffing "our" pockets with money from regimes like the one in Saudi Arabia, and help those treated like chattel. I bet, even this early, there is money being tendered in some way or other to candidates, though it is illegal. Didn't seem to stop Trump. Hugh Massengill, Eugene Oregon