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Majd’s Diary: Two Years in the Life of a Saudi Girl

Majd SelfieA few years ago, we held a contest with NPR and Cowbird to find our next Teenage Diarist. We got almost 1,000 submissions from around the world. And we found someone really special.

Majd Abdulghani is a teenager living in Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive countries for women in the world. She wants to be a scientist. Her family wants to arrange her marriage. From the age of 19 to 21, Majd has been chronicling her life with a microphone, taking us inside a society where the voices of women are rarely heard. She records herself practicing karate, conducting experiments in a genetics lab, and fending off pressure to accept an arranged marriage. In her audio diary, Majd documents everything from arguments with her brother about how much she should cover herself in front of men, to late night thoughts about loneliness, arranged marriages, and the possibility of true love.

 

Majd AirportClick here for Press Clips & Listener Comments
To learn more about women in Saudi Arabia, visit a companion story on NPR’s Goats and Soda blog.

This story was produced by Joe Richman and Sarah Kramer, with help from Nellie Gilles. Our editors are Deborah George and Ben Shapiro. Thanks to Graham Smith and the team at NPR’s All Things Considered, and correspondent Deb Amos, who hand-delivered the recorder to Majd over two years ago.

And above all, thanks to Majd for sharing her story.

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