Captive In The House Of The Masarat
The bulk of Al-Rashid bin Mazan’s memoirs centers on the children of Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Ayesha Bint Mubarak bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Her two younger brothers, Khalid and Ghazan, are also talked about in some detail, however, I found myself unable to relate to them. This is because both were quiet and reserved, and I always found their fathers to be too aggressive and domineering.
One of the biggest influences on me as a child was the royal family of Riyadh. We could never quite escape the air of their Saudi Arabians and the dominant, suave demeanor of our father, who had been educated at the University of Chicago. He would arrive with an entourage of female guards and female friends, and we would all be immediately invited to meet his son, Salman, who would then send us out of the door and down the street to meet him at a different location. We all knew that we were never to leave the room, even for a moment, without his permission.
As a young girl, I would watch my father taking me to the Saudi Arabian King Fahd Mosque. It was amazing to see how he would go about his daily activities in such detail, such as how he would walk through the crowd and greet all the people with a warm handshake and kiss on the forehead. And how would they react? You bet they would!
On the other hand, I can remember how my parents made us enjoy family fun with our friends at their property in Jeddah. We would spend hours together, playing music on a petite tub, and dancing, in and out of the pool as it pulsed with the gentle rhythm of the music. I would imagine it was so soothing to be part of the water and to be part of the rhythm of the beat of the water’s movement, or the waves crashing on the rocks nearby.
But in my youth, I did not understand the depth of love that my father felt for his wife, Jessica Davies. In fact, when she was ill, she was treated as if she were a child, and the family would not let her use the bathroom for days. Once, when the family felt the risk of Jessica receiving an infection was too great, they simply took her to the mosque and prayed for her to be healed.
When Jessica Davies was brought back to the family, her illness was not so severe, but the extended period that she was treated like a child was enough to push me away from her family. But when I started dating Khalid and Ghazan later on, I understood how she and her family felt about their husbands, so I did not feel the same pangs of jealousy or envy.
So what have I learned from my years with Jessica Davies? I have learned that she was a woman who was completely devoted to her job and to do her job well, she had to be treated with respect.
For that reason, I have never loved anything more than the story of Jessica Davies, and in this book, I find that love again. Khalid and Ghazan Ali provide the reader with a glimpse into the way that these men made their wives feel.