In January 2019, then 18-year-old Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed escaped from her family while holidaying in Kuwait.
She was fleeing systematic abuse of her human rights as a woman growing up in Saudi Arabia and, specifically, her family's threats to kill her because she desired the freedoms Western women take for granted.
She boarded a plane bound for Bangkok, en route to Australia where she intended to seek asylum. But on her arrival the Thai authorities, acting on the instructions of Saudi officials, detained Rahaf with the aim of returning her to her family. Knowing this would mean her death, Rahaf barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and appealed for help through social media, creating a Twitter storm and capturing the attention of government leaders, human rights advocates and media around the world.
Rahaf was eventually taken under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and granted refugee status. When Australian authorities failed to respond with the urgency the situation required, she was granted asylum in Canada. Seven days after her ordeal began, she arrived in Toronto to begin a new life.
Rebel is a passionate story by a woman who refused to allow a system to define who she was and what she could be. It shines a light on the rampant and dangerous inequalities that persist in Saudi society, and inspires women everywhere to dream of a better future for themselves, and their daughters.
Praise for Rebel:
'Rebel makes it clear that the cultural honour/shame dynamic and the male guardianship system continue to weigh heavily on the daily lives of Saudi women ... Rahaf ultimately fled the Kingdom, under cover of darkness by the skin of her teeth, in order to spread her wings.' - Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel
'The astonishing story of how one incredibly courageous teenager took on Saudi Arabia's archaic male guardianship system and won! An inspiring read that will leave you shaking with fury, and then cheering in solidarity.' - Sophie McNeill, Human Rights Watch