Women

Desperate and alone, Saudi sisters risk everything to flee oppression



The night they fled, Reem and Rawan didn't dare sleep.

 

It was September 6, 2018. The two Saudi sisters were on a family vacation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For weeks, they had helped their mother organize the trip, feigning excitement at the possibility of two weeks away from Riyadh, but knowing that if all went to plan, they'd never go back.

 

Failure was not an option. Every step of their escape from Saudi Arabia carried the threat of severe punishment or death.

"We knew the first time, if it's not perfect, it will be the last time," Reem says.

 

CNN has changed the sisters' names and is not showing their faces, at their request for their safety.

The sisters say years of strict Islamic teaching and physical a...
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