Their walking relationship was unnatural, but they were too fearful to seat themselves at a restuarant to share a meal, for they knew that restaurants in our country are the principal target of the active and increasingly familiar morals committees that harass people of every nationality who live in Saudi Arabia. Such committees are composed of menancing men who unexpectedly surround and enter eating establishments, demanding identification of the restaurant patrons. If proof is not forthcoming that the men and women sharing a table are not husband and wife, brother or sister, or father and daughter, these frightened people will be arrested and escorted to a city gaol, with punishment freely given. The legal penalties vary according to the nationality of the 'criminal'. Muslim offenders can be flogged for their social misconduct, while non-Muslims are gaoled or deported.
( Jean Sasson )
[ Princess Sultana's Daughters ]