The Saudi King and I: Janan Harb’s story of her life with a King
Janan Harb seeks to tell her story, the story of a fairy tale that turned to sadness and exile and which is now a final quest for fair treatment.
[UKPRwire, Fri Jun 09 2006] Janan Harb’s story is a fascinating one and continues today. It is a fairy tale of love as a cherished wife and carer, confidante and loyal supporter of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. This was no ordinary man, not only was he King but along with this honour came the title “The Custodian of Islam” which is next to God in the power among Muslims who’s life was tragically shortened by a stroke in 1995. King Fahd died in 2005.
Janan explains her motives for telling her story. “I maintained a dignified silence for many years but now I feel it is the right time for my story to be heard. I have tried to communicate with my husband’s family with many promises remaining un-kept and with no satisfactory resolution. All I am seeking is what is rightfully mine – something that, if my husband’s health had been better, he would have honoured himself. We were never divorced so my rights as a wife are still valid. It is this validity and the right to be heard that I seek”.
The love story of a beautiful young girl and a handsome prince started in 1968. “I fled from a war stricken Palestine and found love with a Prince” Janan continues. “Not only was I the King’s wife, I was also constantly seeking ways to enhance his personal wealth which was not as strong as a person in his position should have been. I invited many prominent businessmen to the palace to discuss commercial possibilities to strengthen his financial situation. These transactions were successful and resulted the millions of Riyals (approx £6 million). I was asked if I wanted to take a commission from these arrangements but, out of respect for my husband, I declined but asked that he keep the money for me which he promised to do”
The promise turned sour when Janan was asked to leave the kingdom in 1970 by the King’s brother Prince Turkey Bin Abdul Aziz. “I suddenly found myself exiled” she continued. “I was 23 years old without penny or possessions. A nightmare was beginning. I was in contact with the King regularly from that time until his illness in 1995 and I knew that he always had my interests at heart. However, his illness meant that all communication and support from the King was lost. It was the start of a long battle to be heard”.
Janan also feels that some aspects of her civil rights have been infringed. She discovered via a letter from The London Central Mosque Trust that in trying to move on with her life, she was in fact breaking Islamic law. “After some years I re-married and had two wonderful children”, Janan continues, “I felt that I was starting again and I had put this episode of my life behind me. I then received a letter informing me that I had never been divorced from the King and that, in the eyes of Islamic law; I was still married to him. It transpired that I had all the legal trappings of a marriage but none of the assets. This situation still makes returning to Saudi Arabia impossible”
Janan is still seeking her rights to financial security as promised by her late husband but it is proving to be a struggle. For the last three and a half years she has avoided publicity but now publicity seeks her with media organisations in the US keen to tell her story. She now sees her position as untenable. “I feel now that I have no choice but to communicate to the Saudi Royal family via the media through the opportunities that are coming to me. This is now a matter of public interest and I will fight for my rights until the end”
Janan Harb is currently living in London. Her story can be read in more detail on http://www.janankingfahd.com.
Notes for the editor: More about Janan Harb’s fascinating story can be found on http://www.janankingfahd.com. She is available for interview and can be contacted via Christine Holmes on 07768 548619 or Christine@uptone.co.uk.
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