Norah al-Faiz says she has been misquoted. She does not say she was misquoted on what exactly: her Najdi niqab, introducing sports to girls schools, that she can’t appear on TV without permission, or the news that she started her talk with the reporters by saying “ya mama…” Alas, she said she will no longer speak to the press directly and will conduct all her interviews from now on via fax or email. I hope the new approach of the deputy minister would stop her from uttering nonsense like that she is more influential than Barack Obama. Al-Faiz has retracted her statements about introducing sports to girls schools, saying she is not against it and that “an integrated plan is being worked out to introduce PE in girls schools.” This actually could be true, not necessarily because al-Faiz said so but because someone who is far more influential than her is pushing for it.
Princess Adela bint Abdullah, the King’s daughter, told al-Riyadh daily yesterday that “it’s high time to look into the matter of introducing sports at girls schools seriously, following the teachings of Islam.” Princess Adela does not work in the government, but she is married to the minister of education. A friend of mine who met the princess says she is offering a new image for the women of the royal family. She is highly-motivated and very determined, and she is playing an increasingly assertive role in public life here. Since she is standing behind this, I think that female students might start enjoying their sports classes when the new school year begins this fall.