Woman Barricades Herself in Hotel Room to Avoid Family Killing Her


Jordan Myers, Entertainment Editor

Rahaf Al-Qunun, an eighteen-year-old Saudi woman made headlines when she posted herself barricaded in a hotel room claiming that her strictly Islamic family was going to murder her for denouncing Islam.

The saga began when Rahaf fled from a family vacation in Bangkok, Thailand. Thai authorities stopped her and seized her passport before she was able to board her flight to Kuwait which is when she was put in a transit lounge hotel room and began tweeting pleas for help from the bathroom.

She tweeted: “I’m now in real danger because the Saudi embassy is trying to force me to return,” she wrote in her first tweet, which reached just 24 followers. “I’m afraid,” she stated in her next tweet. “My family will kill me.”

While she was tweeting, Thailand tried to deport her back to Saudi Arabia but was not able to because she had barricaded herself in the bathroom with an Australian journalist. Luckily for her, her tweets caught the attention of activist Mona Eltahawy, who translated the original Arabic to her massive Twitter following. Phil Robertson, the Bangkok-based Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch, soon learned about Rahaf’s situation. He was able to guide her through her ordeal while the UN high commissioner for refugees got involved.

Canadian Rahaf was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers as she arrived in Toronto.

Thanks to Twitter, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, caught word of her situation and offered to take her in under asylum.

On January 12th, 2019, Rahaf arrived in Toronto, Canada safely, with a broad smile on her face and thanked her followers for supporting her and saving her life.

Unfortunately, not all stories of Saudi citizens requesting asylum end happily. In October of 2018, two Saudi sisters were found in the Hudson River duct-taped together after requesting US asylum. The incident was thought to be a suicide pact.

Also, read Saudi Women Can Now Be Divorced Via Text.