Oprah Stirs Saudi Women

Star's message of empowerment hits home in male-controlled kingdom
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 5:31 AM CDT
Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.   (AP Photo/MJ Schear, file)
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(Newser) – The Oprah Winfrey Show has become a Saudi sensation, giving hope to women isolated in their homes with the talk show queen to keep them company, reports the New York Times.  Women in the conservative kingdom are delighted to see Oprah tackle taboo subjects like sex and race. Many say her message of self-empowerment resonates strongly with them and makes their tightly restricted lives in a male-dominated society more bearable.

“She gives me hope for my life. Sometimes I think that she's the only person in the world who knows how I feel," said one woman. Saudi women identify strongly with Winfrey's life story, which has inspired a desire for change. "If women here have problems with their fathers or their brothers, what can they do but look to Oprah?” asked a mother of five. “The idea that she will come and help them is a dream for them.”