7 of 31 - SOLSC 2019
Fastening our abayas we slowly made our way out of the room and down the stairs, feeling various levels of stuffed after our delectable buffet lunch. Arriving at the gate at which we had entered the school we found it locked with no way to open it from the inside.
Two moments flashed through my mind as we wound our way around the edge of the campus compound, in search of a way out.
Several years ago there was a fire in a girls' school in Saudi. I had heard about it on the news and had several conversations about it as we lived in Jeddah at the time. Many females died because they were locked in the school and the males on the outside wouldn't let them out as the females were not completely covered.
En route to this location we had stopped at another girls' school. As I was talking to the guard, trying to determine if the school we were standing in front of was the correct location, or just a school with an identical name in the same city, someone knocked on the gate from within. I looked up to see the guard unlock a padlock - on the outside of the entrance.
We did find the main gate and were able to walk out and around the block in the beautiful Saudi winter sun. The conversation was about how good it felt to stretch our legs, bask in the weather, and enjoy one another's company. These moments stayed with me, but I kept them to myself.