The Runaway Princesses. In a shocking exposé by New Yorker staff writer Heidi Blake, the celebrated modernizer and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, faces scrutiny for alleged mistreatment within his own family.
Despite championing gender equality and vowing to eliminate obstacles faced by women, revelations from former employees shed light on disturbing practices. Chauffeurs disclosed transporting young women from London to the sheikh’s British estate, where they would reportedly leave bruised and weeping.
The Runaway Princesses Part 1
One of the most distressing incidents involves Princess Shamsa, Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, who fled the estate and sought asylum, imploring British authorities not to turn a blind eye. The exposé underscores the challenges faced by some women within the ruling family and the alleged complicity of foreign governments, raising questions about accountability and the protection of human rights.
Listen to the Podcast Series “The Runaway Princesses”, Episode 1, here.
The Runaway Princesses Part 2
In the second episode of a four-part podcast series by In the Dark, Heidi Blake narrates the tale of Princess Shamsa’s bold attempt to escape Dubai in order to aid her sister Latifa.
Shamsa’s pursuit of asylum in Britain was foiled, leading to her return to Dubai, where she was subjected to drugging and imprisonment. Despite being a teenager, Latifa, fueled by her deep connection with Shamsa as a mother figure, felt an urgent need to assist her sister. Latifa concluded that her sole recourse was to flee to another country and draw attention to the challenging circumstances faced by the sisters.
Listen to the Podcast Series “The Runaway Princesses”, Episode 2, here.
The Runaway Princesses Part 3
In the third segment of a four-part podcast series by In the Dark, Heidi Blake recounts the apprehension of Princess Latifa aboard a yacht in the Arabian Sea. Initially, when Latifa and her friend Tiina boarded the yacht Nostromo, there was a glimmer of hope that their escape might unfold successfully over the next couple of days. However, concerns arose in Dubai as Latifa’s friends were interrogated about her sudden disappearance, instilling fear among her and her co-conspirators that Nostromo might be under surveillance.
Listen to the Podcast Series “The Runaway Princesses”, Episode 3, here.
The Runaway Princesses Part 4
In the final installment of a four-part podcast series by In the Dark, Heidi Blake delves into the clandestine recordings that unveil Princess Latifa’s dire circumstances.
Following Latifa’s capture, her advocates experienced a prolonged silence until, over a year later, her friend Tiina received a message—an handwritten letter from Latifa, clandestinely delivered from the villa where she was confined.
Listen to the Podcast Series “The Runaway Princesses”, Episode 4, here.