Bravery of battered TV host

Dispatch - United Arab Emirates

DUBAI – A popular Saudi television host has publicly showed her bruised and bloodied face, shocking locals into openly talking about one of the kingdom’s long-hidden problems: violence against women.

Rania al-Baz has been hailed as a hero for discussing her case after allegedly being beaten unconscious by her husband, singer Mohammed Bakr al-Fallatta, on April 10. He drove her to hospital and has not been seen since.

“I know many women in Saudi Arabia are badly beaten, and when I recover I will do a program addressing that,” says Al-Baz, who needed 12 operations on 13 facial fractures.

She said she would tackle other topics, such as rape, that usually are not discussed in conservative Saudi Arabia.

Al-Baz, in her 30s, is well known for her magazine show “The Kingdom This Morning.” The program usually offers lighter fare and is shown on state-run Saudi Channel One.

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