Your Highness:September 6, 2011
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
My name is Gretchen Cooper. In November of 2008, I was privileged to represent my hometown of Rochester, Minnesota through an employment opportunity with your family during their six week stay here at Mayo Clinic.
I hold the memories of that assignment close to my heart and will always view that time together as a positive experience. I hold in great regard the friendships formed, and I have looked forward to the day when I would be able to serve your family again to the best of my abilities.
On October 1, 2010, I was hired for another driving assignment with your family in Rochester, Minnesota. On Saturday, October 2, 2010, myself and two other women were terminated from our positions as drivers. We were told it was because “they don’t want any women drivers.”
I am writing to you with the hope that you will take a sincere look at the employment and human rights issues that this situation has raised. I have personally lost income for merely being a woman. I have a family to support and a moral obligation to stand strong for my rights as a human being.
Differences between traditions, cultures, and beliefs can be understood through open dialogue and a sincere intent to support progressive action. I believe we can find commonality through the values inherent within each human being.
I have full confidence that you will handle this matter so that it may serve your people, as well as mine. I hope that you will contemplate this matter of injustice and let it serve as a platform for higher good and positive change.
Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Princess Sita. She was a graciously kind woman, and I am honored by her meeting, as well as the entire family during their visit to Rochester, Mn in 2008.
Peace and Blessings to you and your family!
Ms. Gretchen Cooper
cc: His Excellency Adel A. Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador to the United States